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Who is holding peace hostage?

Who is holding peace hostage?

The Israel Lobby Sells Wars: The Strategic Trap of Military Confrontation

It is now widely confirmed that one of the major reasons we chose to put
a priority on toppling Saddam Hussein was due to the lobbying efforts
for Israel within the Congress and the Bush Administration. The
commitment of almost the entire military force of the United States to a
senseless campaign in Mesopotamia, the ancient land between two rivers,
has led to unexpected consequences that will be with us for decades. One
of those is the possible military confrontation with Iran, which would
again ignore the limits of American power and the potential for
disastrous effects for our friends in the Middle East, including Egypt,
Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Israel.

There is not just talk of military action by pro-Israel groups, but
actual planning appears to be underway. The only alternative to going to
war seems to be to offer Iran a “grand bargain” that the United States
would not try to topple their government in exchange for giving up any
nuclear weapons ambitions.

George Soros, billionaire financier and political activist, believes
such a grand bargain would not be acceptable, and even insulting to
Iran. He suggests negotiation of a new NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty). Israel is not a signatory of the present NPT, and the Lobby is
expected to oppose renegotiation.

A Better Way Out: A Zero Nuclear Treaty, Including Israel

We at the Council for the National Interest propose an even more
imaginative solution. Our research indicates that we can solve the
problem of proliferation, not just by Iran but by North Korea, and
assist in solving problem of global warming by converting all nuclear
weapons into nuclear fuel rods over a period of years. It is estimated
that Israel could half its import of oil if over a period of years she
would convert her 220 weapons into civilian nuclear power. We estimate
that the United States would save almost two billion tons of coal for
electricity if we converted the remaining ten thousand nuclear weapons.

This would be the grandest bargain of all, the elimination of all
nuclear weapons in all countries. The benefit to the warring planet is
obvious. It would also bring the world one step closer to a permanent
Zero Nuclear Treaty (ZNT), a goal that most thinking scientists and
strategic experts agree should be pursued. How can we persuade the U.S.
government to pursue this vision?

The Lobby at Work: From Gaza to Lebanon... From Iraq to Iran

By their refusal to deal with Hezbollah as an insurgency that has
converted to governance in Lebanon, the United States set itself on a
course which Israel could take advantage of, allowing her to destroy
much of the work of the past ten years done by the martyr Rafiq Hariri,
former prime minister of Lebanon.

Hezbollah’s capture of two soldiers aimed at gaining the release of
Lebanese prisoners long held in Israel was certainly the trigger for the
confrontation. But the United States, by its silence during the first
three weeks of the war, was obviously the responsible party for Israel’s
excessive use of U.S. munitions, including once-banned cluster bombs.
This crisis will cost the United States before it is over at least one
billion dollars. It was an unnecessary war, the last thing we needed in
the Middle East, and was fully supported by the Israel Lobby.

We can and should work with Iran and Syria, not just with the Western
countries, to put us on a program of preventive diplomacy, not
preventive war.

Some Lebanese must be saying wryly, “With a friend like the United
States, who needs an enemy?”

The Palestine Dilemma Continues

While Lebanon burned, so did Gaza and the West Bank. Following the war,
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert immediately announced a massive new program
to expand the largest settlement in the West Bank. The U.S. made
ineffective efforts to persuade him to delay the construction
announcement, but that does nothing to achieve a keystone peace in the
Middle East. Defining Israel’s borders with the Palestinians on the West
Bank and freeing four million Palestinians to have a normal life with
free access to the outside world is clearly now a necessity for American
interests in the Middle East. Ending the vindictive and humiliating
occupation should be our immediate objective.

Washington is so concerned with Iran and Lebanon, to say nothing of
Iraq, that achieving a peace between Israel and Palestine has the lowest
of priorities. The administration continues to deal with all four major
conflagrations by a crisis management approach that is destined to fail.

We should tell the Israelis straight out that the alternative to ending
the occupation, which the Lobby has convinced so many people to think is
impossible, is to continue the horrors of the occupation for both
Israelis and Palestinians.

“A U.S. return to proactive diplomacy, realism and multilateralism, with
sustained and hard engagement that delivers concrete progress, would
best serve its own, Israeli and regional interests.”

– Daniel Levy, Israeli Columnist and Peace Activist

“America shouldn'’t stand in the way [of a national unity government
between Fatah and Hamas] – regardless of whether Hamas recognizes Israel
or formally renounces violence.”

– Robert Malley, Former Special Assistant to President Clinton for
Arab-Israeli Affairs, 1998-2001

October 6th, 2006

Dear Friend of the CNI Foundation,

I write to you today to ask for your help. We have just finished a draft
of a new full-page ad, our fourth ad this year, to run in the New York
Times later this month and before the election with the title "Who is
holding peace hostage?" I have included links to the draft and the full
text below for you to read.

We are more than halfway through our 2006 advertising campaign and our
efforts, with your help, have succeeded in continuing the debate about
our disastrous policies in the Middle East. Of course, our ads have
received lots of attacks from all the usual sources, even prompting the
Anti-Defamation League to smear us on their website
(http://www.adl.org/main_israel/cni.htm
<http://www.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?key=203324832&url_num=2&url=http://www.adl.org/main_israel/cni.htm>).
But we have also received thousands of phone calls, emails, and letters
of support from across the country. As one person said after seeing one
of our ads, "Thank you for finally bringing this issue out of the closet
of fear it's been hidden in for far too long. I saw your ad in the New
York Times yesterday and cheered. I hope that you'll keep me informed of
further actions and continue to put pressure on this administration."

We are beginning to see signs of change, and our ads are timed to
capitalize on this moment of opportunity. As one of our members told us
the other day, "I think we are at a tipping point. The Mearsheimer/Walt
paper has broken the taboo on talking about the lobby. It is only a
matter of time before the American people begin to question why we're in
Iraq and what interest we have in going to war with Iran."

Each of these ads costs $45,000, and while we hope to raise a portion of
the cost from new supporters, the full cost must be paid up front. Could
you make a donation of $35, $50, $100 or more to help support our
effort? You can make a secure, tax-deductible donation by credit card by
either calling us at 800-296-6958 or visiting our donation webpage
(https://secure.groundspring.org/dn/index.php?aid=2836
<http://www.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?key=203324832&url_num=3&url=https://secure.groundspring.org/dn/index.php?aid=2836>).
You can also mail a check or money order to us at the address at the
bottom of this email. Thank you so much for your continuing support.

Sincerely,

Eugene Bird
President

PS: I have included the text of our latest ad below, but you can see the
layout of the ad in either PDF or JPEG format by clicking on the
following links. Please consider donating and send us your feedback on
the draft.

Draft of our fourth full-page advertisement

JPEG format: http://www.cnionline.org/nyt4.jpg
<http://www.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?key=203324832&url_num=4&url=http://www.cnionline.org/nyt4.jpg>
Adobe Acrobat PDF format: http://www.cnionline.org/nyt4.pdf
<http://www.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?key=203324832&url_num=5&url=http://www.cnionline.org/nyt4.pdf>

Who is holding peace hostage?

The Israel Lobby Sells Wars: The Strategic Trap of Military Confrontation

It is now widely confirmed that one of the major reasons we chose to put
a priority on toppling Saddam Hussein was due to the lobbying efforts
for Israel within the Congress and the Bush Administration. The
commitment of almost the entire military force of the United States to a
senseless campaign in Mesopotamia, the ancient land between two rivers,
has led to unexpected consequences that will be with us for decades. One
of those is the possible military confrontation with Iran, which would
again ignore the limits of American power and the potential for
disastrous effects for our friends in the Middle East, including Egypt,
Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Israel.

There is not just talk of military action by pro-Israel groups, but
actual planning appears to be underway. The only alternative to going to
war seems to be to offer Iran a “grand bargain” that the United States
would not try to topple their government in exchange for giving up any
nuclear weapons ambitions.

George Soros, billionaire financier and political activist, believes
such a grand bargain would not be acceptable, and even insulting to
Iran. He suggests negotiation of a new NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty). Israel is not a signatory of the present NPT, and the Lobby is
expected to oppose renegotiation.

A Better Way Out: A Zero Nuclear Treaty, Including Israel

We at the Council for the National Interest propose an even more
imaginative solution. Our research indicates that we can solve the
problem of proliferation, not just by Iran but by North Korea, and
assist in solving problem of global warming by converting all nuclear
weapons into nuclear fuel rods over a period of years. It is estimated
that Israel could half its import of oil if over a period of years she
would convert her 220 weapons into civilian nuclear power. We estimate
that the United States would save almost two billion tons of coal for
electricity if we converted the remaining ten thousand nuclear weapons.

This would be the grandest bargain of all, the elimination of all
nuclear weapons in all countries. The benefit to the warring planet is
obvious. It would also bring the world one step closer to a permanent
Zero Nuclear Treaty (ZNT), a goal that most thinking scientists and
strategic experts agree should be pursued. How can we persuade the U.S.
government to pursue this vision?

The Lobby at Work: From Gaza to Lebanon... From Iraq to Iran

By their refusal to deal with Hezbollah as an insurgency that has
converted to governance in Lebanon, the United States set itself on a
course which Israel could take advantage of, allowing her to destroy
much of the work of the past ten years done by the martyr Rafiq Hariri,
former prime minister of Lebanon.

Hezbollah’s capture of two soldiers aimed at gaining the release of
Lebanese prisoners long held in Israel was certainly the trigger for the
confrontation. But the United States, by its silence during the first
three weeks of the war, was obviously the responsible party for Israel’s
excessive use of U.S. munitions, including once-banned cluster bombs.
This crisis will cost the United States before it is over at least one
billion dollars. It was an unnecessary war, the last thing we needed in
the Middle East, and was fully supported by the Israel Lobby.

We can and should work with Iran and Syria, not just with the Western
countries, to put us on a program of preventive diplomacy, not
preventive war.

Some Lebanese must be saying wryly, “With a friend like the United
States, who needs an enemy?”

The Palestine Dilemma Continues

While Lebanon burned, so did Gaza and the West Bank. Following the war,
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert immediately announced a massive new program
to expand the largest settlement in the West Bank. The U.S. made
ineffective efforts to persuade him to delay the construction
announcement, but that does nothing to achieve a keystone peace in the
Middle East. Defining Israel’s borders with the Palestinians on the West
Bank and freeing four million Palestinians to have a normal life with
free access to the outside world is clearly now a necessity for American
interests in the Middle East. Ending the vindictive and humiliating
occupation should be our immediate objective.

Washington is so concerned with Iran and Lebanon, to say nothing of
Iraq, that achieving a peace between Israel and Palestine has the lowest
of priorities. The administration continues to deal with all four major
conflagrations by a crisis management approach that is destined to fail.

We should tell the Israelis straight out that the alternative to ending
the occupation, which the Lobby has convinced so many people to think is
impossible, is to continue the horrors of the occupation for both
Israelis and Palestinians.

“A U.S. return to proactive diplomacy, realism and multilateralism, with
sustained and hard engagement that delivers concrete progress, would
best serve its own, Israeli and regional interests.”

– Daniel Levy, Israeli Columnist and Peace Activist

“America shouldn'’t stand in the way [of a national unity government
between Fatah and Hamas] – regardless of whether Hamas recognizes Israel
or formally renounces violence.”

– Robert Malley, Former Special Assistant to President Clinton for
Arab-Israeli Affairs, 1998-2001

------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Interest Foundation click here:

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<http://www.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?key=203324832&url_num=7&url=https://secure.groundspring.org/dn/index.php?aid=2836>
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--
Carlton Cobb
Director of Operations
Council for the National Interest
1250 4th St SW, Suite WG-1
Washington, DC 20024
202-863-2951
FAX: 202-863-2952
carlton@cnionline.org
www.cnionline.org
www.rescuemideastpolicy.com

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