April 7, 2007
On March 18th we posted an article titled “Mid-East Policy vs. the U.S. Constitution” in which we said we were inviting representatives of the Israel Lobby (AIPAC) and the Governments of the United States, Israel and Palestine to attend GML 2007 to comment on the accuracy of a recent paper published by Professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, entitled, “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy,” and a book published recently by Jimmy Carter entitled, “Palestine Peace Not Apartheid.”
We wrote that according to Mearsheimer, Walt and Carter, the United States has abandoned its own national interest and security to advance the interests of Israel, that neither strategic nor moral arguments can justify America’s unconditional support for Israel, that the United States has become the de facto enabler of Israel’s unlawful expansion and military occupation of the Palestinian Territories, that the United States is paying for the destruction of the Palestinian society, that U.S. policy in the Middle East (including giving Israel well over $140 billion in U.S. income tax revenues) has been driven by the activities of the “Israel Lobby,” and that the Israel Lobby attacks any person or organization that criticizes or is perceived to be a threat to Israel’s interests.
We wrote that if, in fact, the information presented by the Professors and Carter was correct, it must be concluded that U.S. Foreign Policy is repugnant to the General Welfare clause of the Constitution.
In support of such a conclusion we presented the following line of logic:
If Palestinians are being oppressed and their society is being destroyed by Israel, and if Palestinians and empathetic Arabs and Muslims in surrounding countries are now directing their anger and hostilities against America because our financial aid to Israel is paying for the destruction of the Palestinian society, and if these hostile acts by Arabs and Muslims against America are the underlying cause of the domestic “War on Terror” in America, and if the “War on Terror” in America is the proximate cause of the developing Police State in America (euphemistically called the National Security State), and if the growing Police State is eroding the individual Rights, protected Freedoms and cherished Liberties of the People, then it would be undeniable that U.S. foreign policy regarding Israel is not in our national interest and is not serving the general welfare of all Americans.
In short, if U.S. Middle-East policy, (including foreign aid, U.S. military actions, high-technology weapons sales, covert CIA interdictions, etc.) is the result of the de facto wholesale adoption of the self-interests of the state of Israel over the constitutionally protected self-interests of the American People, then our Government is, in effect, conducting foreign policy that is abhorrent to the Constitution.
As reported by Mearsheimer, Walt and Carter, U.S. foreign aid is being used to establish and further a racist and minority religious belief system, it is being used to unlawfully imprison and impoverish large segments of the Palestinian/Muslim population, it is being used to attack other nations in the region that oppose Israel’s destruction of the Palestinian society, and it is being used to achieve questionable political ends that have resulted in injurious “blowback” upon the American populace -- including the attacks of 9-11 and the continuing diminution of our civil liberties. In essence, our aid and assistance is being used to deprive human beings, both here and abroad, of their unalienable Rights as endowed by their Creator.
Certainly, it is not in the interest of mankind to stifle debate on such an important issue. The issue must enter the public discourse in America, under the protection of the First Amendment’s speech, press and assembly guarantees and, if necessary, under the First Amendment’s guarantee of the Right to Petition the Government for Redress of Grievances.
We wrote that the issue was of such importance to our country that we would devote one-half of the first day of GML 2007 (our conference held last week at the Hilton Hotel in Alexandria, Virginia, March 29-31) to the subject, and that we had invited AIPAC and the governments of the United States, Israel and Palestine to attend, for the purpose of admitting or denying the facts that were included in the publications by Mearsheimer, Walt and Carter.
On December 11, 2006, AIPAC was formally invited to participate in GML 2007. On March 21, 2006, AIPAC telephoned to say they would not participate. We sent a confirming email.
On March 15, 2007, after speaking by telephone with a staff person at the Israeli Embassy in Washington DC, we were directed to send, by e-mail, our invitation to Israeli Ambassador Meridor for a representative of the Government of Israel to participate in GML 2007. We did not receive a response to the invitation.
On March 19, 2007, after speaking with a staff person at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC, we were invited to send, by facsimile, our invitation to the Secretary of State Condeleeza Rice for a representative of the Government of the United States to participate in GML 2007.
Strangely, on April 2, 2007, upon our return to New York from GML 2007, we received a letter from the office of the Secretary of State, [ed. 1.2 MB, RIGHT-Click to download] dated March 28, 2007 (the day before the 3/29/07 start of the Conference) but postmarked March 30, 2007 (the day after our 3/29/07 webcast wherein we showed the 3/19/07 invitation to the audience and reported there had been no response, and the same day as our “V” demonstration in front of the White House). The letter informed us that no one from the Department of State would be attending the conference.
On March 15, 2007, after speaking by telephone with a staff person at the Palestine Embassy in Washington DC, we were directed to send, by e-mail, our invitation to the Palestinian Deputy Ambassador Abuznaid for a representative of the Government of Palestine to participate in GML 2007. We received a telephone call and an email response from Ambassador Abuznaid, providing the names and contact information for a number of individuals who he believed were familiar with the works of the two Professors and Carter and would be well qualified to comment on the accuracy of the information in those two publications.
When all was said and done, neither the Israel Lobby nor the Governments of the United States and Israel would attend GML 2007 to deny the accuracy of the information presented by Mearsheimer, Walt and Carter.
On the other hand, two experts on the Palestine-Israel conflict did attend and each attested that the information presented by Mearsheimer, Walt and Carter was accurate. These experts were Dr. Muhammad Hallaj, a Palestinian, and Dr. Norman Birnbaum, a Jew.
A video copy of their presentations and of the question and answer period that followed will be available soon on DVD.