NEWS AND COMMENT

Associated Press

The top legislative body of the United Church of Christ voted Tuesday to divest from companies with business in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories, in a sign of the growing momentum of a U.S. protest movement against Israeli policy. The denomination's General Synod endorsed the action on a vote of 508-124 with 38 abstentions during its meeting in Cleveland. The liberal Protestant group with 1.1 million members is the latest to take such action. Last year, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted to sell stock in a few companies whose products are used by Israel in the territories ... The church also voted to boycott Israeli products made in the territories.

Patrick J. Buchanan

... Same-sex marriage is the law of the land, as the right of gays and lesbians to marry is right there in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which was ratified in 1868. We just didn’t see it. [Supreme Court Justice] Tony Kennedy spotted what no previous court had detected ... A new generation will not only come to accept but to embrace what their fathers would have resisted to the death ... Until the early 1970s, the American Psychiatric Association regarded homosexuality as a mental disorder. Until this century, homosexual actions were regarded as perverted and even criminal. Now, homosexuality is a new constitutional right ... Did the Constitution change? No, we did ...

JTA

... The American Jewish Committee celebrated the Supreme Court ruling Friday extending marriage rights to gays throughout the United States ... emblematic of the glee with which much of the Jewish establishment reacted to the ruling ... Thirteen Jewish groups, among them organizations representing the Reform, Reconstructionist and Conservative streams, were among the 25 joining the amicus brief the ADL filed in Obergefell v. Hodges. The preeminence of Jewish groups among those backing the litigants was not a surprise. In recent decades, much of the Jewish establishment has embraced gay marriage as a right equivalent to the others it has advocated, including racial equality, religious freedoms and rights for women.

AFP

Puerto Rico's governor geared Monday to address the US territory's deepening financial crisis after admitting it cannot pay back its $72 billion in debt and warning that without economic growth it will fall into a "death spiral." Alejandro Garcia Padilla's admission in an interview with the New York Times rattled stock markets and quickly knocked ten percent off prices of Puerto Rican bonds. "The debt is not payable," Garcia Padilla told the paper ... On Monday the government released a study by ex-officials of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank that says Puerto Rico's debt load is unsustainable and needs to be rescheduled. The country's "true fiscal deficit is much larger than assumed," it said.

AFP

French MPs on Wednesday approved a landmark deal with the United States in which France agreed to pay $60 million in overall compensation to foreign nationals deported to Nazi death camps on French trains in World War II. Several thousand people could now be eligible for compensation, including nationals of Israel and Canada as well as Americans who were deported from France to the death camps some 70 years ago ... The French government has already paid out another $60 million to French nationals who were victims of the Holocaust under a scheme set up in 1946. And the new deal will not be open to French nationals and their survivors ... In exchange, the United States would undertake to protect France's immunity with regard to any Holocaust deportation claims filed in the United States.

B. Kristian – The Week

While former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has received significant scrutiny over allegations that she unethically used her position for personal financial gain, current Secretary of State John Kerry is now being hit with similar charges ... Kerry allegedly pressured the Israeli government to make energy policy decisions which would be favorable to Noble Energy, a Texas oil company in which he holds as much as $1 million in stocks ... Kerry reportedly encouraged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to "forgive" Noble and Delek, and his State Department also helped negotiate export deals between Noble and several countries near Israel.

The Times of Israel

“Things could have been much worse had the cataclysm of the Holocaust not happened,” said Dr. Jeffrey S. Gurock recently over lunch at a Jerusalem café. A statement like this is hard to swallow if you don’t realize that his new book, “The Holocaust Averted: An Alternative History of American Jewry, 1938-1967,” deals with counterfactual history, a speculative exploration of what-ifs ... What Gurock demonstrates in his book is that World War II was a major turning point in American Jewish history, and that many positive things came out of it for American Jews as well as for US-Israel relations ... The America presented in Gurock’s alternate history is a non-pluralistic one. It’s an America in which the price of acceptance is to give up one’s Jewishness.

NPR

... Edwards was one of 60,000 enlisted men enrolled in a once-secret [World War II US] government program — formally declassified in 1993 — to test mustard gas and other chemical agents on American troops. But there was a specific reason he was chosen: Edwards is African-American. "They said we were being tested to see what effect these gases would have on black skins," Edwards says. An NPR investigation has found evidence that Edwards' experience was not unique. While the Pentagon admitted decades ago that it used American troops as test subjects in experiments with mustard gas, until now, officials have never spoken about the tests that grouped subjects by race ... And it wasn't just African-Americans.

Gwynne Dyer

... The Chinese claim truly is astonishingly brazen. The "nine-dash line," an official map published by the Beijing government in 1949, claims practically ALL the uninhabited reefs and tiny islands in the shallow sea as Chinese territory, even ones that are 700 km from the Chinese coast and 150 km from the Philippines or Vietnam ... So now the rhetoric steps up to actual warning of a Chinese-U.S. war. The Global Times is right, whether its writers know it or not. If China keeps acting as if its claims were universally accepted and unilaterally expanding the reefs to create large bases with airstrips and ports, and the U.S. and local powers go on challenging China's claims, then there really could be a war. Later, not now, and not necessarily ever, but it could happen.

Associated Press

President Barack Obama says the history of slavery and segregation is "still part of our DNA" in the United States, even if racial epithets no longer show up in polite conversation. He uttered the N-word in making his point. In an interview, Obama talked about the debates over race and guns that have erupted after the arrest of a white man in the racially motivated shooting deaths of nine black church members in Charleston, South Carolina. "Racism, we are not cured of it," Obama said. "And it's not just a matter of it not being polite to say nigger in public. That's not the measure of whether racism still exists or not. It's not just a matter of overt discrimination. Societies don't, overnight, completely erase everything that happened 200 to 300 years prior."

A. Uni - Newsweek Magazine

... The trial touches on one of the most sensitive questions in the Middle East today: Is Israel cooperating with the Syrian rebels in the Golan Heights in the war against Assad? And if so, how? Why? And with what groups? Much of what the indictment calls “secret Israeli army activity” is blacked-out in the document, and al-Makt’s lawyer declined to comment. But Yamin Zidan, his former attorney, who wasn’t allowed to represent him at the trial because he lacked security clearance, believes the full indictment, if disclosed, would reveal what Israel is really up to in Syria. “The conversations,” he says, “show the level of cooperation between Israel and the rebels against Assad.”

VOA News

Israel has boycotted a daylong debate on a report on the 2014 Gaza conflict, calling it biased and flawed. The report, commissioned by the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, finds both Israel and armed Palestinian groups may have committed war crimes in Gaza. The report documents serious violations of international law and human rights abuses committed during Gaza’s seven-week war last summer. More than 2,200 people were killed, most of them Gazans. In her presentation to the U.N. Human Rights Council, the Chair of the Commission of Inquiry, Mary McGowan Davis, detailed indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks by the Israeli Defense Forces.

Uri Avnery (Israel)

... These philosophical musings came to me in the wake of the recent UN report on the last Gaza war. The investigation committee bent over backwards to be “balanced”, and accused both the Israeli army and Hamas in almost equal terms. That, in itself, is problematic. This was not a war between equals. On one side, the State of Israel, with one of the mightiest armies in the world. On the other side, a stateless population of 1.8 million people, led by a guerrilla organization devoid of any modern arms. Any equating of such two entities is by definition contrived. Even if both sides committed grievous war crimes, they are not the same. Each must be judged on its own (de)merits.

EJP

Israeli Immigration and Absorption called on all Jews of France to “come home’’ after a new Islamist terrorist attack took place Friday near Lyon. “To all the Jews of France I say: Come home!”, Zeev Elkin said ... In 2015, aliyah, immigration, from France was up 25 percent compared to the same period in 2014 ... After an Islamist terrorist attacked a kosher supermarket in January, [Israel prime minister] Netanyahu had called on French Jews to immigrate to Israel. French President Francois Hollande rebuffed the Israeli call however, insisting France was safe for its Jewish population, which numbers close to half a million souls.

Charlie Pottins

At the end of 1979 a row broke out in Britain over the fairly innocent and respectable magazine History Today ... There were complaints to the publishers, letters to newspapers, even attempts to remove the magazine from some newsagents' shelves ... What caused the furore was an article entitled "A Nazi travels to Palestine", by Jacob Boas. Or rather, it was the publicity for the article ... This brought howls of outrage from Zionist student spokespersons and others convinced it was their duty to protect Zionism from any suggestion that its leaders ever collaborated with Nazis, and to denounce History Today's supposed motives as well as an article they had not yet read. For some this subject remains taboo ...

Market Watch (California)

... The U.S. Department of Defense has been named the largest employer in the world, with 3.2 million employees on its payroll, according to the World Economic Forum. The second largest is China’s People’s Liberation Army with 2.3 million on its staff roster, and third biggest is Wal-Mart Stores with 2.1 million employees. McDonald’s Corp. came in fourth with 1.9 million workers but the World Economic Forum noted the fast-food chain would be eliminated from the list if employees at its franchise restaurants weren't counted.

Empire (Iceland)

How do you measure a military footprint? In people? Dollars? Space? This website is an ongoing attempt to map one aspect of that question -- by visualizing the location of United States military installations. This site shows the vast global sweep of the many US military bases around the world. The data comes primarily from the 2013 Base Structure Report, with a couple of lesser-known sites unearthed by journalists and geographers mixed in as well.

Patrick J. Buchanan

... What are the causes of American decline? Hubris, ideology, bellicosity and stupidity all played parts ... It was in the Middle East that the most costly blunders were committed. Believing liberal democracy to be the wave of the future, that all peoples, given the chance, would embrace it, we invaded Iraq, occupied Afghanistan and overthrew the dictator of Libya. So doing, we unleashed the demons of Islamic fanaticism, tribalism, and a Sunni-Shiite sectarian war now raging from North Africa to the Near East ... Our present commitments are unsustainable. Retrenchment is an imperative.

Forbes

Fast growth in Asia and strong market performance drove much of the wealth growth in 2014 ... Wealth in North America grew 5.6% to $50.8 trillion, making it the wealthiest region, but Asia-Pacific, not including Japan, grew at 29.4% to $47.3 trillion ... In fact, Asia-Pacific is expected to surpass North America as the wealthiest region in 2016, with China (at 25% growth) and India (at 44% growth) being the main catalysts. It is also expected to drive half of the global wealth growth until 2019 ... Of the 2.1 million new millionaire households in 2014, 62% were in Asia-Pacific. However, the U.S. remains the country with the highest number of millionaires and ultra high-net worth households (6.9 million), with almost double the number China has (3.6 million).

VOA News

A new map shows just how massive the United States’ $17 trillion economy truly is.
The graphic, made by Business Insider, shows how the economies of each of the 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., compare to other countries around the world. For example, Texas’ $1.65 trillion GDP (the monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a certain period of time) is just ahead of Saudi Arabia’s $1.62 trillion economy, and comparable to the 15th largest economy in the world. Texas accounts for about ten percent of the total U.S. GDP. California’s economy is the seventh largest in the world, with a GDP of $2.3 trillion in 2014, making it comparable to the United Kingdom, the world’s sixth-largest economy.

Wikipedia

The Battle of Tali-Ihantala was the largest military clash ever fought in the Nordic Countries. It was part of the Finnish-Soviet “Continuation War” of World War II. The battle (June 25 to July 9, 1944) was fought between Finnish forces -- using war material provided by Germany -- and Soviet forces. The battle was one of attrition, with the Finns suffering proportionally more casualties than the Soviet forces. It marked a point in the Soviet offensive when the Finnish forces first prevented the Soviets from making any significant gains. It was deemed a Finnish defensive victory.

Color Video

Rare color footage of occupied, devastated Berlin in July 1945, a few weeks after the end of the Second World War in Europe. This sharp, vivid footage shows refugees, Allied occupation soldiers, and civilians trying to rebuild their city, and their lives. Also shows some of the vast destruction of the German capital from Allied bombing and the Battle of Berlin, including the damaged Reichstag building, the Brandenburg Gate, and the Berlin Cathedral. Produced and presented by Konstantin von zur Mühlen. Runtime: 7:05 mins.

J. Moore - Newsweek

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Israel dropped by almost 50 percent last year in comparison to the year before as the country continues to feel the effects of last summer's Gaza conflict, a new UN report has revealed ... Dr Ronny Manos, one of the report's authors and a researcher in the department of Management and Economics at the Open University of Israel, said that the decline was primarily caused by the fallout from the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) “Operation Protective Edge” and international boycotts against the country for alleged violations of international law ... International pressure on companies to refrain from investing in the Israeli economy has heightened with the rise of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Uri Avnery (Israel)

... BDS. They denote Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, a worldwide campaign to boycott Israel because of its 48 year-old subjugation of the Palestinian people. Ah, here we have a real threat, worse than the Bomb. A second Holocaust is looming. Brave little Israel facing the entire evil, anti-Semitic world ... BDS is not a highly organized worldwide organization. It is more of a trade mark. Groups of students, artists and others spring up spontaneously and join the struggle for Palestinian liberation ... Netanyahu is happy. He calls upon world Jewry to take up the fight against this anti-Semitic outrage. The owner of Netanyahu, multi-billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, has convened a war council of rich Jews in Las Vegas. His counterpart, pro-Labor multi-billionaire Haim Saban has joined him.

Ralph Raico

... If the whole truth about the Lenin and Stalin eras comes to light, educated opinion in the West will be forced to reassess some of its most deeply cherished views ... More important, there will have to be a reevaluation of what it meant for the British and American governments to have befriended Soviet Russia in the Second World War and heaped fulsome praise on its leader. That war will inevitably lose some of its glory as the pristinely pure crusade led by the larger-than-life heroes Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Inevitably, too, comparisons with what is commonly known as the Holocaust will emerge.

Mark Weber

Decades after its dramatic demise, the Third Reich continues to fascinate millions and provoke heated discussion … Consistent with the author's strong plea for a more thoughtful and objective look at the phenomenon of Hitler and National Socialism, Nolte presents his often highly unorthodox views without polemics, indeed with a certain reserve and tentativeness. Unlike those who incessantly insist that "we" must "never forget" the "lessons of the Holocaust," Nolte calls for an evaluation of the Hitler era as free as possible of strident, emotion-laden polemics and self-serving purposes.

Joseph Sobran

... Liberals, Zionists, and "responsible" conservatives now occupy a rhetorically Hitlercentric universe, in which Nazism is the measure of all evil and Roosevelt is redeemed by his determination to crush Germany. The stain of guilt for Nazism constantly spreads – to ordinary Germans, allies of Germany, neutrals, isolationists, Swiss bankers, and Pius XII himself ... Everyone and everything is measured on a single scale, which might be called the Hitler Continuum. But there is not corresponding Stalin Continuum. Those who aided and defended and celebrated Stalin at the height of his crimes incur no guilt or obloquy. To have dreamed the Communist dream is evidence of idealism, not guilt or even irresponsibility.

Associated Press

Mexico now deports more Central American migrants than the United States, a dramatic shift since the U.S. asked Mexico for help a year ago with a spike in illegal migration, especially among unaccompanied minors. Between October and April, Mexico apprehended 92,889 Central Americans. In the same time period, the United States detained 70,226 "other than Mexican" migrants, the vast majority from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. That was a huge reversal from the same period a year earlier ... “Mexico is doing the dirty work, the very dirty work, for the United States," said Tomas Gonzalez, a Franciscan friar who runs the "72" shelter for migrants in Tenosique, a town in the southern Mexico state of Tabasco.

VOA News

The Vatican on Friday signed its first ever treaty with what it calls the state of Palestine, further cementing formal ties that have angered Israel. The accord, which has been negotiated for years, outlines the parameters of the Roman Catholic Church's activities in the West Bank. The document also supports the two-state solution to the Palestinians' decades-old conflict with Israel, based on the 1967 borders. The Vatican formally recognized a Palestinian state in 2013, joining 135 countries who have also done so. The United States is not among them. Israel is opposed to such recognition, saying the only way to end the conflict is through negotiations, which have not progressed in years.

Patrick J. Buchanan

... But the battle flag is not so much a symbol of hatred as it is an object of hatred, a target of hatred. It evokes a hatred of the visceral sort that we see manifest in Jenkins' equating of the South of Washington, Jefferson, John Calhoun, Andrew Jackson and Lee with Hitler's Third Reich ... What the flag symbolizes for the millions who revere, cherish or love it, however, is the heroism of those who fought and died under it ... Vilification of that battle flag and the Confederacy is part of the cultural revolution in America that flowered half a century ago. Among its goals was the demoralization of the American people by demonizing their past and poisoning their belief in their own history ... And how is the Republican Party standing up to this cultural lynch mob? Retreating and running as fast as possible.

BBC News

The mighty ships of the German High Seas Fleet were scuttled by their own sailors in Scapa Flow in Orkney on 21 June 1919. A newly discovered letter paints an extraordinary picture. It was the single greatest loss of warships in history, and the sailors killed that day were the last fatalities of World War One ... The German commander, Admiral Ludwig von Reuter, believed that his ships were about to be seized as spoils of war, and divided up between the victorious Allies. He felt duty-bound not to let that happen ... There's evidence, including in David's letter and a subsequent one he wrote a few days later to his Uncle Walter, to suggest some British sailors went further, firing on Germans who were trying to escape from their sinking ships.

BBC News‎

The Queen has made her first visit to a World War Two concentration camp, Bergen-Belsen, in northern Germany. The camp, where teenage diarist Anne Frank was among thousands to die, was liberated by British soldiers in 1945. The UK monarch, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, laid a wreath at a memorial there on the final day of her four-day state visit to Germany. She met British veterans who liberated the camp, and heard stories of the "horrific" scenes that greeted them.

Euro News (France)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he rejects what he called “International Diktats” or the forcing of peace plans on Israel. His remarks came as French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius arrived promoting an initiative to relaunch the Israeli Palestinian peace process which collapsed in 2014 ... Fabius who is on a two-day trip to the Middle East is pushing for a UN Security Council resolution that would lay out a time table for talks. He also wants to establish a support group comprising of Arab states, the European Union and UN Security Council members. Netanyahu insists he will flatly reject any proposals, “which have no true consideration for the security and needs of Israelis or other national interests of ours”.

Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Farms in West Bank settlements are using Palestinian children as workers in contravention of international law, Human Rights Watch wrote in a new report. In its 74-page report, “Ripe for Abuse: Palestinian Child Labor in Israeli Agricultural Settlements in the West Bank,” Human Rights Watch asserted that Palestinians as young as eleven labor on the farms in unsafe conditions, including working in high temperatures, carrying heavy loads and being exposed to pesticides. The children also are paid less than minimum wage and are either dropping out of school or are tired while in school, according to the report. They are hired under unwritten agreements through Palestinian middlemen, according to Human Rights Watch.

Deutsche Welle (Germany)

Tin shacks with inadequate water and electricity infrastructure make up the village of upper Fasayal in the Jordan Valley north of Jericho. Grinding poverty and unemployment has forced many children to leave school and to seek employment, often at the behest of their parents, on Israeli settlements ... Human Rights Watch (HRW) recently released a 74-page report entitled “Ripe for Abuse – Palestinian Child Labor in Israeli Agricultural Settlements in the West Bank.” .... “Children as young as eleven work on some settlement farms, often in high temperatures. The children carry heavy loads, are exposed to hazardous pesticides, and in some cases have to pay themselves for medical treatment for work-related injuries or illness."

The Telegraph (Britain) - 2013

The Committee on the Rights of Children, a body of independent legal experts charged by the UN with the task of monitoring the protection of children’s rights in signatory states, has urged Israel to honour its responsibility to prevent the torture and ill-treatment of children. “The Committee expresses its deepest concern about the reported practice of torture and ill-treatment of Palestinian children arrested, prosecuted and detained by the military and the police, and about the State party’s failure to end these practices in spite of repeated concerns expressed by treaty bodies,” the investigative body stated in its periodic review of Israel’s child rights record ...

Stephen J. Sniegoski

... But what gets little attention is that Hillary Clinton’s greatest billionaire backer has been Haim Saban, a dual United States-Israel citizen and hardline supporter of Israel, who has openly commented, “I’m a one-issue guy, and my issue is Israel.” With a net worth estimated at $3 billion, Saban is ranked by Forbes magazine as the 143rd richest person in the United States. When asked last July how much he would give to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, he responded, “As much as is needed.” ... Saban’s foremost purpose is to aid Israel by increasing American support for the Jewish state. He has publicly described his method to achieve this goal by stating that the “three ways to be influential in American politics” are to make donations to political parties, establish think tanks, and control media outlets. Saban has used all those ways.

The Telegraph (Britain)

... Today, South Africa’s economy is stagnant, with growth running at an annual rate of just 1.3 per cent. That matters a great deal because the economy needs to expand by at least five per cent every year if poverty and unemployment are both to fall. Instead, the number of people out of work has risen by 1.6 million since Mr Zuma won the presidency in 2009. Unemployment -- even at the narrowest definition -- now stands at 26 per cent ... Those numbers go a long way towards explaining why South Africa suffers so terribly from violent crime and why shanty towns still surround every city ... The electricity blackouts which have become routine in Johannesburg, the commercial capital.

Robert Fisk - The Independent (Britain)

It’s a dangerous equation in the Syrian war that the further you are from Damascus, the more Bashar al-Assad’s regime seems doomed. And the more you drive around the vast area still held by government forces – and I’ve just completed around 1,100 miles of mountains, desert and battle fronts – the more you realise that the war will go on. And on. And that the Syrian army, outgunned and at times frighteningly outnumbered by its Islamist enemies, is not about to collapse. But here are a few grim facts. Isis and Jabhat al-Nusra are now attacking the Syrian military in rows of suicide trucks, and along fronts so wide that the army often doesn’t have the manpower to withstand them.

D. Mekouar – VOA News

Issues of race and ethnicity can be complicated in the United States, and nowhere is that more evident than in the U.S. Census. The census, which counts every resident in the United States every ten years, has classified black Americans as a separate race since 1820. But the way the census has referred to Africans Americans has changed repeatedly over the decades. The evolving category names often reflected the current public attitudes of the time. For example, the term “colored” became “black” and then “Negro,” with “African American” added later. The term “mulatto” appeared in every census until 1920. The definition varied over the decades, but generally referred to a person who is black and at least one other race.

The Guardian (Britain)

A United Nations inquiry into the 2014 Gaza war has accused Israeli and Palestinian factions of multiple potential violations of international law including suspected war crimes. Calling on Israel to “break with its lamentable track record” and hold wrongdoers responsible, the hard-hitting report commissioned by the UN human rights council lays most of the blame for Israel’s suspected violations at the feet of the country’s political and military leadership. The commission – chaired by a former New York supreme court judge, Mary McGowan Davis – says leaders should have been aware as the war progressed that their failure to change course was leading to mounting civilian casualties.

Ali Abunimah

There can be no surprise that the UN Human Rights Council’s independent investigation of Israel’s assault on Gaza last summer found evidence of massive and systematic war crimes. Its report, published Monday in Geneva, says investigators were “able to gather substantial information pointing to serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law by Israel and by Palestinian armed groups.” ... Despite the “balanced” language that is now the habitual refuge of international officials hoping to avoid false accusations of anti-Israel bias, the evidence shows that the scale and impact of Israeli violence dwarfs anything allegedly done by Palestinians. Israel systematically targeted Palestinian residential buildings and infrastructure without any apparent military justification.

JTA

The Obama administration said it opposes any Security Council consideration of a United Nations report on last summer’s Israel-Hamas war. “We challenge the very mechanism which created it,” John Kirby, the State Department spokesman, said Tuesday, a day after the report’s publication ... The U.N. Human Rights Council, a body that Israel and the United States say is biased and targets Israel more than any other country, commissioned the report on the 50 days of fighting in Gaza last July and August. While the report accused both Israel and Palestinian factions of possible war crimes, its findings focused more on what it considers Israeli wrongdoing in its operation known as Protective Edge.

Stephen Sniegoski

... While the mainstream media is analyzing in microscopic detail Jeb's stumbling over his Iraq war response, it naturally ignores that third rail in contemporary American politics, the power of the Israel lobby ... It is not simply Jeb Bush but all Republican candidates who are paying obeisance not simply to Israel but also to Netanyahu’s policies ... The actions of Jeb Bush would seem to confirm Lobe’s view that support for Israel has more to do with the pro-Zionist mega-donors than the Christian evangelicals. For Bush simply does not kowtow to the Christian evangelicals to the same degree that he does to the Israel lobby magnates.

Gwynne Dyer

... Greece should never have been allowed to join the euro in the first place, but the Greek government concealed the scale of its debts and the European Union turned a blind eye to them ... The Greeks have suffered a great deal of hardship already to stay in the euro, and they seem prepared to suffer some more. The European Union is prepared to cut them enough slack to keep them from defaulting, because its members fear the future of the euro itself if it becomes clear that countries can actually leave. However, the EU will not make enough concessions to put Greece on the road to recovery. So this unbearable status quo will continue for a while — and eventually the Greeks will say "enough." But it will still be five minutes to midnight for some months, and quite possibly even into next year.

Euro News (France)

Another strong showing by the right in northern Europe: the Danish People’s Party (DPP) is celebrating its victorious result in legislative elections, with 21 percent of the votes. This makes the anti-immigration group Denmark’s second-largest political party, and the leading partner in the right wing bloc — dislodging the left from government. Described by detractors as populist or even far right, the DPP confirms an anti-immigration trend in the Nordic countries. Over the last year and a half the right in Denmark, Sweden and Finland have all enjoyed growing strength. In Swedish elections last September, the right wing Sweden Democrats became the third-largest party.

Roger Cohen – The New York Times

... There are, of course, political stirrings in Europe. The political center, and the area just to the left and just to the right of it, seem dead, one reason for the rise of leftist parties like Syriza in Greece, rightist parties like the National Front in France, anti-immigrant nationalists from Sweden to the Netherlands, and big protest movements against the political establishment (of any stripe) like Podemos in Spain. At the heart of all this, it seems, is a sense that something fundamental is amiss in the economies of Western societies ... Politics is not dead, but it’s dormant, and Berlin remains a useful reminder of how virulent political ideology can be in a climate of social unrest.

John Lloyd - Reuters

In the past half century, some of the most prominent minds in international affairs have predicted the end of meaningful global divisions based on ideology. Daniel Bell published his "End of Ideology" in 1960; Francis Fukuyama published his “End of History and the Last Man" in 1992; and Thomas Friedman his "The World Is Flat" in 2005. Especially in Bell's and Fukuyama's cases, the message was fairly clear: All this energy put into ideology was pretty much posturing. You cannot say that now. The forward march of democracy has been halted, and decisively ... What’s left for liberal democracy? It’s not precisely an endangered species, but in places that are new to it — in parts of Central Europe, Africa and Asia — it’s still fragile. And more to the point, it’s weakening in the two areas which have been its engines: North America and Europe.

The Guardian (Britain)

Fourteen watercolours and drawings by Adolf Hitler have fetched a total of 391,000 euros [$438,000] at a controversial auction in Nuremberg. A view of Bavaria’s famous fairytale castle Neuschwanstein brought the highest price of 100,000 euros [$112,000] at the auction on Saturday, while a still life of a bunch of carnations fetched 73,000 euros. The other works, all painted or drawn between 1904 and 1922, and most of which are signed “A Hitler”, included views of various buildings in Vienna, an image of Prague in the fog, and a female nude. According to the Weidler auction house, the bidders were investors in China, France, Brazil, Germany and the United Arab Emirates.

The Guardian (Britain)

President says theme park is part of Russia’s ‘military-patriotic work with young people’, and announces 40 new intercontinental missiles / Lunch consists of army rations, shopping is mainly for Vladimir Putin accessories, and instead of riding rollercoasters children can play with grenade launchers and clamber over heavy weaponry. Welcome to Patriot Park: fun for all the family, with a militaristic twist. This vast military theme park at Kubinka, an hour’s drive from Moscow, was officially opened by Putin on Tuesday at a time of heightened patriotism and military rhetoric in the wake of Russia’s annexation of Crimea last year and subsequent confrontation with the west.

H. Pauer-Studer, J. D. Velleman - Aeon (Britain)

Georg Konrad Morgen was the first man to prosecute commandants of the Nazi concentration camps, but he wasn’t an officer of war-crimes tribunals. He was himself a German SS officer, and he prosecuted his fellow SS officers in SS courts during the Second World War. Morgen charged them not with crimes against humanity but with ordinary crimes of corruption and murder. While investigating those crimes, he came upon the machinery of mass murder at Auschwitz-Birkenau and, recoiling in horror, he asked himself what he could do about it ... He drew up charges of murder against the commandant of Buchenwald, Karl Otto Koch ... Buchenwald commandant Koch was convicted, but only on a charge of corruption, though he was indeed executed in 1945, shortly before the end of the war.

IHR NEWS AND VIEWS

By Mark Weber

This past year has been a particularly busy and productive one for us. For one thing, we have revived and expanded our book distribution and publishing operations ... During the past year we organized nine IHR meetings ... In London, Budapest and Paris, I met with activists, writers, and publishers ... Throughout the past year, we continued to broaden our outreach and strengthen our impact, not only here in the US, but overseas as well ... Dozens of IHR talks, interviews and lectures have been made into independently produced videos that are available online.

Several times each week we distribute by e-mail a timely “IHR News and Comment” roundup of news, analysis and commentary items. To subscribe, enter your email below:

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Institute for Historical Review

A man who made headlines during the 1990s as a controversial Jewish "Holocaust denier" has broken 18 years of silence to speak publicly for the first time about the challenges, achievements and mishaps of that era, and his secretive career since then. David Cole - now 45 years old - was in good form as he addressed a spirited, well-attended IHR meeting ... His lively, articulate presentation was packed with colorful anecdotes, humorous asides and eye-opening insights ... He adopted a new identity ("David Stein") and in 1998 began a career as a filmmaker, Republican Party activist and conservative commentator.

By Mark Weber

We’ve successfully fought back a malicious campaign by an “Israel first” politician that shut down our credit card processing for nearly three months. Earlier this year a New York state legislator with a well-documented record of bigotry and support for Zionist terrorism launched a public campaign to shut down credit card processing by the IHR and several other organizations he calls “hate groups.” MasterCard, a global credit card company, backed this campaign. After considerable effort, we were finally able to restore our credit card processing on Dec. 11, 2013. To everyone whose backing enabled us to carry on during this difficult period, or who sent messages of support, Thank You!

By Harry Elmer Barnes

... Unless and until we can break through the historical blackout, now supported even by public policy, and enable the peoples of the world to know the facts concerning international relations during the last quarter of a century, there can be no real hope for the peace, security and prosperity which the present triumphs of science and technology could make possible. The well-being of the human race, if not its very survival, is very literally dependent on the triumph of revisionism.

By Mark Weber

Over the centuries, hostility against Jews has repeatedly erupted in terrible violence. Again and again, Jews have been driven out of countries where they’d been living. Why does anti-Semitism exist? And why has rage against Jews broken out, again and again, in the most varied nations, eras and cultures? ... Anti-Semitism is not a mysterious “disease.” As Herzl and Weizmann suggested, and as history shows, what is often called anti-Semitism is the natural and understandable attitude of people toward a minority with particularist loyalties that wields greatly disproportionate power for its own interests, rather than for the common good.

By Mark Weber

In recent years prominent American politicians and other influential public figures have spoken repeatedly of the alleged danger of Iran’s nuclear program, and have again and again threatened war against this Middle East nation of 75 million ... How real is this “threat”? How dangerous is Iran? What’s behind the campaign for war? And what does all this mean for Americans? In fact, the so-called Iran “crisis” is artificial ... Often ignored amid the clamor for war are the sober warnings of informed scholars, historians, specialists, analysts, and military leaders, who point out some basic, key facts: Iran is not building nuclear weapons, Iran is not a threat to the US ... War is not the answer. What’s needed instead is a bold new reality-based approach toward Iran.

By Mark Weber

In a remarkable but under-reported address, Vice President Joe Biden acknowledged that the “immense” and “outsized” Jewish role in the US mass media and cultural life has been the single most important factor in shaping American attitudes over the past century, and in driving major cultural- political changes. “Jewish heritage has shaped who we are – all of us - as much or more than any other factor in the last 223 years. And that’s a fact," Biden told a gathering of Jewish leaders in Washington, DC.

By Robert John -- Institute for Historical Review

The Balfour Declaration may be the most extraordinary document produced by any government in world history. It took the form of a letter from the government of the largest empire the world has even known to an international financier of the banking house of Rothschild who had been made a peer of the realm … Malcolm's belief in the Balfour Declaration as a means of bringing the United States into the war was confirmed by Samuel Landman, secretary to the Zionist leaders Weizmann and Sokolow, and later secretary of the World Zionist Organization.

By Grace Halsell

American Jews sympathetic to Israel dominate key positions in all areas of our government where decisions are made regarding the Middle East. This being the case, is there any hope of ever changing U.S. policy? ... The answer to achieving an even-handed Middle East policy might lie elsewhere -- among those who support Israel but don't really know why. This group is the vast majority of Americans. They are well-meaning, fair-minded Christians who feel bonded to Israel - and Zionism - often from atavistic feelings, in some cases dating from childhood.

By Mark Weber

... The ever more obvious symptoms of social decay are inevitable in a nation as unhealthy as today’s America. We understand that a nation guided by false principles, wishful thinking and unrealistic notions about society and history cannot and will not survive ... On this anniversary of American independence, it is altogether fitting that we recall the sacrifices and the outlook of the men who acted boldly out of principle, and risked everything in following the dictate of their conscience.

By Mark Weber

Writers, filmmakers and scholars from the US, France, Italy and other countries, together with Iranian cinema specialists, journalists, officials and others, gathered in north Tehran for a four-day “Hollywoodism” conference to critically examine the often harmful social-political impact of the US film industry, and to discuss how to counter it ... During this visit I gained a greater understanding of this ancient but vibrant nation of 75 million, which Israel and its allies in the US have demonized and threatened with military attack.

Institute for Historical Review

At an IHR meeting in southern California, three seasoned speakers provided informed perspective on Iran and Iranian society, the threats of war by Israel and the US, the impact of the US-organized sanctions campaign against the Islamic Republic, and the prospects for military conflict. Paul Sheldon Foote, a California professor with years of experience in the Middle East, and Art Olivier, a filmmaker and former mayor in southern California, joined IHR director Mark Weber at the spirited gathering.

Mark Weber

... Even many of those who readily acknowledge the tremendous influence of American film and television seem not to fully comprehend the formidable scope of the power behind Hollywood, or the outlook and agenda of those who wield that power ... Hollywood, together with the rest of the Jewish-Zionist dominated US media, sensationalizes and distorts current events, systematically falsifies history, promotes debased “entertainment” and perverse cultural standards, and makes possible the Jewish-Zionist hold on American political life ...

Institute for Historical Review

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, based in Los Angeles, is one of the most influential Jewish organizations in the world ... Although it claims to promote "tolerance," and makes a pretense of concern for humanity, the Center's real agenda is a narrowly Jewish-Zionist one. The Wiesenthal Center is a staunch supporter of Israel and its Jewish supremacist regime. It fervently defends Israel’s policies of oppression, occupation, dispossession, and institutionalized discrimination against non-Jews.

By Martin Brech

... In Andernach about 50,000 [German] prisoners of all ages were held in an open field surrounded by barbed wire. The women were kept in a separate enclosure that I did not see until later. The men I guarded had no shelter and no blankets. Many had no coats. They slept in the mud, wet and cold, with inadequate slit trenches for excrement ... I encountered a captain on a hill above the Rhine shooting down at a group of German civilian women with his .45 caliber pistol. When I asked, "Why?," he mumbled, "Target practice," and fired until his pistol was empty.

By Paul Findley

Nine-Eleven would not have occurred if the U.S. government had refused to help Israel humiliate and destroy Palestinian society. Few express this conclusion publicly, but many believe it is the truth. I believe the 9/11 catastrophe could have been prevented if any U.S. president in recent decades had had the courage and wisdom to suspend all U.S. aid until Israel withdrew from the Arab land seized in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. The U.S. lobby for Israel is powerful and intimidating, but any determined president could prevail and win overwhelming public support for the suspension of aid by laying these facts before the American people.

By Robert Morgan

Many Americans think of Abraham Lincoln, above all, as the president who freed the slaves. Immortalized as the "Great Emancipator," he is widely regarded as a champion of black freedom who supported social equality of the races, and who fought the American Civil War to free the slaves. While it is true that Lincoln regarded slavery as an evil and harmful institution, it also true, as this paper will show, that he shared the conviction of most Americans of his time, and of many prominent statesmen before and after him, that blacks could not be assimilated into white society. He rejected the notion of social equality of the races, and held to the view that blacks should be resettled abroad.

Prof. Tony Martin – Institute for Historical Review

... I’m going to try to extract from my experience certain basic sort of tactics that I think the Jewish lobby has used over the years pertaining to my particular situation ... The first and major tactic that I discovered in their attack on me was their reliance on lies -- just straight-up lies. There’s no other way to describe it, just telling lies. Many of the categories that I will enumerate overlap, and many of them could also come under this general rubric of telling lies. But I think that if one had to isolate a single tactic, it was a tactic of telling lies. I think they’ve elevated telling lies to a very high artistic form.

By Karl Otto Braun

... How did America come to war against Germany, the heart of Europe? Could not Roosevelt have acted as a great peacemaker by mediating the Danzig conflict in 1939, instead of instigating the Poles against Germany? ... The American President could very possibly have saved the peace in 1939. Instead, he fed the American people inventions about a hypothetical German plot to take over the United States and the whole world.

By Mark Weber

How accurate is this hallowed portrayal of America's role in World War II? As we shall see, it does not hold up under close examination ... The three Allied leaders accomplished what they accused the Axis leaders of Germany, Italy and Japan of conspiring to achieve: world domination ... Presidential deception to justify war did not start with George W. Bush. Americans who express admiration for the US role in World War II, and for Franklin Roosevelt's presidential leadership, have little moral right to complain when presidents follow his example and lead the country into war by breaking the law, subverting the Constitution, and lying to the people.

By Murray Rothbard

Revisionism as applied to World War II and its origins (as also for previous wars) has the general function of bringing historical truth to an American and a world public that had been drugged by wartime lies and propaganda ... Revisionism brings to the artificial frenzy of daily events and day-to-day propaganda, the cool but in the last analysis glorious light of historical truth. Such truth is almost desperately needed in today's world.

By Robert Clive

… That atrocities were committed by the Allies against Germans and non-combatant civilians on both the Eastern and Western fronts is not often acknowledged. In large measure this reflects the fact that "victors write the history." … POWs, whether Germans or Axis allies, were often shot out of hand, or shortly after they had been questioned ... When the Red Army invaded German territory in late 1944, civilians who had been unable to flee before their advance were condemned to undergo a regime of ferocious brutality. At such towns as Goldap, Gumbinnen, and Nemmersdorf, even children were raped before being murdered by Russian soldiers.

By Mark Weber

Among the highlights of my nine-day visit to Iran was a guest appearance on an influential prime-time public affairs television show, a memorable meeting with the nation’s President, and a well-received lecture of more than two hours on “The Zionist Lobby in America," given to a gathering of several hundred university students.

By James Whisker

... Fascism was touted by Mussolini as a unique combination of thought and action, yet fascism was still seeking an ideology after the Second World War was over. The roots of fascism are many and complex. The fascist leadership, notably Mussolini, admitted the multi-faceted influences of liberalism, marxism, syndicalism, risorgimento, socialism, catholicism and nationalism on their ideology.

By Mark Weber

To deal with the massive unemployment and economic paralysis of the Great Depression, both the US and German governments launched innovative and ambitious programs. Although President Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Deal” measures helped only marginally, the Third Reich’s much more focused and comprehensive policies proved remarkably effective. Within three years unemployment was banished and Germany’s economy was flourishing. And while Roosevelt’s record in dealing with the Depression is pretty well known, the remarkable story of how Hitler tackled the crisis is not widely understood or appreciated.

By Mark Weber

... During his lifetime he made a mark not only as a pioneering global aviator, but also as a prize-winning author, environmentalist and anti-war activist. Given the scarcity of truly heroic Americans during the past century, he towers as a man of exemplary accomplishment and courage. He deserves to be remembered today not only as an authentic American hero, but also because much of what he wrote and said is relevant in our own age. Indeed, some of his remarks have proven to be prophetic.

By Mark Weber

... Jews wield immense power and influence in the United States. The "Jewish lobby" is a decisive factor in US support for Israel. Jewish-Zionist interests are not identical to American interests. In fact, they often conflict. As long as the "very powerful" Jewish lobby remains entrenched, there will be no end to the systematic Jewish distortion of current affairs and history, the Jewish-Zionist domination of the U.S. political system, Zionist oppression of Palestinians, the bloody conflict between Jews and non-Jews in the Middle East, and the Israeli threat to peace.

By Yuri Teplyakov

… In August 1941 Hitler permitted a Red Cross delegation to visit the camp for Soviet POWs in Hammerstadt. It is these contacts that resulted in an appeal to the Soviet government, requesting that it should send food parcels for our officers and men. We are prepared to fulfill and comply with the norms of the Geneva convention, Moscow said in its reply, but sending food in the given situation and under fascist control is the same as making presents to the enemy … How great was Stalin's hatred for those who had found themselves behind enemy lines. It made no difference: who, where, how and why? Even the dead were considered to be criminals.

By Mark Weber

"The Sound of Music" is perhaps the most popular American musical picture ever produced. But whatever its merits as entertainment, the film's presentation of history is deceitful. In particular, its portrayal of the 1938 union or Anschluss of Austria with the German Reich is a gross distortion of historical reality.

By Mark Weber

Joseph Goebbels, Third Reich Germany's chief publicist and spokesman, is widely portrayed as a master of lies and deceitful propaganda. But this familiar image, which is particularly entrenched in the United States, is itself a propaganda falsehood.

By Mark Weber

... America today is a society in denial. The country's political, cultural and intellectual leadership -- both liberal and conservative -- denies social reality and ignores the historical record, and therefore inevitably betrays the interests of the people, leading America down a path that means ever greater anxiety and ever more rapid decline ... The crying need in our nation today is candor, courage and truthfulness -- not childish slogans, simplistic nostrums, or wishful thinking about a mythologized past or a utopian future -- presented by media personalities who are little more than entertainers.

By Mark Weber

Fraudulent quotations attributed to Hitler and other Third Reich leaders have been widely circulated for years. Such quotes are often used by polemicists -- of both the left and the right -- to discredit their ideological adversaries by showing that Nazis held similar views. Here's a look at a few of the many remarks falsely attributed to Hitler and other top Nazis.

Websense company, a major US supplier of web content filtering software, says that the Institute for Historical Review promotes "racism and hate," and blocks access to the IHR website, on the basis of an unfair standard that deceives the public and its own customers. In a letter to the IHR, Websense Senior Legal Counsel Eric Proul makes clear that the company has no objective basis for its claim that the IHR promotes "racism and hate."

By Tyler Kent

... In 1940, an obscure cypher clerk at the American Embassy in London came across documents which, in his judgment and that of many reputable historians subsequently, proved conclusively that Roosevelt both directly and through his agents was engaged in activities designed to foment a war and eventually to compel American participation in it. I was that cypher clerk ... The new basic law of nations requires only one clause, very simply: "It pays to be on the winning side."

By Mark Weber

This essay focuses on Roosevelt's secret campaign to provoke war in Europe prior to the outbreak of hostilities in September 1939. It deals particularly with his efforts to pressure Britain, France and Poland into war against Germany in 1938 and 1939. Franklin Roosevelt not only criminally involved America in a war that had already engulfed Europe, he bears a grave responsibility for the outbreak of the most destructive war of all time. This paper relies heavily on a little-known collection of secret Polish documents that fell into German hands when Warsaw was captured in September 1939. These revealing documents also confirm the crucial role of Jewish power and influence on US foreign policy during these years.

By David Irving

... If I'm known for anything as a historian, apart from being a pain in the neck, it's because I uncover things. And uncovering things does not necessarily mean you go into the archives and see something and say: "Look at this, this is something quite extraordinary." If you go into the archives long enough, ten or twenty years, you become what I would call a "gap-ologist" ... Now what a scandalous statement that is! Here's the one country, Germany, trying to prevent anwar and the other country -- Roosevelt, neutral -- trying to fan the flames of anti-German feeling to fuel the war. Yet it is the Germans who are called the criminals, and the Americans who do the prosecuting.

Video based on interview with Mark Weber by Daniel Davis, host of the "Beyond 50" radio show. The United States, says Weber, has changed from a republic focused on its own prosperity and well-being to a globally intrusive military power. This worldwide military presence reflects an entrenched American view that the US is a social-political model for all nations, and therefore has a right, based on perceived moral superiority, to intervene everywhere. He traces the evolution of this outlook from the fateful Spanish-American War of 1898, and the false pretexts and promises used since then to justify wars. Going to war to fight "evil" or "terrorism," says Weber, is a recipe for endless strife and conflict.

By Mark Weber

... We hear a lot about terrible crimes committed by Germans during World War II, but we hear very little about crimes committed against Germans. Germany's defeat in May 1945, and the end of World War II in Europe, did not bring an end to death and suffering for the vanquished German people. Instead the victorious Allies ushered in a horrible new era of destruction, looting, starvation, rape, "ethnic cleansing," and mass killing.

By Friedrich Stieve

Germany's enemies maintain today [1940] that Adolf Hitler is the greatest disturber of peace known to history, that he threatens every nation with sudden attack and oppression, that he has created a terrible war machine in order to bring misery and devastation everywhere. At the same time they intentionally conceal an all-important fact: they themselves drove the leader of the German people finally to draw the sword. They themselves compelled him to seek to obtain at last by the use of force that which he had been striving to gain by persuasion from the beginning: the security of his country ... A quick look at the most important events provides incontrovertible proof of this.

By Joseph Sobran

The news that I would be addressing the Institute of Historical Review came to some people as, well, news. It was mentioned in the Jewish newspaper Forward and on the Zionist Wall Street Journal OnLine. The editors of two conservative magazines called and wrote me to express their concern that I might damage my reputation, such as it is, by speaking to "Holocaust deniers." ... In short, the Holocaust has become a device for exempting Jews from normal human obligations. It has authorized them to bully and blackmail, to extort and oppress. This is all quite irrational, because even if six million Jews were murdered during World War II, the survivors are not entitled to commit the slightest injustice.

By Mark Weber

... A Zionist Jew, by definition, owes his primary loyalty to the Jewish community and to Israel. Zionism is not compatible with patriotism to any country or entity other than Israel and the world Jewish community ... Zionist Jews and their non-Jewish supporters embrace a blatant double standard. Jewish-Zionist organizations, along with their non-Jewish allies, support one social-political ideology for Israel and the world Jewish community, and a completely different one for the United States and other non-Jewish countries. They insist that ethnic nationalism is evil and bad for non-Jews, while at the same time they vigorously support ethnic nationalism -- that is, Zionism -- for Jews.

By Mark Weber

Jews played a highly disproportionate and probably decisive role in the infant Bolshevik regime, effectively dominating the Soviet government during its early years ... With the notable exception of Lenin, most of the leading Communists who took control of Russia in 1917-20 were Jews ... The US ambassador in Russia warned in a dispatch to Washington: "The Bolshevik leaders here, most of whom are Jews and 90 percent of whom are returned exiles, care little for Russia or any other country but are internationalists and they are trying to start a worldwide social revolution."

By Mark Weber

America's leaders understood Japan's desperate position: the Japanese were willing to end the war on any terms, as long as the Emperor was not molested. If the US leadership had not insisted on unconditional surrender -- that is, if they had made clear a willingness to permit the Emperor to remain in place -- the Japanese very likely would have surrendered immediately, thus saving many thousands of lives ... General Curtis LeMay, who had pioneered precision bombing of Germany and Japan (and who later headed the Strategic Air Command and served as Air Force chief of staff), put it most succinctly: "The atomic bomb had nothing to do with the end of the war."

By Mark Weber

.. By supporting Israel and its policies, the United States betrays not only its own national interests, but the principles it claims to embody and defend. The only country in the world that has a nuclear weapons arsenal, that occupies territory of its neighbors, and which is in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions - is Israel. In fact, if the United States were to hold Israel to the same standards that it has applied to Iraq, Serbia, and other countries, American bombers and missiles would be blasting Tel Aviv, and American troops would seize Israel's leaders and punish them for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

By Mark Weber

So if the official reasons given for the war were untrue, why did the United States attack? Whatever the secondary reasons for the Iraq war, the crucial factor in President Bush's decision to attack was to help Israel. With support from Israel and America's Jewish-Zionist lobby, and prodded by Jewish "neo-conservatives" holding high-level positions in his administration, President Bush -- who was already fervently committed to Israel -- resolved to invade and subdue one of Israel's chief regional enemies.