Kevin Zeese: "Hawkish Israeli Lobby Wants War with Iran!"

“So likewise ‘a passionate attachment’ of one nation for another produces a variety of evils…”

— George Washington’s “Farewell Address,” September 19, 1796

Washington, D.C. – Kevin Zeese was the first speaker at a public forum held on Monday evening, April 24, 2006, at the West End Neighborhood Library, near the community of Georgetown. The topic for the event was, “Is the Israel Lobby Promoting War on Iran?” He said the question of whether the hawkish, hard-right, pro-Israeli Lobby in America wants to see war with Iran “gets answered in an ad which was in the New York Times, the Financial Times, and other newspapers. It’s a full page ad by the American Jewish Committee, put out on April 4th. The center of the bull’s eye is Iran and the headline is: ‘Can Anyone Within Range of Iran’s Missiles Feel Safe?’ I think that’s a pretty inflammatory ad. It’s signed by more than a hundred people…I think it’s a pretty strong indication of where the Lobby stands. That isn’t the only proof we have that the hawkish Israeli Lobby wants to go to war.”

Zeese is the director of DemocracyRising.U.S., an organization working to end the Iraqi War and the Occupation. He was also an ex-press secretary for Ralph Nader in 2004. Presently, Zeese is an independent candidate for the U.S. Senate in Maryland, who is looking to bring together, in a voting block, the combined electoral efforts of the Green, Populist and Libertarian Parties. [1]

The DC Anti-War Network (DAWN) presented the evening program. [2] David Kirshbaum and Carol Moore of DAWN acted as co-moderators for the event and did a splendid job. Other speakers were Simin Royanian and Alex Patico. Alex is a U.S. coordinator of the multi-country “Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran.” Ms. Royanian is an economist and the cofounder of the “Women for Peace and Justice in Iran.”

Ms. Royanian, in her remarks, pointed to U.S. “militarism and imperialism” as being the root of the problem of injustice around the world and in the Middle East as well, and as posing the main threat to Iran today. She did acknowledge that the Israeli Lobby is “brainwashing” the American people. She also emphasized that Iran is not making “any nuclear weapons.” Mr. Patico saw the U.S. government itself as the main issue with respect to Iran. He said it has “exacerbated the situation.” Patico asked: “Why did it (the U.S.) put the nuclear option on the table?”

According to DAWN’s press release, the focus of the event was the new “Harvard Study on the negative influence of the Israel Lobby and what activists can do about it.” [3] The report was authored by Professors John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt. [4] It generated hostile reactions from Israeli sympathizers, like Alan Dershowitz, David Gergen and the Washington Post. [5] Essentially, the document revealed what most objective observers of the Middle East already knew: The Israeli Lobby, which includes the Neocons, has exercised “unmatched power” over U.S.’s policies to the extent that its role is harmful and not in the national interest. In fact, pundit Charley Reese, was even more blunt. He called Israel, “The dead roach in America’s salad.” He also accused the Lobby of “beating the drums for war with Iran.” [6] Recently, investigative reporter Seymour Hersh revealed, that the Bush-Cheney Gang was planning a nuclear strike against Iran. [7]

Continuing with Zeese’s comments, he said: “Another important, hard line group is the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA). They have been advocating ‘regime change’ in a number of Arab counties: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and with the Palestinian Authority for years. JINSA’s board of advisors has included many Bush administration leaders: Dick Cheney, John Bolton, Richard Perle, James Woolsey and Douglas Feith…They (JINSA) put a report out on April 12th, called, ‘Iran, Iran, Iran and Iran.’ Iran, the document said is the ‘whole list of national security priorities.’ Yes, they want to see ‘regime change’ in Iran. They want to see an attack on Iran.”

It’s interesting to note that one of the members of the U.S. Congress, who supports a U.S. air strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities is the Israeli Firster, Joseph Lieberman (D-CT). He told the Jerusalem Post, he would, if necessary, advocate such a measure to “deter the development of their nuclear program.” [8] What, of course, Lieberman didn’t say is that his favorite country, Israel, is suspected of having over 400 nuclear weapons! [9]

Meanwhile, as gas prices soar above $3 a gallon, the resentment in the U.S. towards the Israeli Lobby’s role in inflaming that problem, too, can also be expected to grow exponentially. Some fondly recall that before the creation of Israel, the U.S. didn’t have any Arab enemies in the oil-producing Middle East and that buying gas for the car wasn’t an issue. Other matters, like: Israel’s launching of the notorious “Lavon Affair,” in 1954; its bulldozing to death, in 2003, of peace activist Rachel Corrie; its deliberate attack in 1967, on the U.S. Liberty; its unleashing of the spy/traitor, Jonathan Pollard; the over $140 billion in dollars in foreign aid that it has extracted from our treasury, since 1948; and the Larry Franklin/Pentagon Spy case, with its ties to American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)-will continue to simmer in the bosom of many Americans. [10]

There is, too, another factor which causes friction. It is the arrogance of some of the Israel’s apologists! Their condescending attitudes and their use of smear tactics towards those who dare to speak out for the good of our Republic is deeply resented by their targets and, too, by the wider community. It reminds some of how the British imperialists regularly abused our gallant patriots before the Revolution. As brave Americans die daily in the Neocon-inspired Iraqi War, and others ingest the toxic depleted uranium dust, those feelings against a militant Israel, and its haughty and schoolyard bully of a Lobby, will only persist. [11]

Finally, in his over fifteen-minute-talk, Zeese underscored the importance of the Harvard Study and how it can open up a discussion on matters that have long been a “taboo topic among elected U.S. politicians.” He had high praise for its two authors. Zeese spotlighted for the audience some of the significant items, and findings, contained in the report, including one of their conclusions that Iran is Israel’s next target for “regime change.” He emphasized that the “lopsided U.S. policy in favor of Israel” needs to be changed. He pointed out that aid to Israel over the last 58 years has far outstripped aid to other nations. He gave as example the fact that, “Aid to Israel is greater than all of U.S. aid to sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America combined.”

Zeese said that our “democracy is threatened by the stifling of debate.” He said now is the time to confront that “special relationship. It is evident that the current approach has not benefitted Israel, the Palestinians, the Middle East on the United States.” He finished up by urging people who are opposed to any war against Iran “to get organized.”