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Israel Project Puts Another High-Powered Far-Right Republican Consultant On Payroll – OpEd

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Ralph Reed after signing his $140,000 contract to consult for The Israel Project

I reported here a few years ago about The Israel Project’s “Hasbara Handbook,” created for it by Republican master strategist, Frank Luntz.  He was paid handsomely for his work, earning over $200,000 from the group in 2009.  Apparently, TIP is strengthening its ties to the Republican far-right even farther.  Think Progress reports that Ralph Reed has a $140,000 contract to consult in the field of “political affairs” for TIP.  The author of the piece notes Reed has founded a new right-wing group, the Faith and Freedom Coalition, which hosted Likud ultra-hawk Danny Danon at its last convention, which was also attended by most of the Republican presidential candidates.

It would seem that Reed’s main purpose as a paid consultant is to deliver the Christian Zionist community to TIP’s doorstep. I should note that TIP is “bi-partisan” in that sense, as it also contracts with Democratic flacks like Lanny Davis who no doubt was paid handsomely to defend the Israeli killing machine (1,400 Gazan dead) during Operation Cast Lead.  Davis had the dubious distinction of accepting lucre from Laurent Bagbo, the butcher of Ivory Coast, who was recently overthrown in a peaceful coup by Alessane Ouatarra, who trounced him in the country’s most recent election.  Another Democratic pollster and consultant, Stanley Greenberg, is being paid $300,000 by TIP for “research.”

I’ve noted in the past that TIP’s director of global affairs, Laura Kamm is married to the former deputy of mission of Israel’s embassy in Washington DC (and current deputy director general of the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs under Danny Ayalon), Jeremy Issacharoff.  The web of influence between TIP and the Israeli government hasbara apparatus is seamless.

Further, another brilliant husband/wife duo affiliated with TIP are the Ledeens.  Barbara Ledeen is listed as TIP’s Iran “specialist.”  Expertise derived, no doubt from her husband, Michael Ledeen, who believes America should exercise its male dominance on the world stage by kicking around a few crappy little countries every couple of years to remind everyone who’s boss.

This article first appeared at Tikun Olam

Richard Silverstein

Richard Silverstein

Richard Silverstein is an author, journalist and blogger, with articles appearing in Haaretz, the Jewish Forward, Los Angeles Times, the Guardian’s Comment Is Free, Al Jazeera English, and Alternet. His work has also been in the Seattle Times, American Conservative Magazine, Beliefnet and Tikkun Magazine, where he is on the advisory board. Check out Silverstein's blog at Tikun Olam, one of the earliest liberal Jewish blogs, which he has maintained since February, 2003.

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