By Aaron Klein
JERUSALEM – Is President Obama attempting to unseat Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and replace him with a leftist Israeli leader who largely tows the president’s Mideast line?
There are indications the so-called social protests rocking Israel were engineered for that very purpose.
According to an investigative report in Israel’s Maariv’s newspaper, the country’s protests were engineered by a group of media strategists directed by prominent Democratic strategist Stanley Greenberg, a former adviser to Bill Clinton, John Kerry and others.
Greenberg reportedly is working with Israeli strategists who were behind left-wing leader Ehud Barak’s successful race for prime minister in 1999. Greenberg himself helped to run Barak’s campaign.
Barak is currently the Defense Minister in a coalition government with Netanyahu.
Last week, KleinOnline reported Greenberg previously ran the campaign of Bolivia’s former president, who was ushered into office amid escalating social protests in that country.
After Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada took power in Bolivia, he quickly implemented an economic “shock therapy” crafted by Jeffrey Sachs, a Columbia University professor who sits on the board of an organization literally seeking to reorganize the entire global economic system.
That group is the Institute for New Economic Thinking, or INET.
Philanthropist George Soros is INET’s founding sponsor, with the billionaire having provided a reported $25 million over five years to support INET activities.
Now, a closer look at Greenberg’s previous work in Israel may betray his ultimate intentions with regard to the social protests here.
In 1999, after Netanyahu rebuffed President Clinton’s demands for the relinquishment of strategic territory, Clinton deployed Greenberg along with veteran Democratic image maker Robert Shrum and James Carville to run Barak’s campaign.
This followed the fall of Netanyahu’s governing coalition, an event precipitated behind the scenes by Clinton, according to numerous Netanyahu insiders speaking to KleinOnline.
Those insiders recounted how the Clinton White House convinced Netanyahu coalition partners to abandon Netanyahu’s government, thus promting new elections.
Barak, leader of the leftist Labor party, was the main challenger against Netanyahu.
Greenberg, Shrum and Carville went to work crafting an image of Netanyahu as spurning Israel’s relationships with the international community, particularly the U.S., while Barak was upheld as the clear candidate of choice for Clinton.
According to media reports, Greenberg flew into Israel routinely to craft Barak’s strategy and reportedly did most of the heavy lifting for Shrum and Carville.
After Barak successfully unseated Netanyahu, the new Israeli leader largely towed Clinton’s major Mideast policies.
Indeed, with Clinton, Barak offered PLO Leader Yasser Arafat a state in the eastern sections of Jerusalem, reportedly including the Temple Mount, as well as the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
After Arafat turned down Barak’s offer at Camp David in the summer of 2000, Barak made even further concessions while the Palestinian leader was busy starting his intifada, or terror war, against Israel.
Now, as protests reportedly engineered by Greenberg run amuck in Israel, Barak has been openly challenging Netanyahu’s policies at every turn.
Netanyahu has openly rejected Obama’s demands for a retreat from most of the West Bank, Jordan valley and eastern Jerusalem. The Israeli leader has been scornful of Obama’s unprecedented demand for a halt to Jewish construction in eastern Jerusalem.
Barak, meanwhile, has repeatedly attacked Netanyahu’s policies while aligning his own policies with those of Obama.
Just this week, Barak called for the immediate return to negotiations with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who has rejected talks and is instead seeking to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state at the United Nations next week.
This past weekend, Barak called for a special Knesset summit to debate what he called Israel’s “diplomatic isolation,” hinting Netanyahu is largely responsible for that isolation and not the recent Mideast revolutions that quickly ushered anti-Israel personalities to power.
In a report earlier this month, Haaretz columnist Akiva Eldar, a supporter of Obama’s Mideast agenda, wrote that since Netanyahu has refused many of Obama’s demands, the Obama administration has decided to take a page out of the Clinton guidebook and overthrow Netanyahu’s government.
Wrote Eldar, “When Clinton recently invited Kadima leader Tzipi Livni to a private meeting, this signified an unofficial announcement that Netanyahu’s account in Washington has been closed.”
“Twelve years ago, when Hillary Clinton’s husband realized that… [Netanyahu] had no intention of honoring his signature (on the Wye River Accord with Yasser Arafat), that was Netanyahu’s last stop before being sent back to his villa in Caesarea,” continued Eldar.
‘Our brand is crisis’
Two weeks ago saw the largest protests in Israel’s history. Four hundred thousand people hit the streets in cities across the country purportedly to protest against the rising cost of living while demanding sweeping economic reforms.
That massive protest was the culmination of weeks of similar social demonstrations and protest tent cities that organized in various Israeli municipalities, principally in Tel Aviv.
KleinOnline has reported how similar tent cities are being planned by a slew of U.S. radicals calling for a “Day of Rage” targeting Wall Street and U.S. capitalism.
Greenberg, the reported architect of the protests in Israel, founded the Democratic strategy firm Democracy Corps with Clinton advisers James Carville and Bob Shrum. Earlier, the trio ran a strategizing outfit called Greenberg Carville Shrum.
That firm in 2002 was behind a sophisticated campaign in Bolivia that helped de Lozada win his country’s elections amid ongoing social protests. It was the second time de Lozada served as Bolivia’s president.
In 1985, after de Lozada came to office the first time, he quickly implemented Sachs’ “shock therapy.” De Lozada attempted to engineer the restructuring of the Bolivian economy and the dismantling of the country’s state-capitalist model that had prevailed there since the 1952 Bolivian Revolution.
Sachs is a renowned international economist best known for his work as an economic adviser to governments in Latin America, Eastern Europe, and the former Soviet Union
His “shock therapy” calls for drastically cutting inflation by scrapping all subsidies, price controls, restrictions on exports, imports and private business activity. The scheme also calls for linking each restructured country’s economy with a more global currency.
Sachs’ remedy for Bolivia, however, had dire consequences.
The Sachs plan did beat the country’s inflation, but the price was continuing high unemployment, economic stagnation, labor revolt, a state of siege and a deepening involvement in the international drug market, reports noted.
To beat the hyperinflation under Sachs’ plan, Bolivia ensured a large number of workers were laid off while others’ salaries were slashed, leading to widespread worker strikes.
The Bolivian government imposed a state of siege in response to a wave of strikes.
Similar protests engulfed Bolivia when Greenberg’s firm helped to orchestrate de Lozada’s 2002 win. De Lozada had announced that he planned to once again implement Sachs’ “shock therapy” for Bolivia.
A 2005 documentary, entitled, “Our Brand is Crisis: Exporting neoliberal spin,” followed Greenberg’s and Carville’s electioneering in Bolivia on behalf of de Lozada.
The film noted Greenberg’s team saw no need to recraft de Lozada’s economic policy approach based on Sachs “shock therapy” plan.
De Lozada was victorious in the 2002 elections, but was run out of office one year later amid massive opposition to his economic policies. Protesters demanded a return to the capitalist system.
Bretton Woods and ‘shocking’ world economy
Sachs, meanwhile, sits on the board of the Soros-funded Institute for New Economic Thinking.
This past April, Sachs keynoted INET’s annual meeting, which took place in the mountains of Bretton Woods, N.H.
The gathering took place at Mount Washington Hotel, famous for hosting the original Bretton Woods economic agreements drafted in 1944. That conference’s goal was to rebuild a post-World War II international monetary system. The April gathering had a similar stated goal – a global economic restructuring.
A Business Insider report on last year’s event related, “George Soros has brought together a crack team of the world’s top economists and financial thinkers.”
“Its aim,” continued the business newspaper, “to remake the world’s economy as they see fit.”
More than two-thirds of the speakers at this year’s conference had direct ties to Soros.
Besides his role at INET, Sachs, a special adviser to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, is founder and co-president of the Soros-funded Millennium Promise Alliance, a nonprofit organization that says it is dedicated to ending extreme poverty and hunger.
With $50 million in capital from Soros, Millennium promotes a global economy while urging cooperation and investment from international banks and the United Nations Development Program.
The group helped to found the United Nations Millennium Development Goal, a move that was advanced by Sachs. He served as director from 2002 to 2006.
The U.N. Millennium Development Goal has demanded the imposition of international taxes as part of a stated effort of “eradicating extreme poverty, reducing child mortality rates, fighting disease epidemics such as AIDS, and developing a global partnership for development.”
Investor’s Business Daily reported the Millennium goal called for a “currency transfer tax,” a “tax on the rental value of land and natural resources,” a “royalty on worldwide fossil energy projection – oil, natural gas, coal,” “fees for the commercial use of the oceans, fees for airplane use of the skies, fees for use of the electromagnetic spectrum, fees on foreign exchange transactions, and a tax on the carbon content of fuels.”
Indeed, last September, a group of 60 nations, including France, Britain and Japan, propose at the U.N. summit on the Millennium Development Goals that a tax be introduced on international currency transactions to raise funds for development aid.
The proposed 0.005 percent tax on currency transactions would raise as much as $35 billion a year in development aid, claimed the proponents.
More Soros ties
Greenberg, meanwhile, also runs his own polling and strategy firm, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner.
A partner in the firm is Jeremy D. Rosner, who was special assistant to Clinton during his first term in office, serving as counselor and senior director for legislative affairs on the staff of the National Security Council.
Rosner’s current client list, according to Greenberg’s website, includes Soros’ Open Society Institute.
With additional research by Chris Elliott and Brenda J. Elliott.