Two Views on Israel by Guadamour

Free Palestine - End Israeli Occupation

Image by Chris Beckett via Flickr

Updated: Aug. 23, 2011 added a video

by Guadamour
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
May 21, 2011

Book reviews of Start-Up Nation by Dan Senor and Saul Singer (Hachette Book Group, 2009) and Spy Trade by Grant F. Smith (Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, 2011).

In the very readable book, Start-Up Nation. Authors Dam Senor and Saul Singer paint a glowing picture of modern day Israel, how this small nation of under eight million people, and many if not most of them, first and second generation immigrants, has become one of the leading patent holders in the, with innumerable business start-ups, and many of them hugely successful. Israel itself exists as a Start-Up nation, only having come into existence in 1948.

Senor and Singer list a number of reasons for Israel’s business success, but in their view, Israeli achievements stem from three primary reasons. The diaspora of Jews throughout the world has forced them to develop and cultivate, business, family and cultural networks which emphasize learning, arts and business and financial success. That people of the Jewish faith has been successful throughout the world, only underscores the success they share when they come together in one nation. And this is certainly true of modern day Israel.

Social psychologists, cultural anthropologists, and sociologist have long been aware, and have studied the phenomenon of the high rate of financial and business success of first generation immigrants. This is highly evident in the United States, Canada, Australia and throughout Latin America. Immigration to Israel has fueled its population growth, and its start-up business boom. It is really what one would expect, though in the case of Israel, so many Jews coming from so many diverse backgrounds, languages and highly variant and different cultures has created a certain amount of problems, and that Israel has brought such a diverse group together and managed to get them to work so well together, says much for the accomplishment of this young nation.

The Israeli military structure gets highlighted by Senor and Singer as a key component of small countries business and entrepreneurial success. Military service is required of everyone in this nation of under eight million surrounded by over 250 million hostile Arabs and Persians. Senor and Singer stress that the Israeli Defense Force is trained so that each individual soldier needs to make his own decisions, and not wait on hierarchical command, unlike almost all other defense departments in the world. Since all Israeli must perform military service, this creates a highly competitive situation where all the best and brightest students from an early age strive for the elite groups in the highly technological Israeli military where they make lifelong friendship and networks which transfer to the private business sector.

In the extremely well researched, easily readable, and meticulously documented hundred and twenty-five page book, Spy Trade: How Israel’s Lobby Undermines America’s Economy, Grant F. Smith paints an entirely different picture of Israel from its unilateral inception to the current day.

“People sometimes refer to Israel as an ally. . .Israel is not an ally. One becomes an ally through a treaty of alliance, and allies take special pains to try to co-ordinate their policies as much as possible. I don’t think the Israelis have ever wanted that kind of obligation. They prefer to take their chances on going their own way and expecting Jewish support in this country to force the United States to go along.” Dean Rusk, United States Secretary of State under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson

In Start-up Nation Al (Adolph) Schwimmer gets depicted as modern day hero and largely responsible for the development of the Israeli Air Force and aircraft manufacturing industry. Schwimmer is an American Jew, trained by the United States as a pilot who fought in World War II. In 2008 George W. Bush pardoned him for his crimes against the United States.

Arms smuggling is the root of U.S.-Israel commerce. Massive quantities of surplus American weapons crossed the Atlantic in violation of US laws before the state of Israel was unilaterally declared. Smuggling began under David Ben-Gurion, the chairman of both the World Zionist Organization and the quasi-governmental Jewish Agency, which oversaw Jewish immigration into Palestine. Ben-Gurion traveled to the United States in 1945 in a desperate bid for the funding, arms, capital goods, and skilled people necessary to win and hold by force a new state in Palestine.

Ben-Gurion’s colleague Dr. Rudolph Sonneborn convened an elite group of nineteen wealthy Zionist activists on July 1, 1945 to hear his grand plane for transferring victims of the Holocaust to Palestine from displaced persons camps across Europe. Henry Monto, the national director of the United Jewish Appeal (UJA), and other prominent Jewish-American fund-raisers active in finance, law and retail trades began operating under the cover of a charitable front organization ostensibly dedicated to the relief of European Jews—called the Sonneborn Institute. The subsequent creation of separate but legally chartered corporate entities engaged in illicit activities gave the Jewish Agency and budding Israeli defense forces (the Haganan) operational “plausible deniability” if any of the autonomous cells in engaged in “black operations” across the US were uncovered.

Al Schwimmer was highly involved in arms smuggling to Israel, though he never sought a pardon on his own because “I never thought I did anything wrong.” Smith shows indisputably how this attitude permeates the minds of both American and Israeli Zionist. When Israel is discovered in criminal activities in the United States, Smith shows how the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) welds such such political influence in the United States that the crimes are seldom prosecuted.

Most people are in the United States are unaware the first “Free Trade Treaty” negotiated by the United States was signed with Israel in 1984. According to Smith, who thoroughly documents everything, this has cost the United States billions in the theft of intellectual property, not to mention the millions of lost jobs. This “Free Trade Treaty” instituted when Reagan was President set the stage for the other disastrous “Free Trade Treaties” the United States has entered into.

In this must read short book for understanding the dysfunctional US foreign policy in the Middle East and the rest of the world, Smith ends it with:

The elite financiers (read Goldman Sachs et al) and leadership of the Israel lobby remain as immune from criminal prosecution today as they were during the reign of the Sonneborn network. Multiple citizenship, international mobility, massive amounts of political patronage, and most importantly, credible threats of systemic risk to the US government have turned law enforcement away from their harmful activities toward initiatives that advance Israel’s sovereign objectives.

The subversion of prosecutorial will in the Department of Justice and judiciary has been rigorously enforced by constant pressure from the lobby, its allies in establishment media, key donors, political appointees, and friends in Congress. As in the time of Kennedy, changes in presidential administrations provide ample opportunity for derailing major Justice Department enforcement actions. This means that even “open and shut” criminal cases such as the AIPAC espionage incident simply cannot be successfully prosecuted in the United States, under the doctrine that the Israel lobby is “too connected to regulate” and that “important individuals and organizations” will be harmed. This immunity has opened the door for new Israel lobby maneuvers offshore that both echo the past and pose ever greater dangers to the rule of law and the US economy.

The Israel lobby has an enduring value system that is both alien and harmful to America, handed down from the Sonneborn Institute and Haganah through the Jewish Agency’s American Section and American Zionist council to AIPAC: that no crime is punishable if it advances the cause of Israel. Only when the broader American public becomes fully aware of how the Israel lobby’s value system is slowly corrupting and bankrupting the nation will the call for long-overdue law enforcement finally be heeded.



[DS added the video.]

US-Israel Trade: Espionage, Theft and Secrets

IRmep Stream on Oct 18, 2012

On April 6, Grant F. Smith presented a comprehensive review of the US-Israel Free Trade Agreement to the Finance and Economics Council at the University of Rochester. Using a slide show of declassified documents and charts, Smith revealed how secret agreements and a joint Israeli embassy/AIPAC covert operation undermined US industries and the trade negotiating process.​04062011.htm

New quantitative analysis and disclosures reveal the US-Israel trade agreement is actually a $10 billion/year foreign aid program. Smith also discusses how major omissions in Dan Senor and Saul Singer’s 2009 Council on Foreign Relations book Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle undermine their two major findings: that perpetual conflict gives Israel a comparative advantage and that the US should reinstate conscription in order to match Israel’s entrepreneurial output.

from the archives:

Miko Peled: The General’s Son

The Buffer Zone: realities of this accursed siege by Stay Human Convoy

Israel kills and wounds dozens of Nakba protesters

Noam Chomsky: Palestine and Israel in Crisis

Norman Finkelstein: “Israel used insane amounts of firepower in Gaza”