THE ISRAEL LOBBY ENTERS STATE GOVERNMENT

RISE OF THE VIRGINIA ISRAEL ADVISORY BOARD

By Grant F. Smith

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Introduction

We’re a state agency that is funded by the state, with a core mandate of bringing Israeli companies to Virginia. [1] VIAB Executive Director Dov Hoch addressing a 2019 Jewish Community Relations Council event.

Across America, state governments are becoming ever more intensely involved in crafting and passing laws designed to advance the interests of a foreign government. Resolutions affirming Israel’s “right to defend itself.” Executive orders, resolutions and laws outlawing or condemning the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Budget line items for government officials to embark on continual trade development missions to Israel.

Ask any legislator why and you’ll likely get an “intrinsic good” explanation. Advancing Israel is a vital U.S. national interest. So, shoveling hundreds of millions more Israel’s way from state coffers is also just the right thing to do.

At the federal level, Israel already receives more U.S. foreign (mostly military) aid, secret intelligence, loan guarantees, favorable taxation and diplomatic support than any foreign country. The explanations for this are similarly broad. “Israel is a vital ally of the United States.” First in the Cold War standoff with the Soviet Union. Now in the ongoing “War on Terror,” they say.

Yet in reality, federal support for Israel is more convincingly explained as the result of a vast network of coordinated political campaign contributions, propaganda and coercion many Americans now refer to simply as the “Israel lobby.” In my 2016 book, “Big Israel: How Israel’s Lobby Moves America,” I outlined how Zionism swept through establishment Jewish organizations from the late 19th century until support for Israel became the default stance of the “Israel advocacy ecosystem.”

With the support of foreign guidance[2] and startup funding, the lead lobbying organization today known as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) sits atop a $6 billion Israel affinity network that heavily—and as we and others argue, negatively—influences nearly every issue in Congress. AIPAC’s influence as a foreign interest lobby was made possible by the defeat of Kennedy administration Department of Justice and Senate Foreign Relations Committee investigations which I detailed my 2008 book “America’s Defense Line: The Justice Department’s Battle to Register the Israel Lobby as Agents of a Foreign Government.” As the book reveals, the world today would be very different if the laws of the land had been faithfully upheld in the 1960s. Instead, despite close ongoing coordination with Israel’s government, the Israel advocacy ecosystem is allowed to skirt the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

In Big Israel, I looked at how news reporting and media outlets critical of the pervasive “pro-Israel” stance of government and politicians are shut down by Israel lobby watchdog organizations. I explored how laws designed to protect the U.S. from foreign espionage, lobbying and meddling in elections have largely been transcended by the Israel affinity ecosystem. Politicians in every congressional and presidential race vie to “out-Israel” their rivals since no other option is possible in the current system. Russian and other state actor meddling in America pales in comparison to Israel’s.

The dominance of the Israel lobby leads to both catastrophic and merely highly negative outcomes for the United States. The most recent catastrophe is certainly the U.S. invasion of Iraq, which Israel lobbying organizations such as AIPAC lobbied for intensely, while simultaneously denying any role.[3]

But less costly and less visible examples abound. America’s worst bilateral trade deal was signed with Israel as I detailed in the 2009 book “Spy Trade: How Israel’s Lobby Undermines America’s Economy.” Even in 2019, by cumulative, inflation adjusted trade deficit, it is still the worst bilateral free trade agreement.[4] Ongoing pressure to maintain U.S. troops the Middle East, and in particular Iraq and Syria. The creation of an entirely new division of the U.S. Department of Treasury—the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (OTFI)—to promote Israeli interests through U.S. economic warfare which hurt the U.S. and global economy while ignoring Israeli support for arms trafficking, smuggling, corruption, illegal settlement finance and nuclear proliferation.

Is such a corrupt system entirely unbeatable? Of course not. During the Obama administration’s negotiations to pass the Iran nuclear deal, major establishment Israel affinity organizations[5] lobbied intensely to oppose passage of the agreement. Their propaganda organs, such as the Weekly Standard published endless diatribes to turn Americans against the deal. The Israeli government even spied on negotiations and leaked damaging information to allies in the U.S.

In the midst of the fight, IRmep (the nonprofit organization I founded and run) obtained tightly held U.S. government information about Israel’s nuclear weapons production infrastructure, including hydrogen bomb development. American government officials never talk about Israel’s nuclear weapons, and it took an expensive courtroom brawl for IRmep to obtain the Israeli file through the Freedom of Information Act.

The news media mostly shies away from reporting about Israel’s nukes, eager not to jeopardize dwindling advertising revenues. But they couldn’t ignore IRmep’s release of the damning U.S. Department of Defense report “Critical Technology Assessment in Israel and NATO Nations.”[6]

The Weekly Standard was the most upset. Long accustomed to having almost unchallenged authority to indicate the proper way forward for Middle East policy, the Weekly Standard accused the Obama administration of intentionally leaking the report to undermine Israeli opposition to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA.

In the end, the JCPOA was implemented, temporarily averting a U.S. war with Iran that Israel and many within the Israel affinity ecosystem were encouraging the Obama administration to launch. Later, the Weekly Standard folded, while IRmep continues.

I believe that exposure by IRmep of uncomfortable facts helped propel forward a deal that averted a war long promoted by the Israel lobby. IRmep continues to issue such facts, including accurate representative polls revealing that Americans aren’t quite so enamored of Israel or its lobby’s demands as the Israel affinity ecosystem says they are.

But, as is often the case, the Israel lobby inserted a poison pill into the JCPOA.  It had to be renewed and signed off by the president every six months. The lobby had already inserted another such poison pill in the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act, which mandated that the U.S. had to violate international law by moving its embassy to the contested city of Jerusalem. Up until 2017 Presidents faithfully signed waivers, citing U.S. national interests in not moving. But eventually, as the Israel lobby well knew, a president would arrive on the scene who would disregard U.S. interests and do its bidding.

That president is Donald J. Trump. Not only did he move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, he scuttled the JCPOA.  In doing so, Trump and the lobby have moved the U.S. a bit closer to yet another unnecessary war that could prove disastrous not only for the people of the region and United States, but the entire world.

On the bright side, there is growing debate taking place about the Israel lobby and much more popular awareness of its disastrous programs. The growth of social media and high quality alternative news outlets has helped. There is now even an annual conference at the National Press Club which, for seven years running, that makes a damage assessment and proposes actionable alternatives. The conference is nonpartisan and features a wide range of voices.[7]

And it is from this conference this small attempt to shine light on the harmful work of the Israel affinity ecosystem began. In 2019 in the final conference panel and at the end of the day, the Virginia Coalition for Human Rights made a stunning revelation. In the Commonwealth, local Jewish federations helped create, move to the legislature and now controlled an agency within state government called the Virginia Israel Advisory Board. VIAB uses state funding to raise the inflow of Israeli exports, launch Israeli companies (often in direct competition with innovative Virginia companies), and enrich its members. The federations are attempting to insert Israeli government propaganda into the curriculum in the K-12 system.

As is generally the case nationally, mainstream news organizations such as the Richmond-Times-Dispatch and local television networks report little to nothing about VIAB except what look like recycled news releases of its job creation claims. Like AIPAC, VIAB is extremely secretive, even giving code-names to its initiatives to avoid scrutiny.

However, unlike the American Israel Public Affairs Committee,  which considers secrecy essential to its success, VIAB has a large Achilles heel—the Virginia Freedom of Information Act. While AIPAC can lobby endlessly for disastrous policies like the Iraq invasion confident that the story won’t emerge until years later, and then only anecdotally—VIAB cannot. State agencies in Virginia respect and rigorously uphold the Virginia Freedom of Information Act. Unlike the federal Freedom of Information Act, the state VFOIA requires a response in only five, as opposed to 20 days. This makes collecting information about VIAB a relatively efficient effort.

Older, more established nodes of the Israel lobby are sometimes alarmed by VIAB’s audacity. In the midst of a 2018 VIAB driven reconstitution to relieve itself of oversight by the Office of the Governor (and slip the bonds of travel expense reimbursement rules), the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington warned, "the request to grant Virginia’s Israel development activities special status, status that no other economic development group enjoys, may draw negative attention to VIAB and result in VIAB’s dissolution and absorption into Virginia’s greater economic development activities."

For outsiders, the warning requires translation. VIAB’s right to secretly pursue Israeli economic interests in Virginia could have been diluted if not destroyed by forcing it to merge with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. VEDP works for the interests of residents of the entire state. It doesn’t secretly advance foreign country interests, and generally avoids duplication of effort. In short, stripping away all of the inherent characteristics that make VIAB a negative influence in Virginia would destroy it. There is no simple way to make VIAB serve the broader interests of Virginia, since its function is to increase Israel’s exports and enrich and empower the state Israel advocacy ecosystem.

But VIAB pressed ahead with a reconstitution despite the warning, revealing its true power.

The larger question is whether VIAB represents a new and dangerous stage of the Israel lobby’s spread throughout America. There are many front groups masquerading as not-for-profit chambers of commerce constantly pushing state and region-wide governments to act in Israel’s interest. But—so far—none have leveraged their power to create a new state agency. VIAB’s new executive director, Dov Hoch,  provides testimony that outside chambers of commerce simply cannot score the big wins a government agency like VIAB can.

The stakes are high. The Israel lobby wants to place limits on Americans’ right to free speech about the Israel Palestine situation. They want to entwine Israeli business interests deeply into every major economic activity of interest to Israeli corporations that they cannot be undone. They seek undue influence to tap vast, deep pools of funding within many states that are mostly unprotected from the onslaught. They wish to make state governments as compliant and obedient to their demands—however harmful—as members of Congress and the U.S. president now are to AIPAC demands.

Since VIAB is the vanguard of this damaging new development, I am focusing specifically on its operations in Virginia with a particular focus on new businesses. Using sources made available through VFOIA, including internal emails, grant and loan applications to major Virginia development funds, and legislative records, I have uncovered a pattern of self-dealing, corruption and foreign influence.

Revelation of these damning facts—if they become broadly known—could overturn the Israel lobby’s current drive to harness Virginia in service to Israel’s interests through control of a state agency. However, like the JCPOA, any victory would be only temporary. Another VIAB would be sure to pop up—mostly under the radar—in some other state or regional entity. The entities that created and provide board members to VIAB, have been active for decades and have access to vast and stable funding. So, this book explores with none of the usual qualifications, the interconnectivity between the Jewish establishment, Israel, campaign contributions and compares it with other state groups.

One reason this book even came into being is secrecy. Secrecy is the enemy of accountability and good governance. Government and business circles in the United States are rife with operatives and entities that cloak their activities and true motives in cascading veils of secrecy.

In the post-911 era, federal government secrecy has reached freakish new heights. Not only will federal government agencies generally refuse to search for responsive information sought under Freedom of Information Act. The Department of Justice, responding to one of my lawsuits, has told a judge, without batting an eyelid, that covering up illegal government wrongdoing via secrecy is permissible, legal and even justifiable.[8]

Government and for-profit corporations also hold the common belief than even the most mundane interaction amongst them automatically can generate exclusion from the public record as an interchange of trade secrets, which is therefore a defensible reason for withholding of information. This is not only operative at federal levels, but embedded in many state sunshine laws as well.

It therefore came as no particular surprise that Mel Chaskin, longtime Chairman of the Virginia Israel Advisory Board, refused to respond to my requests for information under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (VFOIA).

VIAB represented an irresistible subject for a VFOIA inquiry. Unlike the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, VIAB as a state agency is legally bound to respond to requests for documents. AIPAC’s secrecy is legendary. It doesn’t have to explain why it maintains an office in Israel or what ongoing coordination occurs between its lobbyists and Israeli government officials. But, theoretically anyway, if VIAB held a meeting with Israeli government officials, it would have to disclose minutes of the meeting.

In theory anyway.

As VIAB churned out report after report claiming stunning job creation and tax revenues from its Virginia projects, it seemed sensible to ask VIAB for the source of their claims. There was good reason to do so.

Before stepping down at the end of the McAuliffe administration in January of 2018, Virginia Secretary of Commerce Todd Patterson Haymore complained in a private email to other members of the governor’s office about VIAB’s job creation claims. "I can’t argue with the short annual report where they stated they helped create 127 jobs/$436k tax dollars; however, the annual report is likely the most inflated without merit that I’ve seen in my decade here."

Was VIAB simply pulling numbers out of the air? Or was there a sophisticated econometric model populated with real data and input from state tax and employment agencies driving their claims? On May 2, 2019 I sent Mel Chaskin, and Dov Hoch,  VIAB’s new executive director, a VFOIA request for “a copy of the econometric model substantiating VIAB’s quantitative public claims of jobs created, ROI and tax revenue generated for the Commonwealth of Virginia in 2018.”[9]

At the time VIAB didn’t have, as it was supposed to, any contact for VFOIA requests listed on its website. But Chaskin  was game and dubbed himself VIAB’s “FOIA disclosure officer” in his May 9, 2019 response.

At first, he was a bit testy, warning that any response was only warranted for “citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia, representatives of newspaper and magazines with circulation in the Commonwealth and representatives of radio and television stations broadcasting in or into the Commonwealth.” Then Chaskin, eased up a bit,

Even assuming, arguendo, [yes, he actually put that in italics] you were a citizen of the Commonwealth, please be advised that the Virginia Freedom of Information Act governs public access to information contained in existing documents. FOIA imposes no obligation on a public body to conduct legal or other research or to answer questions unrelated to or unsubstantiated by existing documentation or records maintained by that public body, nor does it require a public body to create a record if a record does not already exist. The VIAB has no existing documents responsive to your request.

So, VIAB’s chairman wasn’t going to substantiate VIAB’s economic claims. I decided to ask another tantalizing question about VIAB that went to the heart of its secrecy—the Israeli companies behind its many code-named projects.

Code named Israeli projects were irresistible targets, because they smacked of international clandestine operations. I once unexpectedly received a trove FBI documents via FOIA in 2012 linking Hollywood movie producer Arnon Milchan, convicted felon Richard Kelly Smyth, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to a smuggling ring that illegally spirited hundreds of nuclear weapons triggers out of the U.S.[10] The most surprising gem within the release was not that the FBI had read up on “Who’s Who in America” before deciding to steer entirely clear of Milchan. It also wasn’t that the U.S. news media never subsequently did a single story on Netanyahu’s personal involvement. That is not an unusual state of affairs in the mainstream media. I learned long ago that’s just not their beat. The amazing thing in the release of the formerly classified documents was the code name the international smuggling trio gave to their smuggling ring. Project Pinto!

For those too young to remember, the Ford Pinto was a subcompact car sold by Ford Motor Company between 1971 and 1980. They were stubby, under powered and innocuous. But if unexpectedly rear-ended, given its faulty fuel-tank design, the Pinto could explode into a ball of flame. Was Project Pinto an upgrade to Israel’s nuclear weapons that would automatically generate balls of fire if, say, the country was again surprised by unexpected military attack?

Krytrons are innocuous and hard to distinguish from harmless consumer electronic components. When Richard Kelly Smyth began shipping krytrons from Huntington Beach-based MILCO International on January 7, 1980 through the ring to their ultimate destination, the Israeli Ministry of Defense, he falsely claimed on export documentation that they were common vacuum tube “pentodes.” Krytrons, like pentodes, are also glass vacuum tubes. But wire together two, four, or more and you have the precisely timed detonating circuits needed to touch off a nuclear device. Project Pinto. Devilish brilliance!

But unlike the krytron smuggling network, VIAB was churning out code names in practically every other board meeting, all the while swearing attendees to secrecy. Project Turbine. Ballistic. Project Re-Cycle. Salty Fish Sea. Ecowave Power. Vegan Non-Meat producer and Packager. And the biggest, most secret of them all, “Project Jonah.” What was Jonah all about? As it turns out, it was about an Israeli company, AquaMaof, taking over the market share of an innovative, socially conscious homegrown Virginia producer. Project Jonah reveals just how much harm a rogue, secretive Israel export promotion board masquerading as a Virginia state agency can actually do.

However, it was necessary to dig deeper than VIAB’s already public board meeting minutes. That is because whenever an Israeli company name was about to pop out of obscurity, Chaskin , or some other board member quickly swept the room into a “closed session” that would not be documented in publicly releasable meeting minutes. VIAB is highly aware of, and seems opposed to, the Virginia Freedom of Information Act.

Nevertheless, on May 20, 2019 I sent Chaskin another VFOIA request. This time I included my press pass as a representative of the venerable Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, which publishes some of my reports. The pass was issued by its late founder Andy Kilgore. Chaskin’s second response was, if possible, even less friendly than his first.

Please be advised that, pursuant to Virginia Code Section 2.2-3705.6(3), public records containing [P]roprietary information, voluntarily provided by private business pursuant to a promise of confidentiality from a public body, used by the public body for business, trade, and tourism development or retention; and memoranda, working papers, or other information related to businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Virginia, prepared by a public body, where competition or bargaining is involved and where disclosure of such information would adversely affect the financial interest of the public body are excluded from the mandatory disclosure provisions of FOIA. The records you seek contain propriety information provided by private businesses to the VIAB pursuant to a promise of confidentiality and are used by the VIAB for business, trade, and tourism development and retention. As such, the requested records are exempt from the mandatory disclosure provisions of FOIA and will not be produced.

It was then and there that I decided four things. The first was not to ask VIAB for any more information about its operations in Virginia. After two attempts it seemed like an entirely fruitless endeavor.

The second was to publicly unmask as many Israeli companies behind VIAB’s code-named projects as possible. This book is the result. It was first intended to be a lengthy but manageable article for the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. But after a trip through Virginia, starting in Richmond, and close to 50 VFOIAs, the information quickly grew to book length as tantalizing information flooded in from multiple non-VIAB sources.

The third was realization that VIAB was probably not code-naming Israeli military contractors in its materials. Mel Chaskin is a Northern Virginia military contractor who has done extremely well for himself. Israeli military contractors are clearly a large part of the VIAB equation due to a “buy American” clauses in the latest 10-year foreign aid package to Israel. I therefore cover the uncomfortable background in a chapter that doesn’t do very much unmasking, since the masks were never laid on VIAB’s board room table.

However, one VIAB-backed project is publicly known. Oran Safety Glass, a military contractor that originated on a small Israeli kibbutz, has been a VIAB flagship. What has recently become public is that OSG’s military contracting fraud has endangered the massive state funds that have been invested in its formation and expansion in Emporia.

The fourth finding is that some code names are merely “multiple bites of the same apple.” That is to say, an Israeli company such as OSG that came in at VIAB’s invitation and hoovered up huge amounts of state resources and political capital from the Commonwealth. Liking how it tasted, the beneficial owners of the Israeli operations then circled back for more.

Fifth, I have added Sabra Dipping Company. Sabra charged into Virginia, scooped up state funds and has nearly wiped out the market share of a sympathetic, even symbolic American competitor in New England. But Sabra didn’t ever really need a code name. Rather, with large backers behind it such Israel’s Strauss Group and later PepsiCo, Sabra appeared to be able to pursue the traditional route of large Virginia entrants such as Amazon. Sabra ruthlessly pitted political jurisdictions against one another. It seized and toyed with them and squeezed them until the right mix of free money, tax holidays, and other concessions dribbled out of Sabra’s industrial-sized lemon juice extractor in sufficient quantities. So, Sabra may never have really needed VIAB’s “services” for market entry.

But VIAB needs Sabra’s services. It merely has to gesture toward Sabra’s massive Colonial Heights plant to make all of its blue-sky, secret projects bearing highly unlikely economic development forecasts seem plausible enough to gobble up more state resources and attention. One VIAB board member has even used a list of such secret projects to obtain relief on $210,000 he personally owed on a failed project. And the free money grabs have been so fast and furious that even Sabra’s holding company CEO wants in on smaller, high risk VIAB projects. Sabra itself is circling back for more state subsidies and VIAB is on record supporting those. So, I included a chapter on Sabra Dipping Company.

In retrospect, VIAB clearly didn’t invest very much effort in some of its code names. This is a bit of a letdown, but understandable. Israel is a small place. How many wave-powered energy generation companies can it have? Not many it turns out. Therefore, I wrote a chapter on Ecowave Power, the code name for Ecowave Power Ltd. Its unsatisfyingly short code name was unnecessarily revealing. As a public service to readers and listeners, I’ve deleted the chapter. But VIAB did try very hard to keep secret the Israeli companies behind other code named projects. The reasons only became clear after months of digging. It had nothing to do with the reasons Mel Chaskin wrote in his VFOIA response.

Some of the Israeli companies either now in or desperately trying to get into Virginia are doing business in illegal settlements or on lands unlawfully seized through warfare, or illegally seized from Palestinians, Druze and Syrians. However, even when a VIAB project leaves the secret startup phase and begins selling products and services, the secret shell company that shields ultimate beneficial owners in Israel seems like a giveaway.

That is the story of Sun Tribe Solar.

Some code name startups are teetering on the edge of bankruptcy in Israel, have no real comparative advantages or defensible patents, or are obviously stultifying unprepared to compete on a level playing field in Virginia or anywhere else in the United States.

Others have a value proposition or business model that seems just plain unviable, such as UBQ. UBQ will only survive if the entire public perception of the real issues in waste management are overturned in a flood of unjustifiable state funding.

Some reasons for VIABs secrecy were much closer to home. VIAB wanted to leverage long term relationships with local gatekeepers in order to tap huge vaults of taxpayer and other cash unique to Virginia. VIAB board members and contractors wanted to have a foot simultaneously on both sides of a deal, shepherding the project along from inside VIAB, while simultaneously occupying positions as equity stakeholders on corporate boards of directors of the U.S. subsidiaries of the very Israeli companies they were bringing into Virginia. In simpler words, board members at VIAB are engaged in blatant self-dealing.

That combined with VIAB’s uncanny access to local market intelligence, fellow Virginia state agencies, the governor’s office, legislature and capital, leverage these synergies into state-funding propelled comparative advantages that enable Israeli partner and VIAB board members to seize market share from Virginia-grown and American-grown companies.

This is cronyism, Teapot Dome recast with southern hospitality and charm.

VIAB’s attempted state-level economic and political takeovers also resemble AIPAC’s takeover of Congress, which though opposed by an array of seemingly unbeatable forces, ultimately prevailed. Back in the 1960s and 70s few watchdogs even perceived what was happening. Fewer still alerted the public. As Israel affinity groups in other states ponder whether to reconstitute their local groups into a VIAB-like government configurations, Americans who prefer to keep foreign export promotion boards and state government separate, their textbooks propaganda free, and their free speech rights intact—had better carefully consider the lessons that can be learned from this book for their own home state.

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[1] Dov Hoch, “What VIAB Does and How It Benefits Virginia,” speech at the Weinstein Jewish Community Center, Richmond, VA, April 4, 2019. Introduction and remarks by former president of the Jewish Federation of Richmond Nathan Shor

[2] A frank telling of David Ben Gurion’s efforts to set up a lobby and arms smuggling network in the U.S. is told in the 2019 book by Dennis Ross and David Makovsky “Be Strong and of Good Courage.”

[3] See Mearsheimer, John and Walt, Stephen, 2008, “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy” New York, Farrar, Straus and Giroux

[4] See the report, “U.S. Israel Free Trade Agreement Damage Assessment.” IRmep, June 20, 2019, https://IRmep.org/06202019_ILFTA.html

[5] Not-for-profit Israel Affinity Organizations (IAOs) are entities that prioritize support Israel in both common and unique ways. Together, they make up the Israel lobby. Even the smallest organizations engage in multiple tactics, from taking influential Americans on trips to Israel, reactive media pressure campaigns, hosting on-campus Israel advocacy programs, publishing advocacy literature and academic studies, to proactively placing editorials and op-eds in elite and hometown newspapers. They convene non-stop conferences and events aimed at shaping U.S. foreign policy. They also groom and advance advocates for service as political appointees in government. For a thorough examination see the author’s 2016 book “Big Israel: How Israel’s Lobby Moves America,” Washington, DC, Institute for Research, Middle Eastern Policy, Inc”

[6] To review briefs filed in the FOIA lawsuit and the report on Israel’s nuclear weapons production facilities, see, https://IRmep.org/CFP/DoD/

[7] The publisher of this book is an official conference co-organizer.

[8] See an IRmep lawsuit to compel the release of presidential memos promising not to enforce the Arms Export Control Act in response to Israel’s nuclear weapons program on the IRmep website at: https://IRmep.org/CFP/letters/default.asp

[9] VIAB claimed it had, “contributed to creating 177 new jobs last year, many in established companies that will continue to add jobs next year.” VIAB also claimed, “Israeli companies’ tax contribution to the Virginia Treasury exceeded 25 times VIAB’s budget in 2018, rendering a 550% ROI over the terms of the past four Governors.” Source Virginia Israel Advisory Board Annual Report FY 2018, page 3.

[10] See Grant F. Smith “How to Smuggle U.S. Nuclear Triggers to Israel – New DHS files raise questions about Arnon Milchan” Antiwar.com, May 11, 2017. https://original.antiwar.com/smith-grant/2017/05/10/how-to-smuggle-us-nuclear-triggers-to-israel/