Saturday 8 November 2008
Obama And AIPAC
One of the main attacks on Obama during the run up the election was his so called 'Muslim' links - yet it now appears that it is his Jewish links, including his wifes Rabbi cousin, that reveal more about the man than any Muslim links.
It appears that AIPAC are now directly running the US via Obama, instead of indirectly through the Neo-Conservatives who advised Bush.
It also appears that the real power in the Whitehouse is not Obama, but his wife - as stated in the article below about her black rabbi cousin.
It is very interesting that the first two appointments of Barack Obama have been Rahm Emanuel, the bagman for AIPAC and also Israel’s top spy in the US as Chief of Staff and Dennis Ross, AIPAC spokesman and Israel’s chief of propaganda in the US as special advisor on the Middle east.
Rahm Israel Emanuel (Hebrew: רם עמנואל) was born in Chicago, Illinois. His first name, Rahm, means "high" or "lofty" in Hebrew,while his last name, Emanuel, means "God is with us." According to his father, his son is the namesake of Rahamim, a Lehi combatant who was killed.Rahm’s surname was adopted by his family in 1933, after Rahm’s paternal uncle, Emanuel Auerbach, was killed in a skirmish with Arabs in Jerusalem.His father, the Jerusalem-born Benjamin M. Emanuel, is a pediatrician and former member of the Irgun, a staunchly nationalist Zionist militia active in the British Mandate of Palestine between 1931 and 1948.
President elect Barack Obama's first appointment, Rahm Emanuel, who is set to become chief-of-staff, is the son of a member of the Zionist terrorist group Irgun, which was responsible for bombing hotels, marketplaces as well as the infamous Deir Yassin massacre, in which hundreds of Palestinian villagers were slaughtered.
Revelations about Obama's relationship with Bill Ayers, a Weather Underground domestic terrorist, which dogged him during the final weeks of the campaign trail, pale in significance to his selection of Emanuel, whose father, Benjamin M. Emanuel, was an Irgun member.
Irgun has been labeled a terrorist organization by both The New York Times newspaper and by the Anglo-American Committee of Enquiry.
Irgun was closely affiliated with the widely feared hardcore terrorist Stern Gang, an organization that carried out assassinations, train bombings and bombed police stations in an attempt to pave the way for unrestricted immigration of Jews into Palestine. Irgun operated in Palestine between 1931 and 1948.
Following the ideology of right-wing Revisionist Zionism, Irgun's doctrine was that, "Every Jew had the right to enter Palestine; only active retaliation would deter the Arabs and the British; only Jewish armed force would ensure the Jewish state".
This manifested itself by way of terror attacks such as the July 1946 bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, which killed 91 people. In 2006, Israelis including former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former members of Irgun, attended a 60th anniversary celebration of the bombing organized by the Menachem Begin Centre.
Buses and marketplaces were also a target for Irgun, who were widely chastised for favoring attacks against civilian targets.
The widely condemned Deir Yassin massacre, which occurred in April 1948, involved Irgun working in consort with the Stern Gang and going house to house slaughtering Palestinian villagers. Eyewitness accounts of spies working for mainstream Jewish authorities, such as Meir Pa'il, reported Irgun members running around shooting civilians "full of lust for murder".
"I saw the horrors that the fighters had created. I saw bodies of women and children, who were murdered in their houses in cold blood by gunfire, with no signs of battle and not as the result of blowing up the houses," said eyewitness Eliahu Arbel.
"[One body was] a woman who must have been eight months pregnant," noted Jacques de Reynier, a French-Swiss Representative of the International Red Cross, "He hit in the stomach, with powder burns on her dress indicating she'd been shot point-blank.".
The son of a man who helped carry out this slaughter has now been selected by Obama to be his chief-of-staff. Cries of "sins of the father" lose their gusto when one considers the fact that, after the 1996 re-election of Bill Clinton, Rahm Emanuel "Was so angry at the president's enemies that he stood up at a celebratory dinner with colleagues from the campaign, grabbed a steak knife and began rattling off a list of betrayers, shouting 'Dead! ... Dead! ... Dead!' and plunging the knife into the table after every name." Sounds like a nice guy.
Rahm Emanuel is also an enthusiastic supporter of the United States Public Service Academy Act, a lobbying group founded in 2006 in order to promote the foundation of an American public service academy modeled on the military academies - a youth corps whose students would be trained in "civilian internship in the armed forces".
This rings the alarm bells when we recall Obama's pledge to create a "civilian national security force" that is "just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded" as the U.S. military.
Rahm Emanuel has some very interesting links to the banks that have caused the credit crunch ;
A day after being elected president and acknowledging "the worst financial crisis in a century," Barack Obama asked one of the biggest recipients of Wall Street campaign contributions to be his chief of staff. Rep. Rahm Emanuel, the Illinois congressman who was an aide in the Clinton White House, was the top House recipient in the 2008 election cycle of contributions from hedge funds, private equity firms and the larger securities/investment industry--not the most popular of industries in the current economy. Since being elected to Congress in 2002, after working as an investment banker, Emanuel has received more money from individuals and PACs in the securities and investment business than any other industry.
Emanuel knows how to raise money for political campaigns, and there aren't many better places to find it than Wall Street. Fundraising was Emanuel's job for Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign, and in 2006 he helped Democrats collect enough cash to retake the House of Representatives when he was head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. For his 2008 re-election, Emanuel raised more than $2.7 million yet faced no serious opposition in his Chicago district. Since being elected to the House six years ago, he has collected $1.5 million from the investment industry , with lawyers and law firms and the entertainment industry coming in at a distant second and third place ($682,900 and $376,100).
As a member of the powerful House Ways & Means Committee--which has jurisdiction over tax legislation, Social Security, Medicare and other entitlement programs--Emanuel is a popular industry target. Private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners has given Emanuel more than any other contributor over his career at $93,600. Emanuel and Obama have more than just Chicago in common; investment bank UBS, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley are among both men's lists of top donors .
Emanuel, who is currently the No. 4 Democrat in the House, has also collected $136,640 from the lobbying industry during his career, making K Street his 13th most generous industry. Obama, on the other hand, eschewed contributions from registered lobbyists for the presidential race. Obama also refused contributions from PACs, an easy task when only about 1 percent of presidential contributions come from these committees. PACs have given Emanuel about 29 percent of his total since he was first elected to Congress in 2002.
During his time in Congress, Obama has collected $2,000 from Emanuel's leadership PAC, Our Common Values PAC, but hasn't received any money from his possible future chief of staff since 2004. Through his PAC, Emanuel has given other lawmakers and candidates 78 percent of the total $2.3 million he's raised since the 2004 election cycle.
Emanuel was an investment banker between the Clinton administration and his election to Congress and reported a net worth in 2007 of between $5 million and $13.2 million (lawmakers report their assets and liabilities in ranges). That would make him the 34th wealthiest member of the House.
Rahm Emanuel Got $250K From Freddie Mac
He’'s President-elect Barack Obama’s new chief of staff, according to various Nov. 6 media reports, but Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., also has some baggage pertaining to the financial crisis. Will anyone in the media take note?
Emanuel, who was a senior adviser for former President Bill Clinton throughout the 1990s, was appointed to the board of Freddie Mac upon his departure from the Clinton More..administration.
“Clinton’s going-away gift to Emanuel was a seat on the quasi-governmental Freddie Mac board, which paid him $231,655 in director’s fees in 2001 and $31,060 in 2000,” Lynn Sweet wrote for the Chicago Sun-Times on Jan. 3, 2002.
During the time Emanuel spent on the board, Freddie Mac was plagued with scandal involving campaign contributions and accounting irregularities. Freddie Mac and its sister organization Fannie Mae were taken over by the federal government in September 2008 after years of mismanagement and scandal. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson put the two beleaguered GSEs into a conservatorship, stripping common stock shareholders of their rights to govern the companies.
In 2006, Freddie Mac was forced to pay a $3.8 million fine to the Federal Election Commission to settle allegations it illegally contributed to congressional candidates between 2000 and 2003 – while Emanuel was on the board and running for and serving in Congress.
“Freddie Mac was accused of illegally using corporate resources between 2000 and 2003 for 85 fundraisers that collected about $1.7 million for federal candidates,” an Associated Press story from April 18, 2006 said. “Much of the fundraising benefited members of the House Financial Services Committee, a panel whose decisions can affect Freddie Mac.”
And, since his successful run for the House of Representatives in 2002, Emanuel has been the beneficiary of campaign cash from Freddie Mac and its sister organization Fannie Mae – $51,750 according to the Center for Responsive Politics Web site OpenSecrets.org.
Emanuel received $25,000 in contributions from Freddie Mac during his first run in 2002, right at the end of his tenure at the government-sponsored enterprise. Freddie Mac was his third largest overall contributor that year.
However, there was an even larger conflict of interest that Sweet pointed out in an editorial column published in the Chicago Sun-Times on Aug. 14, 2003.
“Emanuel’s trust is supposed to be blind, not stupid,” Sweet wrote. “Freshman Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), a former Freddie Mac board member, sits on the very House subcommittee that has oversight of the federal government-sponsored enterprise at the same time that he has outstanding options for 2,500 shares of the company.”
Emanuel told Sweet there was no conflict of interest because he put his financial stake in Freddie Mac into a blind trust and would recuse himself from any votes relating to Freddie Mac.
However, while Emanuel’s was on the Freddie Mac payroll in an overseer capacity, the government-sponsored enterprise was cooking the books. According to a Forbes magazine article from Dec. 11, 2003, the GSE was fined $125 million for understating its earnings by a whopping $5 billion.
“Handed down by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, the regulator of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the fine was in response to the company’s admission of almost $5 billion in understated earnings over the past several years,” Ari Weinberg wrote for Forbes.
Although he was compensated handsomely, Emanuel told Sweet his job on the Freddie board was to attend quarterly board meetings and take part in committee meetings, either on the phone or in person.
This is what Wikkipedia says about Dennis Ross ;
Currently, Ross is counselor and Ziegler distinguished fellow of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He is the first chairman of a new Jerusalem based think tank, the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute, funded and founded by the Jewish Agency. Ross's involvement in the Institute led some to assume that he would not resume his role as Middle East peace envoy, M. J. Rosenberg of Talking Points Memo commented, "I had thought that former Middle East peace envoy Dennis Ross hoped to return to mediation when the next administration comes in. Apparently, he's had it. He is currently in Israel chairing a major Jewish leadership conference on the future of Israel and the Jewish people -- with Netanyahu, Zuckerman, top AIPAC leaders and many of the other 'usual suspects.' This is not the kind of thing one does if one intends to get back into the 'honest broker' business. This is like George Mitchell (a Lebanese-American) chairing a session in Beirut on the Arab future. If he did that, Mitchell could still work on Ireland but not the Middle East."
According to Aaron David Miller, a member of the Ross-led US negotiating team in 1999-2000, under Ross they frequently acted as "Israel's lawyer." According to Miller:
“ With the best of motives and intentions, we listened to and followed Israel's lead without critically examining what that would mean for our own interests, for those on the Arab side and for the overall success of the negotiations. The "no surprises" policy, under which we had to run everything by Israel first, stripped our policy of the independence and flexibility required for serious peacemaking. If we couldn't put proposals on the table without checking with the Israelis first, and refused to push back when they said no, how effective could our mediation be? Far too often, particularly when it came to Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy, our departure point was not what was needed to reach an agreement acceptable to both sides but what would pass with only one -- Israel. 
Now we come to Obamas wife - who has a Black Jewish Rabbi cousin ;
The Obamas Have a Rabbi in the Family
Cousin of Candidate’s Wife Leads Synagogue on Chicago’s South Side
By Anthony Weiss
Thu. Sep 04, 2008
FUNNEYE: The country’s most prominent black rabbi.
While Barack Obama has struggled to capture Jewish votes, it turns out that one of his wife’s cousins is the country’s most prominent black rabbi.
Michelle Obama, wife of the Democratic presidential nominee, is a first cousin once removed of Rabbi Capers Funnye, spiritual leader of a mostly black synagogue on Chicago’s South Side. Funnye’s mother, Verdelle Robinson Funnye, and Michelle Obama’s paternal grandfather, Frasier Robinson Jr., were brother and sister.
Funnye (pronounced fuh-NAY) is the chief rabbi of the Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation in southwest Chicago. He is well known in Jewish circles for acting as a bridge between mainstream Jewry and the much smaller, and largely separate, world of black Jewish congregations, sometimes known as black Hebrews, or Israelites. He has often urged the larger Jewish community to be more accepting of Jews who are not white.
In this presidential campaign, Funnye’s famous relative gives an unexpected twist to the much analyzed relationship between Barack Obama and the Jewish community. On the one hand, Jewish political organizers, voters and donors — including some of the city’s wealthiest and most prominent families — played an essential role in Obama’s rise to power in Chicago. But the Illinois senator has struggled to overcome suspicions in some parts of the Jewish community, including skepticism about his stance on Israel, and discredited but persistent rumors that he is secretly a Muslim.
Funnye, who describes himself as an independent, said he has not been involved with the Obama campaign. He noted, however, that he has donated money and that he was cheering Obama on.
“I know that her grandfather and her father and my mom and all of our relatives that are now deceased would be so very, very proud of both of them,” Funnye told the Forward.
Michelle Obama and the Obama campaign did not respond to requests for comment.
Funnye, 56, has known Michelle Obama (born Michelle Robinson), 44, since she was born. Both grew up on the South Side of Chicago, and Funnye’s mother and Obama’s father enjoyed a close relationship.
“Her father was like the glue of our family,” Funnye said. “He always wanted to keep the family very connected and to stay in touch with each other.” Funnye and Obama saw each other several times a year when they were growing up, mostly at family functions and on occasional visits to each other’s homes. Obama’s mother, Marian Robinson, recalled Funnye and his family coming over for visits and said that he and her children were “as close as cousins could be.”
The two fell out of touch when they grew older, but they reconnected years later when Obama was working for the University of Chicago and Funnye was leading a local social service organization called The Blue Gargoyle. Funnye also worked with Barack Obama, who, as a state senator, came and spoke at events for the organization. When Barack and Michelle Obama married, Funnye and his family attended the wedding. Funnye said that he and the Obamas have not been in touch since the presidential campaign began.
Although Funnye’s congregation describes itself as Ethiopian Hebrew, it is not connected to the Ethiopian Jews, commonly called the Beta Israel, who have immigrated to Israel en masse in recent decades. It is also separate from the Black Hebrews in the Israeli city of Dimona, and from the Hebrew Israelite black supremacist group, whose incendiary street harangues have become familiar spectacles in a number of American cities.
Funnye converted to Judaism and was ordained as a rabbi under the supervision of black Israelite rabbis. He then went through another conversion, supervised by Orthodox and Conservative rabbis. Funnye has worked to connect his own congregation with the rest of Chicago’s Jewish community. He serves on the Chicago Board of Rabbis and is vice president of the Israelite Board of Rabbis, the rabbinical association for black Israelite rabbis.
He has also traveled around the country, encouraging the mostly white Jewish establishment to be more welcoming of non-white Jews around the world. Last July, Funnye attended the installation of Gershom Sizomu, the new chief rabbi of Uganda.
The news of Funnye’s family connection may add a new gloss to the racial complexities of his own work and to those of the current presidential campaign.
“I think it tells us everything we need to know about modern America and modern Judaism that a biracial candidate has been nominated by the Democratic Party and he’s related to an African-American rabbi,” said Gary Tobin, president of the Institute for Jewish & Community Research, which has worked for greater acceptance of Jewish minorities.
Funnye’s relationship with the Obama family was reported in the Chicago Jewish News. Last April, a Wall Street Journal article reported that the aspiring first lady had a cousin (whom the paper mistakenly referred to as a second cousin) who is a prominent black rabbi, but the paper did not mention Funnye by name.
Though a few acquaintances of Funnye and the Obamas said they knew of the connection, the news came as a surprise to most members of the Chicago Jewish community. Neither Funnye nor the Obamas have made a point of mentioning their family ties. In Funnye’s synagogue, however, the rabbi’s link with the Democratic presidential nominee is a matter of common knowledge.
“He really jumped on everyone’s radar after the 2004 convention,” Funnye said. “That’s when some people said, ‘Isn’t he related to you or something?’ I said, ‘Yeah, he’s married to my cousin, and she’s making him everything that he is.’”
August 4, 2006
In early March, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) held its forty-seventh annual conference in Washington. AIPAC's executive director spent twenty-seven minutes reading the "roll call" of dignitaries present at the gala dinner, which included a majority of the Senate and a quarter of the House, along with dozens of Administration officials.
As this event illustrates, it's impossible to talk about Congress's relationship to Israel without highlighting AIPAC, the American Jewish community's most important voice on the Hill. The Congressional reaction to Hezbollah's attack on Israel and Israel's retaliatory bombing of Lebanon provide the latest example of why.
On July 18, the Senate unanimously approved a nonbinding resolution "condemning Hamas and Hezbollah and their state sponsors and supporting Israel's exercise of its right to self-defense." After House majority leader John Boehner removed language from the bill urging "all sides to protect innocent civilian life and infrastructure," the House version passed by a landslide, 410 to 8.
AIPAC not only lobbied for the resolution; it had written it. "They [Congress] were given a resolution by AIPAC," said former Carter Administration National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, who addressed the House Democratic Caucus on July 19. "They didn't prepare one."
AIPAC is the leading player in what is sometimes referred to as "The Israel Lobby"--a coalition that includes major Jewish groups, neoconservative intellectuals and Christian Zionists. With its impressive contacts among Hill staffers, influential grassroots supporters and deep connections to wealthy donors, AIPAC is the lobby's key emissary to Congress. But in many ways, AIPAC has become greater than just another lobby; its work has made unconditional support for Israel an accepted cost of doing business inside the halls of Congress. AIPAC's interest, Israel's interest and America's interest are today perceived by most elected leaders to be one and the same. Christian conservatives increasingly aligned with AIPAC demand unwavering support for Israel from their Republican leaders. (In mid-July, 3,000-plus evangelicals came to town for the first annual "Christian United for Israel" summit.) And Democrats are equally concerned about alienating Jewish voters and Jewish donors--long a cornerstone of their party. Some in Congress are deeply uncomfortable with AIPAC's militant worldview and heavyhanded tactics, but most dare not say so publicly.
"The Bush Administration is bad enough in tolerating measures they would not accept anywhere else but Israel," says Henry Siegman, the former head of the American Jewish Congress and a Middle East expert at the Council on Foreign Relations. "But the Congress, if anything, is urging the Administration on and criticizing them even at their most accommodating. When it comes to the Israeli-Arab conflict, the terms of debate are so influenced by organized Jewish groups, like AIPAC, that to be critical of Israel is to deny oneself the ability to succeed in American politics."
There are a few internationalist Republicans in the Senate and progressive Democrats in the House who occasionally dissent. Representative Dennis Kucinich and twenty-three co-sponsors have offered a resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire and a return to multiparty diplomacy between the United States and regional powers, with no preconditions. But even the resolution's supporters admit it isn't likely to go anywhere. Another bill introduced by several Arab-American lawmakers that stressed the need to minimize civilian casualties on both sides was "politically swept under the rug," according to Representative Nick Rahall, a Lebanese-American Democrat from West Virginia who voted against the House resolution. Dovish American-Israeli groups, such as Americans for Peace Now, have largely stayed out of the fight.
The latest hawkish Congressional activity is primarily intended to show voters and potential donors that elected officials are unwavering friends of Israel and enemies of terrorism. "It's just for home consumption," said Representative Charlie Rangel, a powerful New York Democrat who signed on to Kucinich's resolution. "We don't have the support of countries that support us! What the hell are we going to do, bomb Iran? Bomb Syria?" His colleagues, said Rahall, "were trying to out-AIPAC AIPAC."
Discussion in Congress quickly widened beyond Israel to include a broader policy of confrontation toward the entire Middle East. Congressmen sent a flurry of "dear colleague" letters to one another, hoping to pressure the Administration into tightening sanctions on Syria and Iran, Hezbollah's two main state sponsors. Former Middle East envoy Dennis Ross addressed a packed AIPAC-sponsored luncheon on the Hill, where, according to one aide present, Ross told the room: "This is all about Syria and Iran...we shouldn't be condemning Israel now." Said Representative Robert Andrews, a Democrat from New Jersey and co-chair of the Iran Working Group, which this week hosted an official from the Israeli embassy: "I concur completely with that approach."
Democrats, as they did during the Dubai ports scandal, used the crisis to score a few cheap, easy political points against the Bush Administration. The new prime minister of Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki, found himself engulfed in a Congressional firestorm after he denounced Israel's attacks on Lebanon as an act of "aggression." Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair Rahm Emanuel, who volunteered in Israel during the first Gulf War, called on Maliki to cancel his planned address before Congress. Asked Senator Chuck Schumer, who skipped Maliki's July 26 speech: "Which side is he on when it comes to the war on terror?" Howard Dean one upped his colleagues, labeling Maliki an "anti-Semite" during a speech in Palm Beach, Florida.
Ironically, during the 2004 campaign Dean called on the United States to be an "evenhanded" broker in the Middle East. That position enraged party leaders such as House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, who signed a letter attacking his remarks. "It was designed to send a message: No one ever does this again," says M.J. Rosenberg of the center-left Israel Policy Forum. "And no one has. The only safe thing to say is: I support Israel." In April a representative from AIPAC called Congresswoman Betty McCollum's vote against a draconian bill severely curtailing aid to the Palestinian Authority "support for terrorists."
Not surprisingly, most in Congress see far more harm than reward in getting in the Israeli lobby's way. "There remains a perception of power and fear that AIPAC can undo you," says James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute. He points to the defeats of Representative Paul Findley and Senator Charles Percy in the 1980s and Representatives Cynthia McKinney and Earl Hilliard in 2002, when AIPAC steered large donors to their opponents. Even if AIPAC's make-you-or-break-you reputation is largely a myth, in an election year that perception is potent. Thirty-six pro-Israel PACs gave $3.14 million to candidates in the 2004 election cycle. Rahall said his opponent for re-election issued his first press release of the campaign after Rahall voted against the House resolution. "Everybody knew what would happen if they didn't vote yes," he says.
AIPAC continues to enjoy deep bipartisan backing inside Congress even after two top AIPAC officials were indicted a year ago for allegedly accepting and passing on confidential national security secrets from a Defense Department analyst. "The US and Israel share a lot of basic common values. The vast majority of the American people not only support Israel's actions against Hezbollah but also the fundamental US-Israel relationship, and the bipartisan support in Congress reflects that," says AIPAC spokesman Josh Block. Rosenberg, himself a former AIPAC staffer, puts it another way: "This is the one issue on which liberals are permitted, even expected, by donors to be mindless hawks."
By blindly following AIPAC, Congress reinforces a hard-line consensus: Criticizing Israeli actions, even in the best of faith, is anti-Israel and possibly anti-Semitic; enthusiastically backing whatever military action Israel undertakes is the only acceptable stance.
Recent Gallup polls show that half of Americans support Israel's military campaign, yet 65 percent believe the United States should not take sides in the conflict. But it's hard to imagine any Congress, or subsequent Administration, returning to the role of honest broker. What the region needs now, according to Brzezinski, is an American leader brave enough to say: "Either I make policy on the Middle East or AIPAC makes policy on the Middle East." One can always dream.