Israel advocate Ravich named to senior intelligence post, planned US-Israel cyber project against BDS

Israel advocate Ravich named to senior intelligence post, planned US-Israel cyber project against BDS

Samantha Ravich speaks at Israel Bonds luncheon in Cleveland, 2017.

New deputy chair of the Intelligence Advisory Board, which helps shape U.S. intelligence policy, is Samantha Ravich – an Israel advocate who previously worked for AIPAC spinoff WINEP, was a senior advisor to pro-Israel FDD, senior advisor to the Chertoff Group…

See video of her speech at Israel Bonds event, where she describes a cyber project that will combat BDS…

IAB chair is Stephen Feinberg, hedge fund billionaire and military contractor… 

The Forward reports:  “President Trump chose as the deputy chairwoman of the intelligence advisory board a Jewish national security expert who is well known in the pro-Israel national security community.

“Samantha Ravich was named to the board, which helps shape intelligence policy, on Tuesday.

“Ravich, a former deputy national security adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney, is a senior adviser to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, an influential hawkish pro-Israel think tank. She is also a senior adviser to the Chertoff Group, founded by Michael Chertoff, a Homeland Security secretary in the George W. Bush administration, and has worked with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. One of her specialties is combating extremists.

[The Washington Institute for Near East Policy was founded by AIPAC. Some information about Michael Chertoff is here. See this for information about FDD.]

“She has also worked with the pro-Israel community helping to raise money for Israel Bonds.

“Ravich does not require confirmation.

“Also Tuesday, Jeffrey Gunter, a dermatologist from Los Angeles, was nominated as the ambassador to Iceland. Gunter, a board member of the Republican Jewish Coalition, must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.”

Ravich reveals cyber project to protect Israel

At a speech before the Israel Bonds Cleveland Women’s Division on June 21, 2017, Ravich described plans to create an Israel-U.S.-UK cooperative cyber project.

Ravich explained that this project would be used to address the many European nations that have been supporting the boycott movement against Israel. The boycott movement, known as BDS, is an attempt to use financial pressure to cause Israel to end its human rights abuses and violations of international law.

Ravich said that she had briefed the Senate about the cyber project, created by the Foundation for Democracies, and said “we have been going back and forth to Israel and back and forth to the UK, kind of pushing this along.”

Ravich said they are calling it a “cooperative relationship,” rather than “an alliance, because that gets people a little upset.”

The project would create a “cyber umbrella” that would provide mechanisms to protect countries from cyber threats. Ravich said that countries that want to “isolate Israel,” i.e. require it to adhere to international law, would be excluded.

Ravich explained that countries would be told they could “live under the cyber umbrella, which the United States, the UK, and Israel can help you provide, or you can agree to abide by the BDS movement. But you can’t have it both ways.”

She said that this was critically important and stated: “it’s a conversation, frankly, that I think groups like this, groups that are investors in Israel through Israel Bonds, can actually have a voice in saying.”

In her June 13, 2017 briefing to the Senate about the project, Ravich did not reveal the plan to use the cyber project to counter international efforts in support of Palestinian rights.

She did, however, recommend:

“I like the idea that there could be a very senior person in the White House driving this in the inner agency, interacting with the private sector, doing some things internationally. But it would have to be someone who has gravitas, has clout, and also who has the backing of the president.”

On June 27, the U.S. announced a partnership with Israel on cybersecurity. (More information here.)

At the Israel bonds luncheon where Ravich spoke, it was announced that $1.49 million had already been raised, halfway through its campaign. Ravich’s speech is below, and below that is information about the Intelligence Advisory Board and Chair Stephen Feinberg.


Intelligence advisory board & Chair Stephen Feinberg

The full name of the board is the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board (PIAB); according to its website, It is is “an independent element within the Executive Office of the President.”

The website states that throughout its 60-year history, “the Board has closely guarded its special status by making every effort to ensure the strict confidentiality of its deliberations and communications, and the objectivity of its advice. As a result, the Board has had immense and long-lasting impacts on the structure, management, and operations of U.S. intelligence.”

The chair of the Intelligence Advisory Board is Stephen A. Feinberg, a hedge fund billionaire, military contractor, and gun manufacturer with a penchant for being secretive.

Stephen Feinberg at Down Jones conference in 2011

Feinberg is the co-founder and CEO of a hedge fund named Cerberus Capital, named for the many-headed dog in Greek mythology that guards the entrance to hell.

In 2006 the New York Times reported: “Very little is known about Cerberus beyond its intimidating name — a reflection of how greatly Wall Street players like Mr. Feinberg value secrecy, and the pivotal role stealth plays in amassing and deploying the vast pools of capital that private equity investors control.”

According to the Times: “Court documents detail legal brawls in which investors accuse Cerberus of orchestrating secretive deals that transgressed legal and ethical boundaries, accusations the firm denies.”

Feinberg’s underlings include former Treasury Secretary John W. Snow and former Vice President Dan Quayle.” Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld was an investor in 2001.

Ha’aretz reports: “Feinberg keeps a low profile. He makes himself scarce around photographers, and sends underlings like Cerberus chair Dan Quayle to sign his deals.”

In 2005 Feinberg submitted the winning bid for Israel’s Bank Leumi, an international bank headquartered in Israel. He appears to have sold it in 2009. (An individual named Vivan Feinberg is currently First Vice President of Bank Leumi USA.; it’s unknown if she’s related to Stephen.)

Cerberus is the parent company of the infamous military contractor DynCorp, accused of war profiteering. A New Yorker profile on Feinberg reports: “Through DynCorp, Feinberg already controls one of the largest military contractors in the U.S.”

Bloomberg reports that DynCorp “receives the vast majority of its $3 billion in annual revenues from the federal government.” DynCorp has been a major private contractor in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Read more here.

The AllGov website reports: “Feinberg has trained in marksmanship with former military snipers. He also set up a private ‘military base’ outside Memphis. Tier 1 Group, owned by Cerberus, is an 800-acre facility complete with a mock Afghan village and a tactical driving course. U.S. forces have trained at Tier 1 since 2008.

Marines during weapons training at the Tier 1 Group Training Facility, in Crawfordsville, Ark., Oct. 23, 2012. (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Caleb McDonald/Released).

Feinberg donated to Trump & to Schumer

AllGov reports that in addition to supporting Republicans, Feinberg donated to Democratic leader Chuck Schumer.

“Feinberg backed Jeb Bush early in the 2016 election cycle, but later gave almost $1.5 million to the pro-Trump Rebuild America political action committee. He gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Republican National Committee. However, in 2016, he also donated money to the campaign of Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.”

Schumer is an Israel advocate who once suggested that God had made him a guardian of Israel (video here).

The New Yorker profile on Feinberg, which discussed Feinberg’s considerable donations to the Trump campaign and was written before Feinberg’s appointment as head of the Intelligence Advisory Board, had predicted: “Sooner or later, one suspects, he’ll see a return on his investment.”

Trump appointed him head of the board on May 11, 2018.


[A Daily Kos article on Feinberg is here, and another dossier on Feinberg is here