Winning wars in the Information Age largely depends on winning the battle for public opinion. Thus the opinion-shaping role of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) when it attacked a high profile California professor for his criticism of Israeli policy in Palestine.
That ADL intimidation campaign successfully chilled debate on campuses nationwide during several time-critical months while a new president, promising the hope of change, reassessed U.S.-Israeli relations. His only change—endorsing more Israeli settlements on Palestinian land—quashed any hope of peace.
This ADL silencing strategy offers a microcosm of how the U.S. was induced to war in Iraq based on false intelligence. From the provocation of September 11, 2001 until the invasion of March 2003, war-planners ignored, dismissed or sought to silence anyone critical of the spurious premises offered for war.
Only later did we discover that the intelligence was fixed around a preset agenda. Even now, Americans are unaware that the U.S.-led invasion had long been an Israeli goal.
In similar fashion, an ADL campaign silenced on-campus criticism of Israel’s December 2008 assault on Gaza. At the University of California Santa Barbara, ADL-initiated charges were lodged against sociology Professor William Robinson. The disciplinary action dragged on until June 24th when 100 professors and 20 department heads demanded an end to all proceedings.
By then the damage was done—to the reputation of Professor Robinson, to academic freedom at the University of California and to national security as this campaign silenced academics countrywide. While Robinson’s reputation can be restored, the damage to national security is irreparable.
The ADL and the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles coordinated the assault on Robinson after he shared with students from his globalization website a photo essay critical of Israel. The essay had circulated for weeks on the Internet.
Aaron Ettenberg, a member of the Faculty Senate Charges Committee, collaborated with Santa Barbara Rabbi Arthur Gross-Schaefer who reviled Robinson in the local community and urged—along with the ADL—that he be disciplined by the university for his “anti-Semitic” behavior.
Chancellor Henry Yang was subjected to threats to withhold funding featuring a campaign led by ADL National Director Abe Foxman and Rabbi Marvin Heir from the Wiesenthal Center.
Professor Ettenberg had served the previous two years as president of the local chapter of B’nai B’rith, an ADL affiliate. Rabbi Gross-Schaefer was director of the local chapter of Hillel, an on-campus ADL affiliate.
Mark Yudof, president of the University of California, opted not to intervene even as this silencing campaign attracted international attention. Yudof’s wife, Judith, is the immediate past international president of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism representing 760 synagogues. She is also a director of Hillel.
As with the dominance of Jewish Zionists among neoconservative war-planners, the pro-Israeli bias was all-pervasive. Richard Blum chairs the statewide Board of Regents for the University of California. His wife, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, chairs the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. What was their reaction as this professor was silenced? Silence.
Coincidence or Faith-Based Coordination?
Would a professor and a local rabbi have risked their careers and their reputations absent their confidence that—based on the shared bias of university administrators and government officials—they could intimidate with impunity? Absent such implied support, would this silencing operation have dragged on for so long?
Absent their silence—with its tacit approval—what might have been the impact of campus criticism when Israel’s assault on the captive population of Gaza left 1300 dead, one-third reportedly women and children? Those complicit in this silencing campaign knew the impact on public opinion of student protests against the Vietnam War—particularly on California campuses.
Those concerned about anti-Semitism must explain how this broadly coordinated intimidation campaign was allowed to succeed. In the same way that public opinion was manipulated prior to an invasion that launched the Global War on Terrorism, this campaign sought to deny students the facts required to understand Israel’s role in provoking that terror.
Absent access to facts, how can the U.S. preserve a system of self-governance founded on the premise of informed consent? Without facts, how can national security be protected from those who “fix” intelligence in order to deploy the U.S. military for the interests of a foreign nation?
Unless those complicit are held accountable, how will American youth learn the essential role of free and open debate on topics of direct relevance to their lives?
In a representative system of government, the greatest threat to liberty is manipulation of the facts required for informed citizen participation. Anyone who cherishes freedom should be alarmed at the ongoing success of such manipulation and outraged that its common source traces to a purported ally.
Psychological warfare targets knowledge as a means to manipulate thought, opinion and emotion (the “hearts and minds”) and thereby influence behavior. At the center of such disinformation is the displacement of facts with false beliefs meant to prod decision-making toward a preset goal.
Thus the false reports of Iraqi WMD, Iraqi ties to Al Qaeda, Iraqi mobile biological weapons laboratories and so forth. Thus the high profile assault on a high-profile center of learning to silence a professor who threatened to replace manipulated beliefs with confirmed facts.
Where U.S. policies toward Israel are at stake, facts are routinely suppressed to shape debate. Such strategic deceit systematically undermines U.S. national security.
Treason in Plain Sight
Intimidation campaigns have long been a key tool for organized crime and for those whose undisclosed agenda can succeed only when shielded from public scrutiny. Those complicit in such “psy-ops” know their agenda could not prevail in an open debate. They also know that if their treachery is detected they face charges of treason, a capital crime.
That’s why this form of treason instead targets knowledge to corrupt the facts required for informed choice. That focus denies those targeted a meaningful choice while leaving intact the appearance of open debate. Meanwhile the perpetrators seek refuge behind the very freedoms they undermine—freedom of speech, press, assembly and religion.
In this case, pro-Israeli operatives silenced on-campus criticism of Israel while Israel committed dozens of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Evidence of those crimes was depicted in the Internet-posted photo essay that the ADL attacked as “anti-Semitic.”
What was the strategic result? That assault on Gaza marked yet another violent provocation guaranteed to catalyze a violent reaction (aka “terrorism”), adding plausibility to the narrative of “militant Islam.” The result made the U.S. appear guilty by its association with this criminality.
We then compounded our complicity by covering up the facts when the Congress, dominated by the Israel lobby, overwhelmingly approved a resolution portraying as “irredeemably biased” a chronicle of those war crimes in “The Goldstone Report,” a comprehensive account by an eminent Jewish jurist. (See How the Israel Lobby Took Control of U.S. Foreign Policy)
The U.S. was doubly damaged. We not only discredited ourselves, we also endangered our national security by condoning criminality destined to provoke more violence directed at our troops.
When such psy-ops campaigns are detected, defenders of democracy must fight back by making the perpetrators transparent and their common motivation apparent. This is how Israel wages war on the U.S. from inside the U.S.—by deceiving us to wage its wars and by provoking others to hate us due to our alliance with religious extremists and their apartheid policies.
Duplicity has long been a weapon deployed to “wage war by way of deception.” That’s the operative motto of the Mossad, the intelligence and foreign operations branch of the Jewish nationalists who have dominated Israeli politics since a Christian-Zionist president erred in 1948 by recognizing as a legitimate “state” this enclave of Jewish extremists and ultra-nationalists.
Israel specializes in what the Pentagon calls unconventional warfare. Such warfare is only “unconventional” for the targeted population (us). For militant Zionists, this is how war is waged. When your numbers are few and your ambitions vast, deceit becomes an essential force-multiplier.
In the Information Age, why would anyone expect war to be waged in any way other than by deception? Where else but in plain sight could such warfare be waged?
For freedom to prevail against such psy-ops requires a shift in strategic focus. A robust defense would make this manipulation transparent in real time before deception can work its intended impact on public opinion.
The dominance of pro-Israelis in mainstream media complicates that task. Media complicity was essential to succeed in the deceit that took the U.S. to war and that now seeks to obscure Israeli war crimes.
A Special Relationship with Fanatics
The Pentagon warned six decades ago that Jewish extremists sought military and economic dominance over the entire Middle East. As the Joint Chiefs of Staff cautioned Harry Truman:
All stages of this program are equally sacred to the fanatical concepts of the Jewish leaders. The program is openly admitted by some leaders, and has been privately admitted to United States officials by responsible leaders of the presently dominant Jewish group—The Jewish Agency.
Other than religious fanatics, who would deny Americans—including college students—the facts required to make informed choices on an issue as critical as taking the U.S. to war in the Middle East? Other than pro-Israeli publishers and broadcast media owners, who would have the motivation to report as “facts” the phony intelligence that was fixed around Israeli goals?
If not Israel and its Zionist advocates—both Christians and Jews—who would have the means, motive, opportunity and, importantly, the stable nation state intelligence required to corrupt the intelligence that took the U.S. to war? Or to silence academic critics just when those who induced the invasion of Iraq intensified their efforts to expand this war to Iran and now Pakistan?
If the behavior described is not treason, what is? If this is treason, why have those complicit not been charged? Is Professor Ettenberg still employed by the university? If so, why? Have rabbis Gross-Schaefer and Heir been dismissed from their positions of influence? If not, why not?
Why hasn’t the ADL’s Abe Foxman been indicted? Did he confer with the Yudoffs during this silencing campaign? Has a federal grand jury been impaneled to consider charges of treason? Foxman was invited to the White House for the October 28th signing of the ADL’s “model hate crimes” bill. Will that federal legislation now be deployed to lawfully intimidate critics?
Have mainstream publishers and media owners been investigated for their complicity in this national scale fraud on public opinion? If not, why not? Is the Federal Communications Commission moving to revoke the broadcast licenses of those who used the public airwaves to deceive the public? If not, why not?
Are news reports correct that an investment firm run by Richard Blum made more than $100 million on the rising value of its stock in a top defense contractor? Did his firm also invest in media outlets that sold us this war?
In an irony of epic proportions, ADL’s amendment to federal hate crimes law was tacked onto an appropriations bill for the Department of Defense. Will the ADL now seek to portray as “anti-Semitic” those who document for a long-deceived military the common source of the psy-ops that took U.S. forces to war in the Middle East?
Will those who repeat the Joint Chiefs’ warning about religious fanatics be targeted for federal prosecution? Will allegations of hate be deployed to silence debate? Is treason now lawful?