An Israel Accountability Act

In a little noticed, totally unexpected and uncharacteristic act of moral indignation, the Congress passed the “Israel Accountability Act” (HB 666) at noontime the day before spring recess, 373-27, with the Jewish Caucus standing firm against the Act despite the documented evidence that clearly called for such censure, as the full Congress gathered in the Old House Office basement closet used by Rep. Conyers when he sought to investigate the torture crimes of the Bush administration a few months ago. The pre-arranged gathering in this undisclosed location sought to avoid the prying eyes of the pro-Israeli press. The legislation, allegedly written according to AIPAC by APPAC (the American Palestine Public Affairs Committee), followed a prolonged prayer breakfast where numerous Christian Tele-evangelist ministers castigated the Congress for moral “cowardiceness” in performance of their duties regarding the people of Palestine.

However, AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee), the fourth branch of the United States government of checks and balances, the Implementation Branch, created about 53 years ago as the American Zionist Committee to circumvent the logjams caused by the checks and balances, threatened, within minutes of its passage, to expose the surreptitious action of the Congress to FOX News thereby threatening all 373 representatives with the loss of their House seats. HB 911 was quickly rescinded and all members slunk down the hall to the elevators. Paul Findley, once a long-time and respected member of the House, commented on this turn of events, “For one brief moment the United States Congress had regained the moral high ground it has abdicated since AIPAC was installed as the fourth branch of government,” a comment Irving Kristol, AIPAC’s Supreme Commander of Political Discord, dismissed as “sour grapes.”

The House Bill, modeled on the one designed by AIPAC against Palestine, HB4681 (the Palestine Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006) would have imposed measures to “defund” the newly elected government of Israel (once it is formed with Kadima as the party in control) unless it met the following requirements:

* The government of Israel has recognized publicly and before the United Nations the right of Palestine to exist as a nation state;

*renounced all actions it has taken in defiance of the “Road Map,” actions that include expansion of settlements, continued confiscation of Palestinian land, and violence against the civilians of Palestine;

* abjured all agreements it has made with the “irrelevant” PA since it has made moot all such agreements by unilateral actions taken since they were signed;

* formed a government that cannot contain any members from parties that call for or contain platforms that imply or deny the rights of Palestinians under international law or suggest other terrorist actions such as ethnic cleansing, transfer or forced removal of Palestinians from their indigenous homeland;

* taken effective steps and made demonstrable progress toward (a). removing its troops from the illegally occupied land of the Palestinians; (b). dismantling all terrorist operations that are cloaked in euphemistic military jargon like “security checkpoints” that prohibit freedom of movement by Palestinians, “security strips” that permit illegal home demolition, “clearing actions” that allow destruction of Palestine farm lands, “absentee property laws” that provide for illegal confiscation of Palestinian homes and properties, and all other insidious actions of like kind; c). halting all anti-Palestine incitement in Israel, especially in the Knesset, including school books which should include true information on the Nakba and Israeli massacres and ethnic cleansing carried out in 1947; (d). providing to the new democratically elected government in Palestine the tax revenues collected by Israel on its behalf;

* and, finally, produce after 59 years, a constitution that guarantees the equal rights of any and all citizens that reside in the boundaries of the state of Israel, including right to property and right of return.

Should the new Israeli government consent to these measures, funding would continue based on a new formula consistent with all other support provided to foreign countries. This alteration in dispensing foreign aid to Israel is long overdue since US aid to Israel accounts for one third of the international aid provided by the US to only .001% of the world’s population, 5.8 million, and that the 16th wealthiest in the world, while a much smaller amount goes to more than 350 million people living in sub-Saharan Africa.

Should the new government refuse to accept these terms, the new law would

* Bar all direct aid to the Israeli government and not provide the President with any leeway to funnel funds through AIPAC or any of its 500 affiliate national and local organizations even if Israeli security is deemed at risk;

* Bar all Senators and Congressmen from giving speeches at AIPAC, AEI, JINSA or CSP;

* Bar all aid to NGOs except to B’tselem since it is the one organization Israel wishes to eradicate;

* Hold back owed dues to the UN in proportion to the UN’s direct support for the government of Israel;

* Bar all Senators and Congressmen from interviews with far right magazines and radio talk shows like “Commentary,” “National Review,” “The Weekly Standard,” “The New Republic,” “The National Interest,” etc.;

* Designate all areas occupied by Israel as “terrorist” territories since they are illegal, contrary to International Law and the UN Charter, and areas of violence perpetrated by the IDF;

* Ban the issuance of Visas to anyone affiliated with the Israeli government;

* Bar the Israeli government from maintaining or establishing offices within the territories controlled by the US, including all 145 nations where the US maintains bases to secure its interests;

* Require the President to direct US representatives at International Financial Institutions (e.g. the World Bank, IMF) to use the voice, vote, and influence of the US to block any aid to Israel, this measure to require the removal of Paul Wolfowitz from his position at the World Bank before its implementation;

* Bar all display of the Israeli flag on US soil as is required of other nations whose illegal immigrants have attempted to thwart House Bills favored by the Congress and Senate;

*Require the President to direct all US representatives associated with the state of Israel to publish their defense of this rogue state in the Internet pages of liberal publications like Counterpunch;

* Bar all diplomatic contact or negotiation with any member of the Israeli government or its sympathizers;

* Bar US visas and restrict travel for Israeli government officials with the exception of Peretz representing the Labor Party;

* Designate the state of Israel as “Terrorist Sanctuary.”

Each of the above items parallels the points contained in the Palestine Anti-Terrorism Act voted by the Congress just before the spring recess. However, unlike that document, that passed unanimously, this one contained a cover document that established the reasons for putting forward the Israel Accountability Act. In keeping with congressional duplicity, it appears that this document is a forgery since it is signed by Senator Joe Lieberman, an unlikely candidate to support the following “Rationale for Moral Action,” as the document is labeled. No one, of course, could take seriously the charges made here or consider for one moment that Israel is more repugnant than the newly installed Hamas government. Nonetheless, it’s important to report all the news, good and bad, as we must remain obsequious to our meticulous leader in this regard, FOX News.

The document begins with the following appeal: “As we all sat in stunned silence this morning at our prayer breakfast, listening to the dire words of our religious leaders, the doctors of divinity from Trinity Broadcasting Corporation, as they excoriated us for moral laxness regarding Palestine, I had to lift my pen and itemize the reasons they proffered for taking action against Israel. I enclose with this document, this “Rationale for Moral Action,” the text of the “Israel Accountability Act.”

The items that follow are arranged in the order of greatest iniquity as they inflict injury on the American people.

* As John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt establish in their recent work, The Israel Lobby, we are the victims of a foreign power that has established its control over our political lives (as our former colleagues Senator Charles Percy, Paul Findley, Pete McCloskey, Earl Hilliard and Cynthia McKinny can testify), forcing us to act on behalf of the state of Israel, even against the security interests of the United States, and contrary to the desires of the American people, whom we represent, as recent polls make all too obvious.

*We have allowed the Lobby to which they refer (AIPAC) to be exempt from the “Foreign Agents Registration Act” required of all other lobbies as a means of avoiding reporting actions done on behalf of a foreign state while requiring us to grovel before them at annual celebrations held on public grounds while the Israeli flag flies in equal numbers with that of the US.

* We stand before the world as the Vichy government of the US, a collaborationist regime in bed with a power that illegally occupies another land, defies 165 UN Resolutions, and writes and prepares legislation drafts that propel America into acts contrary to its foundational documents and the international agreements it is a party to like the UN Charter, the Nuclear Non-proliferation Agreement, and the justice that can be attained through the International Court of Justice. Our National Security Strategic Report is a document that was prepared by agents of this lobby and amounts to a revision of “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm,” a document prepared for Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel. Its precepts of preemptive strike and world hegemony are anathema to America’s principles and stated values.

* We provide Israel with more than 3 billion dollars of taxpayer money per year, an amount that now exceeds $134 billion, including approximately $800 million to bring Jews from foreign nations to the foreign nation of Israel, construct infrastructures for illegal settlements on Palestinian land, settlements with new town homes, pools, lush lawns and greenery, while our own poor in New Orleans and elsewhere have no support, no resettlement monies, no infrastructure support, and no medical care. We are in effect the beholden puppets of a foreign nation.

* We are responsible for accepting the Israeli occupation of the Palestine land despite the actions of the world communities to condemn that occupation, more than 160 times since 1948. We accept Israeli designation of Palestinians as terrorists despite the reality on the ground where Israeli terrorist activities far exceed anything perpetrated by Hamas or Fatah. MIFTAH’s facts show that over 4140 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces, 887 children and 272 women, 117 caused by intervention by IDF against medical personnel while 1113 Israelis have been killed during this Intifada. In addition, 233,875 dunams have been confiscated, 73613 dunams of land razed, 1,186,742 trees uprooted, and over 7,762 homes demolished. Our financial support for Israel allows this wanton slaughter to take place; our silence guarantees that it will.

* As we have become the puppets of Israeli influence, we have permitted the American people to fall prey to their insidious power in the main stream press. “In 2004, when 8 Israeli children were killed and 179 Palestinian children were killed, NBC reported on 100% of Israeli children’s deaths and on 10% of Palestinian children’s deaths.” ( ABC on 100% and 11%. The New York Times on 50% and 7%. We have prevented Americans from knowing the truth.

* We know Israel spies on the US, on us through employees at AIPAC, but we say nothing. None of us speaks out about the three indicted and convicted spies who are currently before our courts. We fear AIPAC’s power and we return to grovel before them in return for jaunts to Israel, awards bestowed, and contributions to our campaign chests. Our hypocrisy has brought us world condemnation, foreign policy of benefit to Israel but not the US, and contempt for our form of “democracy” by nations in the mid-east, Asia, and South America.

* Speaking of hypocrisy … we have bought into the President’s most recent rationale for his wars in the mid-east, “spreading democracy to all countries as God’s gift” to hem, yet we have just passed “the Palestine Anti-Terrorist Act” that effectively nullifies the will of the Palestinian people despite the fact that it was monitored by outside agents and declared a model of the democratic election process, something we can’t even accomplish in our own country. And to what end? A certain future of continued deprivation, human suffering, and death for thousands of Palestinians; a certain continuation of instability in all of Palestine including a resurrection of suicide bombing from those who now have reason to know peace will not come and in absolute desperation resort to that action rather than total capitulation, and all of this courtesy of our “cowardiceness” as the good ministers have told us this morning.

* And, finally, let me remind you that we have skirted the most obvious hypocrisy of our responsibility to the American people, indeed to the entire world when it comes to Israel, the reality that they have nuclear weapons, WMD, that elusive item that has brought us to war in Iraq, that we use at every turn to justify our “Accountability” acts like those against, would you believe mid-east countries, Syria, Palestine and Iran, but not Israel, the only nation in the mid-east that has them. Why? Why this silence? We know the world knows we know. We know they see the control Israel has on our government. This is the elephant that causes America to be the target of terrorists, yet we do nothing about it. Why? Why not a non-nuclear mid-east zone? Why not take action that might bring a real peace in the mid-east?

Investigative reporters who have read this document note how closely it parallels the action taken in the Palestine Anti-Terrorist Act. Provisions in that document effectively destroy the will of the Palestinian people by undermining the ability of that government to carry forward its responsibilities. Its primary basis seeks from the Hamas government acceptance of the state of Israel, acceptance of agreements made by Israel with the former PLO authority, and cessation of violence against Israel, yet nothing is required of Israel, not acceptance of a Palestine state, not cessation of violence against the Palestinians and not recognition that Israel has broken the very agreements it wants Hamas to accept. The passage of the act makes moot America’s purported interest in creating democracies in the mid-east and ensures the continuation of instability for years to come. In short, it appears that the US and Israel intentionally want to maintain a constant condition in the mid-east that will ensure not just the continuation of terror by insurgents and nation states in that area, but a legacy of unending war.

While the above document carried the signature of the Senate’s “moral guide,” Senator Joe Lieberman, two things suggest that this was only a ruse: “the Israel Accountability Act” arose in the Congress not the Senate, and most observers believe that Senator Lieberman would find objection to some, if not all, of the rationale itemized above. However that may be, it is newsworthy that this clandestine action by the Congress be made available to the people if only to offer them a glimpse of hope that there is some degree of human warmth left in their representatives.

William Cook is a professor of English at the University of La Verne in southern California and author of Tracking Depception: Bush’s Mideast Policy He can be reached at: cookb@ULV.EDU




William A. Cook is the  author of Decade of Deceit and Age of Fools.