“Pistachio Wars”: How the Resnicks’ Snack Food Fortune is Fueling the Assault on Iran

A highly original documentary project reveals how a couple of Beverly Hills billionaires “are willing to risk war in Iran and the Middle East — all in order to boost and protect their lucrative pistachio business.”

By Max Blumenthal

Three years ago, journalist Yasha Levine and filmmaker Rowan Wernham first arrived at the vast pistachio plantation of Stewart and Lynda Resnick in California’s parched Central Valley. There, they saw firsthand how a billionaire power couple had successfully manipulated the state’s political system to privatize its water supply for their own financial benefit.

Today, the Wonderful Company farm owned by the Resnicks soaks up more water than the entire city of Los Angeles. Their business was based on “a heist of epic proportions,” according to Levine, that “will put family farms out of business, and push life in the biggest river estuary on the west coast of America towards mass extinction.”

The story eventually took Levine and Wernham far beyond the parched Central Valley, and into the heart of America’s Israel lobby. It turned out that the Resnicks had been pumping their money into some of the most militantly pro-Israel think tanks in Washington, including the American Jewish Committee and the Washington Institute on Near East Policy (WINEP). Both of these outfits have lobbied heavily for sanctions on Iran and against the Iran nuclear deal. One WINEP executive, Pat Clawson, has even called on the US to stage a false flag attack that could trigger a war with Iran.

Levine and Wernham recognized that the Resnicks’ support for the Israel lobby was all about protecting their monopoly from a nation traditionally recognized as the producer of the world’s best pistachios. The billionaire nut barons were not only threatening the environment and livelihoods of their local competitors, they were bankrolling forces determined to take America to war against a rising Middle Eastern power. This is why the title of Levine and Wernham’s work in progress, “Pistachio Wars,” is so apt.

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Censored Documentary Exposes the Israeli Government’s Attack on Black Lives Matter

Exclusive footage from the censored Al Jazeera documentary, “The Lobby – USA,” shows Israeli government officials taking credit for attacks on Black Lives Matter and reveals an Israel lobbyist explaining how his organization shut down a BLM fundraiser

By Max Blumenthal

When the Movement for Black Lives released a platform in August 2016 that supported the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement and identified Israel as an apartheid state engaged in a project of genocide against Palestinians, the Israeli government snapped into action.

Previously unreleased footage from Al Jazeera’s censored investigative documentary, “The Lobby – USA,” shows Israeli diplomats complaining about the Black Lives Matter “problem” and boasting about their cultivation of established black civil rights activists as pro-Israel proxies.

The footage also reveals how the Israel lobby orchestrated the sudden cancellation of a Black Lives Matter fundraiser at a New York City nightclub.

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Leaked Scenes from Censored Documentary Reveal Israel Lobbyist Noah Pollak Astroturfing an Anti-Palestinian Protest

Exclusive leaked scenes from Al Jazeera’s “The Lobby – USA” documentary show how Emergency Committee for Israel Executive Director Noah Pollak and the Hoover Institution astroturfed an inflammatory protest against the 2016 Students for Justice in Palestine national conference.

By Max Blumenthal

The Grayzone Project has released scenes from an investigative Al Jazeera undercover documentary, “The Lobby – USA,” whose publication was blocked by the government of Qatar under Israel lobby pressure.

The footage reveals how Emergency Committee on Israel Executive Director Noah Pollak and the right-wing Hoover Institution organized an astroturfed a protest aimed at disrupting the 2016 Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) national conference.

According to one Hoover Institution campus fellow, “This is the first foot soldier activity that I think we’ve been forced to do.”

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Who’s Behind Canary Mission’s Anonymous Anti-Palestinian Blacklisting Website?

Canary Mission has exploited its anonymity to smear college students with impunity. The Grayzone is investigating the forces behind the malicious anti-Palestinian organization’s web domain.

By Hamzah Raza and Max Blumenthal

Editor’s note #1: An attorney for Howard David Sterling has asserted that Sterling “does not own the website” of CanaryMission.org, “did not engage in any of the conduct” committed by Canary Mission, and “had never even heard of that website until he was asked about it by a reporter earlier this year.” Sterling’s attorney stated, “GoDaddy specifically informed us that Howard Sterling is not and never has been the owner of that domain registration.”

Editor’s note #2: The Grayzone has continued to investigate the forces behind Canary Mission. We have obtained a bank statement recording a November 21, 2018 donation to CanaryMission.org that was accompanied by a cellphone number that was registered in Sterling’s name until at least March 15, 2015 — a month after the Canary Mission domain was registered.

Editor’s note #3: As Ali Abunimah and Asa Winstanley first reported, the censored Al Jazeera documentary, “The Lobby – USA” identified pro-Israel oligarch Adam Milstein as “Canary Mission funder.” 

Since it first registered its website in February 2015, Canary Mission has been a source of mystery and menace. Dedicated to blacklisting students involved in Palestine solidarity activism, intimidating them and denigrating their public reputations, Canary Mission’s administrators have gone to great lengths to conceal their identities. The secrecy has enabled them to target legally defenseless students – who are mostly members of minority and immigrant groups — with total impunity.

A document supplied to the Grayzone identifies the person who was at least the initial owner of Canary Mission’s domain name as a wealthy lawyer who has been a fervent supporter of Israel. According to document provided to the Grayzone, his name is Howard David Sterling.

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