Pro-Israel Lobby Group’s Iran Petition Features Lots of Questionable Names

By
Friday, December 11, 2009 at 2:33 pm

Earlier today, the Israel Project — a pro-Israel organization that endorses tough measures against Iran’s nuclear program — sent out a release announcing substantial support for placing sanctions on Iran. A petition issued by the Israel Project to be sent to “every ambassador to the U.S., all UN member states, the president of the World Bank, human rights leaders, governors, members of Congress and the Pope” urged “severe sanctions as a means to convince Iran to stop its nuclear program.” And that petition had attracted a deep reservoir of support — 90,000 signatories, the group announced:

Our petition now has more than 90,000 supporters, which you can see by clicking here and here. We are asking you again, before it is too late, to do all you can to stop this imminent threat and avoid war.

But clicking through that link to take a closer look at those signatories raises substantial questions about their authenticity. For instance, signatories 84,854 through 85,071 are all named “Vince Vince” — although the Israel Project claims that all those different Vince Vinces are from different states. Well, sort of. Some of them are from states listed by recognizable acronyms like MN or AZ or PA. Others, however, are from the great states of GU and AA and XX.

VinceVince

Click to enlarge

Nor does the curious reader even have to examine the list that far down. Signatory number five is listed as Comfylovely ……. — and no, those aren’t ellipses I’ve placed in for dramatic effect; that’s Comfylovely’s listed last name — from the proud city of Davao in the historic state of XX.

Comfy

That’s not even the most disturbing part of the signatories. The Israel Project lists the following as enthusiastic supporters of sanctioning Iran: Viagra Kaufen Viagra Kaufen, London, N.Y. (signatory #84,570); Porn Sex Video from London, N.Y. (signatory #62,751-62,756); Stupidwhiteman V, who declined to list an address (signatory #83,780); and Xbox 360 accessories — that’s a first and last name — from New York, N.Y. (signatory #90,046).

Porn

When I called Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, the Israel Project’s founder and president, she told me that the group “emailed people who support our issues” and asked them to sign; those people then recruited contacts and colleagues to do the same. Asked if the Project took any measures to verify that the names on the petition were genuine, Mizrahi replied, “They’re activists and they go through a secure thing. We have 140,000 activists who work with us, so yes. A lot of them have similar names, because they’re related.”

But when I read Mizrahi some of the dirtier signatories listed on her petition, she replied, “Oh yuck,” and said, “I didn’t personally go through all of them, but they go through the system, so if they got in like that with that kind of email name, that’s pretty horrible.” She elaborated, “It’s not like we called every person and verified ‘are you the person.’ But we emailed it through our usual activists.” Asked what this suggests about the Israel Project’s vetting procedures, she replied, “It suggests this is America and that in any country, there are always some people who are inappropriate.”

Mizrahi subsequently emailed and called me to say that the Israel Project “accidentally posted the wrong file” and is in the process of replacing it with the correct one. A bright spot for the organization? Mizrahi added that the petition itself has yet to be physically released to elected officials and religious leaders — the press release announcing the petition’s large volume of signatories was sent first. She thanked TWI for alerting her to the error.

Rachel Rose Hartman and Hannah Dreier provided research assistance for this post.

Follow Spencer Ackerman on Twitter


Comments

26 Comments

uberVU - social comments
Trackback posted December 11, 2009 @ 2:48 pm

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This post was mentioned on Twitter by TWI_news: Hawkish Pro-Israel Lobby Group’s Iran Petition Features Lots of Questionable Names http://bit.ly/8J1eGl...


Matthew Yglesias » “Vince Vince” Wants Sanctions on Iran
Pingback posted December 11, 2009 @ 2:52 pm

[...] a petition urging congress to impose stiff sanctions on Iran. Only problem is their petition is full of fake names. For example, they’re listing over 220 different people named “Vince Vince” some [...]


james167
Comment posted December 11, 2009 @ 3:00 pm

This is a non-news story about a non-news story. Must be a slow news day for the Washington Independent


hass
Comment posted December 11, 2009 @ 3:38 pm

The Israel project has been lobbying for WAR on Iran in the past. Today, to them, “sanctions” are just an incremental step towads that goal. Just read this
http://uscatholic.org/culture/war-and-peace/200…

“These regular mailings from the Israel Project to “opinion agents” such as yours truly are, in effect, a public relations campaign for war. The monthly missives I receive from this one pro-Israel lobby are a small part of a broader effort to “secure the information stream” and prep Americans for the next exotic stop in the war on terror: sunny Iran.”


Israel Project caught faking thousands of names on Iran petition | Jewschool
Pingback posted December 11, 2009 @ 3:46 pm

[...] different states and a few that don’t exist. Spencer Ackerman at the Washington Independent breaks the story. The Israel Project’s founder and director, Jennifer Lazlo Mizrahi, claims they uploaded the [...]


catclub
Comment posted December 11, 2009 @ 3:56 pm

If the wrong file was put there, the CORRECT file should be instantly available. I'm guessing it is not.


Name
Comment posted December 11, 2009 @ 4:33 pm

smells like another ACORN conspiracy…


thetruthseeker2k
Comment posted December 11, 2009 @ 6:01 pm

jews/israel=behind all world wars and genocide.


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Pingback posted December 11, 2009 @ 6:25 pm

[...] Project Inflating its Numbers? December 11, 2009 Ben Leave a comment Go to comments The Washington Independent reports today that a pro-Israel group may have inflated its numbers to show overwhelming support [...]


abebird
Comment posted December 12, 2009 @ 2:47 am

What makes you so astonished? When people as you sign the petition it seems as so funny as it is. The majority of human kind wants to destruct the newly Iranian nuclear armament and so should be done. In the mean time you and other Muslims are invited to sign with your phony signatures.


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Pingback posted December 12, 2009 @ 10:20 am

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ilonaisrael
Comment posted December 12, 2009 @ 11:29 am

she had no choice but to thank TWI for alerting her to the error. This story does not look good or clear, probably most of such signatures were simply fake. Such signatures as Porn from London makes this sound very suspicious. I am sorry for miss Mizrahi.


hass
Comment posted December 12, 2009 @ 8:04 pm

Oh I see it it the “muslims” fault . . .


artin
Comment posted December 13, 2009 @ 8:36 am

Islamic Republic of Iran is a nuclear nation now , as any other nuclear country in the world . Why the Israeli Lobbys all over the world faking this petition . The Israeli NUKs arsinal must be under the international controll now , cause Israeli is military establishment of fanatic criminal of wars generals , and the israeli zionist rightes government is working for peace , it is threatening the world peace and humanity .


SqueakyRat
Comment posted December 13, 2009 @ 2:15 pm

Quite so. That the corrupt rightwing “pro-Israel” fascists are riddled with stinking liars is no news at all.


cinesimon
Comment posted December 14, 2009 @ 2:56 am

The names are like that because it seems quite a few of the signatures, like many right wing causes, were procured via internet 'sign-through' techniques: a way for people online to gain access to services(free video, a game or whatever) without having to use a crdit card. They give their time and a fake name instead, resulting in them magically supporting causes they aren't even tinking about. It's rather obvious tis is hoiw many right wing organisations procure their “grass roots” support: basically via click-through spam.
That is how dishonest and lazy they are.


cinesimon
Comment posted December 14, 2009 @ 3:02 am

And remember, to bigots like the above: if you don't support killing every single Muslim, then you are one yourself.
This is how childish and brainless they are.


cinesimon
Comment posted December 14, 2009 @ 3:11 am

I take it, Abe, that you're willing to kill every one of those involved in the 'green revolution' because despite the fact that they hate the Iranian dictatorship, they were born as Muslims and therefore must die under blitzkreig of Israeli/US bombs?
Basically like so many neo-naziright wingers, you want to extrerminate all Muslims?
Because they were born as Muslims?
Because they happen to have been born in Iran or Iraq or Saudi Arabia, or Malaysia, or anywhere Muslims are dense in population, they all deserve to be bombed to death, then your fantasy stormtroopers will root out the rest from our white chrsitian nations, with you cheering “the whole world wants this! KILL THE MUSLIMS!
You sad little neo-nazi. No, kiddo, most people in the world DO NOT want Iran destroyed, kiddo. Nort do they want Muslims klilled just because they are Muslims.
That's a right wing fantasy you might want to keep under your bedsheets, for your own sexual pleasure.


Jaffsassani
Comment posted December 16, 2009 @ 3:02 pm

Barzani and Talabani betrayal of Kurd for Turkey are against Kurdish and Iranian interest

Masoud Barzani and Jalal Talabani are doing anything to stay in power in KRG area. They are in alliance with Turkey and Iran in the same time they are hoping that the USA, EU and Israel will go to war against Islamic Republic of Iran. They are feeling uneasy with growing popularities of PKK in Kurdistan. They see their own end with the popularity of PKK in Kurdistan.

Masoud Barzani and Jalal Talabani are not popular in the region because of their own corruptions. They are going to hurt the USA interest among the Kurdish people. The US Governments are dealing with Chinese why not dealing with PKK to solve the Kurdish problem with Turkey. PKK are clamming to not be communist any more. They are clamming to be democrat and believe in elections. The USA interests are best served in peace in Turkey than internal war in Iraq, Iran and Turkey.

Masoud Barzani and Jalal Talabani are not good allies for the USA. They are the symbol of hatred in Kurdistan and region. The USA interests are best served to support rule of laws in Iraq, Turkey and Iran.

Iran is helping internal wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. They are going to help internal wars in Turkey when USA and Turkey get used by Masoud Barzani and Jalal Talabani in case of war against Kurds in Turkey. Iran is helping to destabilize the region to keep the USA in defensive always.

In case of full scale wars between Kurds and Turk of Turkey the USA interest will be hurt. Turkey won’t be able to help the USA in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The wider wars in the regions are not going to serve the USA interest. The peace between Turks and Kurds in Turkey based on rule of laws is helping the USA interest. The US Governments should help Kurdish people to achieve its right in Kirkuk and mark the border line between Arab and Kurds based on historical document. The US Governments should help Kurdish people free elections to get ready of corrupt Barzani and Talabani instead of supporting their dictatorship in KRG.

The Kurdish people are friend of the USA people. They are expecting fare treatment by USA instead of helping Turks and Arabs for their eliminations.
The best solutions for the region are helping people to build an Economic Union similar to the EU. The Economic Union should offer each sub-nation to have independent within the Economic Union from Pakistan to Turkey and from Kurdistan to former Soviet Union countries.

This Economic Union will help the USA, EU, Israel and Russian interest. The peaceful region will defeat extremist like Islamic Republic of Iran and Islamic terrorist organizations. The US Governments are wasting lot of resources and live of American people without achieving anything for American people. The movement by President Obama will give the USA defeat like the defeat of Vietnam. Corrupt people like Barzani, Karzai, Talabani and Zardari are recipe for the USA failed policy in the region.

Sincerely,

SKDC


Jaffsassani
Comment posted December 16, 2009 @ 8:02 pm

Barzani and Talabani betrayal of Kurd for Turkey are against Kurdish and Iranian interest

Masoud Barzani and Jalal Talabani are doing anything to stay in power in KRG area. They are in alliance with Turkey and Iran in the same time they are hoping that the USA, EU and Israel will go to war against Islamic Republic of Iran. They are feeling uneasy with growing popularities of PKK in Kurdistan. They see their own end with the popularity of PKK in Kurdistan.

Masoud Barzani and Jalal Talabani are not popular in the region because of their own corruptions. They are going to hurt the USA interest among the Kurdish people. The US Governments are dealing with Chinese why not dealing with PKK to solve the Kurdish problem with Turkey. PKK are clamming to not be communist any more. They are clamming to be democrat and believe in elections. The USA interests are best served in peace in Turkey than internal war in Iraq, Iran and Turkey.

Masoud Barzani and Jalal Talabani are not good allies for the USA. They are the symbol of hatred in Kurdistan and region. The USA interests are best served to support rule of laws in Iraq, Turkey and Iran.

Iran is helping internal wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. They are going to help internal wars in Turkey when USA and Turkey get used by Masoud Barzani and Jalal Talabani in case of war against Kurds in Turkey. Iran is helping to destabilize the region to keep the USA in defensive always.

In case of full scale wars between Kurds and Turk of Turkey the USA interest will be hurt. Turkey won’t be able to help the USA in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The wider wars in the regions are not going to serve the USA interest. The peace between Turks and Kurds in Turkey based on rule of laws is helping the USA interest. The US Governments should help Kurdish people to achieve its right in Kirkuk and mark the border line between Arab and Kurds based on historical document. The US Governments should help Kurdish people free elections to get ready of corrupt Barzani and Talabani instead of supporting their dictatorship in KRG.

The Kurdish people are friend of the USA people. They are expecting fare treatment by USA instead of helping Turks and Arabs for their eliminations.
The best solutions for the region are helping people to build an Economic Union similar to the EU. The Economic Union should offer each sub-nation to have independent within the Economic Union from Pakistan to Turkey and from Kurdistan to former Soviet Union countries.

This Economic Union will help the USA, EU, Israel and Russian interest. The peaceful region will defeat extremist like Islamic Republic of Iran and Islamic terrorist organizations. The US Governments are wasting lot of resources and live of American people without achieving anything for American people. The movement by President Obama will give the USA defeat like the defeat of Vietnam. Corrupt people like Barzani, Karzai, Talabani and Zardari are recipe for the USA failed policy in the region.

Sincerely,

SKDC


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