Grant F Smith : 1963 — The year the Israel Lobby Transcended US Law

My Catbird Seat March 23, 2013 6
Grant F Smith : 1963 — The year the Israel Lobby Transcended US Law

Because the U.S. Department of Justice has unilaterally abrogated its responsibility to enforce FARA (Foreign Agents Registration Act), people, ideas, money and propaganda campaigns continue to secretly slosh freely between Tel Aviv and Israeli fronts in America with taxpayer funds thrown into the toxic brew.

 

by Grant F Smith

Antiwar

Fifty years ago this May, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee opened a series of unprecedented hearings investigating the clandestine activities of foreign agents active in the United States. The investigation focused most intensively on the operatives and financing of key Israel lobbying organizations such as the American Zionist Council, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, and the American Section of the quasi-governmental Jerusalem-based Jewish Agency. Thanks to a secret memo only declassified in 2010, the public may now know what fears motivated the hearings.

The March 17, 1961 staff report expressed concerns that “indigenous groups based on racial or national origins have been organized in the United States, and have often concentrated on influencing United States foreign policy in directions designed primarily to promote the interests of other states.” The Senate was particularly – though not exclusively – concerned about Israel-coordinated overseas provocations intended to tripwire the United States into action. “Operation Susannah,” an all-but-forgotten 1954 Israeli false flag terror attack on U.S. facilities in Egypt designed to keep international forces stationed in the Suez Canal zone is mentioned twice as a reason for investigating “how they do it.” Although such a line of inquiry was clearly “explosive” the Senate proposal included having “testimony on the Lavon Affair, and similar ‘gray area’ activities.”

The Senate and a parallel Justice Department investigation uncovered a massive money-laundering scheme by which the Jewish Agency – using its access to Israeli government funding and tax exempt donations from the United States – illegally funneled tens of millions into public relations and lobbying efforts conducted by the top U.S. lobby – the American Zionist Council. Isaiah Kenen, the leader of the AZC’s unincorporated lobbying division called the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) – also received Jewish Agency funding, laundered through his privately-owned lobbying newsletter.

The American Zionist Council (AZC) was a group formed in 1949, which represented nine nation-wide Zionist organizations in matters related specifically to Zionism

The Justice Department ordered the AZC to begin registering under the 1938 Foreign Agents Registration Act. The AZC fought the order before finally shutting down, but it was a pyrrhic victory. The AIPAC lobbying division split off six weeks after the order, incorporating in Washington and applying for IRS tax-exempt status in 1967.

The Jewish Agency’s American Section, forced by the Justice Department to reveal its secret Israeli government funding and legislative powers in the Knesset, also slipped the bonds of registration. In 1971 the New York branch told the Justice Department it wasn’t an agent of the Jewish Agency in Israel after all, but rather yet another foreign sister organization, the World Zionist Organization. The Justice Department thought the paper reorganization, which didn’t change staff, executives, or even office space “sketchy.” (PDF) But according to a recent Congressional Research Service report (PDF) by 1973 the Jewish Agency began receiving $25 million a year in U.S. taxpayer funding for its settlement and other activities – totaling $460 million by 1991. CRS reveals that between 2000 and 2013 the Jewish Agency will have received another $534 million ($41 million per year) in funding from Congress – none of it easily auditable by U.S. taxpayers.

But – as might now be expected – the Jewish Agency has never stopped trying to influence Americans even as tax dollars flow and the Justice Department’s FARA division sits idly by. Between 2002-2009 the Jewish Agency funded the perennial “peace processor” Dennis Ross at an Israeli “think tank” called the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute. The U.S. taxpayer-funded Jewish Agency has more recently issued a formal demand that President Barack Obama commute the sentence of Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard.

A half-century after the attempted regulation of Israel lobbies under FARA failed, it is productive to image what might be different today if AIPAC in particular had been properly registered under the Act. When AIPAC director Morris Amitay was caught red-handed mishandling classified missile secrets in 1975, he could have been prosecuted under FARA. When AIPAC and an Israeli diplomat purloined the entire 300-page book of classified trade secrets compiled from 70 U.S. industry groups opposed to unilateral trade concessions for Israel in 1984, they could have been prosecuted for failing to report their clandestine subversion of due process. When in 2005 Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman met with Israeli diplomats during efforts to pass classified information to the press they thought could trigger a U.S attack on Iran, FARA consequences would have awaited them all.

However, because the U.S. Department of Justice has unilaterally abrogated its responsibility to enforce FARA, people, ideas, money and propaganda campaigns continue to secretly slosh freely between Tel Aviv and Israeli fronts in America with taxpayer funds thrown into the toxic brew. It is hard to imagine the intense and growing drumbeat for yet another unnecessary war in the Middle East on false premises would be sounding at all if the Justice Department spent as much time upholding FARA as it did prosecuting justified whistle blowers, entrapping hapless would-be “Islamist terrorists” and formulating immoral legalese justifying ever more outrageous new executive powers.


Grant F. Smith is the author of Spy Trade: How Israel’s Lobby Undermines America’s Economy, America’s Defense Line: The Justice Department’s Battle to Register the Israel Lobby as Agents of a Foreign Government and Foreign Agents: The American Israel Public Affairs Committee from the 1963 Fulbright Hearings to the 2005 Espionage Scandal.

He is currently director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy in Washington, D.C.

For More Visit: Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy – IRmep

6 Comments »

  1. Greg Bacon March 23, 2013 at 9:47 pm - Reply

    Let's see, 1963, another important event happened, give me a minute and I'll remember….. Just as soon as I get done watching my team play in March Madness….then it will be time for the finals…then the first game of Baseball!!!!
    What was the question?

  2. doug March 25, 2013 at 12:54 pm - Reply

    thanks for the article! 

  3. rexw March 27, 2013 at 4:29 pm - Reply

    Yes
    There is no doubt that had matters fifty years ago proceeded the way that most American at the time had a right to expect, America being somewhat different in those days, it weould have been a different world. The US would have a far better country and the world would have been a safer place.  Israel would not have an AIPAC, would not have 300+ nuclear warheads and Iran would be safe from the warmongering of Israel and their cat's paw, the US.
     
    Those things would not have happened.
     
    As well, Iraq would not have occurred because the likes of Bush could never have gained power in a climate where people understood or even imagined  what it meant to be subject to outside influence  as is the case in 2013, controlled now by a foreign, arrogant,  parasitic little country.
    Hopefully, that also means that the Congress and Senate would have been  populated by decent honest American-firsters, not Israel apologists from the top to the bottom
     
    But to add to that as well,  perhaps we would not have seen the US veto in the Security Council used by compromised Americans  sixty-six times to allow Israel to ignore all those UN Resolutions, conforming as a result to the letter of the law and peace would reign in the Middle East.
     
    Sounds like a version of “If only……”
     
    Well, now you know. Graft and corruption was alive and flourishing as far back as fifty years ago, along with political ineptitude and a level of public naivety used and abused by Israel as far back as that to worm their way into American’s sympathetic nature per medium of what is now the ‘holocaust sideshow’.
    These days with the on-going help of Hollywood, Israel Movie Studios Inc, the Zionist media and  compliant,  unpatriotic politicians, the US jumps to the call of Netanyahu, the high priest of ethnic cleansing, apartheid and a person who warrants 29 standing ovations in the Congress of the United States while bringing the same US, bogged down with debt, donating billions of dollars to the military might of the same arrogant Israel, while people die in the US from a lack of a decent health treatment and rampant unemployment..
     
    Something wrong there, don’t you think.
     It is almost a case of’ if it’s rape, close your eyes and enjoy it.’

  4. rhys March 30, 2013 at 4:47 pm - Reply

    An excellent article, Mr. Smith

  5. Boris March 30, 2013 at 4:55 pm - Reply

    For the number of years all this has been going on it is obviously not a case of rape by Israel on the USA but more a gradual courtship with what is now a compliant partner who has allowed this to happen.  

     

    As I have someone write before in these columns, how many of those perpetrators of crimes against America would still be standing if there had been a Senate enquiry against Zionist influence instead of Communist influence.  

     

    Sadly, these days that would make little difference as the Senate is as bad, if not worse, than the Neocons that control them, every day of every year.  

     

    Is there an honest American Senator, anywhere? The key words are 'honest' and 'American' as opposed to 'corrupt' and' Zionist lackey'.

  6. Steven J Lewis May 23, 2013 at 5:08 pm - Reply

    If you can get past the blank stares and they don't run or bite your head off, then you are one step closer to waking an otherwise asleep American.

     

    The decades of indoctrination by the Jewish controlled media (sorry Alex Jones its not the Arabs) has turned a once great nation into one that is filled with people who don't care, don't know, don't want to know, and don't want to take the time to do the research. 

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