FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Abramoff Used DeLay to Fund Anti-Intifada Militia

by JOSHUA FRANK

Albany, New York

“These elaborate hesitancies, far from being an obstacle, were like a cobweb bridge … an invisible passage over which one knew that silver-footed ironies, veiled jokes, tiptoe malices, were stealing to explode a huge laugh.”

Edith Wharton

It shouldn’t come as much of a shock that Jack Abramoff, the infamous DC super-lobbyist who has been accused of ripping off millions from his Native American clients, is a rabid Zionist.

Abramoff, in the late 1990s, set up a pro-Israel charity front called the Capital Athletic Foundation. Sounds jovial enough. “The pitch … was hard to resist,” Michael Isikoff recently reported for Newsweek, “a good way to get access on Capitol Hill, he told his clients … was to contribute to [his] worthy charity … [which] was supposed to provide sports programs and teach ‘leadership skills’ to city youth. Donating to it also had a side benefit, Abramoff told his clients: it was a favored cause of Rep. Tom DeLay.”

So Abramoff dangled a carrot in front of his clients, advising them to donate to his philanthropic venture. Why not, it was for a good cause. Plus, he boasted, it would buy them access to Rep. Tom DeLay. It may indeed have bought them access, but what Abramoff’s customers didn’t realize was that a large portion of their money would never be spent on gearing up inner city kids to shoot some b-ball — rather, their dollars were shipped overseas to help arm Israeli settlers in the occupied territories.

More than $140,000 of the foundation’s funds, reports Newsweek, was used to purchase sniper scopes, night-vision binoculars, camouflage suits, thermal imagers and other material which Abramoff’s foundation called “security” equipment.

Newsweek also reports “these payments are part of a larger investigation to determine if Abramoff defrauded his Indian tribe clients.” Not surprisingly Abramoff’s ex-clients are fuming.
“This is almost like outer-limits bizarre,” Henry Buffalo, a lawyer for the Saginaw Chippewa Indians who contributed $25,000 to the Capital Athletic Foundation told Newsweek. “The tribe would never have given money for this.”

Abramoff’s clients had been duped.

Rep. Delay, who has deservingly taken his share of heat for his association with Abramoff, claims to know nothing of the Capital Athletic Foundation’s financial exploits. Still, it is unlikely Abramoff lied when he told his clients that his foundation was a “favored cause” of Thomas DeLay — for DeLay, like Abramoff, is also a pro-Israel zealot.

During a key-note speech at a fundamentalist Christian rally called “Stand for Israel,” in early April of 2003, DeLay preached to the audience, “The United States stands for justice and that means we stand for Israel … negotiating with these men (the PLO) with tongues like swords is folly, and any agreement arrived at through such empty negotiations would amount to a covenant with death … Israel’s fight is our fight: against terror, and for humanity. The United States, therefore, cannot serve as a disinterested broker between ally and its terrorist enemy.”

It is hard to stomach the irony. If there is any group in the US that can empathize with the occupation of the Palestinian people — it’s the Native Americans. But here Abramoff’s clients were, unknowingly donating tens of thousands of dollars so that Israeli settlers in the West Bank could continue to occupy defenseless Palestinians. You can bet that DeLay and Abramoff snickered all the way to the (West) bank.

In a just world there would be two sets of tight handcuffs awaiting these two swindling fools.

JOSHUA FRANK is the author of the forthcoming book, Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush, to be published by Common Courage Press. You can pre-order a copy at discounted rate at www.BrickBurner.org. Josh can be reached at: Joshua@BrickBurner.org.

JOSHUA FRANK is managing editor of CounterPunch. His most recent book is Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, co-edited with Jeffrey St. Clair and published by AK Press. He can be reached at joshua@counterpunch.org. You can follow him on Twitter @joshua__frank

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

December 05, 2016
Bill Martin
Stalingrad at Standing Rock?
Mark A. Lause
Recounting a Presidential Election: the Backstory
Mel Goodman
Mad Dog Mattis and Trump’s “Seven Days in May”
Matthew Hannah
Standing Rock and the Ideology of Oppressors: Conversations with a Morton County Commissioner
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
#NoDAPL Scores Major Victory: No Final Permit For Pipeline
Fran Shor
The End of the Indispensable Nation
Michael Yates
Vietnam: the War That Won’t Go Away
Michael Uhl
Notes on a Trip to Cuba
Robert Hunziker
Huge Antarctica Glacier in Serious Trouble
John Steppling
Screen Life
David Macaray
Trump vs. America’s Labor Unions
Yoav Litvin
Break Free and Lead, or Resign: a Letter to Bernie Sanders
Norman Pollack
Taiwan: A Pustule on International Politics
Kevin Martin
Nuclear Weapons Modernization: a New Nuclear Arms Race? Who Voted for it? Who Will Benefit from It?
David Mattson
3% is not Enough: Towards Restoring Grizzly Bears
Howard Lisnoff
The Person Who Deciphered the Order to Shoot at Kent State
Dave Archambault II
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Statement on Dakota Access Pipeline Decision
Nick Pemberton
Make America Late Again
Weekend Edition
December 02, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
The Coming War on China
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: The CIA’s Plots to Kill Castro
Paul Street
The Iron Heel at Home: Force Matters
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
Timberg’s Tale: Washington Post Reporter Spreads Blacklist of Independent Journalist Sites
Andrew Levine
Must We Now Rethink the Hillary Question? Absolutely, Not
Joshua Frank
CounterPunch as Russian Propagandists: the Washington Post’s Shallow Smear
David Rosen
The Return of HUAC?
Rob Urie
Race and Class in Trump’s America
Patrick Cockburn
Why Everything You’ve Read About Syria and Iraq Could be Wrong
Caroline Hurley
Anatomy of a Nationalist
Ayesha Khan
A Muslim Woman’s Reflections on Trump’s Misogyny
Michael Hudson – Steve Keen
Rebel Economists on the Historical Path to a Global Recovery
Russell Mokhiber
Sanders Single Payer and Death by Democrat
Roger Harris
The Triumph of Trump and the Specter of Fascism
Steve Horn
Donald Trump’s Swamp: Meet Ten Potential Energy and Climate Cabinet Picks and the Pickers
Ralph Nader
Trump and His Betraying Makeover
Louis Proyect
Deepening Contradictions: Identity Politics and Steelworkers
Stephen Kimber
The Media’s Abysmal Coverage of Castro’s Death
Dan Bacher
WSPA: The West’s Most Powerful Corporate Lobbying Group
Nile Bowie
Will Trump backpedal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership?
Ron Ridenour
Fidel’s Death Brings Forth Great and Sad Memories
Missy Comley Beattie
By Invitation Only
Fred Gardner
Sword of Damocles: Pot Partisans Fear Trump’s DOJ
Renee Parsons
Obama and Propornot
Dean Baker
Cash and Carrier: Trump and Pence Put on a Show
Jack Rasmus
Taming Trump: From Faux Left to Faux Right Populism
Ron Jacobs
Selling Racism—A Lesson From Pretoria
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail