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The American Legions Leadership Allegiance to Israel
By Eileen Fleming and Ted Arens
EXCLUSIVE to The Arab Daily News
Allegiance is defined as loyalty or devotion to some person, group, cause, or the like.
The opposite of allegiance is understood as treason.
LIBERTY means Freedom!
Immediately following Israel’s attack on America’s premier spy ship as it navigated in International waters on 8 June 1967, the American Legion Membership passed a strong resolution on the incident.
Resolution #508 condemned Israeli actions as an “apparently deliberate attack.”
Resolution #508 called on the U.S. government to “conduct a complete and thorough investigation of this incident” and to demand full payment from the Israeli government for compensation to the families, crew, and to the United States for the damage to the ship.
“After the resolution was passed, there were complaints from the Jewish War Veterans of America and some Jewish members of the American Legion, and the resolution was allowed to die without action. The American Legion member who proposed the resolution stated later that the lack of follow through was due to pressure by pro-Israel organizations.”
Also in 1967, the Republican representative from Iowa, H.R. Gross stood up in the House and asked questions that still demand an answer today:
“Is this Government now, directly or indirectly, subsidizing Israel in the payment of full compensation for the lives that were destroyed, the suffering of the wounded, and the damage from this wanton attack? It can well be asked whether these Americans were the victims of bombs, machine gun bullets and torpedoes manufactured in the United States and dished out as military assistance under foreign aid.” [James Scott, The Untold Story of Israel’s Deadly 1967 Assault on a U.S. Spy Ship, Pages 271-272]
By November 1967, USA lawmakers were willing to spend six million tax dollars to build schools in Israel but during that debate, Representative Gross stood up again and spoke with the voice of conscience and introduced an amendment that “not one dollar of U.S. credit or aid of any kind [should] go to Israel until there is a firm settlement with regard to the attack and full reparations have been made [and Israel] provides full and complete reparations for the killing and wounding of more than 100 United States citizens in the wanton, unprovoked attack…I wonder how you would feel if you were the father of one of the boys who was killed in that connection-or perhaps you do not have any feelings with respect to these young men who were killed, wounded and maimed, or their families.” –[Scott, Pages 272-273]
Gross’s amendment failed, justice for the LIBERTY remains delayed and American tax payers continue to support the Ethnocracy of Israel:
On May 28, 1993 Ariel Sharon explained:
The terms ‘democracy’ or ‘democratic’ are totally absent from the Declaration of Independence. This is not an accident. The intention of Zionism was not to bring democracy, needless to say. It was solely motivated by the creation in Eretz-Isrel of a Jewish state belonging to all the Jewish people and to the Jewish people alone. This is why any Jew of the Diaspora has the right to immigrate to Israel and to become a citizen of Israel.
Professor Jeff Halper explained:
An ethnocracy is the opposite of a democracy, although it might incorporate some elements of democracy such as universal citizenship and elections. It arises when one particular group-the Jews in Israel, the Russians in Russia, the Protestants in pre-1972 Northern Ireland, the whites in apartheid South Africa, the Shi’ite Muslims in Iran, the Malay in Malaysia and, if they had their way, the white Christian fundamentalists in the US-seize control of the government and armed forces in order to enforce a regime of exclusive privilege over other groups in what is in fact a multi-ethnic or multi-religious society. Ethnocracy, or ethno-nationalism, privileges ethnos over demos, whereby one’s ethnic affiliation, be it defined by race, descent, religion, language or national origin, takes precedence over citizenship in determining to whom a county actually ‘belongs.’- “An Israeli in Palestine: Resisting Dispossession, Redeeming Israel” Page 74.
“Since the October War in 1973, Washington has provided Israel with a level of support dwarfing the amounts provided to any other state. It has been the largest annual recipient of direct U.S. economic and military assistance since 1976 and the largest total recipient since World War ll. Total direct U.S. aid to Israel amounts to well over $140 billion in 2003 dollars. Israel receives about $3 billion in direct foreign assistance each year, which is roughly one-fifth of America’s entire foreign aid budget. In per capita terms, the United States gives each Israeli a direct subsidy worth about $500 per year. This largesse is especially striking when one realizes that Israel is now a wealthy industrial state with a per capita income roughly equal to South Korea or Spain.”– John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt, “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy”
The USS LIBERTY had been valued at $40 million.
Twelve years after Israel’s attack on the LIBERTY, “a Senator announced that he intended to hold hearings on the matter. Israel quickly negotiated a settlement: Israel would pay $6 million for the ship; in exchange the U.S. dropped claims to $10 million worth of interest.”- John Borne, Dissenting History Page119.
In 1994 American Legion Members passed Resolution No. 205, which excluded the call for an investigation but “urge[d] the United States to formally and publicly recognize by time-honored tradition with customary style, honor, ceremony and publicity, the heroic actions of the officers and crew of the U.S.S. Liberty, her 34 killed in action, her 171 wounded and her decorated, including her Medal of Honor recipient, Captain William L. McGonagle.”
The American Legion Leadership responded by categorizing this resolution as “legislative”.
World-renowned journalist, Alison Weir grew up in a military family but knew nothing of the USS LIBERTY until she began investigating the Israel-Palestine conflict in 2000.
In 2002, Alison Weir, was present at the American Legion National Convention and witnessed most of what subsequently transpired…When the DC group introduced the resolution to the subcommittee, every American Legion delegate who addressed it spoke in favor of it. Delegate after delegate from diverse parts of America supported the resolution, and it was passed without objection.
The DC delegates were jubilant. When a resolution is passed at this level, they explained, it is virtually assured of adoption.
Typically, the resolution is then rubber-stamped by the next committee, and passed along to the general membership, which then normally passes all such committee-recommended resolutions by one simple voice vote.
This resolution, however, was to be different.
The next day, American Legion staff told the Convention Committee on Foreign Relations that there was no need for such a resolution since the Legion already had passed resolutions on the Liberty.
The staff and chair neglected to state that not a single resolution on the USS Liberty was live, and that therefore it was both necessary and appropriate to pass this one.
This communication succeeded in killing the resolution.
The main staff member for this committee had served in Israel; it is possible he is an Israeli citizen. The Committee chairman was Thomas Bock, of Colorado. Three years later Bock was American Legion National Commander.
In 2012, Ted Arens, a Michigan delegate to that years convention, submitted another LIBERTY resolution.
Arens reports that Onderdonk said: “The ship never should have been there, it was a spy ship” and Onderdonk called the Liberty survivors “anti-Semites.”
TRUE Antisemitism is a prejudice against or hostility towards the Jewish people and it is rooted in fear that breed’s hatred and it must be denounced and confronted; Speaking out against Government policies that collude in Injustice and Deceptions is what a citizen of Conscience will do!
Arens was not allowed to speak at the committee meeting, and the resolution was never placed before the convention.
On that very same day, Legion Staff also refused to allow Ernest Gallo and Glenn Oliphant, USS LIBERTY survivors who had traveled to the convention only to man a booth for the Liberty Veterans Association.
Glenn Oliphant, an ordained Methodist minister explained, “Within a few minutes [convention official] Andrea Watson… arrived with three security guards.”
Watson told the Liberty Veterans they did NOT have a booth, and a Security guard told the Vets they had to leave immediately.
Ted Arens Report begins on Thursday August 23, 2012:
I called Ernie trying to find out where he was. He told me that Glenn was arrested – I could not believe it. After finding out that the LVA was not on the list, they asked the clerk if they could check with someone so that they could pay the fee and acquire a booth. Glen came all the way from Minnesota and Ernie flew in from Florida. The clerk apparently called Watson (vendor booth organizer) and Ernie politely asked if they could pay the booth fee.
Watson’s retort did not include negotiations. She and her two security guards were to escort Glenn and Ernie off the premises immediately – they were told by force if necessary. While they were upset, they complied and started to walk to the exit.
In protest Glenn, who is a member of the AL, took out his membership card from his wallet and flicked it at Watson. The card fell into her blouse. Watson claims he touched her. The police report indicates no marks on her or abrasions. Who knows, maybe he brushed her as he flicked the card. If so it certainly was not intentional. Security called the police and told Glenn and Ernie they had to wait outside. While waiting Holmes came outside and immediately got in Glenn’s face and called him a coward and said that he would like to hit him in the face and kick his ass. Of course he is only about 25 years younger than Glenn.
Holmes was very provocative. The police arrested Glenn.
I found Dick Holmes and approached him with my Liberty cap on. He got right in my face provocatively and said “I am sick of you bastards and I am going to throw you out on your ass”.
I said “Hold on – I am a delegate from Michigan representing Legionnaires advocating my resolution; get out of my face”.
I walked away and we had some more words. I was angry and immediately walked over to Legion headquarters where I found Judge Advocate Phil Onderdonk.
I introduced myself and asked him what he knew.
He said that Glenn had grabbed Watson’s chest and that they were pressing assault charges.
I said these men have suffered a lot – give them a break.
The next words out of his mouth were unbelievable “The ship never should have been there, it was a spy ship”.
The ship was in international waters and the young crew obviously had no choice in the location, as they were following orders.
He also said “Your resolution is going nowhere”.
The FIX was in.
I always thought that the word judge implied impartiality and a person who would look at things fairly, but that was not the case.
It became very apparent that many phone calls had been made to the Michigan AL headquarters regarding the resolution before I ever got to Indianapolis.
Never mind that the entire resolution was approved at the State AL convention in Kalamazoo, MI.
Democracy does not exist if national headquarters does not want it.
You would think that the AL would realize that there is no greater gift one can give then to give his/her life for their country.
The executive leadership of the AL is so blinded by their own power trip that they no longer understand the sacred obligation they have in defending that gift.
Onderdonk and Holmes had absolutely zero sympathy for the crew of the Liberty.
The fact that the ship was a sitting duck, had over 3000 rounds of cannon fired at them, napalm and phosphorous and then a torpedo that blew men to hell and then purposely left abandoned for 18 hours (so it would sink) with 34 dead and 171 wounded and one doctor aboard – made no difference to Holmes and Onderdonk.
I wonder what kind of battles they were in – if any.
The USS Liberty is the most decorated ship in Naval history for a single engagement, or perhaps ever?
Strange, several years ago I was told that the ship was not even on the Navy’s Vessel Registration website.
It took a half year for me to get the Liberty back on the website – I had to shame the Navy into it. They have tried to cover it up for a long time.
The rest of the day was spent trying trying to get Glenn out of jail. Ernie and I asked to see the prosecuting attorney Allison Broviak. We pleaded with her to drop the charges and that the charges were bullshit. But she said she had no choice in the matter, spoke to Watson on the phone (I believe Watson is in on the fix) and charged Glenn with the lowest possible misdemeanor and a $150.00 bail.
The nice part of the jail stint was that everybody asked Glenn what this was about. Glenn is a very nice looking gentleman and neatly dressed.
The deputies looked things up on the internet and said this is bullshit.
Saturday August 25, 2012
In discussions with many Legion members they already told me that the fix was in before I ever went to the meeting – I would not be allowed to speak.
Lo and behold they were right.
I went to the committee meeting on foreign affairs and when the American resolution came up I raised my hands and said I wanted to speak.
They said I could not.
I said that I was a delegate from Michigan assigned to the foreign policy committee.
They said my name was not on the list even though Pat Lafferty and I personally went down, talked to Joe Sacci – went over to the secretary and saw her enter my name in the computer.
The judge advocate had the paperwork changed.
Gave a report to the Michigan delegation on Monday, and went home Tuesday disgusted!-Ted Arens, Post 10 Manistee, MI.
In 2014, there is not a single live American Legion resolution regarding the USS Liberty despite the fact that three resolutions on the Liberty have been passed by the general Membership and many American Legion posts around the country have attempted to introduce others.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Disabled American Vets, The Retired Officers Association, and other veterans’ groups have all placed wreaths on the Liberty graves at Arlington National Cemetery; the American Legion has not.
The VFW also has at least seven resolutions on its books calling for an investigation of the attack, the most recent passed in July 2013.
The American Legion has none.
Alison Weir has phoned and emailed American Legion Officials repeatedly with specific questions, but received few answers:
I asked one of the American Legion’s professional staff members about the inaccurate claims about the Liberty on the Legion website’s FAQ. It turned out the staff member was very familiar with the Liberty. He said he had previously researched it and agreed that there had not been an investigation. He said he would inform the Legion library that the FAQ needed to be corrected.
This correction was never implemented, however. When I followed up with the staff member, he referred me to Philip Onderdonk (the Legion official also mentioned above). Onderdonk, the staff member told me, was now in charge of handling my questions.
Onderdonk has been the American Legion’s top lawyer for the past thirty years. (His military service consisted of serving as a contracting officer for a few years.
I eventually reached Onderdonk, who brusquely told me I would receive an official statement from the PR department and hung up. When I called him back to ask when I would receive this, he said, ‘You’ll get it when you get it.’”
He then sputtered that I was part of an ‘anti-Israel’ organization and hung up again.
Alison Weir is also the president of the Council for the National Interest/CNI “seeks to encourage and promote a U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East that is consistent with American values, protects our national interests, and contributes to a just solution of the Arab-Israeli conflict. It is CNI’s goal to restore a political environment in America in which voters and their elected officials are free from the undue influence and pressure of foreign countries and their partisans.”
When the American Legion denied CNI a booth in 2012, Weir volunteered as a private citizen at the Liberty Veterans booth and was duly credentialed at the convention.
After Weir assisted at the booth for hours Legion Officials arrived and told her she was not allowed to be at the booth, despite her credentials, and that if she didn’t leave the convention immediately she would be arrested.
Weir left, but not before witnessing “enormous support for Liberty veterans among American Legion Members. Virtually every person who passed the booth turned out to be receptive and supportive. Some had known about the attack before and had been outraged ever since. Others had been unaware of it previously and were astounded at the cover-up. Many left the booth wearing USS Liberty buttons and promised to tell others about the incident.
“After I was forced to leave the booth, a Liberty veteran and his wife continued without me, handing out hundreds of brochures and buttons to Legion members. Both were thrilled at the deep support and sympathy of Legion Members from all over the U.S.”
In 2012 this reporter ran for US HOUSE, D. 5 Fl. but flew to Virginia in September to attend the 2012 LIBERTY Political Action Conference-specifically to ask ALL the politicians there if they would support establishing every June 8 as USS LIBERTY REMEMBRANCE DAY.
I paid an extra $300.00 for the opportunity to attend a private meeting with Senators Mike Lee [R-UT], Jim DeMint [R-SC] and Rand Paul [R-KY] which was witnessed by at least thirty others-and VIDEO Taped by the organizers
I asked the three Senators if they would support establishing every June 8th as USS LIBERTY REMEMBRANCE DAY.
Senator Lee maintained silence, Senator Paul gave me what I suppose was his ‘politically correct’ advice that I should not focus on old news and Senator DeMint admitted he was stumped and couldn’t respond.
As of this writing NOT ONE of those politicians has uttered a single public word about the USS LIBERTY and with Rand Paul running for President we ALL need to get in his face-and every Candidates face for LIBERTY!
PLEASE sign and share these 2 Petitions:
Final words from Ted Arens:
I want the American Legion to fight for the rights of the USS Liberty veterans!
The American Legion is a patriotic organization for veterans but they have refused to fight for the constitutional rights of the USS Liberty veterans- the very thing they served to protect and died for!
I am going to the Michigan convention on June 26…
THIS STORY WILL CONTINUE THEN!
Eileen Fleming founded WeAreWideAwake.org in response to her first of 8 trips to both sides of The Wall in 2005. Eileen is the Administrator for FREE VANUNU and TNT/Telling Nuclear Truths. Contact her at eileenfleming.org Follow her at TWITTER
This post has been viewed 7793 times.
Producer "30 Minutes with Vanunu" who founded WeAreWideAwake.org in response to her first of 8 trips to both sides of The Wall in Palestine Israel.
In 2012, Eileen ran for US House of Representatives District 5, in Fl.
Read her FREE eBooks and more at:http://www.eileenfleming.org/
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