These folks are scary…
The Emergency Committee for Israel (ECI) released a new ad today suggesting that the U.S. should immediately bomb Iran. Among those behind the ECI and its ad are the same people who pushed the U.S. into the Iraq war. The ad from ECI, a group which aims to push pro-Israel voters away from President Obama and is headed up by Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, tells viewers in its new commercial that Obama is insufficiently committed to preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and concludes, “Now it’s time to act,” followed by an explosion. (source and video ad)
Information on the ECI (Emergency Committee for Israel) is pretty interesting..
The Emergency Committee for Israel (ECI) is a neoconservative pressure group that was launched in July 2010 to promote militarist, “pro-Israel” U.S. policies. A favored ECI tactic is publishing advertisements that attack politicians who question one-sided U.S. support for Israel. It also publishes open letters to political figures and hosts a website that provides information about political races and pushes aggressive U.S. military policies in the Midde East.
The group, whose campaign to push the United States into war with Iran was highlighted in a March 2012 New York Times article, claims on its website to be “committed to mounting an active defense of the U.S.-Israel relationship by educating the public about the positions of political candidates on this important issue, and by keeping the public informed of the latest developments in both countries.”
ECI’s agenda and modus operandi were on clear public display during the lead-up to the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in March 2012. On March 1, ECI ran a full-page ad in the New York Times accusing two liberal organizations—namely, the Center for American Progress and Media Matters—of being “anti-Israel,” highlighting the various Jewish foundations supporting the work of these groups. The ad urged Times readers to “call these foundations and ask them: Why are you funding bigotry and anti-Israel extremism?”
The ad, however, appeared to backfire when many of the people and organizations cited in the ad as critics of the liberal groups protested ECI’s decision to quote them out of context and without permission.
The NYT ad seems to have been part of what the New Yorker termed a “two-pronged maneuver … to intimidate critics of Netanyahu” and “to damage Obama.” The second prong in this effort was the launch of a 30-minute video titled “Daylight: The Story of Obama and Israel,” which attacked President Obama’s treatment of Israel. According to the New Yorker, the video—which showed the president interacting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas as well as with Turkish students, saying he wants “to make sure that we end before the call to prayer”—aimed to demonstrate that Obama “is biased against Israel and in favor of the Palestinians” and to insinuate that he may be Muslim.
Commenting on the ECI pressure campaign, the New Yorker opined: “The apparent ratcheting tactic failed, judging by President Obama’s speech on Sunday to AIPAC. He described the lengths to which he has gone to satisfy Israel’s needs and requests, as evidence of his unequivocal support, and also said that he would not tolerate a nuclear-armed Iran. But he insisted that he believes ‘an opportunity still remains for diplomacy,’ and made plain that he wouldn’t be pressured into military action at this time, saying that ‘as part of my solemn obligation to the American people, I will only use force when the time and circumstances demand it.’”
Unlike earlier neoconservative-led endeavors that reached out to hawkish elements in the Democratic Party—like the Project for the New American Century—ECI is a decidedly right-wing affair. ECI board members include William Kristol, editor and founder of the Weekly Standard and cofounder of the Foreign Policy Initiative; Rachel Abrams, wife of notorious Iran-Contra veteran Elliott Abrams; and Gary Bauer, a well-know Christian Zionist who leads the lobby groups American Values and Keep Israel Safe and serves on the executive board of John Hagee’s Christians United for Israel. (More Here)