More on the Likudist Fronts

Just to add a little to last month’s post, “Is the Pentagon Policy Shop Funding Likudist Fronts?”, on Devon Gaffney Cross’ London-based Policy Forum for International Security Affairs, Jeffrey Gedmin’s (?) Case for Freedom, and Anatol Sharansky’s OneJerusalem.org, all of which appear to have as a common denominator — and a common, Israel-based IP address — interlocking directorates, their participation at last June’s Prague Conference on Democracy and Security Conference (about which I’ve written twice, here and here) and OneJerusalem’s director, a New York-based attorney named Allen Roth, who, it turns out, is a long-time aide and adviser to Ronald Lauder. It was Lauder, a major supporter of former Israeli Prime Minister and Likud chief Binyamin Netanyahu, who reportedly gave $1 million to OneJerusalem to launch a campaign against President Bush’s Annapolis conference last fall, apparently because he feared that renewed, U.S.-backed negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians could lead to a divided Jerusalem. It was also in his capacity as president of the World Jewish Congress, a post to which he was elected in 2007, that Lauder appealed in a controversial open letter to the current prime minister, Ehud Olmert, not to do anything that would compromise Israeli sovereignty over the entire city.

The first thing worth noting is that both the Policy Forum and Case for Freedom websites appear to be moribund. Despite the $79,000 Pentagon grant it received last September and its new mandate to reach out beyond the elite media “to the active, curious, and engaged public” in Great Britain and Europe, the Policy Forum site — which is entitled Policy Forum for International Affairs but which refers to itself internally as Policy Forum for International Security Affairs — apparently hasn’t been updated since last June when it ran some opinion pieces on the U.S. presidential campaign.

The Case for Freedom site, which describes itself as a “dynamic community for dissidents and freedom’s advocates across the globe,” appears nearly as dead as Policy Forum’s. Its last news entry is a link to a February 26 article from the Daily Telegraph entitled “China Mounts Dissident Assault before Games.” Aside from its dynamic self-description, the inactivity on the Case for Freedom site is particularly remarkable given the fact that it was launched at Sharansky’s Prague Conference (at which Bush himself gave a high-profile address over the objections of the State Department) and the peculiar role played by Gedmin, the president of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), in the launch. Indeed, ten months after the group’s founding, Gedmin’s interview of Gary Kasparov remains the featured item on the group’s home page.

Gedmin, of course, is the former director of the New Atlantic Initiative at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) (which sent a five-person delegation led by Richard Perle and Michael Novak to the Prague Conference). Shortly after 9/11, in November, 2001, Gedmin became head of the Aspen Institute in Berlin where his job, according to right-wing Philanthropy Roundtable’s “National Terror Guidebook,” was to “explain key Bush administration policies (and) …challenge the more common assumptions held by Europeans about the United States.” In other words, his role was somewhat similar to that of Devon Gaffney Cross’, who began operating her Policy Forum in London in 2002. As I noted in last month’s post, Cross and Gedmin have been close colleagues for quite some time. In addition, however, I’ve been told by two sources acquainted with the Berlin office’s activities that, on taking over the office, Gedmin boasted to his new colleagues that he was bringing to his new job a $1 million grant — from Lauder’s foundation. (It’s worth noting that the Berlin office in FY 2005 was also awarded a $1.7 million grant to “bring together key policy makers, opinion leaders, NGO representatives, media, and human rights activists from the Middle East, Europe and the U.S. to discuss practical steps toward the promotion of civil society and democracy in the region” from the State Department’s Middle East Partnership Initiative, then overseen by Liz Cheney). Among the main activities of the office under Gedmin was to bring prominent neo-conservatives and other hawks to Berlin to meet with prominent Germans.

Once again, one has to ask how much sense it makes for a prominent neo-conservative, Iraq war advocate and staunch defender, and beneficiary of Lauder’s largesse to be placed in charge of U.S. government broadcasting to Arab and Iranian audiences on issues such as U.S. policy in the Middle East and the Gulf. (Of course, another AEI alumnus, James Glassman, is chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the RFE/RL’s oversight body, and has been nominated to serve as undersecretary of state for public diplomacy.) Surveys of regional opinion have consistently shown overwhelming frustration and anger with Washington’s steadfast support for Israel in its conflict with Palestinians. So why place someone in such a high-profile government post who is so clearly part of a network of individuals who are so as closely associated with Likudists like Netanyahu, Sharansky, and Lauder? Why, indeed, place someone in such a high-profile post who is so clearly part of a network that even opposes negotiations of the kind promoted by Bush himself?

Meanwhile, you’ll remember that the IP address that is home to One Jerusalem, Case for Freedom, and Policy Forum also hosts the personal blog of caroline glick (carolineglick.com), the hard-line deputy managing editor and columnist of the Jerusalem Post and one-time Netanyahu foreign-policy adviser. As a correspondent pointed out, Glick is also senior fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs at the Frank Gaffney’s ultra-hawkish Center for Security Policy in Washington, DC, where, according to her blog, she “travels several times a year to Washington (to) … brief senior administration officials and members of Congress on issues of joint Israeli-American concern.” Gaffney, of course, is Devon Cross’ brother and a beneficiary of casino king Irving Moskowitz, although it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Lauder and Roth were also CSP contributors.

Finally, another correspondent pointed out that the mysterious Zacharias Gertler, who served with Roth as a director of Cross’s Policy Forum until last May, was credited by yet another close Netanyahu and One Jerusalem associate, former Israel Amb. Dore Gold, with being “the real force who inspired” his 2003 book, “Hatred’s Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism.” In Gold’s acknowledgments section, Gertler’s help and encouragement are noted directly before those of Yigal Carmon, the president and co-founder (with Meyrav Wurmser) of MEMRI, and of Allen Roth and Steven Schneier, a major Netanyahu fund-raiser who also attended the Prague conference as a representative of the Policy Forum. Gold’s writings are a frequent feature on onejerusalem.org’s website.

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Jim Lobe

Jim Lobe served for some 30 years as the Washington DC bureau chief for Inter Press Service and is best known for his coverage of U.S. foreign policy and the influence of the neoconservative movement.

One Comment

  1. An unsinkable aircraftcarrier called “Guilt Feelings”

    What Richard Folks (hope the name is right) reported, a few days ago, to the UN about Gaza is long overdue. I wish to stress that I am neither antisemitic (the Palestinians are also Semites) nor anti-jewish (I am far to close and grateful to my old teacher, the philosopher Ernst Bloch) but simply anti-zionist. That is quite simply like being anti-Nazi but not anti-German.

    What has been going on in Palestine since even before 1948 was not even an ethnic war but fratricide – but on a basis that can be termed “ethnic cleansing”. Richard Folks and any UN person who doubts Israel’s “Right” to behave in the way she does must guard their backs: the UN official of Palestine was one of the first victims of the 1948 massacres, when he reported the true situation back to his headquarters. Mossad or Shin Beth cannot be expected to be any more hesitant that Irgun or Hagana.

    Gaza and the West-Bank are occupied, and Israel still wants to annex them. And as long as the truth about the beginning of Israel, and the truth about the “New Warsaw Ghetto” in Gaza is kept from the public eye, the support for the new Religious Totalitarianism of Erez El will not diminish, especially not in the USA, where no President nor candidate can dare speak up against the immense power of the Jewish diaspora (as much as the “Christians” of the Bible Belt who are newborn in the Old-, but far from the New Testament).

    We had here in Hong Kong a Professor (from Israel) who spoke about the “Gift of History”, and why denying the Holocaust was a crime – but the lady forgot, even when she quoted other ‘holocausts’ committed by others, “the big stick in her own eye”. Methinks, a big piece of ophthalmic surgery would do us all a lot of good.

    But why can no “President of the Mightiest Power the Earth has even seen” prevent that little tail to wag the big dog? – Quite simply: There are more Zionists in the USA than in the “Holy Land”, and with more money and influence. Wall Street is still full of little ‘Rothschilds’ and others who would support anything their “Homeland” did to others (what did they think when, in school, they pledged their “allegiance”?), maybe due to their own bad conscience -for having contributed to a certain ltlle man with moustache, for instance, just before 1933- and other not really brotherly acts, done more with personal profit in mind.
    But in short: Any Candidate or President who dared criticize that strange, democratic (?) but theocratic and ethnically selective state, could hang his/her hat on a nail in the wall (but not in Wall Street) – if not worse things that Mossad is quite happy to do (not torture – that’s Shin Beth’s favourite and, in Israel now legal).
    There you are. And will be – undtil someone got through to their “Endlösung”.
    Dr. J. Boost

    Dr. J. Boost

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