Ahead Of AIPAC Conference, Israeli Pressure On US For Red Lines On Iran Picks Up Steam

This article originally appeared at LobeLog, a blog well worth following if you want up to date and incisive analysis of US foreign policy on the Mideast. 

With the annual policy convention of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) coming up in just a few days, many observers are expecting this to be the time when Israel pushes its hardest on the United States to take a more aggressive stance in its ongoing confrontation with Iran over the latter’s nuclear program.

With four days to go, it seems that the Israeli push is picking up steam.

Ha’aretz reports today that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to “publicly harden his line against Iran” before he meets with US President Barack Obama on March 5. This is an important piece of timing, as Obama will be speaking at the AIPAC conference on the 4th, the day before Netanyahu meets with him.

To an extent, then, Netanyahu is already making it clear to the AIPAC audience what they should be looking for in the President’s speech, as well as communicating a warning to Obama about what Netanyahu expects from him.

This is only one piece of the gathering pressure. Obama will be walking into something of a lion’s den at AIPAC, much more so than last year, when the President spent weeks after the conference dealing with the political fallout from wide, and often intentional, misinterpretations of his speech and his testy scenes with the Israeli Prime Minister. Continue reading

Beating the Bullies

In this week’s piece for Souciant, I look at how the radical supporters of Israel’s worst policies, out of necessity, employ bullying tactics to silence others. I may not always agree with those others, but they have a right to be heard free of censorship and intimidation.

And, for the record, so do supporters of Israel’s worst policies. The only difference is that no one is able, or trying, to bully them into silence.

Radio Show on Iran

As I mentioned last week, I was on a radio show today on the subject of Iran, Israel and the US. Also on the show was the extremely informative Professor Ervand Abrahamian of Baruch College. It’s well worth listening to, and you can do so at this link.

Radio Appearance, Sunday February 26

For those readers interested, I will be on The Sunday Show on KPFA radio this Sunday, February 26 from 10 AM to 11 AM Pacific Time (that would be 1 PM to 2 PM Eastern Time) to discuss the situation with Iran. It’s a San Francisco Bay Area radio station, but if you’re interested, you can also listen live at http://www.kpfa.org/home. If you can’t listen at that time, you can also hear an archived version once it’s posted at http://www.kpfa.org/archive/show/58293

Warning From the Holding Company

In my latest for Souciant, I look at the ratcheting up of joint Israeli-AIPAC efforts to press the US into attacking Iran on Israel’s behalf. The pressure is intense, coming from multiple directions, and we US citizens are just letting it happen.

Adnan Will Live–And So Will Administrative Detention

So much has been written in the blogosphere about Khader Adnan, the Palestinian hunger striker, that I thought I would just leave it to others. But now that his hunger strike has ended, I feel moved to make a few points.

We will probably never know if there ever was a reason, beyond harassment, for Adnan’s imprisonment. He is a member of Islamic Jihad, and some media reports state that he has or had a leadership role in that organization.

Adnan was convicted by Israel of being a spokesperson for Islamic Jihad, but has never been charged with any connection to any acts of violence against Israeli citizens.

He was detained on December 17, 2011 and was held under the Israeli program of administrative detention. The process is not dissimilar to the one the United States uses at Guantanamo Bay, where we have found used various impressive feats of legal gymnastics to justify holding people for indefinite periods without charge or trial.

The Israeli version is slightly different, as administrative detainees can be held for up to six months. But the detention can then be renewed, over and over, so it amounts to the same thing. Continue reading

Updating Anti-Semitism

In my latest piece for Souciant, I take on the growing use of Holocaust rhetoric to support an Israeli attack on Iran. In particular, the idea that Jews are more justified in drastic acts of self-defense because of the traumatic effect of the Holocaust that still lingers.

Also, Souciant has weathered another attack. Please help support this site that is drawing fire from the far right (current evidence suggests ultra-right/neo-Nazi groups are attacking it) by not only reading my piece, but the many other worthwhile articles on the site, and tell your friends.