Right Web

Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

Keep Israel Safe

KIS_logo.jpg

Please note: IPS Right Web neither represents nor endorses any of the individuals or groups profiled on this site.

Keep Israel Safe is a conservative astroturf group launched in April 2010 by Christian Right leader Gary Bauer and Tom Rose, the former publisher of the right-wing Jerusalem  Post.[1] The group, which as of 2013 no longer appeared to be operating, disseminated petitions and produced web videos attacking the Barack Obama administration and Democratic Party officials for their policies on Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian situation, promoting views largely in line with Israel’s right-wing Likud Party and U.S. neoconservatives.[2]

Said Bauer in a press release about the group, "President Obama's failure to deal with the growing threat of a nuclear Iran while he makes unreasonable and hostile demands on our stalwart ally Israel is unacceptable. President Obama's policies are making America and Israel less safe and making a Middle Eastern war more likely."[3]

Keep Israel Safe appears to have been part of a larger, coordinated effort by hawkish “pro-Israel” groups in the United States to provoke anger among right-wing sectors in the United States regarding the policies of the Obama administration and its supporters.

The organization was part of a wave of new neoconservative pressure groups that were launched in the years immediately following President Obama’s first election in 2008. These other groups included the Foreign Policy Initiative, launched in 2009 as an apparent successor group to the Project for the New American Century; Elizabeth Cheney’s Keep America Safe; Stop Iran Now, a project of Citizens United, the controversial conservative group that was the subject of the Supreme Court’s controversial January 2010 ruling that the First Amendment permits corporations to fund independent political broadcasts in federal elections; and the Emergency Committee for Israel, a group founded by neoconservatives and Christian Right figures, including Bauer, Noah Pollak, and Rachel Abrams

Like Keep Israel Safe, many of these groups have produced web videos attacking Democratic Party politicians and the Obama administration for their Middle East policies, offering alarmist messages about Iran and the security of Israel and the United States. Additionally, the Weekly Standard has played a role in publicizing these groups’ work, with Standard founder and editor William Kristol serving as a principal in several of them (the Emergency Committee for Israel, Keep America Safe, and the Foreign Policy Initiative).

Wrote Right Web contributors Eli Clifton and Ali Gharib: “Bauer launched his own letterhead/attack-ad organization, Keep Israel Safe, with Weekly Standard contributing editor Tom Rose. They modeled the group on Cheney’s Keep America Safe (right down to the name) and, as one might expect, the Weekly Standard was instrumental in the group’s launch, getting an exclusive by ‘obtain[ing] an advance copy’ of the first attack ad on Obama even before the group’s website was up.”[4]

According to Clifton and Gharib, Keep Israel Safe and its apparently related attack groups reflect a shift in strategy adopted by neoconservatives and other hardline factions in the United States after the election of President Obama. Shut out of major policy-making circles and with many liberal Zionists in the United States increasingly alienated by the policies of the Israel’s Likud-led government, argued the two writers, these hawkish factions shifted to using the internet and YouTube to generate a populist right-wing backlash against the generally realist-driven and dialogue-oriented policies of the Obama administration.[5]

Share RightWeb

Please note: IPS Right Web neither represents nor endorses any of the individuals or groups profiled on this site.

Sources


[1] Eli Clifton, “The People Behind ‘Keep Israel Safe’ and ‘Stop Iran Now’,”  Inter Press Service, Lobelog.com, July 7, 2010, http://www.lobelog.com/the-people-behind-keep-israel-safe-and-stop-iran-now/.



[2] Keep Israel Safe, http://www.keepisraelsafe.com/.



[3] PRNewswire, "Bauer and Rose Launch 'KeepIsraelSafe.com' With New Advertisement and Nationwide Petition,” April 30, 2010,http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/bauer-and-rose-launch-keepisraelsafecom-with-new-advertisement-and-nationwide-petition-92536844.html.



[4] John McCormack, “New Group, Keep Israel Safe, Launches with Hard-Hitting Ad,” The Weekly Standard, April 29, 2010, http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/exclusive-keep-israel-safe-launch-hard-hitting-ad.



[5] Eli Clifton and Ali Gharib, “The Neoconservative Echo Chamber 2.0,” Right Web, September 1, 2010. 


From the Wires

Trump: “Well, I’ll be honest with you, I probably do because look at the job they’ve done. OK, look at the job they’ve done. They haven’t done the job.”


Trump’s deputy national security advisor Kathleen McFarland has a history of making wildly conspiratorial claims about China leveraging its holdings of U.S. debt to demand the elimination of Fourth of July celebrations and casually joking about nuclear winter as a solution to global warming.


Thus far, signs indicate that Donald Trump will continue to ensure that the United States plays the dominant role in policing the world.


The Iran deal is beneficial to Israeli security. Without an Iranian nuclear weapon, Saudi Arabia and Egypt have no incentive to obtain nuclear weapons, thus preventing a domino scenario. The deal also closed off the chapter of pre-emption strikes scenarios on Iran’s military targets and reduced the risks for a new and long regional war. All of this could be threatened by the Trump administration.


People are attaining positions of power under Trump not because of perspicacity and temperament but because they were not sufficiently outraged during the campaign to exile themselves from Trumpland.


Little attention has been paid to the roll of Trump’s national security adviser in a small drone company that has received Pentagon contracts after he joined the company in April, while he was simultaneously serving as an adviser to the Trump campaign. If Trump follows through on his campaign promise to deploy more surveillance drones on the Canadian and Mexican borders, the company would be well-placed to win even bigger contracts.


As Donald Trump’s national security team begins to take shape, it’s becoming clear that Trump indeed has a “basket of deplorables” around him. And many of them are going to wind up serving in his administration.


RightWeb
share