- "All of these people [in the Israel Lobby] are pleading
a special interest. I am an American." -- President Harry S. Truman
- Grant F. Smith's latest book, "Foreign Agents: The
American Israel Public Affairs Committee From The 1963 Fulbright Hearings
to the 2005 Espionage Scandal," reveals the controversial history
of the influential lobbying organization, known as "AIPAC". It
comes on the heels of his insightful tome, "Deadly Dogma," an
expose' of the Neocons, where he evidenced their lethal scheme, which they
called "A Clean Break," to destabilize Iraq. (1) In this new
book, "Foreign Agents," Mr. Smith argues that AIPAC, a corporation,
should be required to register as a foreign agent for Israel. He accuses
it of morphing into a "secretive political intelligence-gathering
and covert operations powerhouse...and Israeli-controlled entity in America."
Naturally, AIPAC disagrees with him.
- Mr. Smith begins building his case against AIPAC by referring
to Capitol Hill hearings held by the Foreign Relations Committee of the
U.S. Senate. The probe, in 1963, was chaired by the late Democratic Senator
from Arkansas, James William Fulbright. He suspected that the precursor
to AIPAC, the American Zionist Council, (AZC), was given "seed money,"
via covert means, by "the Israeli government" to run a propaganda
front for it in the U.S. At the time, the CEO for AZC, "Si" Kenen,
(now deceased), was registered, (since 1948), with the U.S. Justice Department
and required by the "Foreign Agents Registration Act" (FARA)
to file reports disclosing fully his activities on behalf of Israel-based
entities. As the result of Fulbright's investigation, a supposed "conduit"
funding operation run by the AZC was "closed down." The AZC had
reportedly received "more than $5,000,000 from the 'Jewish Agency'
to create a favorable public opinion...for Israeli government policies."
Kenen stopped filing with FARA in 1971.
- Sen. Fulbright, however, paid a heavy price for challenging
the opaque operations of the alleged unregistered foreign lobby. He was
defeated in his bid for reelection in 1974, with the help of the Israel
Lobby. Can anyone imagine this mostly cowardly Congress of today checking
the reported excesses of AIPAC?
- Mr. Smith also details the testimony of some of the key
witnesses, who appeared before the Foreign Affairs Committee, and their
cross examination by Chairman Fulbright. It makes for fascinating reading.
A letter from the head of the Rabinowitz Foundation, one Victor Rabinowitz,
to Fulbright, dated July 29, 1963, is also illustrative. Rabinowitz conceded:
"I did not know at the time the 'Jewish Agency' was a representative
of the Israeli government...The [Rabinowitz] Foundation did not wish to
be 'a conduit of funds' from the Israeli government or the Jewish Agency."
Later, another witness disputed Rabinowitz's statement. This exchange about
potentially using "a conduit" to avoid FARA took place only nine
years after an Israeli terrorist attack on U.S. targets in Egypt, known
as the "Lavon Affair." (2) Mr. Smith connects that covert operation
directly to one of the putative architects of the U.S. Israel Lobby through
original research which this writer hasn't seen in any other book.
- One of the chapters in Mr. Smith's book focuses on alleged
"economic espionage" by Israel in this country. He claims it
has led to "major losses and problems for export-oriented industries."
Mr. Smith quotes Professors John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt to
reinforce his opinion. They wrote in their seminal critique of the Israel
Lobby, in March, 2006: "Israel has provided sensitive military technology
to potential rivals, like China, in what the State Department called 'a
systematic and growing pattern of unauthorized transfers.' According to
the General Accounting Office, Israel also conducts the most aggressive
espionage operations against the U.S. of any ally.' In addition to the
case of Jonathan Pollard, who gave Israel large quantities of classified
material in the early 1980s, a new controversy erupted in 2004, when it
was revealed that a key Pentagon official called Larry Franklin had passed
classified information to an Israeli diplomat. Israel's...willingness to
spy on its principal patron casts further doubt on its strategic value."
(3) Incidentally, Pollard, the most notorious of Israel's spies, got a
life sentence for his treachery.
- Mr. Smith cites a dated survey that indicated that about
"80 percent of the members of Congress now have former AIPAC interns
on their staffs." That survey was taken almost a decade ago. It was
mentioned in a 1998 presentation by Dr. John Duke Anthony, the head of
the National Council on U.S. Arab Relations, "NCUSAR," and spotlighted
in the prestigious "Washington Report on Middle East Affairs"
magazine. (4) It would be worth finding out AIPAC's true Capitol Hill penetration
today, but such relevant statistics are rarely, if ever, available for
a variety of reasons.
- Just to show you how much things have changed over the
years, in the early '50s, Israel received around $15 million in aid a year
from the U.S. Last year, it rang our bell for about $3.5 billion in freebies!
Recently, another outrage was reported. Israel will extract $30 billion
more in military aid from our treasury over the next ten years, while many
of our cities, and bridges, like the one that recently crashed in Minneapolis,
MN, are rusting away. (5) By the way, Mr. Smith hails from Minneapolis.
- In the realm of "Election Law Violations,"
Mr. Smith cites a number of cases where AIPAC-related operatives had allegedly
run afoul of election laws in pushing for their candidates to win and/or
looking to defeat candidates in the Congress who had dared to criticize
Israel's conduct. Two politicos who lost as the result of the putative
unsavory electoral tactics of pro-Israel types were ex-U.S. Sen. Chuck
Percy (R-IL) and ex-Rep. Paul Findley (R-IL). AIPAC's position was that
it wasn't "coordinating strategy" in any campaigns and had "no
consensus" on any political candidates. A secret AIPAC memo reprinted
in "Foreign Agents" reportedly shows that this was simply another
- The Larry Franklin case, mentioned above, is Mr. Smith's
main hammer against AIPAC. Franklin, who was working in the Pentagon, pleaded
guilty on Oct. 5, 2005, to passing "classified" and highly sensitive
documents to two officials of AIPAC, Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman.
The documents were then passed on to an Israeli diplomat. In other words,
Franklin was "spying" for Israel. He received a sentence of 12
years and 7 months. Rosen and Weissman were fired by AIPAC. However, AIPAC
was never indicted in the federal case. The duo, however, Rosen and Weissman,
have been charged with violating the 1917 Espionage Act. Their trial date
is set for Jan. 14, 2008. One commentator, Robert Dreyfuss, said it should
be called, "The AIPAC Case." He submitted that it was AIPAC,
who was originally under investigation by the FBI, dating back five years,
and that Franklin simply got caught up in its net. (6) Another analyst,
Justin Raimondo, a fierce critic of the cunning Neocons, suggested the
trial will throw light on how the U.S. was "lied" into the Iraqi
War by "a Fifth Column" of intriguers. (7) I wonder if Lewis
"Scooter" Libby's name will come up?
- Finally, the book, "Foreign Agents," is a searing
indictment of AIPAC in the Court of Public Opinion. It also exposes how
its tentacles influence the Mass Media. Marylanders now know, too, that
one of its U.S. Senators, Barbara Mikulski, receives "daily"
phone calls from AIPAC honchos, as she persists in voting to fund the unjust
and illegal Iraqi War. (8) Folks who wonder, too, why there has never been
a full Congressional hearing on the Israelis' vicious assault, in 1967,
on the USS Liberty, will have to look no further then this treatise. (9)
While, Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA) and Sen. Joe Lieberman (IND), two of AIPAC's
assets on Capitol Hill, are hawking for a U.S. led attack on Iran, the
U.S.-subsidized-Apartheid state of Israel is crushing the life out of the
Palestinians and making more enemies for us in the Islamic World. (10)
I submit that this book should be read by every American who cares about
the fate of the Republic.
- 1. http://www.irmep.org/dd.htm
- 2. http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/lavon.html
- 3. http://ksgnotes1.harvard.edu/Research/wpaper.nsf/rw
- 4. http://www.wrmea.com/backissues/0198/9801078.htm
- 5. http://wrmea.com/
- 6. http://www.tompaine.com/articles/2005/08/09/bigger_than_aipac.php
- 7. http://antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=7454
- 8. http://world.mediamonitors.net/content/view/full/42285
- 9. http://www.ussliberty.org/
- 10. http://www.pchrgaza.org/ and
- Jimmy Carter's "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid"
- ©2007, William Hughes.
- William Hughes is an author and video/print journalist.
His videos can be found at: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=liamh2.
- Email Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.