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How Israel Lobby Controls US Policies: The Arab Bank Case
By Hassan El-Najjar
Al-Jazeerah, March 5, 2007
This is a classical example of how the Israeli lobby controls US policies. In 1967, Israel launched a war of aggression in which it occupied parts of Syria, Egypt, and the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza.
The Israeli occupation government has adopted policies to evict Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza or to force them to surrender to the slavery of its occupation.
The Israeli occupation government has labeled Palestinians who resisted its illegal occupation as "terrorists." Even charities providing aid to the needy Palestinians have been labeled as "terrorist" too.
Supporters of Israel in the US government have adopted the same Israeli terminology in referring to the Palestinian individuals or groups who are victims of the Israeli occupation.
The US Congress never condemned the Israeli government as a terrorist entity for killing and injuring Palestinian civilians, destroying their homes, stealing their lands, and building illegal settlements in the occupied territories. At the same time, it passed many laws describing Palestinian groups as "terrorists." It even passed legislation to prevent the executive branch from dealing with the pro-US Palestinian Authority.
The US Justice Department has been very active in closing down US charities which used to help needy Palestinians. Almost all of them have been closed during the present Bush administration. At the same time, aid to Israel continues despite Israeli daily violations of international law and daily violations of Palestinian human rights.
The case of suing the Arab Bank for facilitating aid from Arab charities to needy Palestinians is a clear example of the tight Israeli control over the US government to do the Israeli bidding. The objective is to help Israelis continue their subjugation of the Palestinian people as long as possible.
It is a policy that ultimately serves the continuation of the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
It punishes anyone who tries to help needy Palestinians, whose only fault is to desire to be free of Israeli bondage.
For more about how the Israeli lobby controls the United States, see the Walt-Mearsheimer paper at:
United States and Israel Sue Arab Bank for Facilitating Aid to Palestinians
Date: 05 / 03 / 2007 Time: 15:30
Bethlehem - Ma'an -
United States daily, the Los Angeles Times reported that the Jordan-based Arab Bank is being sued by Americans and Israelis that were injured by suicide bombings, or other clashes in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.
Arab Bank is one of the largest and most influential Middle Eastern banks, but for the last three years has been the subject of criminal investigation conducted by the United States Justice Department. The New York branch of the Arab Bank has been accused of transferring funds to so-called 'terror' organisations in the Palestinian occupied territories. These named 'terror' organisations include the democratically-elected Hamas political movement and Islamic Jihad.
Arab Bank officials pointed out that they provide an important financial service in the occupied Palestinian territories, which are being economically suffocated by Israeli policies and the embargo on the Palestinian government (observed blindly by US-EU governments). The officials said that they act as intermediaries between banks representing Saudi donors and Palestinian organisations and individuals who are being compensated for their suffering at the hands of Israelis.
LA Times quoted a Washington-based spokesperson for Arab Bank, Robert Chlopak, as saying that "Arab Bank had reason to believe these were humanitarian payments or social welfare payments, and there was certainly nothing in any of the public information that suggested to the bank at the time that these were in any way [meant] to induce terrorism or reward terrorism."
The United States Treasury Department claimed that after the United States government had labelled the Palestinian movements 'terrorist', Arab Bank had failed to review its accounts with the organisations or report 'suspicious' activity.
Some of the the initial allegations of the legal prosecution were based on documents seized by Israeli occupation forces during raids on charities and organisations in the occupied Palestinian territories. The documents are alleged to contain records showing that Arab Bank provided financial services for (charities affiliated with) Hamas and another 41 organisations linked to Hamas or Islamic Jihad.
According to court documents, Saudi government officials created two special fundraising committees to aid Palestinians in resisting the illegal Israeli occupation and conducted transactions through Arab Bank.
The prosecutors allege that the Saudi Committee for Aid to the Al-Quds Intifada, declared the life of anyone who died as a martyr, or resisting Israel, worth 20,000 Saudi riyals, $5,000 US. They wired the sum to the families of deceased victims of the Israeli occupation through Arab Bank branches.
LA Times reports that the Saudi Committee made around 200,000 financial transfers for the Palestinian cause, which amounted to over $90m US. A vast proportion of that aid went to hospitals and social welfare programmes, to compensate those injured or imprisoned, or the families of those who fell victim to the Israeli occupation.
The Bush administration has expressed concerns about the activities of the Arab Bank.
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