Podcast Show #40

The Boiling Frogs Presents Grant Smith

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Grant F. Smith joins us to discuss Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle, a 2009 Council on Foreign Relations book authored by Dan Senor and Saul Singer. He tells us about rarely discussed “massive non-market subsidies and distortions” designed and implemented to benefit Israel, such as an agreement with the Pentagon for Israel to provide goods and services to the US military, and gain access to the US military procurement system, and other congressionally approved agreements that create jobs in Israel rather than in the US. Mr. Smith talks about AIPAC, Israel’s vast network of legal and illegal campaign contributions, their influence and propaganda infrastructure with the US media, and more!

GrantSmithGrant F. Smith is director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy in Washington, D.C. He is the author of Spy Trade: How Israel’s Lobby Undermines America’s Economy, America’s Defense Line: The Justice Department’s Battle to Register the Israel Lobby as Agents of a Foreign Government and Foreign Agents: The American Israel Public Affairs Committee from the 1963 Fulbright Hearings to the 2005 Espionage Scandal. He is a contributor to Radio France Internationale and Voice of America’s Foro Interamericano, and has appeared on BBC News, CNN, and C-SPAN.

Here is our guest Grant Smith unplugged!

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  1. Bill Bergman says:

    Listening now. Peter Collins is great. He’s well informed and prepared, a value-added interviewer. I didn’t know much about Grant Smith, and want to learn more. Including about how much was and wasn’t ‘partially released.’

  2. Mr. Smith runs a great site and was a great idea for a guest. I do have to say I was surprised though at the degree of his optimism about the state of Israeli influence. He made some good points about the Harman affair and the Rosen and Weissman case, etc. Sure there are factions in government that don’t let AIPAC or other Israel firsters in on everything. But considering the degree of influence Israel is able to wield through what amounts to its agents of influence from Perle through Joe Lieberman, from Feinstein through Biden, and the level and degree of espionage that goes on, I just think he’s being a bit naive on this point. I was especially surprised to hear him say he didn’t think the Israeli’s knew how much they’d contributed to the rise of the “Arab Spring”. I’ve read Israeli analysis recently from a few years back talking about Egyptian unrest, it’s relation to perceptions of Israeli, and predicting it’s increase. Whether it’s true or not they see their awareness of the enemies they made themselves over there as a matter of survival. I hope I’m wrong but I think he’s underestimating his enemy.

  3. Thanks very much, Ms E — for this OTHER and less visible angle on how/how much & why the Pentagon has been turned to the service of Israel.

    It complements Jms Bamford in The Shadow Factory — and in Boiling Frogs Interview Number One — reporting on the Israeli tech companies behind the NSA’s advance into domestic wiretapping.

    The new marketwatch.com — part of the Dow jones empire and now, of course, murdoch’s empire — has begun to feature daily reports headed “Israeli Stocks” and now has a regular featured columnist from Jerusalem (and of course the Right).

    Most generally: The two most influential business news organizations in the US are Bloomberg and murdoch’s Dow Jones. The first privately held and the latter closely although public. The consequent distortion in favor of Israel is palpable daily.

  4. PS i donated $50 to the Frogs a few weeks ago. I hope yer okay. It’s one of the very best discussions around.

  5. @Bill: agreed. Check out his website- there are tons of documents (FOIA< congressional investigations, etc.) there. @ Metem: As always, good points. I have this reserved spot for your future articles/analyses. Waiting for things to get less hectic for you;-) @newcombat: Greatly appreciated. Interestingly, that's exactly what I was discussing with Mr. Bamford last week. We'll have him back on our show very soon (waiting for interesting developments coming soon).

  6. Hi Sibel,

    I am glad to see that you have not blocked me out of the commentary section. For a while, I couldn’t log in, so I wondered what was going on.

    Let me clarify a few things. First, I didn’t say that you were an anti-semite. If I thought you were, I wouldn’t lose my time reading your posts, listening to your shows and I wouldn’t have written a description of your show on my blog at this adress:


    I would simply do something else and visit other websites. I will try to present my point in much clearer way this time, hoping I will be understood. As you know, anti-semitism has bad press. Nobody wants to be stained with it and with reason. Since a couple of years, anti-semite organizations and groups have considerably raffined their strategies to find new ways of selling forms of anti-semitism that would be acceptable to the general public. It may take the shape of criticism toward the state of Israel, denunciations of what is called the “Israel lobby”, public protests against an “apartheid” that Israel supposedly imposes on Palestinians, denunciations of a supposed “control” that Israel has on the american media, etc. And with this show now, we have the pleasure to get acquainted with the newest variation of it, the case of AIPAC.

    Overall, everyone must realize that elements of information that are presented are one thing; the intention with which they are presented are another. In effect, it is the intention that gives the color of a news because it is this intention that determines the effect it has, whether the information is true or not. The Far-Right is very effective in selling anti-semitism. As a matter of fact, in the so-called progressive sector, many liberals and lefists have been completely fooled and corrupted by the machinations of this Right that descends directly from the nazis. I wish there would be more people in the progressive sector being able to see these machinations, but it doesn’t seem to be the case.

    All countries, groups and institutions in the world have a lobby. We call that politics. With its lobby, Israel seeks protection mostly. If the U.S. gives Israel a few contracts and investments to make sure it survives as a thriving democracy in a region where it is surrended by hostile nations ready to drop the Bomb on it, so be it. Israel is the birthplace of the judeo-christian civilization and I am not ready to reject that.

    Basically, to conclude, I don’t think it is fair to compare a few millions of dollars coming from Israel and Jews with the billions that are poured from Saudi Arabia and other rogue States that sponsor terrorism and Islamism.

    We need people of your quality to be aware of these issues. Please think about that.

    Have a good day.

  7. @Claude: I understand your points, and thank you for making them. However, I do not agree with them. How many pro Saudi Arabia movies are made per year? in total? Now, how mant Isreal & Jewish leaning movies and documentaries can you cite? If you bring up holocausts (hope you are not), I’d say, fine, then cite the number of movies/documentaries on Cambodia (Khmer Rouge) or Kurds or Armenian…
    Then, the media: I don’t have to explain this one; we already have tons of reports/statistics on this. You may start with this last interview (Grant Smith), check out available data/facts/stats, and they speak loud and clear.
    As for the lobby: If a single Saudi or Chinese or TUrk dares to declare absolute election powers over US…then, I’d say you were right. In fact, if a single Chinese leader, or a Muslim leader ever dare to say: you either do this for our nation (or us) or face losing elections to a US president/senator…we’d have a blood bath in this country. Then why is it that we sit back and tolerate a moronic filthy little CHIEF rabbi or related lobby doing it??!

    Here is what Jewish people who don’t agree with this CHIEF Rabbi should do: take away his position, write editorial/commentaries denouncing his words/action, and oppose what’s being done on belaf of, and in the name of, all Jewish people (including the good, solid, fair ones). It should be them, the Jewish people, who should be going after this filthy criminal Israel lobby, Ashkenazi CHIEF Rabbi, and alike. And, when they don’t, there shouldn’t be all that whining about people who do.

    So please, if you are Jewish, a fair minded person, go after these people (AIPAC, CHIEF Ashkenazi Rabbi…) in order to stop them from creating so much antisemitism; they are doing just that. Stop these filthy groups from giving all a bad name. Please do it, and I’d be the first to support and applaud you.

    PS- Phil Weiss at Mondiweiss is doing an examplry job, but then again, many Jewish people call him ‘SELF HATING JEW.’ So the label is either anti-semite, or self-hating jew.

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