Manufacturing the Next Big Lie: The “Israel Lobby,” Jews & Iran
Former Government Officials
Posted: November 11, 2008
Several former government officials have also leveled claims of an excessively powerful “Israel lobby” and have accused pro-Israel groups like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and pro-Israel individuals of pushing for a war against Iran in spite of American interests.
Michael Scheuer, a former head analyst of the CIA’s bin Laden unit who opposes U.S. intervention in the Middle East, has written three articles in the past year alleging that the “Israel lobby” is pushing for a war against Iran and accusing “Israel-Firsters,” individuals believed to be more loyal to Israel than the U.S., of “anti-Americanism.” Scheuer has been outspoken in his opposition to U.S. protection of Israel, even stating during a September 2007 interview on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher that he doesn’t think Israel is “worth an American life or an American dollar.”
In his book, Marching Toward Hell: America and Islam After Iraq (February, 2008), Scheuer harshly criticizes “Israeli-firsters” who he describes as “dangerous men…seeking to place de facto limitations on the First Amendment to protect the nation of their primary attachment [Israel].”
Similarly, in an August 2008 article titled “The Lobby Like No Other Wants a War Like No Other,” Scheuer argued that the escalating hostile situation with Iran is a result of the “Israel-firsters” pushing for an “unprovoked” U.S. attack on Iran just as they did for an invasion of Iraq; the media’s pro-Israel bias; and the “lobbying efforts of AIPAC,” which he referred to as a “fundamentally anti-U.S. organization.”
Though Scheuer recognized in the article that many interests have powerful lobbying groups on Capitol Hill, he claimed that the “Israel lobby” is most insidious because its goals run “directly counter to the economic welfare and physical security of almost all other U.S. citizens.” He concludes with a neat articulation of pervasive Jewish power and control: the U.S. supports Israel because of the “lobbying efforts of AIPAC and the pro-Israel mantras of the politicians it purchases with campaign contributions and promises of media exposure.”
Scott Ritter, noted for his role as chief United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991 to 1998, and later for his criticism of United States foreign policy in the Middle East, has been at the forefront of opposition to the “Israel lobby.” An ardent critic of the war in Iraq, Ritter has repeatedly accused the “Israel lobby” of pushing both for that war and for military action against Iran. In his 2006 book Target Iran, he clearly stated, “If there is an American war with Iran, it is a war that was made in Israel and nowhere else.”
In a manner similar to Mearsheimer, Walt and Scheuer, Ritter alleged that the pro-Israel lobby is comprised of “Israel-firsters” whose concern for Israel’s wellbeing trumps American interests. “It seems that, while the American supporters of Israel tout the common goals and interests that bind our two nations, in reality they operate a distinctly Israel-first policy,” he wrote. “It is never acceptable as an American to subordinate the national interest of your homeland for the sake and benefit of another nation. In the past, such behavior has been likened to sedition and treason.”
In his book and various articles, Ritter has gone so far as to accuse the “Israel lobby” of “outright espionage and interference in domestic policies” and has called for AIPAC to be registered as a foreign agent.