Retired US Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson is no stranger to controversy, with a legacy of questionable statements on Israel and the US government.
In 2013 the former chief of staff for then-Secretary of State Colin Powell suggested that Israel was responsible for the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
In 2007 Wilkerson appeared in a Dutch documentary, claiming that American foreign policy was dominated by “the Jewish lobby”.
Despite his history of inflammatory rhetoric and frequent conspiracy theories, Wilkerson was tapped to serve as a military and foreign policy adviser for the Bernie Sanders campaign in 2015.
In the wake of yet another controversial interview, however, it appears that the Sanders campaign dropped Wilkerson, a point Wilkerson noted while speaking earlier this month to The Real News Network.
“The last time I spoke this way on your show, I compromised my ability to work for the Bernie Sanders Campaign. So now I’ve probably foreclosed my ability to work for anyone.”
True to form, the former Sanders adviser made yet another series of over-the-top claims during the interview, asserting among other things that Israel had “captured” the US government, a common claim employed by fringe elements and white supremacists.
“[T]he ultra-right wing of Israel has captured AIPAC, and AIPAC has captured the United States Congress. And to a certain extent the oval office as well.”
While Wilkerson dedicated much of his criticism to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, he also claimed that Zionism per se sought to dominate much of the Middle East, with designs on Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria.
"So the future for Israel, as contemplated by Netanyahu, is a greater Israel. Having secured the West Bank. Jerusalem as its capital, perhaps gotten Gaza back, parts of Lebanon, parts of Syria that’s now looking like it’s falling apart. And parts if not all of Jordan. This is Netanyahu’s ultimate goal. This is the Zionist ultimate goal. And so, that’s very dangerous because it’s not tenable. What you’re going to have is you’re going to have a one state solution. That state is going to be increasingly apartheid as the West Bank and Jerusalem are now."
Wilkerson frequently invoked comparisons to apartheid-ridden South Africa, and asserted that Israel was doomed to annihilation by either the international community or its Arab neighbors.
"And as Israel proper is becoming more and more alike, that state’s going to be apartheid, it’s going to be untenable, it’s going to be eliminated by the international community if not the 350 to 400 million people around it who are opposed to it."
Wilkerson went on to offer his views on internal Israeli politics, blaming Binyamin Netanyahu and the Likud party for the 1995 assassination of Yitzhak Rabin.
"The current ultra-right wing leadership in Israel under Bibi Netanyahu – to give a historical context – actually probably contributed to the tension and the incredible shift in political momentum in Israel that lead to the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. It’s not going too far to say that Netanyahu and his group created the circumstances that produced the assassin."
Prime Minister Rabin was assassinated in 1995 by Yigal Amir, an opponent of the nascent Oslo Accords unaffiliated with the Likud party.