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 brickburner@gmail.com. You can follow him on Twitter @joshua__frank

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

August 30, 2016
Russell Mokhiber
Matt Funiciello and the Giant Sucking Sound Coming Off Lake Champlain
Mike Whitney
Three Cheers for Kaepernick: Is Sitting During the National Anthem an Acceptable Form of Protest?
Alice Bach
Sorrow and Grace in Palestine
Sam Husseini
Why We Should All Remain Seated: the Anti-Muslim Origins of “The Star-Spangled Banner”
Richard Moser
Transformative Movement Culture and the Inside/Outside Strategy: Do We Want to Win the Argument or Build the Movement?
Nozomi Hayase
Pathology, Incorporated: the Facade of American Democracy
David Swanson
Fredric Jameson’s War Machine
Jan Oberg
How Did the West Survive a Much Stronger Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact?
Linda Gunter
The Racism of the Nagasaki and Hiroshima Bombings
Dmitry Kovalevich
In Ukraine: Independence From the People
Omar Kassem
Turkey Breaks Out in Jarablus as Fear and Loathing Grip Europe
George Wuerthner
A Birthday Gift to the National Parks: the Maine Woods National Monument
Logan Glitterbomb
Indigenous Property Rights and the Dakota Access Pipeline
National Lawyers Guild
Solidarity with Standing Rock Sioux Tribe against Dakota Access Pipeline
Paul Messersmith-Glavin
100 in Anarchist Years
August 29, 2016
Eric Draitser
Hillary and the Clinton Foundation: Exemplars of America’s Political Rot
Patrick Timmons
Dildos on Campus, Gun in the Library: the New York Times and the Texas Gun War
Jack Rasmus
Bernie Sanders ‘OR’ Revolution: a Statement or a Question?
Richard Moser
Strategic Choreography and Inside/Outside Organizers
Nigel Clarke
President Obama’s “Now Watch This Drive” Moment
Robert Fisk
Iraq’s Willing Executioners
Wahid Azal
The Banality of Evil and the Ivory Tower Masterminds of the 1953 Coup d’Etat in Iran
Farzana Versey
Romancing the Activist
Frances Madeson
Meet the Geronimos: Apache Leader’s Descendants Talk About Living With the Legacy
Nauman Sadiq
The War on Terror and the Carter Doctrine
Lawrence Wittner
Does the Democratic Party Have a Progressive Platform–and Does It Matter?
Marjorie Cohn
Death to the Death Penalty in California
Winslow Myers
Asking the Right Questions
Rivera Sun
The Sane Candidate: Which Representatives Will End the Endless Wars?
Linn Washington Jr.
Philadelphia District Attorney Hammered for Hypocrisy
Binoy Kampmark
Banning Burkinis: the Politics of Beachwear
Weekend Edition
August 26, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Louisa Willcox
The Unbearable Killing of Yellowstone’s Grizzlies: 2015 Shatters Records for Bear Deaths
Paul Buhle
In the Shadow of the CIA: Liberalism’s Big Embarrassing Moment
Rob Urie
Crisis and Opportunity
Charles Pierson
Wedding Crashers Who Kill
Richard Moser
What is the Inside/Outside Strategy?
Dirk Bezemer – Michael Hudson
Finance is Not the Economy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Bernie’s Used Cars
Margaret Kimberley
Hillary and Colin: the War Criminal Charade
Patrick Cockburn
Turkey’s Foray into Syria: a Gamble in a Very Dangerous Game
Ishmael Reed
Birther Tries to Flim Flam Blacks  
Brian Terrell
What Makes a Hate Group?
Andrew Levine
How Donald Trump Can Still be a Hero: Force the Guardians of the Duopoly to Open Up the Debates
Howard Lisnoff
Trouble in Political Paradise
Terry Tempest Williams
Will Our National Parks Survive the Next 100 Years?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail