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The Israel Lobby Sells Wars: The Strategic Trap of Military Confrontation: Action Alert

by CNI Foundation Sunday, Oct. 08, 2006 at 5:40 PM

It is now widely confirmed that one of the major reasons we chose to put a priority on toppling Saddam Hussein was due to the lobbying efforts for Israel within the Congress and the Bush Administration. The commitment of almost the entire military force of the United States to a senseless campaign in Mesopotamia, the ancient land between two rivers, has led to unexpected consequences that will be with us for decades. One of those is the possible military confrontation with Iran, which would again ignore the limits of American power and the potential for disastrous effects for our friends in the Middle East, including Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Israel.



Dear Friend of the CNI Foundation,

I write to you today to ask for your help. We have just finished a draft of a new full-page ad, our fourth ad this year, to run in the New York Times later this month and before the election with the title "Who is holding peace hostage?" I have included links to the draft and the full text below for you to read.

We are more than halfway through our 2006 advertising campaign and our efforts, with your help, have succeeded in continuing the debate about our disastrous policies in the Middle East. Of course, our ads have received lots of attacks from all the usual sources, even prompting the Anti-Defamation League to smear us on their website (http://www.adl.org/main_israel/cni.htm). But we have also received thousands of phone calls, emails, and letters of support from across the country. As one person said after seeing one of our ads, "Thank you for finally bringing this issue out of the closet of fear it's been hidden in for far too long. I saw your ad in the New York Times yesterday and cheered. I hope that you'll keep me informed of further actions and continue to put pressure on this administration."

We are beginning to see signs of change, and our ads are timed to capitalize on this moment of opportunity. As one of our members told us the other day, "I think we are at a tipping point. The Mearsheimer/Walt paper has broken the taboo on talking about the lobby. It is only a matter of time before the American people begin to question why we're in Iraq and what interest we have in going to war with Iran."

Each of these ads costs ,000, and while we hope to raise a portion of the cost from new supporters, the full cost must be paid up front. Could you make a donation of , , 0 or more to help support our effort? You can make a secure, tax-deductible donation by credit card by either calling us at 800-296-6958 or visiting our donation webpage (https://secure.groundspring.org/dn/index.php?aid=2836). You can also mail a check or money order to us at the address at the bottom of this email. Thank you so much for your continuing support.

Sincerely,

Eugene Bird

President

PS: I have included the text of our latest ad below, but you can see the layout of the ad in either PDF or JPEG format by clicking on the following links. Please consider donating and send us your feedback on the draft.

Draft of our fourth full-page advertisement

JPEG format: http://www.cnionline.org/nyt4.jpg

Adobe Acrobat PDF format: http://www.cnionline.org/nyt4.pdf

Who is holding peace hostage?

The Israel Lobby Sells Wars: The Strategic Trap of Military Confrontation

It is now widely confirmed that one of the major reasons we chose to put a priority on toppling Saddam Hussein was due to the lobbying efforts for Israel within the Congress and the Bush Administration. The commitment of almost the entire military force of the United States to a senseless campaign in Mesopotamia, the ancient land between two rivers, has led to unexpected consequences that will be with us for decades. One of those is the possible military confrontation with Iran, which would again ignore the limits of American power and the potential for disastrous effects for our friends in the Middle East, including Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Israel.

There is not just talk of military action by pro-Israel groups, but actual planning appears to be underway. The only alternative to going to war seems to be to offer Iran a “grand bargain” that the United States would not try to topple their government in exchange for giving up any nuclear weapons ambitions.

George Soros, billionaire financier and political activist, believes such a grand bargain would not be acceptable, and even insulting to Iran. He suggests negotiation of a new NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty). Israel is not a signatory of the present NPT, and the Lobby is expected to oppose renegotiation.

A Better Way Out: A Zero Nuclear Treaty, Including Israel

We at the Council for the National Interest propose an even more imaginative solution. Our research indicates that we can solve the problem of proliferation, not just by Iran but by North Korea, and assist in solving problem of global warming by converting all nuclear weapons into nuclear fuel rods over a period of years. It is estimated that Israel could half its import of oil if over a period of years she would convert her 220 weapons into civilian nuclear power. We estimate that the United States would save almost two billion tons of coal for electricity if we converted the remaining ten thousand nuclear weapons.

This would be the grandest bargain of all, the elimination of all nuclear weapons in all countries. The benefit to the warring planet is obvious. It would also bring the world one step closer to a permanent Zero Nuclear Treaty (ZNT), a goal that most thinking scientists and strategic experts agree should be pursued. How can we persuade the U.S. government to pursue this vision?

The Lobby at Work: From Gaza to Lebanon... From Iraq to Iran

By their refusal to deal with Hezbollah as an insurgency that has converted to governance in Lebanon, the United States set itself on a course which Israel could take advantage of, allowing her to destroy much of the work of the past ten years done by the martyr Rafiq Hariri, former prime minister of Lebanon.

Hezbollah’s capture of two soldiers aimed at gaining the release of Lebanese prisoners long held in Israel was certainly the trigger for the confrontation. But the United States, by its silence during the first three weeks of the war, was obviously the responsible party for Israel’s excessive use of U.S. munitions, including once-banned cluster bombs. This crisis will cost the United States before it is over at least one billion dollars. It was an unnecessary war, the last thing we needed in the Middle East, and was fully supported by the Israel Lobby.

We can and should work with Iran and Syria, not just with the Western countries, to put us on a program of preventive diplomacy, not preventive war.

Some Lebanese must be saying wryly, “With a friend like the United States, who needs an enemy?”

The Palestine Dilemma Continues

While Lebanon burned, so did Gaza and the West Bank. Following the war, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert immediately announced a massive new program to expand the largest settlement in the West Bank. The U.S. made ineffective efforts to persuade him to delay the construction announcement, but that does nothing to achieve a keystone peace in the Middle East. Defining Israel’s borders with the Palestinians on the West Bank and freeing four million Palestinians to have a normal life with free access to the outside world is clearly now a necessity for American interests in the Middle East. Ending the vindictive and humiliating occupation should be our immediate objective.

Washington is so concerned with Iran and Lebanon, to say nothing of Iraq, that achieving a peace between Israel and Palestine has the lowest of priorities. The administration continues to deal with all four major conflagrations by a crisis management approach that is destined to fail.

We should tell the Israelis straight out that the alternative to ending the occupation, which the Lobby has convinced so many people to think is impossible, is to continue the horrors of the occupation for both Israelis and Palestinians.

“A U.S. return to proactive diplomacy, realism and multilateralism, with sustained and hard engagement that delivers concrete progress, would best serve its own, Israeli and regional interests.”

– Daniel Levy, Israeli Columnist and Peace Activist

“America shouldn’t stand in the way [of a national unity government between Fatah and Hamas] – regardless of whether Hamas recognizes Israel or formally renounces violence.”

– Robert Malley, Former Special Assistant to President Clinton for Arab-Israeli Affairs, 1998-2001
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