If Americans Knew Blog — August 28, 2018
New deputy chair of the Intelligence Advisory Board, which helps shape U.S. intelligence policy, is Samantha Ravich – an Israel advocate who previously worked for AIPAC spinoff WINEP, was a senior advisor to pro-Israel FDD, senior advisor to the Chertoff Group…
See video of her speech at Israel Bonds event, where she describes a cyber project that will combat BDS…
IAB chair is Stephen Feinberg, hedge fund billionaire and military contractor…
The Forward reports: “President Trump chose as the deputy chairwoman of the intelligence advisory board a Jewish national security expert who is well known in the pro-Israel national security community.
“Samantha Ravich was named to the board, which helps shape intelligence policy, on Tuesday.
“Ravich, a former deputy national security adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney, is a senior adviser to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, an influential hawkish pro-Israel think tank. She is also a senior adviser to the Chertoff Group, founded by Michael Chertoff, a Homeland Security secretary in the George W. Bush administration, and has worked with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. One of her specialities is combating extremists.
“She has also worked with the pro-Israel community helping to raise money for Israel Bonds.
“Ravich does not require confirmation.
“Also Tuesday, Jeffrey Gunter, a dermatologist from Los Angeles, was nominated as the ambassador to Iceland. Gunter, a board member of the Republican Jewish Coalition, must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.”
Ravich reveals cyber project to protect Israel
At a speech before the Israel Bonds Cleveland Women’s Division on June 21, 2017, Ravich described plans to create an Israel-U.S.-UK cooperative cyber project.
Ravich explained that this project would be used to address the many European nations that have been supporting the boycott movement against Israel. The boycott movement, known as BDS, is an attempt to use financial pressure to cause Israel to end its human rights abuses and violations of international law.
Ravich said that she had briefed the Senate about the cyber project, created by the Foundation for Democracies, and said: “we have been going back and forth to Israel and back and forth to the UK, kind of pushing this along.”
Ravich said they are calling it a “cooperative relationship,” rather than “an alliance because that gets people a little upset.”
The project would create a “cyber umbrella” that would provide mechanisms to protect countries from cyber threats. Ravich said that countries that want to “isolate Israel,” i.e. require it to adhere to international law, would be excluded.
Ravich explained that countries would be told they could “live under the cyber umbrella, which the United States, the UK, and Israel can help you provide, or you can agree to abide by the BDS movement. But you can’t have it both ways.”
She said that this was critically important and stated: “it’s a conversation, frankly, that I think groups like this, groups that are investors in Israel through Israel Bonds, can actually have a voice in saying.”
In her June 13, 2017 briefing to the Senate about the project, Ravich did not reveal the plan to use the cyber project to counter international efforts in support of Palestinian rights.
She did, however, recommend:
“I like the idea that there could be a very senior person in the White House driving this in the inner agency, interacting with the private sector, doing some things internationally. But it would have to be someone who has gravitas, has clout, and also who has the backing of the president.”
On June 27, the U.S. announced a partnership with Israel on cybersecurity. (More information here.)
At the Israel bonds luncheon where Ravich spoke, it was announced that $1.49 million had already been raised, halfway through its campaign. Ravich’s speech is below, and below that is information about the Intelligence Advisory Board and Chair Stephen Feinberg.