Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The B’nai B’rith and . . . John Howard?

This morning I began drafting a blog entry on the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), based on my personal knowledge, but when I Googled “B’nai B’rith”, the ADL’s parent organization, one path branched to another, and now I’m posting a piece which doesn’t even get to the ADL.

What I plan to do in the near future is publish a series of articles on activist pro-Israel organizations, their methods and their activities. The B’nai B’rith is a good place to begin because it is the oldest establishment I’ll mention and because it spawned the notorious and more publicized ADL in 1913.

The B’nai B’rith (Hebrew: בני ברית, "Sons of the Covenant") could probably have been accurately described as a Jewish service organization when it was founded in New York City in 1843.

Since the passing of the years when Jews were banned from most hotels and country clubs in the United States, had limited ability to enter many universities, and were subject to outspoken hostility, the situation has essentially reversed, and the B’nai B’rith no longer has any significant “antisemitism” to work on. Its most conspicuous role today is as a vociferous supporter of Israel, and “antisemitism” has come to mean primarily “criticism of Israel”.

Among other Zionist activities, together with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) the B’nai B’rith created in 2002 an initiative called “BBYO 4 Israel” (“B’nai B’rith Youth Organization for Israel”) to encourage support for Zionism among high school students.

(AIPAC is Israel’s main lobbying weapon used on the U.S. Congress.)

From a B’nai B’rith website (including the flag):

“B'nai B'rith International Opposes Further Unilateral Withdrawals in Israel

“The B'nai B'rith International Executive Committee adopted a resolution which rejects further Israeli territorial withdrawals in the absence of good faith bilateral negotiations. The resolution was adopted after careful consideration at a meeting in Boca Raton, Florida on February 18.”

“The B'nai B'rith World Center in Jerusalem is the hub of B'nai B'rith International's activities in Israel, serving as the key link between the organization's members in over 50 countries around the world and the State of Israel.”

So far this post has focused on evidence of the B’nai B’rith’s major role in supporting Israel. Now we’ll look at one of its propaganda methods.

B’nai B’rith shares certain tools with other organizations I’ll be writing about. The tool I happened upon today is the presentation of awards to individuals who give good service to the Jewish organizations – awards unvaryingly described as “prestigious”. Most Americans would be astonished by the number of Jewish awards in circulation, as well as by the names of some of the recipients.

In its own words, “B'nai B'rith International bestows various recognitions and awards, including its Presidential Gold Medal awarded every few years to honor the recipient's commitment to the Jewish people and the State of Israel. Recipients have included David Ben Gurion, John F. Kennedy, George H.W. Bush, and Golda Meir. In November 2005, the Gold Medal was given to former Austrian chancellor Franz Vranitzky, and in May 2006, it was awarded to Australian Prime Minister John Howard.”

The award to John Howard, being the most recent, is the one most actively mentioned on the Internet, which is timely for me because I was just discussing Howard’s devotion to Middle East wars (i.e. wars which support Israel’s aims) with some Australian friends.

From (“Australian Jewish News”) May 2006:

‘PRIME Minister John Howard will be presented the prestigious B'nai B'rith international Presidential Gold Medal for his "outstanding" support of Israel and the Jewish people at a ceremony in Washington on Tuesday, May 16.

‘A spokesperson for the prime minister told the AJN that Howard was "deeply honoured" by the award, and that "Australia's consistent support for the State of Israel is based on principle and a profound respect for the courage and achievements of the Jewish people".

‘The PM stated: "The international Jewish community and the state of Israel have no closer friends than Australia and the United States."

‘Howard, who last visited Israel in 2000, is tipped to return to the Jewish State as early as July, following an invitation from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

‘Last year, Howard completed a rare trifecta by receiving awards from three organisations in recognition of his support for Jewish causes: Sydney's Jewish Communal Appeal, the AJC and the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce.’

Even the “Australian Jewish News” thought all that was a bit much, but went on to explain Howard’s services:

‘ONE can forgive a wee bit of cynicism concerning the Presidential Gold Medal that Prime Minister John Howard is due to receive . . . from B’nai B’rith. After all, this will mark the fourth such citation that Howard has received from the Jews in a little over a year.

‘Indeed, the frequency with which Howard is exalted by the Jewish community could give rise to one of two possible conclusions: either the stock of Jew-loving, Israel-supporting potential honourees on the world stage is stretched very thin, or Howard has truly stood out among world leaders as a champion of the Jews.

‘In fact, both conclusions are probably true. Sadly, there are indeed very few world figures, especially national leaders, one can count as truly understanding and steadfast supporters of Israel.

‘One should not underestimate the value of Howard’s international support, especially as it has manifested itself in Australia’s voting patterns at the United Nations. The addition of Australia to the isolated voting bloc – hitherto consisting of the United States and a few small Pacific nations – was a demoralising blow for enemies of Israel.’

I’ll conclude by quoting this source which takes a very different view from the AJN's.

This is excellent. It’s important. Please read it.

‘What did Howard do to deserve B'nai B'rith honour? And why isn't the “Sydney Morning Herald” telling its readers about it?

‘by: socialdemocracynow

‘John Howard is off to Washington, reported the Sydney Morning Herald last night. According to this story, the purpose of the trip was to further cultivate relations with U.S. President George Bush

'What the Herald didn't tell Australian readers, but what the Australian Jewish News had no problem informing Australian Jews, is that between his appointments with Bush, Howard will receive 'the prestigious B'nai B'rith international Presidential Gold Medal for his "outstanding" support of Israel and the Jewish people at a ceremony' in Washington.

‘I can't imagine why the Herald is ignoring this aspect of Howard's Washington trip. It's hardly a secret, given that it's already been reported by an Australian Jewish newspaper. Actually, I'm lying - I can imagine it only too well. Thanks to selective media reporting, it would come as a great surprise to most Australians to discover that Prime Minister Howard has performed 'outstanding' services to Israel. Presumably, what the Herald doesn't want the Australian public to realize - but what Australian Jews are allowed to know - is who Howard, along with Bush and Blair and the other most fervent supporters of the Iraq war - is really working for. As it's increasingly obvious that the Iraq war was essentially a war to advance Israeli interests, it's also increasingly obvious that Howard's support for that war - over and against the wishes of the Australian people - issues from Howard's Zionism. (Cynics would probably point out here that Jewish donors give something like twenty million dollars to Howard's Liberal party each year.) Howard has been notoriously inflexible on Iraq, despite the overwhelming opposition to the war from ordinary Australians, precisely because he's not working for Australians - he's working for Israel.’


N. said...

Fleming, I think you rproject is a very timely one.

I don't mind organizations supportng their country. But I do mind organizations BUYING my government and BULLYING my governemnet and shaping the politics of the whole world with nothing but Money!

Be prepared to receive a lot of Zionist "jealous" labels!

I would be following your project with great interest.

Fleming said...

N., thanks for your comment. It seems that we agree about nationalist organizations that operate outside their own country, using money and intimidation to make the leaders of other countries act against their own nation's self-interests.

It's good to know that you plan to read my articles about Zionist organizations in the US.

Gerry said...

Well, yes...

As long as we devote equal time to exposing Big Business, the WTO, the IMF, the World Bank as well, and for exactly the same reasons. Let's not just single out the Jews, eh. Or are you going to tell me that Big Business, the WTO, the IMF, the World Bank are all controlled by International Jewry.

Oh dear...

N. said...

I somehow got distracted into reading Vest's 2002 article about interlockings between the CSP, JINSA, AVOT, neoconservatives and neocons!

It was amusing to see CSP is quick to condemn Rice's announcement about holding direct talks with Iran!

joice said...

Thanks, Fleming, for your kind visit and words. I will try to keep some content in english as often as possible, and as soon as I get rid of an annoying summer flu.

I am graduated as a political scientist/anthropologyst, but what I really like to do is play with words, so i work translating from english (or spanish) to portuguese and vice-versa, working now mostly with academical articles on politics, sociology and education fields. Although in the future I really want to stick with literary texts - I am on my way there, I hope!

I don't know why you could not see my profile, maybe it was just a momentary bug and now it is working again. My email is agoravcsabe @, in case you want to contact me. But I added your blog to my GoogleReader, so it is likely I will come back here often, anyway.

joice said...

Like n. said before, this watching/studying how zionist organizations work there seems to be really a timely enterprise.

Somehow we have been doing the same here in Brasil and South America related to some american NGOs (which are not really non-governmental at all) which are coming often here now supposedly concerned about our democracy levels and freedom of speech - maybe actually they think we have a bit too much.

Fleming said...

Gerry, I'm going to have to consider how to respond to your comment more fully later. I've looked at your blog and I can see we have more than a few opinions in common.

Also, I of course realize that besides the pro-Israel influences in the U.S. there are other factors at work forming American foreign policy.

When I started VIEW FROM THE MOON I found myself specializing in the topics I've been discussing. I'm afraid the huge task you'd like to set for me -- "devote equal time to exposing Big Business, the WTO, the IMF, the World Bank as well" --is beyond my knowledge and my powers at the moment . . . but I sincerely want to understand all the forces at work. Maybe I'll find some of that task done for me on your blog.

I felt some resentment at your "Oh dear" after your false insinuation that I might attribute basically everything to the control of world Jewry. The reason I felt resentment was (1) because you were being sarcastic about a straw man you yourself had set up rather than something I'd said, and (2) because that technique has been used by the handful of belligerent Zionists who've left comments on this blog. They like to come up with some outlandish idea, falsely attribute it to me, and then make fun of it.

Anyway, I'll be reading your blog. Maybe we'll be allies. Maybe not.

FurGaia said...

The link between the Ziocons and Corporate America has been fairly well established by now I would say. For example in this Eric Alterman's essay on neoconservatism, he writes:
"The ranks of the Neoconservatives were largely composed of former sectarian Marxists of mostly Jewish academic origin, who transferred their intellectual allegiance to capitalism and American military power but retained their obsession with theological disputation and political purity.

The impresario at the center of this attack was Irving Kristol, a onetime Trotskyist who had since become a passionate defender of capitalism. The job of the Neoconservative intellectual, Kristol once remarked, was "to explain to the American people why they are right and to the intellectuals why they are wrong."

Beginning with the early days of the Nixon administration this is just what they began to do. Spreading the Word was a costly proposition in America, however. There were think-tanks to be started, journals to be founded, scholarships to be offered, and university chairs to be endowed. Like Willie Sutton, Kristol had to go where the money was...i.e. corporate America. More

Other documents list the names of the many Jewish families that underwrote the ziocon movement in the US and around the world, for example:

The Free-Market Al-Qaeda

Conservative Philanthropy

This organization was/is influential in the 'dishing out' of the funds, described here as "a national association representing individuals, corporations and foundations that have an interest in funding projects and programs with a libertarian or 'traditional' values perspective."

And let's not forget K-Street where one finds many of the same people consorting with one another and with politicians.

Somehow or other, it had been 'decided' that the Donner family would target Canada, a topic that I covered very summarily in this blog here.

In other words, there is a very strong link between the Ziocons and Big Money, with the so-called 'charitable foundations' as middle-men and K-Street as the link with the politicians.

I don't know whether a systematic study of those links has been made. Perhaps the recent books on the Israel Lobby have covered this topic. I have not had time to read any of them yet. At any rate, the information is definitely out there. David Brock exposed part of those unholy alliances in his book Blinded by the Right. I don't remember whether he did that with a 'ziocon' perspective, but the names and the connections are certainly there.

For what it's worth, here is a list that may (or may not, I don't know) be of interest. [Proviso: I have no idea what that organization stands for. I just 'stumbled' on that page once while searching for something or other.]

Sorry about that very long comment Flemming!

Fleming said...

Joice, thank you very much for your March 1 comment. I hesitated to post it because it contains personal information. Now that I realize you've included your email address I'll send you an email. I will delete your Mar. 1 comment immediately if you like.

I was very glad to receive it.

Fleming said...

Furgaia, many, many thanks for your comment! You mustn't apologize for its length. It is very valuable.

As you can tell from my post on which you're commenting, I've been planning to write systematically about various organizations and groups . . . first the ADL and then on to the neocons, and AIPAC, etc. You have saved me a lot of research work!

It will take me awhile to look at and read all the links you've sent, so please accept this general reply for now. Thank you very much.

FurGaia said...

Not to worry! I look forward to reading your work on this subject.

P.S. Sorry I misspelt your name! Won't happen again.

FurGaia said...

Fleming, I just came across this.

I thought that you might find it interesting.

Daniel said...

Interesting blog! I note that Gerry is here stirring the pot as usual. Hi, Gerry!

I think you'll find, Fleming, that you and I have more in common that you and Gerry!


Link said...

Hello fleming. Interesting post and comments. There is nothing new under the moon? Difficult terrain, but worthy.

I had no idea John Howard had won such a medal, perhaps under closer inspection it wouldn't have looked so cheesy. Incongruous title too, who would've guessed?

Fleming said...

Daniel, welcome! As soon as the morning caffeine takes full effect I'll be looking at your blog. Very funny comment about Gerry. It's a pleasur to meet you.

Fleming said...

Link, welcome to you! I think your blog is outstanding, and I'm honored that you've visited mine.

Fleming said...

Furgaia, re "I just came across this", your "This" is very informative. I hope others who read the comments will have a look at it.

I've learned more about Australia and its politics in the past week than I did in the previous 10 years.

Thanks very much for showing us "Australia: The New 51st State".
(I hope there isn't much truth in that title! The Great Satan is already too big.)

Gerry said...

Fleming, if you've read my blog, you'll realise I'm an out and out nutter. so stop worrying. By comparison, you'll always get to lool good. That's one of the purposes of my blog - to help other bloggers feel superior. So no worries there. I see my cheersquad are following me around. I musn't let my star status give me delusions of adequacy though.

Yes I was being a tad sarcastic. I've recently been email-spammed by a radical white supremacist, racist, anti-munticulturalist jew hater who seems to think that all corporate and political malfeasance is down to the Jews. No amount of trepaning could drill into this person's skull the idea that whilst there most certainly is a very active, efficient and busy Jewish lobby, the lobbying and manipulation of the political process is not restricted to Jewish looby groups. Hence I mentioned the WTO, the IMF the World bank and a whole range of globalised business interests. And yes there are Jews in all of these organisations as well, alongside Catholics, Protestants, Muslims and Atheists, but I'd like someone to tell me how the Jews control all of that too.

I just think it's too convenient to focus only on the Jewish lobby. All lobbying ought to be dealt with the same way. Either let them all have whatever influence they can weasel, or denounce them all as potential instruments of corruption and force all lobbying to be made totally transparent and utterly public.

Are we on the same side? What "side" is that?

Gerry said...

Another thing, Fleming: Not being a very good at Applied Logic, could you please point out clearly for me where my straw man is? I can't see him. As I said, I'm a bit dense...

Ceana said...

Well written article.

Fleming said...

Ceana, thank you very much. Maybe you have facts that would help me learn of connections between B'nai B'rith, the American ADL, and the Netherlands CIDI that I wrote about in my latest post. I suspect that the CIDI expansion into "monitoring" (from lobbying and propagandizing) came from the Anti-Defamation League in some way, directly or indirectly.

It's kind of your to post a comment.