A new senior Pentagon adviser repeatedly said that U.S. support for Israel was due to money from the “Israeli lobby” and accused prominent political figures, including U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, of getting “very, very rich” from their support for the Jewish state—echoing the anti-Semitic tropes of Israeli control of the U.S. government and Jewish money controlling politics and policy.
Retired U.S. Army Col. Douglas Macgregor, who became a senior adviser to acting U.S. Defense Secretary Christopher Miller last week, made the remarks in two media appearances in 2012 and 2019.
“You have to look at the people that donate to those individuals,” said Macgregor in a September 2019 interview when asked if then-U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) sought war with Iran. “Mr. Bolton has become very, very rich, and is in the position he’s in because of his unconditional support for the Israeli lobby. He is their man on the ground in the White House.”
“The same thing is largely true for Mr. Pompeo, he has aspirations to be president,” he added. “He has his hands out for money from the Israeli lobby, the Saudis and others.”
“I think the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and its subordinate elements or affiliated elements that represent enormous quantities of money that over many years have cultivated an enormous influence in power in Congress,” he said. “I think you’ve got a lot of people on the Hill who fall into two categories. One category that is interested in money and wants to be re-elected, and they don’t want to run the risk of the various lobbies that are pushing military action against Iran to contribute money to their opponents.”
In a tweet on Friday, AIPAC called Macgregor’s remarks “ill-informed and illegitimate.”
“We are proud that we are engaged in the democratic process to strengthen the U.S.-Israel relationship. Our bipartisan efforts are reflective of American values and interests. We will not be deterred in any way by ill-informed and illegitimate attacks on this important work,” tweeted AIPAC.
We are proud that we are engaged in the democratic process to strengthen the U.S.-Israel relationship. Our bipartisan efforts are reflective of American values and interests. We will not be deterred in any way by ill-informed and illegitimate attacks on this important work. https://t.co/E5JH9p2rp5
— AIPAC (@AIPAC) November 13, 2020
Macgregor did not respond to requests for comment from CNN, which first reported on Friday these past remarks.
Earlier this year, he was nominated as U.S. ambassador to Germany to succeed Richard Grenell, but his nomination stalled in the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee due to past controversial comments.