The Forward reports today that U.S. presidents have signed secret documents that “Israelis saw as an American commitment not to ask them to give up their undeclared nuclear arsenal.”
According to its website, the Forward is “the most influential nationwide Jewish media outlet today.”
When Helen Thomas asked President Obama at his first presidential press conference whether any country in the Middle East had nuclear weapons, he evaded the question (video here). Finally in 2015, in a move ignored by most U.S. media, the Pentagon finally publicly admitted that Israel has nuclear weapons.
While the Israel lobby promotes fears about a possible Iranian nuclear program (U.S, intelligence agencies have found no evidence that this exists), U.S. media and politicans turn a blind eye to Israel. Numerous groups have tried to raise the issue.
An American thinktank, Institute for Research: Middle East Policies (IRMEP) has filed a “39-page federal lawsuit challenging the secrecy of a gag order that forbids all U.S. government agency employees and contractors from discussing Israel’s nuclear weapons program.”
In 2016 IRMEP filed a lawsuit against U.S. aid to Israel on the basis that “U.S. aid to Israel is illegal because it violates longstanding amendments to the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961. The Symington & Glenn amendments ban or subject to mandatory waivers U.S. foreign aid to countries with nuclear weapons programs that have not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.”
In 2017 it filed a motion asking an appeals court to block the transfer of $3.7 billion in US aid to nuclear Israel.
To date the lawsuits seem largely to have been ignored.
Below is today’s Forward report that mentions the secret documents signed by U.S. presidents:
One of presidential advisor/son-in-law Jared Kushner’s responsibilities has been pursuing a Middle East peace plan. And while Kushner has long expressed sympathy for Israel — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once slept in his bedroom — relations haven’t always been smooth.
Kushner used profanity to scold Israeli ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer for being too heavy-handed in his dealings with the White House.
On February 13, 2017, the day that Michael Flynn was forced out as national-security adviser, Dermer reportedly went to the White House to try to arrange for Trump to sign secret documents, as other presidents had done, which the Israelis saw as an American commitment not to ask them to give up their undeclared nuclear arsenal. Dermer asked to meet privately with Flynn, prompting aides to explain that he could not dictate whom he wanted to meet with. Advisers felt like they were being taken advantage of.
At one point, in front of witnesses, Kushner swore at Dermer in his West Wing office, saying he wasn’t going to do his bidding just because of his Jewish background. “You’re not going to tell us how to run these things,” he told Dermer. “Don’t try to push us around. Don’t try to jam us.”
Dermer told the New Yorker that he didn’t remember Kushner using that language, saying, “I have a very good relationship with Jared, but we don’t always agree on everything.”
Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher
Read more: https://forward.com/fast-forward/402944/jared-kushner-swore-at-israels-ambassador-for-acting-like-he-owned-the/