The Jewish Lobby and its Influences
These excerpts are compiled from the following books:
The Fatal Embrace
Jewish History, Jewish Religion
They Dare to Speak Out
The Fateful Triangle
The Zionist Connection
The Jewish Lobby and Its Influence
The Fatal Embrace
Author: Benjamin Ginsberg ©1993 Publisher: University of Chicago Press ISBN No. 0-226-29665-2
Jews are even more prominent in political organizations and in finance. One recent study found that in twenty-seven of thirty-six campaigns for the United States Senate, one or both candidates relied upon a Jewish campaign chairman or finance director. In the realm of lobbying and litigation, Jews organized what was for many years one of Washington’s most successful political action committees, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), and they play leadership roles in such important public interest groups as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Common Cause. Several Jews also played very important roles in the 1992 Democratic presidential campaign. After the Democrats’ victory, Presdient Clinton appointed a number of Jews to prominent positions in the administration.
Jewish History, Jewish Religion: the weight of 3,000 years
Author: Israel Shahak ©1994 Publisher: Pluto Press ISBN No. 0-7453-0818-X
Page (Foreword by Gore Vidal) In a sense, I rather admire the way that the Israel lobby has gone about its business of seeing that billions of dollars, year after year, go to make Israel a “bulwark against communism.” Actually, neither the USSR nor communism was ever much of a presence in the region. What America did manage to do was to turn the once friendly Arab world against us.
Jewish Power - Inside the American Jewish Establishment
Author: Johnathan Jeremy Goldberg ©1996 Publisher: Addison Wesley ISBN No. 0-201-62242-4
The Presidents Conference was created by its members in the mid-1950s to express American Jewry’s “consensus support for Israel.” Together with its sister organization, the Washington-based American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) — the famed “Israeli lobby” — it could pack a considerable punch when it chose to. But while AIPAC is a registered lobbying organization with a reputation for scrappiness, the Presidents Conference traditionally has tried to avoid confrontation.
Page 4, 5
As for concrete evidence of the Jewish community’s clout, it is not hard to find. There is, to begin with, the $3 billion foreign-aid package sent each year to Israel. Fully one fifth of America’s foreign aid has gone to a nation of barely 5 million souls, one tenth of 1 percent of the world’s population. Analysts commonly credited this imbalance to the power of the Jewish lobby.
But the unit walks a delicate line between its status as a government agency enforcing U.S. law and its unspoken mission to avenge Jewish suffering. the OSI was born as a result of years of Jewish political pressure. Two of its directors have been Jews: Neal Sher, who headed the unit from 1983 until he left to run AIPAC in 1994, and his successor, Eli Rosenbaum. Rosenbaum joined the OSI as a law intern in 1979 and spent his entire professional career there, except for one year in private practice and three years as general counsel of the World Jewish Congress.
Page 213, 214
The Reagan administration’s first contact with the Jewish lobby was the AWACS battle of 1981. The administration drew two lessons from the experience. One was that Jewish lobbyists could be a formidable opponent. the second was that they could be an equally formidable friend. Starting just days after the Senate vote on AWACS, administration officials began seeking out AIPAC officials and inviting them to join in the planning of government policy.
In part this was just smart politics. Involving AIPAC in shaping policy helped ensure that the lobby would not oppose policy later on.
Besides, AIPAC could be a useful ally. Given its awesome reputation among the lawmakers on Capitol Hill as the political voice of organized Jewry, and particularly given its close ties to the Democrats, the lobby could often sell administration policies that the White House itself could not sell. AIPAC was regularly enlisted to line up congressional support for the overall foreign aid package, an unpopular program with little grass-roots backing outside the Jewish community. Even as hostile an observer as Paul Findley concedes that foreign aid “might have difficulty surviving at all” if not for AIPAC. In February 1983, AIPAC director Tom Dine was the only professional lobbyist named to a blue-ribbon citizens’ commission assembled by Secretary of State George Schulz to review the U.S. foreign aid program. The following October, President Reagan personally enlisted AIPAC’s help to fight a congressional resolution that would have forced him to pull marines out of Beirut. The president won that one, after a handful of senators were turned around by AIPAC lobbyists
Through the 1980s, AIPAC lobbyists regularly helped the Reagan administration line up Democratic congressional support on unlikely issues from Central America to sub-Saharan Africa. The lobbyists told the liberals that Israel needed its friends to compromise on other issues in order to maintain solid American support for Israel. Besides, the lobbyists argued, a strong U.S. defense posture was good for Israel, since a weakened America could not defend its small allies. Liberals grumbled, but they went along often enough to make a difference.
In return, the Reagan administration set about making itself into the most pro-Israel administration in history. In the fall of 1981, Israel was permitted for the first time to sign a formal military pact with Washington, becoming a partner, not a stepchild, of American policy. Israel and America embarked on a series of joint adventures, both overt and covert: aiding the Nicaraguan contras, training security forces in Zaire, sending arms secretly to Iran. Cooperation in weapons development, sharing of technology, and information and intelligence reached unprecedented proportions. Israel’s annual U.S. aid package, already higher than any other country’s, was edged ever higher. Loans were made into grants. Supplemental grants were added.
The Lobby: jewish political power and american foreign policy
Author: Edward Tivnan ©1987 Publisher: Simon & Schuster ISBN No. 0-671-66828-5 Pbk.
In 1951, Kenen switched from his diplomatic post to the American Zionist Council to begin an intense lobbying effort for American aid to the troubled Israeli economy. Working closely with Manhattan’s Jacob Javits and Brooklyn congressman Emanuel Celler in the House and Robert Taft, Paul Douglas, and Hubert Humphrey in the Senate, Kenen managed to secure $65 million in economic assistance for Israel in 1951 and another $73 million in 1952.
39 -- American Zionist Council of Public Affairs Formed
Nineteen fifty-four became the year of the pro-Israel Lobby. The American Zionist Council of Public Affairs was formed with an annual budget of $50,000. In 1954, Israel needed all the lobbying help it could get to counter the growing annoyance toward the new state in the Eisenhower Administration. The opposition was bound to increase. One of the reasons the Middle East experts at State were eager to brand Kenen a “foreign agent” was that with his band of friends and influential contacts in Congress he was bound to continue to be a successful lobbyist. With Congress supporting Israel uncritically, the State Department knew that it would only get tougher to reign in the Israelis. Jewish leaders, however, believed that the Administration was leaning unnecessarily hard on Israel. But then the leaders of the American Jewish community did not always know everything that the State Department knew. Kibya was a perfect example.
52, 53 -- JFK ‘Gets the Message’
From the moment he considered making a bid for the Presidency, Kennedy was eager to win over the Jewish vote. Philip Klutznick recalled a private meeting with JFK in 1958 when he put the young politician on the spot about his attitudes toward Israel, which had been, Klutznick noted, “rather cloudy.” His answer, according to Klutznick, “was cloudy,” and indicated a concern about the Arab refugee problem and the risks of war in the region. Klutznick’s response was not cloudy. “Look, Senator,” he said, “if you plan to run for the presidency and that is what you’re going to say, count me out, and count a lot of other people out too.” Kennedy asked Klutznick what Jews might want him to say. Klutznick advised Kennedy that Eisenhower on Suez was unsatisfactory, while Truman in 1948 was on the mark.
Kennedy got the message. Delivering a speech before a Jewish organization marking the tenth anniversary of the founding of Israel in 1958, Kennedy gave a pro-Israel speech in which he attacked the Arab contention that peace would arrive in a Middle East with no Jewish state. Kennedy declared: “Quite apart from the values and hopes which the state of Israel enshrines — and the past injury which it redeems — it twists reality to suggest that it is the democratic tendency of Israel which has injected discord and dissension into the Near East.” Afterward he sent the speech to Klutznick with a note: “What do you think of this now?”
54 -- A Powerful Political Weapon ‘Of Last Resort’
The results of the 1960 presidential election only confirmed to other politicians how stupid it was to ignore the political power of the Jews. That power basically has three sources, all well known, though cautiously discussed. The first is a political weapon of last resort, which may be the most powerful, and most abused by the hardliners. Jews can brand — and thus ignore — their or Israel’s critics by labeling them “anti-Israel,” “pro-Arab,” or worse, “anti-Semitic” (or if the dissenter happens to be a Jew, “self-hating Jew”). No politician wants to be called an “anti-Semite,” particularly a politician who is a genuine anti-Semite.
82 -- Lobbyists Counter Criticism By Creating ‘Truth Squad’
Kenen, however, was pressing Congress for record amounts of U.S. aid for Israel — $2.2 billion for fiscal 1974 — to help Israel rearm after the Yom Kippur War and prop up its sagging economy. (In 1972, total U.S. aid to Israel had been only $404 million.) Along with representatives of the American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai Brith, Kenen also created a “Truth Squad” to counter the growth of pro-Arab propaganda and an infant “Arab lobby” in the form of the National Association of Arab Americans, established two years before as an unabashed imitation of AIPAC [American Israel Public Affairs Committee].
83 -- Amitay Targets U.S. Treasury
“It was a new ballgame,” recalls Morris Amitay, who succeeded Kenen in December 1974. “After the Yom Kippur War, Israel required billions. I wanted to make AIPAC an effective modern lobby.” As one of his deputies put it, “The organization had to change. AIPAC had to move into the twentieth century.” Amitay was a Harvard lawyer with an M.A. and State department experience who had also worked on the Hill as an aide to Connecticut senator Abraham Ribicoff. he was a deft enough politician to convince Jewish fund raisers that $250 million pledged to the United Jewish Appeal was impressive but insignificant compared to the billions that Israel would need to survive. The prime source of that money would have to be the U.S. Treasury.
88, 89 -- Tough-Talking AIPAC ‘Shifts Into High Gear’
AIPAC shifted into high gear on Capitol Hill. Within three weeks, after considerable wrangling and wheedling in the halls of Congress, there arrived in the White House mail a letter dated May 21, 1975, and signed by seventy-six U.S. senators confirming their support for Israel, and suggesting that the White House see fit to do the same. The language was tough, the tone almost bullying. The senators suggested a “reassessment” quite contrary to what Ford and Kissinger had in mind. The letter made it quite clear that the senators saw Israel as a crucial check to Soviet influence in the region, and that “withholding military equipment from Israel would be dangerous.” The letter’s key paragraph warned the President that within the next several weeks, the Congress expects to receive your foreign aid requests for fiscal year 1976. We trust that your recommendations will be responsive to Israel’s urgent military and economic needs. We urge you to make it clear, as we do, that the United States acting in its own national interests stands firmly with Israel in the search for peace in future negotiations, and that this premise is the basis of the current reassessment of U.S. policy in the Middle East.
What Henry Kissinger said or did when he received this letter bomb is not known. But the “letter of 76,” as it was called, definitely exploded his efforts to reassess U.S. policy. Kissinger’s advisers agreed that a presidential speech was now politically out of the question. The Administration returned to pursuing peace in the Middle East step by step.
90 -- ‘Political Sanctions Applied To Any Who Failed To Deliver’
Senator Charles Mathias publicly admitted in an article in Foreign Affairs about “Ethnic Groups and foreign policy” that due to lobbying pressure, “Seventy-six of us promptly affixed our signatures although no hearings had been held, no debate conducted, nor had the Administration been invited to present its views.” Mathias added that “as a result of the activities of the [pro-Israel] lobby, congressional conviction has been measurably reinforced by the knowledge that political sanctions will be applied to any who failed to deliver.
104 -- ‘They Haven’t Seen Anything Yet’
Instead, by mid-June, Israel’s friends on Capitol Hill, with the help of AIPAC, circulated a list of twenty-one grievances against the Carter Administration, including a demand for the dismissal of a few of Carter’s Middle East experts. Letters poured into the White House, criticizing the Administration’s “pro-Arab” policies. A board member of the Zionist Organization of America candidly told Time magazine, “People thought they had seen a Jewish lobby operate before. They haven’t seen anything yet.” that unveiled threat soon became a reality.
The attitude of American Jewish leaders had turned from suspicion to outright hostility. In the history of the pro-Israeli lobby, no one had seen anything like what Jewish leaders had in store for Jimmy Carter, the man whom nearly 70 percent of Jewish voters backed in 1976. “If Carter had said in October what he has been saying this spring, he would not be in the White House,” a New York rabbi told Time. Carter’s political operatives took no action, other than reassuring Jewish leaders. Jewish leaders, however, remained convinced that they smelled a double cross. Carter couldn’t seem to do anything that might satisfy the American Jewish community.
120 -- Carter: ‘I’d Rather Commit Political Suicide Than Hurt Israel’
Carter needed peace between himself and American Jewry. The day after the deal with Dayan was hammered out, October 6, the President called a meeting of Jewish congressmen in the White House, and told them, “I’d rather commit political suicide than hurt Israel.”
In the eyes of many Jews, Carter had been slashing his wrists since about March. The President seemed to be spending as much time fending off angry Jewish leaders as contemplating his strategy for peace at Geneva. Though it might have seemed impossible at the time, the heat on the White House from American Jewish leaders would be rising several more degrees.
120, 121 -- Nahum Goldmann Advises: ‘Break the Jewish Lobby’
In November, Nahum Goldmann traveled to Washington to meet the President. Vance, Brzezinski, and Mark Siegel were also present as the eighty-two-year-old Zionist leader and former head of the World Jewish Congress offered his own experienced and very candid opinion on how the Carter Administration might best pursue its peace efforts in the Middle East. Goldmann urged them to “break the Jewish lobby in the United States.”
The President and his men could not believe their ears. Goldmann has devoted his long life to Zionism, had been a major player in the “Jewish lobby” since the Truman Administration, had, in fact, invented one of the lobby’s most effective players, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, and here he was actually arguing that his own brainchild, the Presidents’ Conference, had become a “destructive force” and “a major obstacle” to peace in the Middle East. Goldmann contended that despite the flak the White House would get in the beginning, eventually, if the Israelis compromised and a peace settlement were reached, Carter would emerge as “the hero of the Jews.” The proposal was riddled with an irony that was probably beyond the people in the room. Goldmann had created the Presidents’ Conference to prevent the kind of dissent among American Jewish leaders that he himself was now demonstrating. The raison d’être of the group was to present a united front to the White House on Middle East matters. But, of course, that was back in the old days when Goldmann’s friends were running Israel.
127, 128 -- Amitay Targets Senator McGovern As ‘Enemy of Israel’
At lunch with a McGovern fund raiser, Morris Amitay was so upset over the senator’s flip-flop that he was soon stabbing his finger in the McGovernite’s chest in anger. “Your guy deserted us, and we won’t forget,” Amitay reportedly said. McGovern’s staffer pointed out that there was hardly a man in the Senate who had been a more reliable supporter of Israel over the past fifteen years. Was the lobby going to write off McGovern after one vote — particularly one that a Democratic President had begged him to side with the Administration on? “Not only that,” Amitay threatened, “but we’ll see that none of the Jewish groups will help you.”
This was disastrous news. McGovern was fighting for his political life against an onslaught from the right wing led by the well-organized National Conservative Political Action Committee. NACPAC had marshaled its forces and money to end the political careers of several “liberal” senators. The word went out, according to McGovern staffers, that the senator from South Dakota was “an enemy of Israel.” Jewish groups were told to help all the liberal senators NACPAC was gunning for, except George McGovern.
Suddenly, McGovern’s Jewish fund raisers were canceled. The senator appealed to his friend and longtime supporter Philip Klutznick, who had joined Carter’s Cabinet as secretary of commerce, to help turn things around. Klutznick made some calls and reported that there was nothing he could do other than donate the legal limit for himself and his family, which he kindly did. McGovern called Howard Samuels for help; he could do nothing either. McGovern gave up and went forward with his campaign, without Jewish support, and was beaten.
135 -- AIPAC Operates ‘Mainly In Obscurity’
By the time Ronald Reagan was elected President in 1980, Jews had been lobbying in the U.S. for thirty-five years. Both the Presidents’ Conference and AIPAC had been operating as full-fledged pro-Israel pressure groups since 1954, though mainly in obscurity. Most Americans still knew very little about the “Jewish lobby,” and Jewish leaders preferred to keep it that way, ever concerned about charges of “dual loyalty” and spurts of anti-Semitism. there was no dominant, or celebrated, personality — a Brandeis or Stephen Wise or Abba Hillel Silver — leading the American Jewish community. Few Americans, indeed few Jews, knew the names of those who wielded Jewish power in Washington and Jerusalem. And few Jews, in the U.S. or Israel, had ever even heard of AIPAC.
“In 1977 and ’78, I would have to explain to Israelis what I did,” recalls Leonard Davis, a former head of research for AIPAC and now a political consultant living in Jerusalem. “People in the Israeli press, the government, even the Foreign Office had no clear idea what AIPAC was, what the Jewish lobby did.” AIPAC, however, was famous on Capitol Hill, or notorious, depending on one’s opinions about the Middle East, or about Morris Amitay, the lobby’s swashbuckling director.
158 -- ‘Holocaust’ Used By AIPAC to Evoke Sympathy For Israel
“They used all the tools available to them to run this thing through,” recalls an aide to Howard Baker. Senator Dennis DeConcini, an Arizona Democrat, charged that someone “close” to the President had promised him Reagan would not campaign against him in 1982 if he voted for the sale. (DeConcini eventually voted against it.) Iowa’s Charlie Grassley claimed he had been promised his choice for U.S. attorney for Iowa would be “expedited” if he voted “right.” (And “right” Grassley eventually did vote.) Senator John Glenn attacked such tactics as “political bribery” and “abhorrent.” (He eventually sided with AIPAC.)
The vote now seemed up for grabs. AIPAC was trying to hold its lead, and in the final weeks sent a copy of the novel Holocaust to each member of the Senate. (One AIPAC staffer flying out of Washington noticed a fellow passenger, a Republican senator, reading the book intently.) The lobby was not above some horse trading of its own. Unlike the President, AIPAC really did not have to stress what would happen if a senator voted for the sale [of arms to Saudi Arabia]. Some were still suffering the ire of Jewish constituents for voting for sale of the F-15s to the Saudis in 1978. As [Senator Bob] Packwood and others who preferred to run with some Jewish contributions in their campaign chests well knew, AIPAC could shut off the tap as easily as it turned it on.
162, 163 -- AIPAC Was ‘Master of Congress’
For a quarter century, AIPAC had been the official Capitol Hill lobbyist for the American Jewish community, the only organization in Washington registered to lobby on Israel’s behalf, and a loyal middleman between the member groups of the Presdidents’ Conference and members of Congress. From the beginning, AIPAC’s raison d’être had been to keep U.S. aid flowing to Israel. The Israeli economy now depended entirely on Congressional beneficence (a stingy Congress could destroy Israel faster than any Arab army), and AIPAC was the master of Congress. Or so AIPAC contended.
The lobby was now in a position to dominate the American Jewish community on the matter of Israel, which, of course, had become the dominant issue among American Jews. The pro-Israel lobby, once a small, underfinanced group of propagandists, following the AWACS “loss” began its impressive metamorphosis into what Tom Dine began calling “a mass movement” to politicize American Jews, already members of the most highly organized community in the nation. Traditionally, the Jewish lobby had been a small group of well-connected (and -heeled) Jewish leaders; Dine was now inviting Jews across the nation to become active, dues-paying members of the pro-Israel lobby. Equally important, AIPAC would keep local political action committees informed about how their representatives and senators were performing on the pro-Israel scoreboard.
183 -- AIPAC Publishes ‘Who’s Who’ List of Enemies
AIPAC’s main constituency remains the American Jewish community, and the AWACS vote had given the lobby a perfect recruiting advertisement for joining its “War for Washington” — the “enemies of Israel” were getting stronger every day. In 1983, the lobby published the third pamphlet in its series, The Campaign to Discredit Israel. Rosen was coauthor. In its preface, Dine explained that the publication’s aim was to update for AIPAC’s members the activities of anti-Israel groups and individuals and “to analyze the intellectual and political strengths and weaknesses of their political positions.” Since 1977, AIPAC had been sending out annually a Xeroxed “Who’s Who” list of “anti-Israel” organizations and personalities. Though the latest broadside was wrapped in paperback book form and claimed to be a “more complete and convenient analysis of this anti-Israel activity.” The Campaign to Discredit Israel was nothing more than a campaign to discredit critics of U.S.-Israeli policy — a hit list for local Jewish leaders to refer to whenever anyone came to town to discuss the Middle East.
185 -- AIPAC Works With B’nai Brith’s Hillel on Campus
AIPAC works closely with B’nai Brith’s Hillel Foundations, the non-profit Jewish centers on most college campuses, generally headed by a rabbi. (Hillel, of course, is tax exempt; AIPAC is not.) These college contacts keep AIPAC informed on “pro-Palestinian” or “anti-Israel” speeches and professors, and [Jonathan] Kessler advises them how to handle upcoming speakers based on AIPAC’s files on their past performances.
Just as on Capitol Hill, AIPAC prefers to set the limits of the debate on campus. The College Guide gives a detailed rundown on the anti-Israel campaign on campus and provides arguments for countering such “propaganda” ploys as “Israel is oppressive,” “Israel is Goliath,” “Israel has no right to exist.” But often in its efforts to set the limits of the debate, AIPAC stifles it. The lobby’s campus crusade is its strategy in Washington writ large. Any speaker who might differ with AIPAC’s views of the U.S.-Israel relationship is immediately branded as “anti-Israel.” During leadership workshops in the Washington area, AIPAC aides brief students on how to undercut the efforts of anyone who might disagree with the AIPAC line. “You need to create muscular Jews, not just the UJA-type,” Kessler told his audience at a workshop on building campus coalitions during the 1984 leadership conference. “Don’t be afraid to show your Jewishness and assertiveness for Israel.” Kessler has adopted an evangelical style, a sort of Jimmy Swaggert in the guise of a Yuppie Jewish activist. “We’re called the sexy lobby,” he pointed out. “Jews have to spread the gospel — the word, the gospel of pro-Israel.”
186 -- The ‘Litmus Test’
No one, however, knows the risks of dissent or debate on matters relating to the Arab-Israeli conflict better than members of the Congress — and the leaders of their local political action committees. PAC power has evolved into a formidable memory aid with which AIPAC can remind politicians that supporting Israel is definitely the “litmus test” of AIPAC’s friendship, and the lobby’s friends’ friendship.
187 -- ‘This Is A Guy Who Can Hurt You’
Two years after AWACS, the lobby seemed to own Capitol Hill. Indeed, Tom Dine was so good at his job that there were members of Congress and their staffs who feared him and liked him. Addressing an AIPAC conference in 1983, Lawrence Eagleburger, then the State Department’s top political officer, put his arm affectionately around Dine and informed the audience, “This is a guy who can hurt you.”
It’s the kind of remark any lobbyist would love as his epitaph. Tom Dine confirmed Eagleburger’s opinion during the 1984 elections. AIPAC also proved that the AWACS vote had been a test of Jewish friendship by sending several members of Congress into retirement, with the help of PAC power.
191 -- Dine Tells Toronto Audience: ‘Politicians Got the Message’
AIPAC claimed credit for beating [Charles] Percy [chairman of the Senate Foreign relations Committee], and held the race up as an example to any member of Congress contemplating criticism of Israel. Tom Dine told a Jewish audience in Toronto, “All the Jews in America, from coast to coast, gathered to oust Percy. And the American politicians — those who hold public positions now, and those who aspire — got the message.”
195 1984 -- Aim: Convert All U.S. Aid to Israel To Grants, Not Loans
In a speech to the United Jewish Appeal Young Leadership Biennial Conference in Washington in 1984, Tom Dine defined what he called “an agenda for a citizen lobbyist,” pro-Israel division. “Our first major priority for 1984 is to convert all U.S. aid to Israel — military and economic — to grants rather than part grants/part loans,” Dine declared.
217 -- AIPAC’s Primary Role ‘To Assure That U.S. Aid Flows to Israel In Increasing Amounts
For the past three decades, it has been AIPAC’s primary role to assure that U.S. aid flows to Israel in increasing amounts. To say that the lobby has been phenomenally successful in this part risks understatement. It is impossible to understand the relationship between the U.S. and Israel — and AIPAC’s special role in it — without examining the issue of U.S. aid to Israel and its effects on U.S. politics and the Israeli economy.
The engine that has run the Israeli economy for decades has been American aid. One might even say that the U.S. owns Israel. There is no deed but there is a mortgage. Israel is heavily in debt to the U.S. treasury, its commercial banks, and its Jews and other citizens and organizations that have purchased millions in Israel bonds or donated money to Jewish causes.
The special relationship between the U.S. and Israel features some very special numbers. Since 1948, the U.S. has given Israel $28 billion in economic and military aid — slightly more than half of it ($14.6 billion) in outright grants that never have to be repaid.
220 -- Israel Addicted to Aid
Israel has become a foreign-aid addict. The Georgetown economist Thomas Stauffer, in a forthcoming book, argues that nations inevitably become addicted to “unearned resources” — whether it is easy oil money or U.S. foreign aid. “Just like the oil-addicted economies of the Middle East — only Kuwait seems to have escaped by good management — Israel has developed grossly inflated economic expectations,” Stauffer explains.
255 -- AIPAC ‘Out of Control’
Resentment against Jewish power is already festering in Washington. A former official in the Pentagon and the White House is not atypical in his grudging admiration for AIPAC’s lobbying skills and his concern about the potential results.
It’s not that AIPAC is too powerful. The problem is that it’s out of control. It is a self-stimulating machine with no corrective device. If you don’t agree, you get savaged. That’s the problem with activists [like AIPAC]; they want 100 percent cooperation, or else, they claim, there will be another Holocaust. But they can’t get 100 percent. The Administration is bound to disagree on some things. The system doesn’t work if a group goes only for 100 percent. No one is supposed to win all the time.
256 -- Support Built on Fear and Political Expediency
About Middle East matters there is virtually no debate, and even some American politicians enjoy a good debate. “No intellectual curiosity is being tolerated,” notes one former Senate aide. “Too many senators are playing along out of fear or expediency. If I were the Israelis, or the lobby, I would not want my support built on fear and expediency.”
Arthur Hertzberg, who considers himself a disciple of Goldmann, asks, “If a lobby pushes the American consensus beyond its limits, when does the push evoke a counterpush?” Hertzberg’s own critics have belittled his predictions of an anti-Semitic backlash; more Jewish power than ever, they point out, has not met with any significant resistance. “I answer,” Hertzberg says, “not as a Cassandra but as a long-term politician and historian. You can only push so far. The first President who says, ‘I’m going to treat Israel like any other country,’ the first President who says that is going to reverse the anti-Semitic issue, because then the AIPACs of this earth will have to say, ‘But we don’t want you to treat Israel like any other country.’ And then the President will say, in effect, ‘If you raise the issue that way, then you are creating an opening for anti-Semitism.’ ” Hertzberg charges that because the young AIPACers have never experienced anti-Semitism, they believe it no longer exists.
They Dare To Speak Out
Author: Paul Findley ©1981 Publisher: Lawrence Hill & Co. ISBN No. 0-88208-179-9
1 -- Early Naiveté
I had already begun to doubt the wisdom of United States policy in the Middle East when I first joined the subcommittee. For the most part, I kept these doubts private, but not because I feared the political consequences. In fact I naively assumed I could question our policy anywhere without getting into trouble. I did not realize how deeply the roots of Israeli interests had penetrated U.S. institutions.
17 -- Personal Friend Could Not Ignore the Lobby
No event, before or since, disclosed to me so forcefully the hidden leverage of the Israeli lobby on the U.S. political scene. This great, kind, generous Jewish elder statesman, a personal friend for twenty years, could not ignore the lobby and say a public good word for my candidacy. I report this episode because, when a great man like Arthur Burns feels he must keep his views private, lesser men and women who would speak out face an enormous challenge.
19 -- Bob Hope Backs Out
The “panic” even spread to Hollywood. Bob Hope, who never wavered under enemy fire on war fronts in World War II and Korea and withstood heavy criticism for his support of President Nixon’s Vietnam policies, encountered a new and more devastating line of fire when he agreed to appear at a fund-raising event for me in Springfield. ...
... Coast-to-coast pressure quickly brought a change. Don Norton recalls an urgent telephone message he received from Hope’s manager:
Grant told me that Hope was getting tremendous pressure from Jews and non-Jews all over the country. He said it’s gone to the point where Hope’s lawyer of 35 years, who is Jewish, has threatened to quit. The pressure was beyond belief, like nothing they had ever experienced before, and hope just couldn’t come.
20 -- Lobby Pressures Gerald Ford
Lobby pressure also intruded when former President Gerald R. Ford agreed to appear in my behalf, this time in Alton, Illinois.
The first sign of trouble was a call From Palm Springs in which Ford’s secretary reported that the former president had to cancel his date because his staff had mistakenly booked him to speak at a meeting of the Michigan Bar Association the same day. There was no other time that Ford could help me, the caller said, before election day. To determine if some accommodation was possible, my assistant, Bob Wichser, called the Michigan Bar Association, only to learn there was no conflict — no event was scheduled.
21 -- Emotion Drives Israel’s American Supporters
When election time came around again two years later, I was unopposed in the primary, but a strong Democratic opponent, Richard Durbin, emerged in the general election. More experienced and popular, he quickly picked up the resources Robinson had amassed, including Robinson’s list of nationwide contributors. The Associated Press reported that: “Israel’s American supporters again are pouring money into an emotional drive to unseat Central Illinois Representative Paul Findley.
22 -- Puzzlement At Attitude of Pro-Israel Activists
After my twenty-two years in Congress, losing was, of course, a disappointment. But my main reaction was wonderment. I was puzzled by the behavior of the Pro-Israel activists. Why did they go to such trouble to eliminate me from Congress? Why did people from all over the country who did not know me personally and very likely knew little of my record dig so deeply in their own pockets — many of them contributing $1,000 to my opponents? What sustained this commitment for a four-year period?
23 -- Make an Example
... Surely they realized that I posed no serious threat. Could Israel’s supporters not tolerate even one lonely voice of dissent?
Or was the lobby’s purpose to make an example of me in the Elizabethan manner? (According to legend, Queen Elizabeth occasionally hanged an admiral, just as an example to the others.) Was I chosen for a trip to the political gallows to discourage other Congressmen from speaking out?
25 -- AIPAC the Preeminent Power in Washington Lobbying
Washington is a city of acronyms, and today one of the best-known in Congress is AIPAC. The mere mention of it brings a sober, if not furtive look, to the face of anyone on Capitol Hill who deals with Middle East policy. AIPAC — the American Israel Public Affairs Committee — is now the preeminent power in Washington lobbying.
25, 26 -- AIPAC Means Power
Almost without exception, House and Senate members do its bidding, because most of them consider AIPAC to be the direct Capitol Hill representative of a political force that can make or break their chances at election time.
Whether based on fact or fancy, the perception is what counts: AIPAC mean power — raw, intimidating power. Its promotional literature regularly cites a tribute published in the New York Times: “The most powerful, best-run and effective foreign policy interest group in Washington.” A former Congressman, Paul N. “Pete” McCloskey puts it more directly: Congress is “terrorized” by AIPAC. Other Congressmen have not been so candid on the public record, but many House and Senate members privately agree.
26, 27 -- Lobby Group ‘Extension of Israeli Government’
In practice, the lobby groups function as an informal extension of the Israeli government. This was illustrated when AIPAC helped draft the official statement defending Israel’s 1981 bombing of the Iraqi nuclear reactor, then issued it the same hour as Israel’s embassy.
No major Jewish organization ever publicly takes issue with positions and policies adopted by Israel. Thomas A. Dine, executive director of AIPAC, spoke warmly of President Reagan’s peace plan when it was announced in September 1982, but as soon as Israel rejected the plan, Dine fell silent.
27 -- Even the President Turns to AIPAC
Over the years the pro-Israel lobby has thoroughly penetrated this nation’s governmental system, and the organization that has made the deepest impact is AIPAC, to whom even the president of the United States turns when he has a vexing political problem related to the Arab-Israeli dispute.
35 -- AIPAC Publishes ‘Enemies List’
AIPAC’s outreach program is buttressed by a steady stream of publications. In addition to “Action Alerts” and the weekly Near East Report, it issues position papers and monographs designed to answer, or often discredit, critics, and advance Israel’s objectives.
The most controversial publication of all is an “enemies list” issued as a “first edition” in the spring of 1983. A handsomely printed 154-page paperback entitled The Campaign to Discredit Israel, it provides a “directory of the actors”: 21 organizations and 39 individuals AIPAC identified as inimical to Israeli interests.
Included are such distinguished public servants as former Undersecretary of State George W. Ball, retired ambassadors Talcott Seelye, Andrew Kilgore, John C. West and James Atkins, and former Senator James Abourezk. There are also five Jewish dissenters and several scholars on the list.
Seemingly unaware of the AIPAC project, the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith almost simultaneously issued its own “enemies list”: Pro-Arab Propaganda in America: Vehicles and Voices. It too is identified as a “first edition,” and lists 31 organizations and 34 individuals. These books are nothing more than blacklists, reminiscent of the worst tactics of the McCarthy era.
A similar “enemies list” is employed in AIPAC’s extensive program at colleges and universities.
36 -- Effectiveness of AIPAC
Paul Weyrich, who worked as a Senate aide before becoming a political analyst, details the effectiveness of AIPAC:
It’s a remarkable system they have. If you vote with them, or make a public statement they like, they get the word out fast through their own publications and through editors around the country who are sympathetic to their cause.
Of course it works in reverse as well. if you say something they don’t like, you can be denounced or censured through the same network. That kind of pressure is bound to affect Senators’ thinking, especially if they are wavering or need support.
37 -- ‘Our Access is Amazing’
... Encountered in a Capitol corridor one day, an AIPAC lobbyist said, “Tomorrow I will try to see five members of the House. I called this morning and confirmed every appointment, and I have no doubt I will get in promptly.” Two days later, even he seemed somewhat awed by AIPAC’s clout. He reported, “I made all five. I went right in to see each of them. There was no waiting. Our access is amazing.”
43 -- NatPAC
The largest pro-Israel PAC is the national Political Action Committee (NatPAC), headquartered in New York with Marvin Josephson, head of a theatrical and literary talent agency, as chairman. Its Washington-based executive director is Richard Altman, who previously worked as political director of AIPAC. It draws money heavily from the entertainment industry and got off to a fast start in 1982 when Woody Allen signed its first nationwide fund-raising appeal. The National Journal rates it as the nation’s largest non-labor, non-business political action committee.
49 AIPAC Relentless
An Ohio Congressman speaks of AIPAC with both awe and concern:
AIPAC is the most influential lobby on Capitol Hill. They are relentless. They know what they’re doing. They have the people for financial resources. They’ve got a lot going for them. Their basic underlying cause is one that most Americans sympathize with.
But what distresses me is the inability of American policy-makers, because of the influence of AIPAC, to distinguish between our national interest and Israel’s national interest. When these converge — wonderful! But they don’t always converge.
54 -- B’nai B’rith Published Report ‘A Complete Fabrication’
An article in the B’nai B’rith Messenger charged that McCloskey had proposed that all rabbis be required to register as foreign agents, declaring that he had made the proposal in a meeting with the editors of the Los Angeles Times. The author assured his readers that the tidbit came from a “very reliable source,” and the charge was published nationally. The charge was a complete fabrication, and the Times editor Tony Day was quick to back up McCloskey’s denial.
The Messenger published a retraction a month later, but the accusation lingered on. Even the Washington office of the Israeli lobby did not get the retraction message. In an interview about McCloskey two years later, Douglas Bloomfield, legislative director for AIPAC, apparently unaware of the retraction, repeated the accusation as fact.
57 -- McCloskey Hounded Through ‘Tracking System’
A tracking system initiated by the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith assured that McCloskey would have no peace, even as a private citizen. the group distributed a memorandum containing details of his actions and speeches to its chapters around the country. According to the memo, it was designed to “assist” local ADL groups with “counteraction guidance” whenever McCloskey appeared in public.
70, 71 Congressmen’s Reaction to Israeli Pressure Groups
A veteran Ohio Congressman observes:
When [Stephen] Solarz and others press for more money for Israel, nobody wants to say “No.” You don’t need many examples of intimidation for politicians to realize what the potential is. The Jewish lobby is terrific. Anything it wants, it gets. Jews are educated, often have a lot of money, and vote on the basis of a single issue — Israel. They are unique in that respect. For example, anti-abortion supporters are numerous but not that well educated, and don’t have that much money. The Jewish lobbyists have it all, and they are political activists on top of it.
This Congressman divides his colleagues into four groups:
For the first group, it’s rah, rah, give Israel anything it wants. The second group includes those with some misgivings, but they don’t dare step out of line; they don’t say anything. In the third group are Congressmen who have deep misgivings but who won’t do more than try quietly to slow down the aid to Israel. Lee Hamilton is an example. The fourth groups consists of those who openly question U.S. policy in the Middle East and challenge what Israel is doing. Since Findley and McCloskey left, this group really doesn’t exist anymore.
He puts himself in the third group: “I may vote against the bill authorizing foreign aid this year for the first time. If I do, I will not state my reason.” Solarz has never wavered in his commitment to Israel.
77 -- Many Jews Mistake Criticism of Israel for Anti-Semitism
“What is tragic is that so many Jewish people misconstrue criticism of Israel as anti-Jewish or anti-Semitic.” He speaks admiringly of the open criticism of Israeli policy that often occurs within Israel itself: “It is easier to criticize Israel in the Knesset [the Israeli parliament] than it is in the U.S. Congress, here in this land of free speech.”
78, 79 -- AIPAC Caught Napping -- Fail To Detect Rebellion in Congress
For once, both the House Democratic leadership and AIPAC were caught napping. Usually in complete control of all legislative activities which relate to Israel, AIPAC failed to detect the brewing rebellion. Concern over the budget deficit and controversial provisions in the bill for Central America led these freshman democrats to oppose their own leadership. unable to offer amendments, they quietly agreed among themselves to oppose the whole package.
When the roll was called the big electric board over the Speaker’s desk showed defeat — the resolution was rejected, 206 to 203. Twenty-four first-term Democrats had deserted the leadership and voted no. Voting no did not mean they opposed Israeli aid. Some of them, concerned over the federal deficit, viewed it as a demand to the leadership to schedule a bill raising taxes. For others, it was simply a protest. But for Israel it was serious.
“The Jewish community went crazy,” a Capitol Hill veteran recalls. AIPAC’s professionals went to work. Placing calls from their offices just four blocks away, they activated key people in the districts of a selected list of the errant freshmen. They arranged for “quality calls” to individuals who had played a major role in the recent Congressional election. Each was to place an urgent call to his or her Congressman, insist on getting through personally and use this message:
Approval of the continuing resolution is very important. Without it, Israel will suffer. I am not criticizing your vote against it the first time. I am sure you had reasons. However, I have learned that the same question will come up for vote again, probably tomorrow. I speak for many of your friends and supporters in asking that you change your vote when the question comes up again.
... The urgent telephone messages from home carried the day. When the roll was called, 14 of the freshmen — a bit sheepishly — changed their votes.
... To give the freshmen an excuse they could use in explaining their embarrassing shift, the leadership promised to bring up a tax bill. Everyone knew it was just a ploy: the tax bill had no chance to become law. But the excuse was helpful, and the resolution was approved, 224 to 189. the flow of aid to Israel continued without interruption.
95 -- ‘Israel Controls the Senate’: Fullbright
Appearing on CBS television’s “Face the Nation” in 1973, [Senator William J.] Fullbright declared that the Senate was “subservient to Israeli policies which were inimical to American interests. He said the United States bears “a very great share of the responsibility” for the continuation of Middle East violence. “It’s quite obvious [that] without the all-out support by the United States in money and weapons and so on, the Israeli couldn’t do what they’ve been doing.”
Fullbright said the United States failed to pressure Israel for a negotiated settlement because
The great majority of the Senate of the United States — somewhere around 80 percent — are completely in support of Israel, anything Israel wants. This has been demonstrated time and time again, and this has made it difficult for our government.
The Senator claimed that “Israel controls the Senate,” and warned, “We should be more concerned about the United States’ interests.”
101 -- President Ford backs Down Under Pressure
... It was a historic proposal, the first time since Eisenhower that a United States president even hinted publicly that he might suspend aid to Israel.
Israel’s response came, not from its own capital, but from the United States Senate. Instead of relying on a direct protest to the White House, Jerusalem activated its lobby in the United States, which, in turn, signed up as supporters of Israel’s position more than three-fourths of the members of the United States Senate.
A more devastating — and intimidating — response could scarcely be conceived. The seventy-six signatures effectively told Ford he could not carry out his threatened “reappraisal.” Israel’s loyalists in the Senate — Democrats and republicans alike — were sufficient in number to reject any legislative proposal hostile to Israel that Ford might make, and perhaps even enact a pro-Israeli piece of legislation over a presidential veto.
The letter was a demonstration of impressive clout. Crafted and circulated by AIPAC, it had been endorsed overnight by a majority of the Senate membership. Several Senators who at first had said “No” quickly changed their positions. Senator John Culver admitted candidly, “The pressure was too great. I caved.” So did President Ford. He backed down and never again challenged the lobby.
102 -- TV’s ‘Holocaust’ Series ‘Simplifies Lobbying’
The Israeli lobby pulled out all the stops. It coordinated a nationwide public relations campaign which revived, as never before, memories of the genocidal Nazi campaign against European Jews during World War II. In the wake of the highly publicized television series, “Holocaust,” Capitol Hill was flooded with complimentary copies of the novel on which the TV series was based. The books were accompanied by a letter from AIPAC saying, “This chilling account of the extermination of six million Jews underscores Israel’s concerns during the current negotiations for security without reliance on outside guarantees.” Concerning the book distribution, AIPAC’s Aaron Rosenbaum told the Washington Post: “We think, frankly, that it will affect a few votes here and there, and simplify lobbying.”
102, 103 -- AIPAC ‘Demands 100 Percent’ Loyalty
[William] Hathaway was one of the forty-four who stuck with AIPAC, but this was not sufficient when election time rolled around. AIPAC wanted a Senator whose signature — and vote — it could always count on. Searching for unswerving loyalty, the lobby switched to Cohen. Its decision came at the very time Hathaway was resisting pressures on the Saudi issue. The staff at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee was outraged. One of them declared to a visitor: “AIPAC demands 100 percent. If a fine Senator like Hathaway fails to cooperate just once, they are ready to trade in his career.” A staff member of a Senate committee declared: “To please AIPAC, you have to be more pure than Ivory soap — 99.44 percent purity is not good enough.” Lacking the purity AIPAC demanded, Hathaway was defeated in 1978.
106 -- Israeli Lobby Exerts ‘More Constant Pressure’
[Charles] Mathias cited the Israeli lobby as the most powerful ethnic pressuer group, noting that it differs from others in that it focuses on vital national security interests and exerts “more constant pressure.” Other lobbying groups “show up in a crisis and then disappear” and tend to deal with domestic matters. Mathias continued:
With the exception of the Eisenhower administration, which virtually compelled Israel’s withdrawal from the Sinai after the 1956 war, American presidents, and to an even greater degree Senators and representatives, have been subjected to recurrent pressures from what has come to be known as the Israel lobby.
114 -- JFK ‘Insulted’ by Jewish Offer
The night before, Kennedy had gone to dinner with a small group of wealthy and prominent Jews in New York. An episode of the evening had troubled him deeply. Describing it to Bartlett as an “amazing experience,” he said one of those at the dinner party — he did not identify him by name — told him he knew his campaign was in financial difficulty and, speaking for the group, offered “to help and help significantly” if Kennedy as president “would allow them to set the course of Middle East policy over the next four years.” It was an astounding proposition.
Kennedy told Bartlett he reacted less as a presidential candidate than as a citizen. “He said he felt insulted,” Bartlett recalls, “that anybody would make that offer, particularly to a man who even had a slim chance to be president. ...”
119 -- No Protestant Support ‘All We Get Is A Battering From the Jews’
A determined president [Eisenhower] took his case to the American people in a televised address in the spring of 1957:
Should a nation which attacks and occupies foreign territory in the face of the United Nations disapproval be allowed to impose conditions on its own withdrawal? If we agreed that armed attack can properly achieve the purposes of the assailant, then I fear we will have turned back the clock of international order.
Letters and telegrams poured into the White House, but almost all of the communications came from Jews, 90 percent supporting Israel’s position. Dulles complained, “It is impossible to hold the line because we get no support from the Protestant elements in the country. All we get is a battering from the Jews.”
127 -- Power From Willingness to Make Use of Charge of Anti-Semitism
[George W.] Ball believes the lobby’s instrument of greatest power is its willingness to make broad use of the charge of anti-Semitism. “They’ve got one great thing going for them. Most people are terribly concerned not to be accused of being anti-Semitic, and the lobby so often equates criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. They keep pounding away at that theme, and people are deterred from speaking out.”
In Ball’s view, many Americans feel a “sense of guilt” over the extermination of Jews by Nazi Germany. The result of this guilt is that the fear of being called anti-Semitic is “much more effective in silencing candidates and public officials than threats about campaign money or votes.”
180-- Making It ‘Hot Enough’ on Campus
In 1979 AIPAC established its Political Leadership Development Program, which trains student activists on how to increase pro-Israeli influence on campus. Coordinator Jonathan Kessler recently reported that in just four years “AIPAC’s program has affiliated over 5,000 students on 350 campuses in all 50 states.
They are systematically monitoring and comprehensively responding to anti-Israeli groups on campus. They are involved in pro-Israel legislative efforts, in electoral campaign politics as well.
239 -- Christian Affinity to Israel
Virtually all Christians approach the Middle East with at least a subtle affinity to Israel and an inclination to oppose or mistrust any suggestion that questions Israeli policy. The lobby has drawn widely upon this support in pressing its national programs. More important, fresh perspectives which challenge shibboleths and established prejudices regarding the Middle East are often denounced by both the lobby and many of its Christian allies as politically extremist, anti-Semitic or even anti-Christian.
The religious convictions of many Americans have made them susceptible to the appeals of the Israeli lobby, with the result that free speech concerning the Middle East and U.S. policy in the region is frequently restricted before it begins. The combination of religious tradition and overt lobby activity tends to confine legitimate discussion within artificially narrow bounds.
239 -- Conservative Christians Rally to the Cause
Fundamentalist and evangelical groups have been active in this campaign to narrow the bounds of free speech. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson proselytize tirelessly for ever-increasing U.S. backing of Israel, citing scriptural passages as the basis for their arguments. As the membership of conservative Protestant churches and organizations has expanded over the last decade, this “Christian Zionist” approach to the Middle East has been espoused from an increasing variety of “pulpits”: local churches, the broadcast media and even the halls of Congress.
240 -- Jerry Falwell Embodies Christian-Zionist Connection
Jerry Falwell, leader of the Moral majority, and a personal friend of Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir, has been described by The Economist of London as “the silk-voiced ayatollah of Christian revivalism.” Acclaimed in a Conservative Digest annual poll as the most-admired conservative outside of Congress (with President Reagan the runner-up). Falwell embodies the growing Christian-Zionist connection. He has declared: “I don’t think America could turn its back on the people of Israel and survive. God deals with nations in relation to how those nations deal with the Jew.” He has testified before Congressional committees in favor of moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Falwell is perhaps the best known of the pro-Israel fundamentalist spokesmen, but he is by no means the only one.
241 -- Televangelists Proclaim ‘Sanctity of Israel’
Radio and television broadcasts by Jim Bakker, Kenneth Copeland, Roberts, Swaggart and others routinely proclaim the sanctity of Israel through scriptural quotations, usually from the Old Testament, and then reinforce it with political and strategic arguments supplied by the broadcaster.
263 -- Catholic Nun Smeared by Jewish Publication
Sister Miriam Ward, a professor of humanities at Trinity College in Vermont and a Catholic nun, has a long record of humanitarian concern for Palestinian refugees. By her own description, her role in LaGrange II was modest. “I had doubts about whether i could justify the expense of going,” she recently recalled. Sister Miriam moderated a panel discussion and received an award for her humanitarian endeavors. Like Mr. Wagner, she knew from experience the price of speaking out on Palestinian questions. Her activities had also attracted hate mail and personal innuendoes. Still, she was not prepared for the smear which resulted from her participation at LaGrange.
Sister Miriam was singled out for a personal attack in The Jewish Week-American Examiner, a prominent New York City Jewish publication. The June 21, 1981, issue gave prominent coverage to a scheme to disrupt Israeli policy on the occupied West Bank which Sister Miriam had supposedly advanced at the conference. The article claimed that she had urged that “churches finance a project with staff in the U.S. and fieldworkers in Israel and the West Bank for the purpose of ‘spying on the Israelis.’ ” She was reported saying, “By the time the Israelis caught on to what was going on and expelled a fieldworker, they [presumably Sister Miriam and her co-conspirators] would have a replacement ready.” The Jewish Week article added that “the proposal was accepted without dissent, and ways of obtaining church funds for it were discussed.”
The report was a complete fabrication. No one at the LaGrange Conference had suggested such a plan, least of all Sister Miriam, and she was stunned when Wagner telephoned from Chicago informing her of the printed allegations.
265 -- American Jews Made to Feel Guilty
In its efforts to quell criticism of Israel, the pro-Israel community’s first goal is to still Jewish critics. In this quest it receives strong support from the Israeli government.
Every government of Israel gives high priority to maintaining unity among U.S. Jews. This unity is regarded as a main line of Israel’s defense — second in importance only to the Israeli army — and essential to retaining the support Israel must have from the United States government.
American Jews are made to feel guilty about enjoying safety and the good life in the United States while their fellow Jews in Israel hold the ramparts, pay high taxes, and fight wars.
269 -- Noam Chomsky One of Few Able to Criticize Israel
In my 22 years in Congress, I can recall no entry in Congressional Record disclosing a speech critical of Israeli policy by a Jewish member of the House or Senate. Jewish members may voice discontent in private conversation but never on the public record. Only a few Jewish academicians, like Noam Chomsky, a distinguished linguist, have spoken out. Most, like Chomsky, are protected in their careers by tenure and thus are able to become controversial without jeopardizing their positions.
284 -- ‘One Word of Sympathy’ Can Bring Jewish Hate Mail
Those who speak up pay a price, says Stone, noting that journalists with long records of championing Israeli causes are flooded with “Jewish hate mail, accusing them of anti-Semitism” if they dare express “one word of sympathy for Palestinian Arab refugees.”
287 -- Lobby Tentacles Reach Even to ‘Main Street’
Efforts by the pro-Israel lobby to influence American opinion and policy most often focus on national institutions, particularly the federal government. yet the lobby in its various forms branches out widely into American life beyond the seat of government on the Potomac River. Local political leaders, businesses, organizations and private individuals in many fields experience unfair criticism and intimidation for becoming involved in the debate over Middle East issues. Many on “Main Street” have pad a price for speaking out. Particularly distressing are instances of discrimination against Americans of Arab ancestry.
295, 296 -- Possible Accusation of Anti-Semitism Keeps Journalists in Line
The Israeli lobby works diligently to keep journalists from rowing against the tide of pro-Israel orthodoxy. This mission is accomplished in part through carefully arranged, “spontaneous” public outcries designed to intimidate. Columnist Rowland Evans writes: “When we write what is perceived to be an anti-Israeli column, we get mail from all over the country with the same points and phrasing. there is a consistent pattern.”
The ubiquitous cry of “anti-Semitism” is brought to bear on short notice, and it is this charge which has been most responsible for compelling journalists to give Israel better than equal treatment in coverage of Middle East events.
296 -- American Media ‘Overwhelmed’ by Lobby Pressure
Journalist Harold R. Piety observes that “the ugly cry of anti-Semitism is the bludgeon used by the Zionists to bully non-Jews into accepting the Zionist view of world events, or to keep silent.” In late 1978, Piety, withholding his identity in order not to irritate his employer, wrote an article on “Zionism and the American Press” for Middle East International in which he decried “the inaccuracies , distortions and — perhaps worst — inexcusable omission of significant news and background material by the American media in its treatment of the Arab-Israeli conflict.”
Piety traces the deficiency of U.S. media in reporting on the Middle East to largely successful efforts by the pro-Israel lobby to “overwhelm the American media with a highly professional public relations campaign, to intimidate the media through various means and, finally, to impose censorship when the media are compliant and craven.” He lists threats to editors and advertising departments, orchestrated boycotts, sanders, campaigns of character assassination, and personal vendettas among the weapons employed against balanced journalism.
301 -- Radio Producer ‘Terminated’ For Trying to Balance Coverage
On a Saturday morning in 1977 producer Debbie Gage encountered peril of a different sort when she put on a one-hour program of interviews with local people of Palestinian origin on Minneapolis Public Radio. The station’s switchboard was promptly swamped with calls demanding equal time for the Israeli viewpoint. Gage demurred, responding that she had decided to do her program because of the heavy coverage being given to the Israeli view in the local press. She saw her broadcast as “simply a small attempt to redress that imbalance.”
The following Monday news director Gary Eichten informed Gage that her job would be terminated in three weeks and that a program devoted to pro-Israelt views would be aired the following Saturday. Eichten denied that he was pressured into doing the follow-up program, but, as station intern Yvonne Pearson observes, “If dozens of angry phone calls aren’t pressure, I don’t know what is.”
303 -- ‘Army of Workers’ Swamp Congressmen, Editors
Major national media have not escaped these pressures. Organized letter campaigns are a favored tactic of pro-Israel groups. Lawrence Mosher, a staff correspondent for the National Journal, observes that such groups have a seemingly indefatigable army of workers who will generate hundreds or thousands of letters to Congressmen, to newspaper editors, etc., whenever the occasion seems to warrant it.
. . . Editors are sometimes weighed down by it in advance and inhibited from doing things they would normally do if they didn’t know that an onslaught of letters, cables and telephone calls would follow if they write or show such and such.
311, 312 -- Holocaust Museum Director Berenbaum (Former Lobbyist) in the Newsroom
Fairness in reporting Middle East events has been a special concern of the Washington Post over the last several years. Complaints from pro-Israel groups about its coverage of Lebanon — especially the nassacres at Sabra and Shatila — led to the unprecedented placement of a representative from a pro-Israel group as an observer in the Post newsroom.
The idea arose when Michael Berenbaum, executive director of the Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington, council president Nathan Lewin, and Hyman Bookbinder, area representative of the American Jewish Committee, met with Post editors to inform them that the paper had “a Jewish problem.” The meeting followed substantial correspondence between the Washington Post and Jewish community leaders. As an accommodation, executive editor Benjamin C. Bradlee agreed to have Berenbaum observe Post news operations for one week, provided he not lobby or “interfere with the editorial process in any way.”
313 -- Pressure to ‘Stop the Ads’
Direct pressure to reject paid advertising unsympathetic to Israeli interests was applied beginning in late 1982 against major media in Maryland, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia. The National Association of Arab Americans (NAAA), a Washington-based private membership organization, purchased radio air time in these areas for commercials questioning the U.S. government’s decision to increase aid to Israel.
Typical of the messages was this one aired in Pennsylvania:
While there are more than 12 million Americans unemployed, with over half a million from Pennsylvania alone, Congress decided to give Israel two billion, 485 million of your tax dollars. Senator Arlen Specter [D-PA] is on the Senate Appropriations Committee that wanted to give Israel even more. Is funding for Israel more important than funding for Pennsylvania? Call your senators and ask them if they voted to give your tax dollars to Israel.”
Thirteen Pennsylvania stations contracted to carry the NAAA message, but four of these canceled the ads after only three days of an agreed-upon five-day run. Mike Kirtner, an ad salesman representing two stations in Allentown, informed the NAAA that its ads were being taken off the air because “they were getting a lot of calls, hate calls. and a lot of pressure was coming down on the station to stop the ads.” Station management refused to comment on who was pressuring the station to take the ads off the air.
Mike George, salesman for an Erie station which canceled the ads, was more frank. He informed the NAAA that the station owner had been called by “a group of Jewish businessmen who told him that if he did not cancel the ads immediately, they were going to cause his radio and television stations to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
The Fateful Triangle: the united states, israel & the palestinians
Author: Noam Chomsky ©1983 Publisher: South End Press ISBN No. 0-89608-187-7 (Pbk)
14 -- ADL ‘Willing Instrument’ In Destruction of Process of Dissent and Inquiry
In the United States, the Anti-Defamation League is regarded as a civil libertarian organization, at one time, a deserved reputation. Now, it specializes in trying to prevent critical discussion of policies of Israel by such techniques as maligning critics, including Israelis who do not pass its test of loyalty, distributing alleged “information” that is often circulated in unsigned pamphlets, and so on. In Israel, it is casually described as “one of the main pillars” of Israeli propaganda in the United States. Seth Tillman refers to it as part of “the Israeli lobby.” We return to some of its public performances (see pp. 284f.). The well-known Israeli military historian Meir Pail, formerly head of the Officers Training School of the IDF and an Israeli dove, might well have had the League in mind when he described the ways in which “Golda Meir and the Labor Party destroyed pluralism and debate within the old Zionist framework,” mimicking “Joseph Stalin’s tendency towards communist parties all over the world,” whose interests were to be “subjugated ... to the power interests of the Soviet Union”; “And the Israeli regime’s tendency has been similar” as it has “destroyed the very process of dissent and inquiry,” beginning (he says) with the Golda Meir labor government. The League has proven a more than willing instrument.
The Zionist Connection - what price peace?
Author: Alfred M. Lilienthal ©1978 Publisher: Dodd, Mead & Co. ISBN No. 0-396-07564-9
261 -- Zionist Pressure Lobbies
When President Carter planned to meet secretly with four key Senators who automatically back Israel, the word was somehow passed to [Morris] Amitay, who then called on each one to shore up his support prior to the meeting with the President. There is no question that this lobby possesses the most unusual political savvy. “They are plugged into the Washington-based network,” a veteran congressional staffer noted. “They are well armed with the usual vehicles that lobbyists need; they are adept and intelligent — and they know how these cats meow.” And they have other powerful Zionist oriented groups working side by side, often plowing a path for them.
The Anti-Defamation League does its share cooperating in “converting” congressmen at critical moments. Opposition to sending the deadly C-3 concussion bombs to the Zionist state immediately brought overt suggestions from this group that the opponents were secretly anti-Semitic. “That’s the pervasive force they strike in the hearts of members up here,” one Capitol Hill aide was quoted as saying. “If you’re in opposition to anything Israel wants, you get a big white paintbrush that says you’re anti-Semitic.
626 -- Zionist Lobby Responsible for ‘Serious Military Drain’ of American Combat-Ready Troops
An authoritative Pentagon source later declared that “the depletion of the U.S. arsenal for the benefit of Israel during the October war left our country without a single combat-ready division anywhere.” The Zionist lobby, responsible for this serious military drain, was what Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff George S. Brown had been talking about in his Duke Law School controversial reference, ...