Evidence is mounting that the InstituteÂ for Zionist Strategies (IZS) — an Israeli NGO at the forefront of an ongoing campaign to purge Israeli Universities of faculty and programs deemed â€œleft-wingâ€ — is a creature of Â The Hudson Institute, a major Washington based neoconservative think-tank,Â which played an active role in shaping the Bush administrationâ€™s Middle East policies.
Hudson isÂ the primary financial backer of theÂ IZS,Â providingÂ at least half of the organizationsâ€™s total reported multi-year funding, but the connection does not end there.
Max Singer, co-founder of the Hudson Institute, its former President and current Senior Fellow, is also the IZS’s Research Director. At leastÂ accordingÂ to his bio on the Hudson website: The IZS site only identifies him as a member of the Advisory Committee. Its 2006 brochure (page 8), however, states that he is aÂ memberÂ of the International Board of Governors and as one of the ex-officio members of the Projects Committee, which “asÂ such, are invited to all deliberative sessionsÂ and events.” According to the IZS’s verbal report to the to theÂ Israeli Registrar of Associations for 2008 (the last one filed), Singer’s wife, Suzanne, is one of three members of the NGO’s “Council”, the sovereign decision-making body under Israeli law.
As the IZS’s Research Director, Singer would presumably be responsible for the research that pressuredÂ the President of Tel-Aviv University to take the extraordinary step ofÂ examining the syllabi of his institutionâ€™s Sociology Department for “left-wing bias”. The introduction to the IZS’s 2006 brochure (page 1), which Singer co-signed, indicates that he saw this type of activity as part of the organization’s strategic purpose:
The IZS will help liberate the public discourse in Israeli society from the self-imposed constraints of the prevalent dogma and internalized notions of the politically correct.Â Israeli society needs to be freed from the acceptance of double standards so that we can become comfortable asserting our own national purpose as a sovereign Jewish community.
This goal would fit well within the stated purpose of a Hudson Institute project, which was launched at the same time as funding of the IZS began (emphasis in the original):
The Future of Zionism. The Center for Middle East Policy is launching a multi-year project to examine the future of Zionism and its implications for the State of Israel. Israel faces an ideological crisis: As the recent Gaza pullout showed, societal divisions between secular and religious Israelis and between left and right wing camps have become so pronounced that they threaten to overpower the Zionist consensus that traditionally unified the nation. [Hudson Institute Form 990 Report to the IRS for 2005, page 23].
For a generation, Singer has been involved in designing and promotingÂ aggressiveÂ US foreign policy. In the early 1980’s he was on the board of Friends of the Democratic Center in Central America (PRODEMCA), aÂ controversialÂ organization involved in the Iran-ContrasÂ scandal. In 2002, he publishedÂ The Many Compelling Reasons for War with Iraq.
A Democratic administration is in power in Washington andÂ Singer has moved to Jerusalem, so he has found a new instrument for beltway influence: The government of Israel. From a July 17 policy note published by the Begin Sadat Center forÂ StrategicÂ Studies at Bar Ilan University (emphasis mine):
To prevent Obama from bringing America behind his different view of the world, Israel needs to help Americans appreciate the way that Obama sees things differently than they do. The views of most Americans, and of most of the American political world, are much closer to Israelâ€™s understanding of Middle Eastern realities than to Obamaâ€™s perceptions. Israeli actions can help Americans to recognize the conflicts between what they believe and the premises of Obamaâ€™s proposed policies. The critical element in Israelâ€™s policy concerning the US is the degree to which Israel is able to recognize, stimulate, and get the benefit of the parts of the American policy-making system that do not share President Obamaâ€™s radically different ideas about the world. Israel does not have to act as if Obamaâ€™s views will necessarily determine the policy of the US, and it certainly does not have to assume that Obamaâ€™s current views will dominate US policy-making for many years. Israel has the power, if it has the fortitude, to influence the degree to which Obama is able to make the tectonic change in American policy that he would like to make.
Emanuel was angry, he claimed, because DermerÂ briefedÂ certain Americans, Jewish and non-Jewish, againstÂ the President and and Emanuel himself.
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