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Hillary's 1% backers: Haim Saban & the Neocons, from Peter Myers

(1) Hawkish Hillary and her Zionist Sugar Daddy Haim Saban - Stephen
(2) Debbie Menon comments:  Jeff Blankfort on the Judaization of the
State Dept
(3) Are Neocons getting ready to Ally with Hillary Clinton?

(1) Hawkish Hillary and her Zionist Sugar Daddy Haim Saban - Stephen

Hawkish Hillary Clinton and Her Israel-First Political Sugar Daddy Haim

Hillary Clinton’s greatest billionaire backer has been Haim Saban, a
dual United States-Israel citizen and hardline supporter of Israel, who
has openly commented, “I’m a one-issue guy, and my issue is Israel.”

By Stephen Sniegoski - Jun 15, 2015

The prospect of a Hillary Clinton presidency has many Israeli analysts
wondering what will become of the relationship picking up the pieces
from Barack Obama.

Considerable attention has been devoted to the millions of dollars Bill
and Hillary Clinton have received from wealthy individuals and
corporations for their foundation and for themselves.

Like many other things they have done, the Clintons were skirting on the
fringes of illegality.  And given the fact that Hillary was not just an
ex-government official, like many who have benefitted from their
positions after they left the federal government, but someone who
intended to return to the  federal government in the very topmost spot,
she and husband Bill were engaging in something quite unseemly.  For it
would not be beyond the realm of possibility that those who handed over
tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Clinton Foundation (some
of which took place while Hillary was Secretary of State) or to the
couple themselves for speaker fees expected favors in return.

Sheldon Adelson is a Republican and Haim Sabbah is a Democrat.

Now all of this has been bandied about in the mainstream media, but what
gets little attention is that Hillary Clinton’s greatest billionaire
backer has been Haim Saban, a dual United States-Israel citizen and
hardline supporter of Israel,  who has openly commented,  “I’m a
one-issue guy, and my issue is Israel.”[1]

With a net worth estimated at $3 billion, Saban is ranked by Forbes
magazine as the 143rd richest person in the United States.

When asked last July how much he would give to Hillary Clinton’s
campaign, he responded, “As much as is needed.”[2]

Saban’s support for the Clintons goes back to Bill Clinton’s presidency
when Saban and his wife slept in the Lincoln bedroom on a number of
occasions, a privilege reserved for only the largest donors to the
Democratic Party.

U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (center) joins Cheryl and Haim Saban

Saban has supported Hillary in her senatorial and 2008 presidential
campaigns and he, along with his Saban Family Foundation, donated from
$10 million to $25 million to the Clinton Foundation.[3]The
paleoconservative commentator Scott McConnell writes that in Hillary’s
current run for the presidency, Haim Saban is her “major financial
backer: one could go so far as to say that he and his donor circle
constitute her ‘base’  or at least a significant part of it.”[4]

Saban was born in Egypt to a family that emigrated to Israel in 1956
with most of the Egyptian Jewish population after the Suez War, in which
Israel, along with Britain and France, attacked Egypt.  Although he has
lived in the United States for over thirty years, Saban maintains a
strong loyalty to Israel. For example, between 2008 and 2013, Saban gave
$7.43 million to the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, a recognized
tax exempt charitable group in the US that provides support for the
well-being of members of the Israeli military, and he has headed
campaigns that raised millions more for that organization.[5]

Billboard paid for by Council for the National Interest.

Saban’s foremost purpose is to aid Israel by increasing American support
for the Jewish state.  He has publicly described his method to achieve
this goal by stating that the “three ways to be influential in American
politics” are to make donations to political parties, establish think
tanks, and control media outlets.[6]Saban has used all those ways. In
line with that thinking, he funds the American Israel Education
Foundation, which is essentially a branch of the American Israel Public
Affairs Committee (AIPAC)—located in the same building—and specializes
in taking members of Congress on all-expenses-paid tours of Israel where
they receive huge doses of pro-Zionist propaganda.[7]

Does Israel Buy Influence at U.S. Think Tanks?

In 2002, Saban contributed $7 million dollars toward the cost of a new
building for the Democratic National Committee, which was one of the
largest known donations ever made to an American political party.

In 2012, Saban gave $1 million to Unity 2012, a joint fund-raising Super
Pac that divided its funds between Priorities USA Action, a PAC
supporting President Obama’s candidacy, and two other PACs backing House
and Senate Democrats.[8]

In 2002, he founded the Saban Center for Middle East Policy (which in
2014 dropped the name Saban, though maintaining the connection with him)
at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.[9]Brookings has been
considered liberal or liberal/centrist in its orientation and is highly
regarded in the mainstream.  The purpose of the Saban Center appears to
have been to bring aboard some scholars with the aforementioned
liberal-centrist orientation who also take pro-Israel, neocon-like
positions, and mixing them with scholars without those pro-Israel,
neoconnish inclinations—a factor that protects the Center’s reputation
for objectivity in line with the overall Brookings Institution.
However, with the establishment of the Saban Center, pro-Israel
neoconnish individuals have spread to other parts of the Brookings

While the Center could have only come into existence as a result of
Saban’s money, it seems to have been largely the brainchild of Martin
Indyk, a former deputy director of research at AIPAC, who wanted to
create a foreign policy think tank with something of a pro-Israel tilt,
but without an obvious pro-Israel bias, so that it could gain acceptance
in mainstream circles.

Indyk would become the founding director of the Saban Center and is
currently executive vice president of the Brookings Institution.[10]

In Hillary’s campaign for the Democratic nomination for the presidency
in 2008, Indyk served as an advisor on foreign policy.[11]

A few more examples of Brookings’ pro-Israel neocon orientation are as
follows.Michael O’Hanlon, who was in the Saban Center and is now
Co-Director ofthe Brookings Institution’s Center for 21st Century
Security and Intelligence, supported the US war on Iraq in 2003, backed
troop surges in Iraq and Afghanistan, signed letters and policy
statements of the neocon Project for the New American Century, and
advocated the use of American ground troops in Syria to oust the Assad
regime.[12]In 2008,O’Hanlon supported John McCain for president, though
he had been listed as an advisor to Hillary Clinton before she lost the
nomination to Obama.[13]

Saban AIPAC Appointees – Martin Indyk, Dennis Ross, and Kenneth Pollack
who lead AIPAC policy front organizations would very likely receive
National Security Council and US State Department positions if Hillary
Clinton becomes president.

Also, at the Saban Center, and remaining there after the Saban name was
dropped, is Kenneth M. Pollack, who supported the invasion of Iraq,
being the author of the influential 2002 book, The Threatening Storm:
The Case for Invading Iraq.Pollack was described by Philip Weiss, a
critic of US and Israeli Middle East policies on the website Mondoweiss,
as “the expert who did more than anyone else to promote the Iraq war
among liberals, in New York Times editorials and a book saying that
invading Iraq would remake the US image in the Arab world and get their
minds off Palestine!” [14]Pollack also backed the 2007 surge in Iraq.

In the Lawrence Franklin espionage trial, Pollack was mentioned as also
having provided classified information to AIPAC employees in 2000 during
the Clinton Administration when he was a Middle East analyst in the
National Security Council.[15]  Although Pollack was not charged with a
crime, his apparent involvement would illustrate that he is recognized
as a supporter of Israel by AIPAC. Much more recently, on March 24,
2015, Pollack testified before a hearing of the Senate Armed Services
Committee, chaired by Senator John McCain, that Iran was far more
dangerous than ISIS or al Qaeda, stating that “It has a greater ability
to control the region and sustain that control if allowed to do so.”[16]
Note that Israel perceives Iran as the greater danger. Pollack also was
one of Hillary Clinton’s chief foreign policy advisors while she was in
the Senate and supported her candidacy for president in 2008.[17]

The most significant warhawk who happens to be, or at least has been, a
bonafide neocon in the Brookings Institution is Robert Kagan of the
seemingly omnipresent Kagan clan—father Donald, brother Frederick,
sister-in-law Kimberly and wife Victoria Nuland (who, as a leading
figure in the US State Department, played a major role in fomenting the
Russia-Ukraine crisis). Among his neocon credentials, Robert Kagan was a
contributing editor of The Weekly Standard, the original director of the
notorious (in anti-war circles) Project for a New American Century, and
with Bill Kristol, the cofounder of the Foreign Policy Initiative, a
neocon organization considered to be the successor to the Project for a
New American Century.  He was also the foreign policy advisor to John
McCain in 2008.

In recent years, however, Kagan, who joined Brookings in 2010, has tried
to distance himself from his neocon past, describing himself as a
“liberal interventionist” and actually taking some positions at odds
with the neocons and the Israeli Right.[18]Instead of 100 percent
neoconism, he now espouses something that could be described as
neocon-lite.  His new persona has opened for him the halls of power in
the mainstream and enabled him to become close to Hillary Clinton,
something that the old Robert Kagan, with his harder-line neocon
baggage, probably could not have achieved.

While Saban did not bring Kagan over to Brookings, the huge funds that
he has provided to the Institution likely were a factor.  As Washington
insider Steve Clemons wrote at the time:  “Kagan’s move is important for
Brookings as the institution has been working hard to get Haim Saban to
give another large infusion of resources to his namesake unit, the Saban
Center for Middle East Policy, at Brookings. Securing Kagan is one way
that Brookings may have sweetened the pot for Saban who is according to
one Brookings source ‘painfully flamboyant’ about using his money to try
and influence the DC establishment through think tanks and other
vehicles to secure Israel-first, Israel-defending policies out of
Washington.” [19]

Neocons like the historian Robert Kagan may be connecting with Hillary
Clinton to try to regain influence in foreign policy. Credit Left,
Stephanie Sinclair/VII via Corbis; right, Colin McPherson/Corbis

Kagan helped establish a bipartisan civilian advisory board for
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.[20]In 2014, Kagan implied that he
might support Hillary Clinton for President. “I feel comfortable with
her on foreign policy,” he remarked. “If she pursues a policy which we
think she will pursue, it’s something that might have been called
neocon, but clearly her supporters are not going to call it that; they
are going to call it something else.”[21] And while it would be very
unlikely that Kagan would receive a Cabinet post in a Clinton
administration, it is quite conceivable that he would be given some type
of advisory position with considerable influence on foreign policy.

While there is no proof that Kagan’s new, more moderate stance is simply
a strategic pose, the fact that his position could be used as Hillary
Clinton’s counterpoise to the hardline neocon-Israel lobby position of
the Republicans would serve to keep debate on US Middle East policy
within even more narrow limits than has been the case during the Obama
administration. Since the neocons would likely squawk that Clinton’s
position was insufficiently protective of Israel and the United States,
the actual similarity of the two positions would likely be obfuscated
rather than clarified by the mainstream media.

Billionaire Haim Saban at his 70th birthday bash, pledged to support
Hillary Clinton should she run for president.

Saban’s monetary contribution to Hillary Clinton’s campaign is not the
only way that he can advance her candidacy.  He is the executive
chairman of Univision Communications, which owns and operates the
Univision television network, the largest Spanish-language television
network in the United States, and the fifth largest television network
overall in the country, reaching more than 93.8 million households.  The
Hispanic vote has become a significant part of the overall presidential
vote and, since the great majority of Hispanics are Democrats, is
especially important in the Democratic primaries. “You have to go to
Univision to get to Latino voters,” commented Gabriela Domenzain, who
was Obama’s Hispanic media director in the 2012 election.[22]

Even before the 2016 election campaign began, Clinton was able to rely
upon Univision to generate favorable publicity for herself.  In early
2014, she joined with Univision in a multi-year initiative to present
mainstream expert information on the television network intended to aid
Hispanic parents in helping their pre-school-age children develop
language skills.  In regard to this program, Hillary Clinton has been
featured widely on Univision’s network and website.[23]  As an article
in the Washington Post observed when the program was announced, “For
Clinton, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, the partnership with
Univision provides a valuable platform to promote her causes with the
country’s fast-growing and politically influential Hispanic community.”[24]

Hillary’s UNIVISION event – The prospective 2016 presidential candidate
came to an East Harlem classroom, sat beneath crayon posters and
alphabet letters, and urged Hispanic parents to read and sing to their
children to help develop their language skills.

Since Clinton is taking a very favorable position toward currently
illegal immigrants, stating that as President she would go beyond Obama
in providing them legal status and citizenship, publicity from Univision
should help her to capture the Hispanic vote in the Democratic primary
elections by at least the same proportions as she did in 2008, when she
defeated Obama by a two to one margin.  The Hispanic vote is expected to
be much larger in 2016, and it should be pointed out that in regard to
total votes in the Democratic primaries in 2008, Clinton actually
received slightly more votes than Obama,[25] which indicates that she
was then about as popular as Obama among Democrats.[26]Where Hillary
Clinton was hurt in 2008 was in those states that had caucuses rather
than primaries in which activists of a more anti-war leftist orientation
tended to be disproportionately represented.  Clinton and her close
advisors had taken for granted that she would be the Democratic nominee
and failed to organize effectively in caucus states, being focused
instead on the general election. Her campaign is not likely to be
overconfident this time.[27]

Much is being made in the mainstream media about Hillary Clinton’s
alleged floundering in recent polls.  Although there is some truth here
since her negative ratings in the polls are rising, she is still far
ahead of any of her rivals, having substantially more than 50 percent of
the vote in the polls for the Democratic presidential nomination in
2016.[28]  With the expanded Hispanic vote, a divided opposition and the
lack of a potential opponent with anything like Obama’s  appeal
(especially in regard to the black vote) in 2008,[29] and by organizing
for the caucuses, it is hard to see how Clinton would fail to be the
Democratic nominee, barring some momentous event, such as ill health or
a major scandal.  And though the general election is far more difficult
to predict, she should be seen as the likely winner based upon
demographic changes in the US voting population.[30]

  In many areas, Hillary’s hawkishness does not need Saban’s prompting,
  though since self-aggrandizement looms very large in her political
career, it is likely that placating the powerful has always played a
significant role in shaping her political positions. In April 2014, an
article in the New York Times, which dealt with her positions as Obama’s
Secretary of State,related that “in recent interviews, two dozen current
and former administration officials, foreign diplomats, friends and
outside analysts described Mrs. Clinton as almost always the advocate of
the most aggressive actions considered by Mr. Obama’s national security
team — and not just in well-documented cases, like the debate over how
many additional American troops to send to Afghanistan or the NATO
airstrikes in Libya.

“Mrs. Clinton’s advocates — a swelling number in Washington, where
people are already looking to the next administration — are quick to
cite other cases in which she took more hawkish positions than the White
House: arguing for funneling weapons to Syrian rebels and for leaving
more troops behind in postwar Iraq, and criticizing the results of a
2011 parliamentary election in Russia.”[31]

Numerous commentators have pointed out that Hillary is not only hawkish
but is attracting support from neocons and neoconnish Democrats.
Veteran establishment liberal commentator Leslie Gelb sees this as part
of “[s]omething pivotal [that] is germinating in the politics of
American foreign policy. It is a shift rightward toward a tougher line,
notably among powerful Democrats. It is dislodging the leftward thrust
that was triggered in the mid-2000s, when George W. Bush’s wars in
Afghanistan and Iraq became widely seen as disasters.”[32]

In 2014, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Glen Greenwald, an anti-war
leftist,commented bluntly about Hillary Clinton:  “She’s a f***ing hawk
and like a neocon, practically. She’s surrounded by all these sleazy
money types who are just corrupting everything everywhere. But she’s
going to be the ?rst female president, and women in America are going to
be completely invested in her candidacy. Opposition to her is going to
be depicted as misogynistic, like opposition to Obama has been depicted
as racist. It’s going to be this completely symbolic messaging that’s
going to overshadow the fact that she’ll do nothing but continue
everything in pursuit of her own power.”[33]

Given the possible threat of Democratic anti-war leftists fielding a
third party that could threaten to siphon off a few percentage points
from Clinton’s vote in the general election—or at least the possibility
that a substantial number of liberal party regulars would be too
disenchanted to actively campaign for her—she might, out of political
expediency, moderate her hawkishness in her campaigning, including that
which pertains to Israel.  Such a political tactic would seem to be
acceptable to Saban.

As Saban mentioned in an interview on Israel Channel One television in
regard to Clinton’s true position on Obama’s Iran deal:“I can’t reveal
to you things that were said behind closed doors. She has an opinion, a
very well-defined opinion. And in any case, everything that she thinks
and everything she has done and will do will always be for the good of
Israel. We don’t need to worry about this.”[34] And as a self-made
billionaire, it would seem apparent that Saban has not often been wrong
in his expectations.

Moreover, in the unlikely event that Clinton were defeated by the
Republican nominee—unless that Republican were Rand Paul, whose
nomination is an ultra-longshot—then Saban, who admits that Israel is
his only issue, would have little to complain about since the new
Republican President would pursue policies much more in line with the
positions of the Israeli Right than had the Obama administration, which
itself was hardly anti-Israel.  In short, no matter who wins the
upcoming presidential election, Israel and its supporters will emerge


[1]Andrew Ross Sorokin, “Schlepping to Moguldom,” New York Times,
September 5, 2004,

[2]Hadas Gold and Marc Caputo, “Inside the Univision-Clinton network,”
Politico, May 12, 2015,

[3] Eddie Scarry, “Univision owner: ‘When Hillary Clinton is
president…’,” Washington Examiner, April 17, 2015,…/article/2563246.

[4]Scott McConnell, “Hillary’s Sheldon Adelson,” The American
Conservative, November 12. 2014,

[5]Eli Clifton, “Where Does Hillary Stand on the Iran Agreement?,”
LobeLog, April 19, 2015,;
Malina Saval, “Haim Saban’s Friends of the Israel Defense Forces Gala
Raises Record $33 Million,”Variety,November 7, 2014,;
“AIPAC Congressional Lobbying Junkets to Israel Illegal Charges IRS and
DOJ Filing – Irmep,”—irmep-129535868.html.

[6]Connie Bruck,  “The Influencer: An entertainment mogul sets his
sights on foreign policy,”

The New Yorker, May 10, 2010.

[7]Amanda Becker and Rachael Bade, “Members Flock to Israel With Travel
Loophole,” Roll Call, September 12, 2011,

[8] Ted Johnson, “Zionist tycoon vows to contribute ‘as much as needed’
to a Hillary Clinton campaign,” Council for the National Interest (CNI),
July 28 2014,

[9]Connie Bruck, “The Influencer: An entertainment mogul sets his sights
on foreign policy,”The New Yorker, May 10, 2010,;

“Brookings Saban Center is No Longer,” Think Tank Watch, July 22, 2014,;
The continuing Saban Forum is a significant part of the Center.
According to the Brookings Website: “The Saban Forum is an annual
dialogue between American and Israeli leaders from across the political
and social spectrum, organized by the Center for Middle East Policy at
the Brookings Institution.” Brookings, Center for Middle East Policy,

[10]Grant F. Smith, “Why AIPAC Took Over Brookings,” Dissident Voice.
November 21, 2007; Martin
S. Indyk, Brookings,; Philip
Weiss, “How fair is Martin Indyk, who says he was motivated by ‘my…
connection to Israel’?,” Mondoweiss, July 22, 2013,

[11]“The War Over the Wonks,” Washington Post, October 2,

[12]Philip Weiss, “O’Hanlon of Brookings Sorts Out the Wrong Neocons
 From the Right Ones,” Mondoweiss, July 24, 2008,;

Michael O’Hanlon, Right Web, May 9, 2013,

[13]“The War Over the Wonks,” Washington Post, October 2, 2007,;
  Michael O’Hanlon, “Michael O’Hanlon: American boots needed in
Syria,”USA Today, May 21, 2015,

[14]Philip Weiss, “‘NPR’ airs Ken Pollack’s Iran war games and leaves
out his last war,” Mondoweiss, September 28,2012,

[15]Ron Kampeas, “Guilty plea in AIPAC case,” Jewish Telegraph Agency,
October 6, 2005,

[16]James Warren, “Iran is more dangerous to Iraq than ISIS, terror
experts tell U.S. Senate panel,” New York DailyNews, March 24, 2015,

[17] Dmfox, “Kenneth Pollack: surge working, turn Iraq into
Switzerland,”Daily Kos, December 28, 2007,

[18] Jim Lobe, “Robert Kagan: Neocon Renegade?,” LobeLog, April 11,

[19]Steve Clemons, “Brookings Loses Bid on Orszag but Takes Kagan From
Carnegie,” The Blog, Huffington Post, July 10, 2010, Updated: May 25,

[20]“Robert Kagan,” Right Web,

[21] Jason Horowitz, “Events in Iraq Open Door for Interventionist
Revival, Historian Says,” New York Times,June 15, 2014,

[22]Hadas Gold and Marc Caputo, “Inside the Univision-Clinton network,”
Politico, May 12, 2015,

[23]Hadas Gold and Marc Caputo, “Inside the Univision-Clinton network,”
Politico, May 12, 2015,

[24]Philip Rucker, “Hillary Clinton partners with Univision for early
childhood development,” Washington Post, February 4, 2014,

[25]The Green Papers, 2008 Presidential Primaries, Caucuses, and

[26]Obama was not in the Michigan primary, so it perhaps cannot be said
that she would have won more votes had he been a candidate there, but,
nonetheless, their vote totals were about the same.

[27]Philip Rucker, “Hillary Clinton supporters get a head start
organizing for 2016 Iowa caucuses,” Washington Post, January 26, 2014,;
Eleanor Clift, “Hillary’s Plan to Win Big Everywhere,”Daily Beast, May
7, 2015,

[28]“Democratic Presidential Primary 2016,” Public Policy Polling, June
4, 2015,

[29]S.A. Miller, “Hillary Clinton alone at top even as Democrats
re-examine their 2016 options,” Washington Times, June 7, 2015,

[30] Jonathan Chait, “Why Hillary Clinton Is Probably Going to Win the
2016 Election,”Daily Intelligencer, April 12, 2015,

[31]Mark Landler and Amy Chozick, “Hillary Clinton Struggles to Define a
Legacy in Progress,” New York Times, April 16, 2014,;
Bob and Barbara Dreyfuss, “The Left Ought to Worry About Hillary
Clinton, Hawk and Militarist, in 2016,” Nation, May 27, 2014,

[32]Leslie H. Gelb, Countering the Neocon Comeback, Democracy: A Journal
of Ideas, Winter 2015,

[33]Quoted in Matt Wilstein,  “Greenwald Bashes ‘Neocon’ Hillary
Clinton: ‘She’s a F*cking Hawk’,” Mediaite, May 12, 2014,

[34] Philip Weiss, “‘Everything Hillary Clinton will do will always be
for Israel’ — Saban warns the Republicans,” Mondoweiss, April 18, 2015,

(2) Debbie Menon comments:  Jeff Blankfort on the Judaization of the
State Dept


Debbie    Jun 16, 2015 at 5:46 am

Dear All,

Lets get real, and see who butters whose bread, and which side gets the

Returning to the enormous influence Zionist/Jews wield in the USG and
some so-called anti-Zionists in the 'Liberation of Palestine Movements',
you might find interesting this comment on a thread debating the issue,
by none other than a Jew himself, a brave and honest man Jeff Blankfort :


While being Jewish and being Zionist are not necessarily the same thing,
  most Jews are philosophically Zionists, although the majority is not
part of the Israel Lobby. On the other hand, anyone reading the Old
Testament, our friends in Neturie Karta not withstanding, can see that
there is a direct connection between Orthodox or Fundamentalist Judaism
and Zionism; that the mentality that created the Jewish god who then, we
were told, ordered the early Jews to commit the most violent of
genocides against people who never harmed them, is the same mentality
that lies at the root of Zionism as practiced in modern day Israel. To
repeat, it is also true that despite its well publicized crimes the vast
majority of Jews and virtually the entire organized Jewish community in
the US, Western Europe, South Africa,and Australia, support the Zionist
Jewish state. To pretend that those of us who seriously oppose Zionism
and the existence of a Jewish state are anything other than a relatively
small handful is to deceive ourselves and others.

To pretend that Judaism can be separated from Zionism is also a
deception.Just take a look, for example, at three Jewish holidays, all
of which celebrate death, not of Jews but of others. Passover
memorializes the story of the angel of death passing over the Jewish
homes while marking those of innocent Egyptians for death. Who was that
angel working for, if not Yaweh, the Jewish god?

Then we have Purim in which Jewish children dress up as clowns and
everyone has fun. What are they celebrating? The massacre of 75,000
Persians by the Jews (an early pre-emptive strike since we are told, as
we have been told lies about Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon)
that they were ready to do the same to the Jews).  Finally, there is
Hannukah which celebrates the bloody victory of the Jewish
fundamentalists over the Jewish secularists, called Hellenists at the
time. Frankly, there is something wrong with a religion that celebrates
such holidays, the authenticity of the stories being irrelevant.

There was a time, when I was much younger and thought much as you did,
because I was raised in an atmosphere where Jews were in the leadership
and predominant in the ranks of virtually every progressive political
struggle. That was my parents generation. But then I discovered to my
horror, when I returned from my first visit to the ME in 1970, that when
it came to the Palestinians, almost all of them were transformed into
racist, screaming Afrikaners, my parents being a rare exception. I know
since I experienced their venom.

I also take serious issue with you discounting the number of Jews in the
Obama administration as a distraction and that it "takes us toward the
extreme right." Rather, it points us towards the truth. If it was only
the number of Jews we are considering I would agree but in the case of
the Obama administration we have what the Israelis consider to be "warm
Jews," those strongly pro-Zionist, in a number of key State Dept.
positions as well as in the Treasury including Stuart Levey and David
Cohen, the top two men deciding what Muslim groups will be put on
department's "terrorist list,"  Daniel Benjamin, in charge of
"counter-terrorism" for the National Security Council, and Kenneth
Katzman, in charge of analyzing the Persian Gulf region for the
Congressional Research Service. The head of that department in Treasury,
Levey frequently speaks before Zionist organizations where he brags, as
he does to the mainstream media, that he is "the decider."

Not a word of criticism let alone mention of his name and what he does
have I heard from any Jewish anti-zionist other than Phil Weiss on his
Mondoweiss blog. It was, in fact, Malcolm Hoenlein, executive director
of the Conf of Presidents of Major Jewish American Organizations, who
bragged to the Jewish weekly Forward in 1995 how he helped to formulate
the first Effective Death Penalty and Counter Terrorism Act under Bill
Clinton which initiated the economic war against Palestinian
institutions. Is speaking about that and Levey's role in enforcing the
law a dangerous distraction or an important fact everyone should know in
waging a serious struggle for Palestinian rights?  Passionate rhetoric,
on the other hand, such as what we hear and read from Chomsky and
Finkelstein, who also never mention the role of Levey and the history of
Hoenlein, leaves me cold. Particularly when they oppose BDS targeting

Should we be concerned about oil company insiders and pharmaceutical
drug lobbyists getting jobs with the government but keep silent when it
comes to pro-Israel Jews in Washington and try to silence others who
raise the issue? Is it not of historical importance that the election to
presidency of Bill Clinton led to what an Israeli journalist described
as a Judaization of the State Dept., a situation that has not only not
changed but grown more serious with each successive administration? Does
<> IJAN not take any interest in
that? Is it "anti-semitic" to bring it up? I am not only bringing this
up because I unconditionally support the rights of the Palestinian
people to regain and return their ancient homeland but I am also
concerned with what the American Jewish Establishment, through its ham
handed support for Israel and its stranglehold on Congress and on the
White House have done to undermine what is left of our democracy. Does
< >IJAN taken a position on that?


Jeff Blankfort


(3) Are Neocons getting ready to Ally with Hillary Clinton?


JULY 5, 2014

WASHINGTON — AFTER nearly a decade in the political wilderness, the
neoconservative movement is back, using the turmoil in Iraq and Ukraine
to claim that it is President Obama, not the movement’s interventionist
foreign policy that dominated early George W. Bush-era Washington, that
bears responsibility for the current round of global crises.

Even as they castigate Mr. Obama, the neocons may be preparing a more
brazen feat: aligning themselves with Hillary Rodham Clinton and her
nascent presidential campaign, in a bid to return to the driver’s seat
of American foreign policy.

To be sure, the careers and reputations of the older generation of
neocons — Paul D. Wolfowitz, L. Paul Bremer III, Douglas J. Feith,
Richard N. Perle — are permanently buried in the sands of Iraq. And not
all of them are eager to switch parties: In April, William Kristol, the
editor of The Weekly Standard, said that as president Mrs. Clinton would
“be a dutiful chaperone of further American decline.”

But others appear to envisage a different direction — one that might
allow them to restore the neocon brand, at a time when their erstwhile
home in the Republican Party is turning away from its traditional
interventionist foreign policy.

It’s not as outlandish as it may sound. Consider the historian Robert
Kagan, the author of a recent, roundly praised article in The New
Republic that amounted to a neo-neocon manifesto. He has not only
avoided the vitriolic tone that has afflicted some of his intellectual
brethren but also co-founded an influential bipartisan advisory group
during Mrs. Clinton’s time at the State Department.

Mr. Kagan has also been careful to avoid landing at standard-issue
neocon think tanks like the American Enterprise Institute; instead, he’s
a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, that citadel of liberalism
headed by Strobe Talbott, who was deputy secretary of state under
President Bill Clinton and is considered a strong candidate to become
secretary of state in a new Democratic administration. (Mr. Talbott
called the Kagan article “magisterial,” in what amounts to a public
baptism into the liberal establishment.)

Perhaps most significantly, Mr. Kagan and others have insisted on
maintaining the link between modern neoconservatism and its roots in
muscular Cold War liberalism. Among other things, he has frequently
praised Harry S. Truman’s secretary of state, Dean Acheson, drawing a
line from him straight to the neocons’ favorite president: “It was not
Eisenhower or Kennedy or Nixon but Reagan whose policies most resembled
those of Acheson and Truman.”

Other neocons have followed Mr. Kagan’s careful centrism and respect for
Mrs. Clinton. Max Boot, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign
Relations, noted in The New Republic this year that “it is clear that in
administration councils she was a principled voice for a strong stand on
controversial issues, whether supporting the Afghan surge or the
intervention in Libya.”

And the thing is, these neocons have a point. Mrs. Clinton voted for the
Iraq war; supported sending arms to Syrian rebels; likened Russia’s
president, Vladimir V. Putin, to Adolf Hitler; wholeheartedly backs
Israel; and stresses the importance of promoting democracy.

It’s easy to imagine Mrs. Clinton’s making room for the neocons in her
administration. No one could charge her with being weak on national
security with the likes of Robert Kagan on board.

Of course, the neocons’ latest change in tack is not just about
intellectual affinity. Their longtime home, the Republican Party, where
presidents and candidates from Reagan to Senator John McCain of Arizona
supported large militaries and aggressive foreign policies, may well
nominate for president Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, who has been
beating an ever louder drum against American involvement abroad.

In response, Mark Salter, a former chief of staff to Senator McCain and
a neocon fellow traveler, said that in the event of a Paul nomination,
“Republican voters seriously concerned with national security would have
no responsible recourse” but to support Mrs. Clinton for the presidency.

Still, Democratic liberal hawks, let alone the left, would have to
swallow hard to accept any neocon conversion. Mrs. Clinton herself is
already under fire for her foreign-policy views — the journalist Glenn
Greenwald, among others, has condemned her as “like a neocon,
practically.” And humanitarian interventionists like Samantha Power, the
ambassador to the United Nations, who opposed the second Iraq war,
recoil at the militaristic unilateralism of the neocons and their
inveterate hostility to international institutions like the World Court.

But others in Mrs. Clinton’s orbit, like Michael A. McFaul, the former
ambassador to Russia and now a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution,
a neocon haven at Stanford, are much more in line with thinkers like Mr.
Kagan and Mr. Boot, especially when it comes to issues like promoting
democracy and opposing Iran.

Far from ending, then, the neocon odyssey is about to continue. In 1972,
Robert L. Bartley, the editorial page editor of The Wall Street Journal
and a man who championed the early neocon stalwarts, shrewdly diagnosed
the movement as representing “something of a swing group between the two
major parties.” Despite the partisan battles of the early 2000s, it is
remarkable how very little has changed.

Jacob Heilbrunn is the editor of the National Interest and the author of
“They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons.”

A version of this op-ed appears in print on July 6, 2014, on page SR5 of
the New York edition with the headline: The Next Act of the Neocons.

Peter Myers