"Washington is an easy place to be Jewish these days.There
are some 200,000 Jews living in the area, making this the
seventh-largest Jewish community in North America ... No
one would dispute that area Jews are disproportionately
represented in the upper echelons of law, politics, medicine,
science, journalism, accounting, and other professions."
[The Washington DC Jewish community includes "at least 62 synagogues"
and "32 Jewish preschool and day schools."]
-- Barbara Matusow, MAY 2000, p. 79]
"Jewish organizations like to deny that there is such a thing as a Jewish lobby,
which is, of course, nonsense, but it may fairly be said that the massive strength
of the Zionist lobby is of comparatively recent origin."
Chaim Bermant, 1977, p. 253
"Oscar Cohen, a long-time official of the Anti-Defamation League, wrote to a
friend that by the 1970s organized American Jewry had become 'an agency of
the Israeli government .. follow[ing] its directions from day to day.'"
-- Peter Novick, 1999, p. 149
"The president of the United States is concerned about our intelligence. He goes
to the president of Israel and asks him to share the secrets of Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency. The Israeli president is unable to help him but suggests
something. He tells the president, 'If you want to know anything, just go to the
synagogue. The Jews there know everything.' The president dresses up in a skull
cap, beard, and all the accoutrements of the religious Jew and goes to a temple.
He sits down next to an old Jew and says, 'What's happening?' The old Jew says,
'The president is going to be here.'"
-- joke by Jewish comedian Milton Berle, 1996, p. 310
"With money in hand, you can demand."
-- Old Yiddish folk saying, [KUMOVE, S., 1985, p. 178]
"Follow the money."
-- common folk wisdom about any given political situation
"No election [in modern America]," says Lenni Brenner, "would be thought complete without the domestic politicians, down to the ranks of mayors and city council members, rushing to appear before Jewish organizations to reaffirm their fealty to 'the only democracy in the Middle East.'" [BRENNER, p. 9] "While some Jewish agencies have persistently denied the existence of a Jewish vote," says Stephen Isaacs, "just as persistently the politicians have pandered specifically to 'Jewish' interests and issues. The pandering has been especially observable since 1948, when the state of Israel was created." [ISAACS, p. 142]
"The percentage of Jews ... who involve themselves in party affairs as policy-makers and fund-raisers," noted Will Maslow, general counsel of the American Jewish Congress, "is probably higher than any other racial, religious, or ethnic group. The result is that Jews play a role in the political life of the country whose significance far transcends their proportion of the total population." [BRENNER, p. 121] There are, suggested the 1999 Jewish Democratic Council executive director, Ira Foreman, a "disproportionate number of opinion leaders among Jews." [ROTH, B., 10-11-99] Jewish theologian and political activist Seymour Siegel suggested that the "messianic drive is present in many great Jews. Having lost the faith that there is a God, but not wanting to give up messianism, they go into politics ..." [ISAACS, p. 20] "The pursuit of salvation through politics is a modern disease," wrote Norman Podhoretz, "And a lot of Jews are infected with it." [ISAACS, p. 26]
"American Jewry cannot claim the dubious distinction of being normal," notes Henry Feingold, "It is, to be sure, shaped by the American society with which it casts its lot; but it also has, as part of it, Jewish connections, a long separate history of its own that shapes its vision. It lives delicately suspended between two cultural pulls, the Jewish and the American. It's that connection to k'lal Yisrael, the mysterious tie that binds Jews everywhere together, and that also determines its unique political character ... It is also that connection that compels American Jewry to exert a special effort to influence the United States government ... United States foreign policy contains the most discernible signs of a specific Jewish influence." [FEINGOLD, p. 115] Jewish influence in American popular culture and government is so great that sociologist Irving Horowitz even felt comfortable asserting that "the critique of American imperialism, reformism, and welfarism readily spills into a critique of America's Jewish element." [HOROWITZ, I., p. 91]
So what is the main Jewish concern in high level American politics? Crime? Pollution? The unemployment rolls? The economy? Racism? "In the world of big-league Jewish politics," noted the Baltimore Jewish Times in 1996, "one question overshadows all others, year after year: how friendly is the current [White House] administration of Jewish and pro-Israel interests? Jewish leaders may be interested in a host of domestic and international issues. But in the end, an unfriendly administration, or one that sends mixed signals, becomes the central organizing principle of Jewish political life." [BESSER [LOVE], p. 34]
"[Israel supporters'] influence," wrote former United States Congressman Paul Findley in the 1980s, "is pervasive throughout the government and in almost every aspect of life, private and public, across the United States." [FINDLEY, p. xxvi] Behind the scenes Jewish American political and economic lobbying for governmental concessions to Jewish concerns has a long history. In 1906, for example, financier Jacob Schiff and other wealthy Jews formed the American Jewish Committee, initially to help fellow Jews across the world in Russia. One way to accomplish this was to put severe economic pressure on the Tsar's economy. American President Taft, however, was not receptive to Jewish demands for an abrogation of the Russo-American trade treaty. "Calling upon friends and resources," says Edwin Black, "the [Jewish] Committee began a widespread public appeal to have Congress force the President to end commercial relations with Russia. Within weeks, House and Senate abrogation resolutions -- each personally approved by the Committee -- were prepared." [BLACK, p. 31] The rescinding of the treaty passed in a vote shortly thereafter.
Powerful financier Bernard Baruch (whose father was a South Carolina member of the Ku Klux Klan) [COIT, M., p. 12-13] was head of President Woodrow Wilson's War Industries Board during World War I. [PLESUR, M. 1982, p. 86] A 1957 dust jacket blurb for his biography notes that "for nearly fifty years Bernard M. Baruch has been almost as well known to most Americans as that of the President of the United States, and yet he has never held an elective office ... Mr. Baruch is best known in the role of 'adviser' not only to six Presidents, but to Cabinet members, congressmen, generals, diplomats and party leaders ... As Chairman of the War Industries Board in the First World War, he controlled the entire industrial establishment of the country." [COIT, M., 1957]
Jeffrey Potter notes his influence in the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration, when, in 1944, the President fell ill:
"The condition was serious enough for hijm to go to Bernie Baruch's plantation, Hobcaw, in South Carolina, for recuperation. FDR didn't really
like his host, [Jewish media mogul] Dorothy [Schiff] explained, as both he and Eleanor thought Baruch too conservative, but he was a source of campaign funding." [POTTER, J., 1976, p. 194] (Schiff was also an influential friend of Roosevelt: "By the time Dorothy visited [Roosevelt] at Warm Springs,
Georgia, a few weeks before Christmas, 1938, she no longer felt ill at ease.
As usual, she had to make her own travel arrangement, and it never occurred
to her to wonder why it wasn't done for her. She now suspects [Roosevelt]
was afraid to have it known that it was always at his invitation that they met.") [POTTER, J., 1976, p. 155]
Another such case is that of Jewish Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, "one of [President Woodrow] Wilson's key advisers." [MURPHY, B., 1983, p. 27] "After meeting with Jacob de Haas, a former secretary to [Zionist leader] Theodore Herzl in 1912," notes current Jewish Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, "[Brandeis] joined the American Federation of Zionists and started making public remarks in support of Zionism ... In 1917 ... his intervention with President Wilson helped secure American support for the Balfour Declaration [in support of a Jewish state in Palestine], thereby assuring its issuance. In 1938, not long before his death, he called upon President Roosevelt, seeking FDR's public diplomatic support for allowing more Jewish refugees to travel to Palestine." [BREYER, p. 18] [De Haas actually became Brandeis's secretary.] [MURPHY, B., 1983, p. 26] "Since Brandeis," notes Kevin Avruch about the Zionist currents in American government, "the Zionist movement in America functioned effectively as banker for the world [Zionist] movement and as a fulcrum for the political leverage sometimes needed to mobilize American presidents and public opinion in support of the Jewish cause." [AVRUCH, K., 1981, p. 32] "
By 1956, American Secretary of State John Foster Dulles complained that "I am aware of how almost impossible it is in this country to carry out a foreign policy not approved by the Jews." [SORIN, p. 216] On another occasion, long before Jews had built their modern political machine, he complained about the "terrific control the Jews have over the news media and the barrage which the Jews have built up on Congressmen ... I am very much concerned over the fact that the Jewish influence here is completely dominating the scene and making it almost impossible to get Congress to do anything they don't approve of. The Israeli Embassy is practically dictating to Congress through influential Jewish people in the country." [FINDLEY, DEL, p. 105]
In 1984, Admiral Thomas Moorer, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, complained that
"I've never seen a President -- I don't care who he is -- stand up to [the
Jews] ... They always get what they want. The Israelis know what is
going on all the time. I got to the point where I wouldn't write anything
down. If the American people understood what a grip these people
have got on our government, they would rise up in arms." [CURTISS,
Another former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General George J. Brown, told an audience at Duke University that "[the Jewish lobby] is so strong you wouldn't believe now. We have the Israelis coming to us for equipment. We say we can't possibly get the Congress to support that. They say, 'Don't worry about the Congress.' This is somebody from another country, but they can do it." [CURTISS, p. 267] Brown's comments almost cost him his job when Jewish lobbying groups attacked him with charges of anti-Semitism.
A distinction must be made, wrote Republican Senator Charles Matthias, "between ethnicity, which enriches American life and culture, and organized ethnic interest groups, which sometimes press causes that derogate from the national interest." American elected politicians, adds the senator, "have been subjected to recurrent pressures from what has come to be known as the Israel lobby." [BLITZER, p. 134]
"During the 1944 presidential campaign," notes Steven Spiegel, "[Franklin D.] Roosevelt was pressured into promising to work for the establishment of Palestine as a free and democratic Jewish commonwealth [i.e., modern Israel]." [SPIEGEL, S., p. 12] "There were so many Jews in Roosevelt's advisory entourage -- Samuel Rosenman, Benjamin Cohen, Felix Frankfurter, David Lilienthal, Bernard Baruch, Anne Rosenberg, Sidney Hillman, and David Niles," says Jewish scholar Barnet Litvinoff, "as well [Louis] Brandeis, [Henry] Morgenthau [Roosevelt's Secretary of Treasury from 1933-45], and [Herbert] Lehman [the governor of New York] -- that many people believed that the President himself must be descended from German Jews." [LITVINOFF, S., p. 41] ("During the war, Republican campaigners, referring to Roosevelt's prominent Jewish associate Sidney Hillman, put up billboards across the nation: 'It's Your Country-- Why Let Sidney Hillman Run It?") [NOVICK, P., 1999, p. 42] "David Lilienthal was chosen by Roosevelt to direct the Tennessee Valley Authority, an agency that virtually reshaped the role of government toward business. Later, he was also chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission." [PLESUR, M., 1982, p. 142]
At least three of Roosevelt's "Palace Guard", reputedly his seven "most intimate advisers," were Jewish (Frankfurter, Niles, and Rosenman). [MURPHY, B., 1983, p. 257] Rosenman was an official Roosevelt speechwriter; Frankfurter, a Supreme Court justice, was an unofficial one. The judge also "gradually advanced himself till he was virtually an informal campaign manager [of Roosevelt's presidential campaign], playing a central role in every aspect of the campaign, from drafting speeches to plotting election strategy. [MURPHY, B., 1983, p. 194-195, 205] "Roosevelt surrounded himself with so many unmistakably Jewish advisers," notes Barbara Matusow, "that his enemies took to branding his programs the 'Jew Deal.'" [MATUSOW, B., MAY 2000, p. 79] "During the Roosevelt presidency," notes Doris Kearns Goodwin, "though Jews constituted only 3 percent of the U.S. population, they represented nearly 15 percent of Roosevelt's top appointments. Indeed, so prominent were Jews in the Roosevelt administration that bigots routinely referred to the New Deal as the Jew Deal and charged that Roosevelt was himself a Jew." [GOODWIN, D.K., 1995, p. 102] Leo Rosten was a "popular Jewish writer" and head of the Office of War Information's 'Nature of the Enemy' department. [NOVICK, P., 1999, p. 27] In 1943, William Bullitt, a former ambassador was complaining that "the Roosevelt administration's emphasis on the European war as opposed to the Asian one was the result of Jewish influence." [NOVICK, P., 1999, p. 28]
Roosevelt himself once joked, when running into Samuel Rosenman, Stephen Wise (a rabbi and World Zionist Organization president) and Nahum Goldmann (who succeeded Wise in the Zionist group) outside his weekend home in the country (where Rosenman rented a home nearby): "Carry on, boys, Sam will tell me what to do on Monday ... Imagine what [Nazi leader] Goebbels would pay for a photo of this scene: the President of the United States taking his instructions from the three Elders of Zion." [GOLDMANN, N., 1978, p. 156] (Decades earlier, President Theodore Roosevelt's Jewish circle included Oscar Solomon Strauss, the Secretary of Commerce and Labor who declined an offer to become the country's Secretary of Treasury. "He was afraid," says the director of the American Jewish Historical Society, Michael Feldman, "too close an association of Jews and money would be bad for the image of the Jew." [LIEBLICH, J., 8-19-2000, p. A10] Earlier there was Julius Rosenwald, the Sears-Roebuck mogul: "An unabashed admirer of the solid conservatism of William Howard Taft, and one of his most loyal supporters within the Jewish community, Rosenwald contributed generously to the campaigns of every Republican candidate of his era. He was an especially ardent backer of his friend Herbert Hoover, contributing $50,000 to Hoover's 1928 presidential campaign and becoming a close adviser and confidant during his presidency.") [DALIN, D., 1998] Close to Hoover was also Lewis Strauss, Hoover's "private secretary" and "lifelong friend and trusted confidant." "Strauss' volunteer job would not only start a lifelong friendship with Hoover but also open up channels of cooperation and amity between Hoover and leading members of the jewish community." [WENTLING, S., 2000, p. 377, 382] "In March 1919, as the feast of Passover approached, Hoover was asked to ensure that the Jews of Poland received flour in time to make Passover bread. The chief readily complied." [WENTLING, S., 2000, p. 383]
As early as the 1940s, Zionist propaganda to move American foreign policy to Zionist dictates was massively orchestrated. As Melvin Urofsky notes
"Zionist groups organized massive petition and letter-writing campaigns.
President Roosevelt received one such petition in January 1945
seconding the Biltmore program [favorable policy to the Jews in then-
Palestine] and signed by more than 150 college presidents and deans
and 1,800 faculty members drawn from 250 colleges and universities
in 45 states. A total of 41 state legislatures and hundreds of municipalities,
representing more than 90 per cent of the nation's population, approved
pro-Zionist resolutions." [UROFSKY, M., 1978, p. 34] )
Roosevelt was, of course, a Democrat. From the Republican Zionist side against Roosevelt, Arthur Hertzberg notes the case of Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver, president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis:
"[Silver] remained a factor in Republican politics, because he could
and did produce the necessary Jewish votes in Ohio, especially
for his friends in the [politician] Taft family. As a Zionist leader he
translated this power into political leverage against Franklin Delano
Roosevelt, when the latter faltered on Zionist issues." [NEUSNER,
J., 1972, p. 40]
In the next American presidency, notes Steven Spiegel, "it is astonishing that [President Truman] was not more pro-Zionist, given the pressures on him ... [SPIEGEL, S., p. 16] ... Truman was often bitter about the Zionist pressures on him. 'If Jesus Christ couldn't satisfy them here on earth,' he is reported to have exclaimed, 'how the hell am I supposed to?'" [SPIEGEL, S., p. 20] Under Truman, a Jewish White House officer, David Niles, "was strongly committed to the Zionist cause; he was not only prepared to argue with the President in favor of a Jewish state but to counter the effects of the [White House] bureaucracy ... [SPIEGEL, S., p. 17] ... [Niles'] modus operandi seems to have been to act for the president as long as Truman had not ordered him against a particular action ... Truman does not seem to have known precisely what Niles was doing." [SPIEGEL, S., p. 29]
"Our great stroke of luck," wrote World Zionist Organization president Nahum Goldmann, "was that Roosevelt was replaced by Harry Truman ... He said: 'My friends are Jews, the Jews want partition [in Palestine], all right, they can have it' ... The president had a Jewish childhood friend called Jacobson, his co-partner in a shop before we went into politics, and it is partly due to this man that we got the Negev [desert as part of modern Israel]." [GOLDMANN, N., 1978, p. 33] Eddie Jacobson, member of a B'nai B'rith lodge in Kansas City, flew to Washington DC to expressly implore Truman to see Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann. As Melvin Urofsky notes:
"Although Truman was always glad to see old friends, as soon as
Jacobson started talking about Palestine, the President tensed and
said that he would rather not discuss the subject, letting the whole
problem run its course in the United Nations. But Jacobson, by
now very self-conscious, would not stop, even when Truman
started complaining about 'how disrespectful and how mean' some
of the Jewish spokesmen had been." [UROFSKY, 1978, p. 165]
Theo Thackery, the non-Jewish husband of Dorothy Schiff (then-owner of the New York Post and granddaughter of famous Jewish investment banker Jacob Schiff), explains an incident he had with President Harry Truman in the White House:
"Almost immediately in the conversation [Truman] said, 'Now Thackery,
if only the goddamn New York Jews would just shut their goddamn mouths
and quit hollering ... They're screwing up the situation, and I could get along
with them, if they would just get together and decide what the hell they
want. They're all over the lot, the goddamn Jews, and here you are, not
even a Jew, representing the spearhead that's causing all kinds of hell.'
I had to say, 'Well, Mr. President, you make it impossible for me to
continue this conversation. I've got to assume by 'goddamn New York
Jews' you must mean my wife, who is a Jew. I know you better than to
believe that you are consciously anti-Semitic, but I consider it absolutely outrageous.' Immediately, I went to his press secretary and the chairman
of the Democratic National Committee. I told them I'd had this absolutely
terrible conversation with the President and suggested he be advised more clearly on such matters.'" [POTTER, J., 1976, p. 202-203]
Melvin Urofsky notes the successful Zionist pressures upon American government towards the founding of the modern Jewish state of Israel (in 1948):
"Edwin M. Wright has charged that 'the Zionist propaganda machine
was efficient and thorough, blanketing the American political processes
in systematic campaigns targeted at the general population, city halls,
state houses, and on up the ladder to Washington.' A study of American
periodical coverage of the Palestine debate confirmed that the Zionist
viewpoint dominated the medium, with an emphasis on the humanitarian
and religious aspects of the movement. Recent studies of Harry
Truman's role in the propartition [of Arabs and Jews in then-Palestine]
decision agree that Zionist-generated political pressure proved
the major factor in the White House overruling State Department advice,
a conclusion James Forrestal [the Secretary of Defense] bitterly reached
thirty years ago." [UROFSKY, M., 1978, p. 147]
Behind the scenes Zionist lobbying for special favors swayed FBI director J. Edgar Hoover (he turned a blind eye to Jews smuggling arms out of the U.S. to the Jewish army in Palestine), [UROFSKY, M., 1978, p. 157] and New York City mayor William O'Dwyer (who arranged for policeman to abandon guard of a Zionist cache of weapons headed also to the Middle East.) [UROFSKY, p. 157]
In recent decades, President Dwight D. Eisenhower in the 1950s best resisted Jewish lobbying pressures. As Melvin Urofsky notes,
"The first five years of the Eisenhower administration ...
marked the low point in relations between the Israeli and American
governments. One analyst has suggested that Eisenhower, as the
only President from Truman to Ford who did not serve in Congress,
had never been exposed to Jewish political pressure. Eisenhower's
military career had shielded him from this experience, and of all
recent Presidents, he showed, the least inclination to befriend the
Jewish community." [UROFSKY, M., 1978, p. 305]
During Eisenhower's administration, in 1956, in a secret plan devised with France and Great Britain (both which had interests in the Suez Canal), Israel -- in an act in direct contradiction to American foreign policy interests -- invaded Egypt's Sinai desert. Then, despite Eisenhower administration and United Nations insistence that Israel withdraw from the territory it had seized, the Jewish army remained. Urofsky notes the American Jewish mood of the period and its efforts to dictate American foreign policy:
"Although American Jews agonized over Israeli intransigence, they
did not worry about the old charge of dual loyalty. Here was the classic
case that the anti-Zionists of the American Council for Judaism [a now
extinct Jewish anti-Zionist group] had so fearfully predicted: a clash of
policies between the United States and Israel, with American Jews
caught in the middle. What would they do? They bombarded Congress
and the White House with demands and protests that the Eisenhower
administration pursue a more pro-Israel course. Some experts believed
that American Jews would hesitate before contributing -- even indirectly
-- to a nation at odds with their own. Yet just the opposite happened.
UJA contributions jumped 20 per cent, from $58.8 million to $70.6
million." [UROFSKY, M., 1978, p. 315]
Eisenhower was an exception in his resistance to incessant Jewish pressures. What has increasingly developed over recent decades in American government, much more the governmental norm, was bluntly addressed on June 6, 1972, by a troubled U.S. citizen, Norman F. Dacey, of Southburg, Connecticut, who bought a full page ad in the New York Times to state his perception that the United States had become "a dancing bear, responding dumbly to the commands given by the government of Israel and indirectly through a potent fifth column which operates here in America and which gives blind obedience to the Zionist credo that all Jews everywhere owe national loyalty to Israel." The Jewish community responded to Dacey's ad with outrage; the Anti-Defamation League even bought Times space for a rebuttal. In the midst of a unified Jewish attack against the Times for allowing such an ad, the Jewish vice-president of the paper, Sydney Grenson, formally apologized to the ADL for printing the critical ad, saying that the Times was "trying to work out a policy with the Advertising Acceptability Department to make sure that even the barest chance of such an implication for any ethnic group should not appear in the paper." [FORSTER/EPSTEIN, p. 120-121]
Jewish influence in (and upon) government is extraordinary. In the spring of 1977, for instance, Congress passed a bill that prohibited American corporations from complying with the ongoing Arab economic boycott against Israel. "The bill was hammered out between Jewish defense agencies and the Business Council, a prestigious, high-powered big business organization headed by Du Pont's chairman, Irving Shapiro." [KREFETZ, p. 92] "The pro-Israeli banks were so dominant in the field," said Business Week, that they 'cannot realistically be avoided because of their sheer size." [KREFETZ, p. 98] "The domestic political game played around the activities of the United States in the Middle East has only one major player," says Seymour Lipset, "the organized Jewish community who, with campaign contributions, activism, and media influence, constitute a major force." [LIPSET, p. 157]
In November 2001, during the chaotic Palestinian Intifada (uprising) against Israeli occupation and international outcry against repeatedly bloody Israeli invasions of Palestinian towns and territory (let alone Israeli campaigns of "targetted assasinations"), 89 U. S. Senators wrote a formal letter to President George W. Bush and "urged him not to restrain Israel from retaliating fully against Palestinian violence and to express his solidarity with Israel soon." "There is constant concern about the administration's wavering," declared Jewish Senator Arlen Specter, "[Secretary of State Colin] Powell talks about the cycle of violence that suggests one produces the other and that ther is a moral equvilancy, which is not true. Terrorists killing civilians is totally unjustified, and Israel's response is self-defense." [SCIOLINO, E., 11-17-01]
This focus on Jewish international concerns in United States governmental actions, even aside from Israel, often overrules American ones. "In 1979," says Jewish scholar Stephen Whitfield, " ... the FBI had arrested two Soviet spies operating on American soil. The spies were exchanged not for Americans in Soviet custody but for five Soviet nationals who were political prisoners, including two Jews convicted .... nine years earlier. For American diplomacy to consider the lives of non-American citizens so precious was a pointed contrast to its failures before and during the Holocaust." [WHITFIELD, American, p. 16] In 1986, a Jew, Karl Koecher "one of the most important [Soviet] spies in United States history" was released from an American prison in exchange -- not for an American, but -- for Soviet dissident Anatoly Acharansky who then moved to Israel and later became the Jewish state's Minister of Trade to capitalist Russia. [DEUTSCHE PRESSE AGENTUR, 1-26-97; KESSLER, R., 9-17-98, p. C1]
In 1973 the Jewish Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, "convinced the Soviets that Jewish emigration was a necessary price for winning ... coveted trade benefits." [GOLDBERG, JJ, p. 171] "In 1975," notes Menachem Kaufman, "when President Ford and Secretary Kissinger were unable to convince the Rabin government [in Israel] to withdraw from the Mitla and Gidi Passes in Sinai without a formal renunciation of belligerency by the Egyptians, the Ford administration placed a partial curb on U.S. military and financial support for Israel. American Jewish reaction was a nationwide campaign of support for Israel." [KAUFMAN, p. 247] In May 1977 Congress passed an anti-boycott bill against the unified Arab economic war against the Jewish state. "The Jewish organizations," notes J. J. Goldberg, "had worked together more or less seamlessly, securing the cooperation of friendly Jews in the news media, business, the administration, and Congress. The result was a major change in United States policy." [GOLDBERG, JJ, p. 171]
Prominent (Jewish) CBS television newsman Mike Wallace wrote about the Jewish lobby that heavily leaned on the media, and him, in 1975:
"At that time the so-called Jewish lobby was one of the most powerful
pressure groups in America. That is no slur but a simple statement
of fact. It was organized, well-financed and extremely savvy, especially
when it came to dealing with the media. According to The Power
Peddlers, a book published in 1977 about the effect of lobbying
activities in the United States, 'The Israeli lobby is unique among
lobby groups with its 'clout' with the press. [No other lobby] has
succeeded in making reporters look over their shoulders as much as
the Israeli lobby.'" [WALLACE/GATES, 1984, p. 286-287]
Jewish influence in the American government is well-known in political circles throughout the world. In 2000, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported on this phenomenon, in an article entitled Nations See Jews as Key to Winning with U. S. :
"Why U. S. Jews want to meet with world leaders is clear and well known.
The focal point of most of these meetings is Israel and how the Jewish
state can strengthen alliances around the world. Why world leaders want
to meet with Jews is more interesting, less publicized, and to some Jews,
discomfiting. These leaders believe in Jewish power ... In fact, Jewish
leaders nowadays receive mostly red-carpet treatment. They have
access to the corridors of power in most capitals around the world ...
American Jewish leaders explain all this buttering up in euphemistic
terms, suggesting that foreigners have a fascination ' with or 'appreciation'
for American Jews. But when pressed, Jewish leaders admit the true driving
force behind it is the lingering belief that Jews are capable of making or
breaking relations with the United States and capable of wrecking havoc
on the world's financial markets." [JORDAN, M., 9-13-00]
Per the Jewish state, by 1994, wrote Benjamin Ginsberg, "that fully three-fourths of America's foreign aid budget is devoted to Israeli security interests is a tribute in considerable measure to the lobbying prowess of AIPAC [the American Israel Public Action Committee] and the importance of the Jewish community in American politics." [GINZBURG, p. 2] "Each year the United States Congress donates to Israel the equivalent of $1,000 for every Israeli man, woman, and child," complained former Congressman Paul Findley, "No matter how sharply Congress cuts other items in the Federal budget, gifts to Israel sweep through without restrictive amendment or murmur of opposition. My years on Capitol Hill led me to conclude that aid to Israel is more sacrosanct there than even social security or Medicaid." [FINDLEY, p. xxvii ] ... Since 1987 direct economic and military aid to Israel has annually totaled $3 billion or more. In addition, financial arrangements worked out solely for Israel bring the total to about $5 billion a year ... [FINDLEY, p. 110] "The magnitude of United States support for Israel," notes Cheryl Rubenberg, "-- militarily, politically, economically, and diplomatically -- goes beyond any traditional relationship between states in the international system." [FINDLEY, DEL, p. 111] "By the late 1980s," notes Glenn Frankel, "Israel was not only receiving more United States foreign aid than any other country, but also getting it at more favorable terms than anyone else. While other countries received their economic aid in quarterly installments, Israel got its aid in a lump sum at the beginning of the year, allowing the Israelis to make an extra $75 million in 1991 by investing in United States Treasury bills." [FRANKEL, p. 223] In the 1990s, when the 104th Congress "slashed nearly all other foreign assistance," Israel got its regular $3 billion. [BLOOMFIELD, D, Election, p. 52]
"More than one-third of United States world-wide aid," notes Richard Curtiss, a former career foreign service officer, "has gone annually to one of the smallest and least populous countries on earth.' [CURTISS, p. 2] The total amount of U.S. taxpayer aid to Israel since 1949 totals well over $83 billion -- a value of $14,346 for every single present Israeli. [CURTISS, p. 4] In addition, notes Curtiss, "fueled by the unique U.S. law that grants U.S. tax exemption to donations from the U.S. to any Israeli institution that is exempt from Israeli taxes, the total of tax-exempt [private] U.S. donations to Israel now approaches $1 billion annually." [CURTISS, p. 6] (Israel and the worldwide Jewish lobby has even managed a deep cash-flow from Holocaust guilt-ridden Germany. Since World War II, Germany has paid $95.64 billion in restitution payments to mostly Jews worldwide, "of which approximately $26 billion has gone to individual recipients in Israel or the state of Israel itself." [CURTISS, p. 8] ) While Israel regularly gets its huge sums, the neglect of other nations is breathtaking. A Washington Post commentator noted in 1999 that "the United States ranks last among developed nations in percentage of resources devoted to foreign aid." [OVERHOLSER, G., p. 7]
Jane Adas notes that
"All the funding for the National Endowment for the Arts since its
creation in 1966 amounts to less than eight months of aid to Israel;
the $10 million cut in funding for PBS equals 16 hours of aid to
Israel; in 1996 cuts in programs for America's poor totaled $5.7
billion, cuts in aid to Israel were zero, aid to Israel was $5.5 billion."
[APAS, p. 106]
Among the results of the gigantic American welfare program for Israel (and its subsequent welfare programs) is that noted by Israeli scholar Menachem Friedman: "The establishment of the state of Israel as a western welfare state created nearly ideal economic and social conditions for the flourishing of special Haredi [ultra-Orthodox] educational institutions." [FRIEDMAN, M., p. 185]
And Israel's repayment for such phenomenal aid? In 1999, even ardent pro-Israeli (and Jewish) columnist William Safire was aghast at Israel's installing of aerial reconnaissance radar on Chinese planes. Worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the Jewish state, Safire said the deal reflected "Israel's amoral policy." "This flies in the face of U.S. security interest," he wrote,
"... American forces will be directly threatened by Chinese air, naval
and missile forces emboldened by Israel's Phalcon battle management
... Though candidates for U.S. President today are fearful of raising
this question, American supporters of Israel want to know if Israel tips
the technological balance against a democratic American ally in Asia
[Taiwan], why should the United States guarantee that Israel continue
to have a 'qualitative edge' in the Middle East?" [SAFIRE, W., 12-25-99]
In 1995, Duncan Clarke, professor of international relations and coordinator of the United States Foreign Policy field at American University, addressed the threat to America of widespread Israeli resale of American weapons systems:
"Other countries have been caught evading U.S. re-export controls, but
Israel's case appears unique. Not only is it the beneficiary of massive
U.S. support, but it is also by far the principal offender and foremost
concern of U.S. officials responsible for implementing the laws on
re-export of U.S. defense products. Unauthorized Israeli re-transfers
of U.S. defense items and technology are of particular concern for
several reasons, say U.S. officials: Israel re-exports much more often
than do other allies and with more sensitive technology; it sells to 'pariah'
states with which the United States refuses to deal; its sophisticated
defense industry makes retransfers harder to track than other arms
exporters; and its retransfers are genrally governmentally sanctioned
and not simply the result of a wayward company, as is usually the case
elsewhere. Israel's unathorized retransfer of U.S. defense products is
part of a larger pattern of illicit behavior that includes diversions of U.S.
military aid, industrial espionage, and improper end use of U.S.
military equipment. Israel often retransfers U.S. defense products to
states that are potentially hostile to the United States or are blatant
violators of human rights. These retransfers have threatened American
commerical interests, compromised intelligence, upset regional stability,
strained diplomatic relations, and confirmed the U.S. national security
bureaucracy's long-standing distrust of Israeli technology transfer
practices." [CLARKE, D., 1995, p. 89-90]
Israeli weapons retransfers include versions of the U.S. Sidewinder missile, aerial refueling systems, the Popeye missile, the Star cruise missile, the Arrow missile, thermal imaging tank sights, space launch vehicles, and jet fighters. [CLARKE, D., 1995, p. 104-107] What kind of country are we apparently dealing with here? "Israel," adds Clarke,
"engages in unauthorized defense re-exports largely to nourish its economy's
large defense sector and because it is confident, for good reason, that Washington
will not or cannot enforce the law. Indeed, the Clinton administration relaxed curbs
on the transfer of sensitive technology to Israel despite Israel's dismal record
recrod of unauthorized transfers. There has been a persistent pattern of misconduct ...
Israeli scholar Ehud Sprinzak holds that his society is afflicted with an 'elite
illegalism' that is central to the country's domestic political culture and
international behavior ... [E]lite illegalism deprecates the idea of the rule of law
and assumes 'that democracy can work without a strict adherence to law,'
as Sprinzak writes. He asserts that past leaders like Moshe Dayan (a 'soverign
personality' above the law) were role models for a generation of IDF officers."
[CLARKE, D., 1995, p. 108-109]
In 2001, an Israeli newspaper noted that the United States might literally become a parking lot for Israeli weapons:
"Israel has asked the United States to permanently base some Israeli fighter
jets at a U.S. Air Force in America for combat training of Israeli pilot, officials
of the two countries said Wednesday." [HAARETZ, 8-2-02]
"Because the security and welfare of Israel are so pivotal to Jewish destiny," says Jewish scholar Stephen Whitfield, "and to the future of the Jewish people everywhere else, pro-Zionism has become the prerequisite for the practice of Jewish politics in America." [WHITFIELD, p. 103] Jewish members of the 99th United States Congress included eight seats in the Senate and 29 in the House of Representatives. By this time Jews had also chaired the Council of Economic Development, the Federal Reserve Board, the National Security Council, as well as headed the Department of Defense and the American delegation to the United Nations. [WHITFIELD, p. 92] By 1996, slowly -- but ever -- increasing, 10 of the 100 U.S. Senators were Jewish (over representing their population percentage by 400%). By 1998 the number was 11. In the House of Representatives, before the Republicans gained control of that body, 33 seats were Jewish-held, 7.5% of the House, [GOLDBERG, JJ, Bagels, p. 13] more than a 300% overrepresentation of the Jewish population in America. Among these Jewish Congress members was Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky, a former reporter for NBC. Prominent 1970s-era New York Congresswoman Bella Abzug was probably not atypical in her political perspective when she declared: "Ever since my youth I've been a Zionist, and I've worked hard for the cause of Jewish homeland too. I've visited Israel and I've raised my kids with a very strong background in Jewish culture. Besides that, I spent a couple of years of my life as a Hebrew teacher!" [ABZUG, B., 1972, p. 70]
In 2001, the (Jewish) Forward noted the situation for Jewish influence in the now Democratically-controlled Senate (thanks to a defection by a Republican senator to the Democratic side):
"Nothing symbolized the prospect of increased access more clearly than one stark
demographic statistic: The 50 Democrats who make up the Senate's new majority
caucus will include nine Jewish members, just shy of one-fifth. The Republican
caucus includes just a single Jewish member, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania. Some
of those Jewish Democrats will hold positions of crucial importance to Jewish
activists when the Senate changes hands. Senator Carl Levin of Michigan is slated
to chair the Senate Armed Services Committee, which oversees crucial areas of
U.S.-Israeli military cooperation. Senator Dianne Feinstein and Senator Barbara
Boxer, both of California, will chair the subcommittees dealing with domestic and international terrorism respectively on the Judiciary and Foreign Relations committees. Most observers expected little in the way of a shakeup in Middle East policy following
the shift. 'We don't expect much of a change,' said Ken Bricker, spokesman of
the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the leading pro-Israel lobby. 'That's
one of the benefits of being an organization that places so much emphasis on bipartisanship.'" [DONADIO/SCHWARTZ, 6-1-00]
By the 1970s and 1980s more and more Jews were highly visible in positions of great political power in government. At the local level, mayors of New York City (Ed Koch); Atlanta (Sam Massell); Kansas City (Richard Berkeley); Omaha; and San Francisco (Diane Feinstein) were Jewish. Jewish mayors with tenures in the late 1980s and 1990s (some into the new century) included those of San Diego (Susan Golding); Indianapolis (Stephen Goldsmith); Dallas, Texas (Annette Strauss); San Jose (hub of California's hi-tech Silicon Valley: Susan Hammer); Portland, Oregon (Vera Katz); Las Vegas (Oscar Goodman); St. Paul, Minnesota (Norm Coleman); Louisville, Kentucky (Jerry Abramson); Tucson, Arizona (George Miller); Virginia Beach, Virginia (Meyer Orbendorf); Toronto, Canada (Mel Lastman); Prescott, Arizona (Sam Steiger); and Ottawa, Canada (Jacquelin Holzman). Linda Lingle was also the "mayor" of Maui County in Hawaii for a time in the same era. Even the ceremonial Lord Mayor of London, England, is Jewish: Peter Levene. Much earlier in his career, controversial TV talk show host Jerry Springer was the mayor Cincinnati. [JEWHOO, 2000] Even the mayor of Fargo, North Dakota, was Jewish in the 1970s. [GOLDEN, H., 1973, p. 6]
In Massacusetts, The Jewish Advocate noted in 1994 that "[the Boston-area town of] Chelsea's former mayor, Joe Pressman -- also a Jew -- was indicted for corruption shortly after the city was taken into receivership." [SINERT, M., 12-22-94, p. 1]
Jewish state governors over the years have included those of Oregon (Neil Goldschmidt), Madeline May Kunin (Vermont), Rhode Island (Frank Licht and Bruce Sundlun), Connecticut (Abraham Ribicoff: also Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare under John F. Kennedy), and New Mexico (Arthur Seligman). David Barrett served a term as the premier of Canada's British Columbia in the 1970s. [JEWHOO, 2000] In 1977, the Jewish governor of Maryland, Marvin Mandel, and four others were "convicted of conspiracy to have the Governor influence race track legislation in return for $380,000 in bribes." [AYRES, B.D., p. A1] (Shortly thereafter, in 1982, another Maryland Jewish politician was sentenced to prison. Baltimore City Council President Walter Orlinsky pleaded guilty to "one count of extortion ... [He also] conceded that the Government could prove other charges against him.") [NYT, 9-23-82, p. A24] [BALTMORE JEWISH TIMES, 1-23-98, p. 8]
Kenneth Duberstein was Chief of Staff to the President from 1988-89. Philip Klutznik was President Jimmy Carter's Secretary of Commerce. He was also the honorary president of the World Jewish Congress and a "former president of B'nai B'rith International, who raised millions of dollars for Israel." [OLIVER, M., p. A16] In 1959, he was instrumental in holding, for the first time, the B'nai B'rith yearly gathering in the Jewish state. [GRUSD, E., 1966, p. 268] Carter's Secretary of Treasury, W. Michael Blumenthal was also of Jewish heritage, as was his Secretary of Defense, Harold Brown. Philip Klutznick was Secretary of Commerce and Neil Goldschmidt was Secretary of Transportation. "Two of the top nine aides" to Carter were also Jewish, Robert Lipshutz (formerly head of the Atlanta chapter of B'nai B'rith) and Stuart Eizenstat. Other prominent Jewish officials in the Carter administration included Kenneth Axelson, Anthony Solomon, Julius Katz, and Arthur Borg. [LILIENTHAL, A., p. 236; PLESUR, M., 1982, p. 142] Robert S. Strauss [was] "Carter's choice for almost everything." [PLESUR, M., 1982, p. 143]
Under Republican president Gerald Ford, prominent individuals of Jewish heritage included Henry Kissinger (Secretary of State), James Schlesinger (Secretary of Defense), and Edward Levi (Attorney General). History could have been different: Kissinger's parents almost emigrated from Germany to Israel. [GOLDMANN, N., 1978, p. 158] "You are much more Jewish unconsciously than consciously," Zionist lobbyist Nachum Goldmann once told him. "This," wrote Goldmann, "is quite apparent in his attitude to Israel." [GOLDMANN, N., 1978, p. 163] "During Israel's first years as a nation," notes Steven Silbiger, "the United States offered it very little financial or military aid. The huge influx of direct aid occurred during the Nixon administration in the 1970s under the leadership of Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, the first Jew to hold the position. Aid skyrocketed from $300 million to $2.2 billion annually, making Israel the recipient of more U.S. dollars than any other nation." [SILBIGER, S., 2000, p. 52]
Appointed positions, however, are not everything. Nor are electoral seats, of course, the real locus of political power. "The one question that Jewish activists tend to tiptoe around," wrote Stephen Isaacs in 1974, "is the one concerning Jewish money ... Jewish money has played a significant role in the current exercise of power ... [It] can sometimes play a major factor in whether a senator has won re-election." [ISAACS, p. 260] "It is one of the worst-kept secrets in American Jewish politics," noted J. J. Goldberg, "that the campaign contribution is a major key to Jewish power ... Almost none of those involved in the process of Jewish campaign funding ... donors, fundraisers, candidates, monitors ... are willing to talk about it on the record ... Jews fear that discussing Jewish money will encourage anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Non-Jews fear that talking about it will leave them open to charges of anti-Semitism. But it is a fact ... [GOLDBERG, JJ, p. 266] ... The most notorious use of Jewish campaign money is not to support candidates who have been friendly, but to oppose those who have been unfriendly." [GOLDBERG, JJ, p. 269]
Jewish money in Washington D. C. was even crucial in the very founding of the modern state of Israel. Jewish Democrats Dewey Stone, Abe Feinberg, Ed Kaufmann, and others were key fundraisers for Harry Truman's Presidential campaigns; they were also Zionists. Going against the will of his own State Department, Truman followed the Zionist line in supporting a 1947 United Nations vote for the partition of Palestine into Jewish and Arab sections. Afterwards, said long time Democratic activist and brother-in-law of John F. Kennedy, Stephen Smith: "Two million dollars went aboard the Truman [campaign] train in a paper bag, and that's what paid for the state of Israel." [COCKBURN, p. 26-27]
During the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration, "at the urging of [prominent wealthy Jews] Henry Morgenthau, Sr. and Felix Warburg" the president appointed James D. McDonald as "high commissioner for refugees (Jewish and others) coming from Germany ... The bulk of financial support McDonald received came from private Jewish relief societies. Of his advisory council of twenty voluntary agencies, ten were Jewish, and Felix Warburg was personally obliged to supplement McDonald's meager salary ... McDonald [was] ... a lifetime supporter of Jewish causes and eventually [became] America's first ambassador to Israel." [NICHOLS, p. 43-44] "The State Department representatives [among advisers to President Truman]," notes Melvin Urofsky, "strongly urged that a trained foreign service career officer be nominated, but the President [Truman] after politely listening to their nominees (nearly all of whom came from the Middle East desk), chose James G. McDonald." [UROFSKY, M., 1978, p. 186] Under Secretary of State Robert Lovette, for example, "questioned whether McDonald's known sympathy for the Zionist cause ought not to disqualify him." [UROFSKY, M., 1978, p. 187]
John F. Kennedy had a strongly negative reaction in 1960 to the conditions Jewish contributors demanded for their donations to his presidential campaign (their "initial" contribution was $500,000). Seymour Hersh notes a conversation Kennedy had with a friend, newspaper columnist Charles L. Bartlett:
"'As an American citizen [Kennedy] was outraged,' Bartlett recalled,
'to have a Zionist group come to him and say: We know your
campaign is in trouble. We're willing to pay your bill, if you'll let
us have control of your Middle East policy.' Kennedy, as a
presidential candidate, also resented the crudity with which he'd
been approached. 'They wanted control,' he angrily told Bartlett."
[HERSH, p. 97]
Among these Jews was Abraham Feinberg, president of the Israel Bonds Organization, who "had helped bankroll Harry S. Truman's seemingly doomed 1948 presidential campaign; by the presidential campaign of 1960 he was perhaps the most important Jewish fundraiser for the Democratic Party. There was nothing subtle in his message: the dollars he collected were meant to insure continued Democratic Party support for Israel." [HERSH, p. 93] "My partner to power," said Feinberg, "was cooperation in terms of what they needed -- campaign money. " [HERSH, p. 94] To appease Jewish interest in Kennedy's White House, Myer Feldman, a liaison to the Jewish American community, was also afforded extraordinary access to "monitor all of the State Department and White House cable traffic on the Middle East." [HERSH, p. 99] Robert Kennedy, the president's brother, noted in an interview published in 1988 that Feldman's "major interest was Israel rather than the United States." [HERSH, p. 100] Feldman also helped write Kennedy speeches and was "an adviser to columnists Drew Pearson and Jack Anderson." [BLUMAY, C., 1992, p. 66] Also, 'One of Kennedy's most trusted, and little-known advisers during the 1960 campaign [was] Hyman Raskin, a Chicago lawyer who had helped manage Adlai Stevenson's presidential campaign in 1952 and 1956." [HERSH, S., 1997, p. 90]
Upon election, John F. Kennedy lobbied unsuccessfully for ways to reform "the financial base of our presidential campaigns." "In a statement that was far more heartfelt than the public or press could perceive," says Hersh, "he criticized the current method of financial campaigns as 'highly undesirable' and 'not healthy' because it made candidates 'dependent on large financial contributions of those with special interests.'" [HERSH, p. 97] So important to Democratic purse strings, Abe Feinberg became influential in the Kennedy White House and even managed to get the beholding president to appoint Feinberg's brother, Wilfred, to a position as a federal judge. [HERSH, p. 97-98] (On the Israeli side of things, he was eventually rewarded for his lobbying efforts on behalf of the Jewish state by being allowed to be a principal owner in the Coca-Cola franchise in Israel. [HERSH, p. 192] Pierre Salinger was Kennedy's Press Secretary. Even a Jewish New York physician, Max Jacobson (the infamous "Dr. Feelgood" to so many Hollywood celebrities), regularly drugged the President with painkillers and stimulants, so much that some in the White House entourage began to worry about the President's reliance upon them. "Carrying his bag of drugs and needles," notes Seymour Hersh, "[Jacobson] 'came and went' in and out of the White House without challenge. He was part of the 'inner circle.'" [HERSH, S., 1997, p. 234]
In modern political America, in the competing attempts to buy influence, one half of major donations to the Democratic Party is believed to come from Jews, [SLAVIN, p. 20] as is one half of Democratic Presidential campaign funding. [GOLDBERG, p. 276] As early as 1967, William Domhoff, in Who Rules America?, found that 50% of the highest echelon of campaign contributors ("of whom we could find information") to the Democratic Party in 1960 and 1964 were Jews. [DOMHOFF, p. 95] "Jews donate or raise as much as half of all Democratic Party campaign funds," noted Jewish author Steven Silbiger in 2000, "... Again, to quote the Jewish proverb, 'He who pays has the say.'" [SILBIGER, S., 2000, p. 55] (In 1968, of 21 people who loaned Hubert Humphrey more than $100,000 for his failed Presidential bid, 15 were Jewish. [TIVNAN, p. 84] In the Jewish clique near Humphrey, Max Kampelman was "a major adviser to the senator.") [RADOSH, R., 1996, p. 6] Understandably, in 1970, Jewish entrepreneur Robert Strauss was named Treasurer of the Democratic National Committee. "The tiny world of Democratic political consulting and fundraising is a world that is dominated by Jews," noted J. J. Goldberg in 1996, "Many of them are former employees of AIPAC [the pre-eminent pro-Israel political action committee] and the UJA [United Jewish Appeal]." [GOLDBERG, JJ, p. 275] (Even the American revolution reputedly relied in great part upon Jewish money, particularly Hayim Solomon: "Legend has it," says Julia Lieblich, "that George Washington appealed for funds to financier Hayim Solomon on the highest of holy days, Yom Kippur.") LIEBLICH, J., 8-19-2000]
In 1977 Steve Chapple and Reebee Garofalo noted the research of sociologist G. William Domhoff who had "pointed out that principals in Gulf and Western ..., 20th Century Fox, and MGM have been part of what he calls the 'Jewish Cowboy' fundraising clique that forms a significant part of the Democratic party's financial base. Arthur Krim and Robert Benjamin, key powers at United Artists, and directors of the parent firm Transamerica have been major Democratic fund raisers in New York. Benjamin has also been a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. MCA's Lew Wasserman has also long been an important behind-the-scenes figure in the Democratic Party." [CHAPPLE, p. 222]
Investigative journalist Dan Moldea wrote an entire volume about the relationship of Republican President Ronald Reagan to MCA, noting that: "President Ronald Reagan's professional life -- his acting career, his personal fiscal fortune, and his rise in politics -- has been interwoven with and propelled by a powerful, Hollywood-based entertainment conglomerate named MCA. For nearly fifty years, Reagan has benefited both personally and financially from ... the Music Corporation of America -- as well as his close associations with the firm's top executives: Jules Stein, Lew Wasserman, and Taft Schreiber." [MOLDEA, p. 1]
Stein and Schreiber were prominent Republican activists; Schreiber even was a co-chairman of the finance committee to re-elect Reagan. [MOLDEA, p. 266] Wasserman, a friend of Reagan's and once his personal Hollywood agent in his movie years, was, as noted, a prominent Democrat. "The antitrust problems [MCA had with the government]," notes Dan Moldea, "would be eliminated in the future by maintaining good relations with both political parties ... While Stein and Schreiber covered the GOP, Wasserman was busy making friends with the Democrats. He became a close friend of Lyndon Johnson, a relationship he never discussed, and became a key fund-raiser in the Democratic Party." Wasserman even reportedly turned down an offer to be Johnson's Secretary of Commerce. [MOLDEA, p. 236] (There were also problems with MCA's link to organized crime. Wasserman even reportedly risked a meeting in his office with mobster Meyer Lansky and mob lawyer Sidney Korshak in 1965). [MCDOUGAL, p. 328]
At an awards ceremony for Wasserman in 2000, notes Mother Jones magazine, President
"Clinton joked that he had been to so many fundraisers at Wasserman's home
that, 'I half expected him to prorate this year's property tax and send me my
share.'" [MOTHER JONES, 5-3-01]
Jews were also key in the Reagan administration's Iran-Gate scandal [when his administration circumvented a Congressional ban on funding the Contra rebels of Nicaragua by secretly selling weapons to Iran and using the resultant money to pay for Contra weaponry.] Four Israelis -- Yaakov Nimrodi, Al Schwimmer, David Kimche, and Amiram Nir -- who "arranged the weapons deliveries" demanded immunity from prosecution during a Congressional investigation of the matter. [Three Israelis were also granted immunity in the Jonathan Pollard spy investigation]. [SINAI, R., 1987] The Jerusalem Post reported in 1994 that [Jewish] National Security Adviser Howard Teicher "was being called the mastermind of the [Iran-Gate] affair." [RODAN, S., 1994, p. 18] The Jerusalem Report also noted heavy Israeli involvement in the "October Surprise" that many believed was planned for Reagan to gain the American presidency: "Regarded just weeks ago as a paranoid delusion, the theory of a secret 1980 deal between the Reagan-for-President campaign and revolutionary Iran is now official Senate business ... Conservative versions of the theory allege that Israeli officials cooperated with the Reagan campaign in what amounted to a bid to prolong detention of U.S. hostages [in Iran] to tilt the 1980 election away from incumbent Jimmy Carter ... The current flap seems to have Israeli fingerprints all over it." [GOLDBERG, J.J., 6-11-91, p. 26]
Yet another Jewish Iran-Contra player was Elliot Abrams. "An Assistant Secretary of State under President Reagan," noted the Jewish Week in 1997, "who pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts during the Iran-Contra scandal, Mr. Abrams has reinvented himself as a leading advocate of increased Jewish religiosity." [FORWARD, 11-14-97, p. 14] (Reagan himself went far out of his way in asserting Jewish allegiance. "Astoundingly," notes Anthony Bianco, "Reagan once told Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Shamir that he had seen firsthand the devastation wrought by the Holocaust as a member of an army film crew that filmed the liberation of the concentration camps. 'From then on,' Reagan said, 'I was concerned for the Jewish people.' The fact was, though, that Reagan never left the United States during World War II and indeed lived at home with his wife throughout his four years in uniform." [BIANCO, A., 1991, p. 14]
Another angle to Jewish criminal elements in Washington is the case of Teamsters president Jackie Presser (also Jewish, he took the helm of the union in 1984). Presser, well-known to be associated with organized crime (like the Teamsters itself), was the highest paid union official in America at $530,000 a year. He was appointed to act as a senior labor adviser in the Reagan administration (the Teamsters union was the only major labor organization that supported Reagan's candidacy). [BARRON, p. 4] Presser's uncle, Allen Friedman, has written a book about his own life in the union and its links to the underworld. In the Washington realm, he notes, "a few years ago, Bill Presser handed me a briefcase he said was filled with cash and told me to take it to [Reagan official] Edwin Meese in Washington ... After Reagan [became president], he named Bill's son, Jackie Presser, to his transition cabinet. Then he wanted to make Jackie under secretary of labor, though I guess cooler heads prevailed." [FRIEDMAN, A., 1989, p. 3] In the Zionist realm, "Jackie sold Israel Bonds and raised money to build a children's home in Israel. He also convinced the Teamsters rank and file to buy such bonds, the union leadership and locals buying more than 25 per cent of all the bonds sold in the United States in 1977." [FRIEDMAN, A., 1989, p. 257] (Russell Mokhiber adds that the Teamsters Union "was not alone in its fondness for the [Israeli] notes. Despite below-market yields and unusually high risk, some of America's largest unions, pension funds and major corporations have collectively loaned billions of dollars to the Israeli government. Israel's violent repression of the Palestinian uprising in the West Bank and Gaza -- and the threat the uprising poses to Israel's shaky economy -- appears not to have affected investor confidence. Nathan Zirkin [also Jewish], comptroller for the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, told the Multinational Monitor that his union 'absolutely' plans to continue purchasing Israel bonds, despite the repression in the occupied territories. 'The Palestinians didn't have a damn thing until Israel came in,' Zirkin said." ] MOKHIBER, R., 4-88]
Presser's "close associate" in Los Angeles, Marty Bacow, was once involved in Detroit's (Jewish) Purple Gang. [MCDOUGAL, p. 456] Another Jewish Teamster official from Presser's home state, Harold Friedman, president of the Ohio Council of Teamsters, was "convicted of racketeering and embezzling" in 1989. [FRIEDMAN, A., 1989, p. 264] In Minnesota, in 1995, the (Minneapolis) Star Tribune noted a few more Jewish Teamsters in trouble, including Jack Mogelson, also a former Board Member of the American Civil Liberties Union in that state:
"Mogelson has been a familiar figure for decades in labor, civil
rights and political circles in Minnesota. So when the state's largest
Teamsters' local was placed in trusteeship earlier this month for
alleged financial improprieties, the name on everyone's lips was
Mogelson -- not because he is considered less or more culpable
than his three fellow officials [president Robert Wiesenburger;
Treasurer David Morris; and vice president Lawrence Bastian],
but because he's the one people know ... By most accounts
Mogelson is a man of contrasts: an old style unionist with liberal
leanings, a forceful representative of law enforcement who has
been arrested for soliciting a prostitute and who in his youth
took a baseball bat to a cop who was arresting his brother for
shoplifting ... A dedicated activist, Mogelson has fought passionately
on a range of issues from workers' rights to the security of Israel."
[HODGES, J., 5-15-95]
Among other accusations, Teamsters financial indiscretions by the above officers included $55,000 from union funds for sports tickets; $28,000 for message therapists; $7,800 for magazine subscriptions; and a $20,000 (apiece) Teamsters raise for themselves when the union chapter was in financial difficulty.
Then there is the Newspaper and Mail Deliverers Union:
"Formed in the early 1900s, the Newspaper and Mail Deliverers Union was equal
parts Irish, Italian, and Jewish, a reflection of the city's then dominant ethnic
groups. Well into the 1970s, Jewish racketeers played a major role in the union ...
In more recent times, a hustling gangster named Irving Bitz -- nicknamed 'the
Little Guy' for his diminutive stature -- also helped keep peace among mob
factions in the industry. Bitz, an NMDU member who also ran Imperial
News Service, carried his own fearful legend: the feisty businessman was
credited with the 1931 slaying of famed [Jewish] gambler Legs Diamond ...
In 1959, [Bitz] was convicted of conspiring with NMDU officials to
congtrol Long Island's newspaper and magazine deliveries. Bitz remained
a powerful force in the industry up until the day in 1981 when his trussed-up
body was found in a Staten Island swamp. His murder was never solved."
[Robbins, T., 3-701]
In 1993 a controversial book about former FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover appeared, written by Anthony Summers. Subtitled The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover, Summers claimed the decades-long director was a closet homosexual and cross-dresser. This has been refuted and ridiculed by others. Summers argued that the reason Hoover didn't -- inexplicably -- corral organized crime was because Meyer Lansky, the Jewish head of "The Syndicate," had incriminating photographs (or other documentation) of the FBI director. For what it's worth, fact or fiction, in this outrageous scenario brewery mogul Lewis Rosentiel (also Jewish) plays a key role:
"Early in Hoover's career, according to mob interviews, he was trapped by his
own homosexuality. Mafia boss Meyer Lansky, who specialized in the use of
damaging information to manipulate men in public life, had reportedly obtained
compromising evidence -- probably photographs ... [p. 13] ... 'The homosexual
thing,' said [Lansky associate Sidney] Pollock, 'was Hoover's Achilles' heel.
Meyer found it, and it was like he pulled strings with Hoover. He never bothered
any of Meyer's people ..." [p. 243] ... By the end of World War II [Rosentiel's]
company, Schenley, had become the leading U. S. distiller ... Rosentiel's
lifeling involvement with the Mafia came to light only in 1970 ... [p. 248] ...
[Rosentiel's fourth wife] Susan Rosentiel's final and most sensational
revelations suggest her husband and [Jewish lawyer] Roy Cohn [famous as the
right-hand man of Senator Joe McCarthy during the so-called witch-hunts for
communists in the 1950s] involved Edgar in sex orgies -- thus laying him
more open than ever to pressure from organized crime." [SUMMERS, A., 1993,
"In the thirties," adds Summers, "Edgar began a long association with the columnist who reigned as the nation's premier purveyor of gossip for thirty years, Walter Winchell [also Jewish]." [SUMMERS, A., 1993, p. 84] Summers also notes Lansky's underworld in support of the U.S. government war efforts:
"The OSS [precursor to the CIA] and Naval Intelligence had extensive contacts
with the Mafia during World War II, enlisting the help of criminals in projects
including the hiring of burglars and assassins, experimentation with drugs,
the protection of American ports from Nazi agents and the invasion of Sicily.
Lansky helped personally with the latter two operations, meeting with Murray
Gurfein, a New York Assistant District Attorney who later became one of
William Donovan's most trusted OSS officers." [SUMMERS, A., 1993, p. 245]
In 1999, a Tennessee newspaper published an alarming front page article. "The shadow of organized crime," said the Tennessean,
"has descended on Tennessee's political landscape, via campaign
contributions from the operator [Rod Aycox] of Georgia-based 'auto
title' loan companies. The man who operates these companies was the
top individual contributor to Tennessee's 1998 political campaigns. Court
documents show he is also a business partner of a Florida man, Alvin
Malnik, who has been found to have close ties with the mob ...
Malnik's associates have included some of the country's top mobsters."
The article is not about Aycox (who is depicted as merely a mob front), but Malnik, who in 1997 received half the profits of Aycox's businesses and in 1999 completely bought him out. Malnik, who lives on a 34-acre estate in Boca Raton, with a private bowling alley and Arabian horse area, was once director of the Bank World of Commerce, a known shell company for mob money laundering. Malnik was also a business partner with mobster Sam Cohen, including a Miami country club built 'with money from the Teamsters' Pension Fund.'" [WISSNER, S., 3-14-99, p. 1A]
Robert Kennedy once wrote about another formal (Jewish) Teamster member, Paul Dorfman:
"[Dorfman] was a big operator -- a major figure in Chicago's underworld
who also knew his way around in certain labor and political circles ...
[Teamsters boss Jimmy] Hoffa made a trade with Dorfman. In return
for an introduction to the Chicago underworld, the [investigating
government] Committee found, Hoffa turned over to him and his
family the gigantic Central Conference of Teamsters Welfare Fund
Assistance." [MARRIS, 1989, p. 383]
(Earlier, in 1983, another Dorfman, Allen, former manager of the Teamster's Central States Pension Fund, was found murdered). [MOLDEA, 1989, p. 366]
Also from Chicago, came mob-linked lawyer Sidney Korshak, also Jewish, and a mainstay in every book about underworld crime and Hollywood. As Dennis McDougal notes:
"While he was gaining a foothold in Hollywood, Korshak continued
to practice law in the Chicago loop. Among his closest associates
was Alderman Jacob Arvey, a celebrated political fixer in his own
right, as well as a pal of Capone syndicate since the 1920s. Alex
Louis Greenberg's longtime business partner in Lawndale Enterprises,
Inc., Arvey [also Jewish] was the most powerful figure in Chicago
politics. Korshak's younger brother, Marshall, also became an Arvey
protégé and went on to become a state senator, and one of the primary
conduits between the Chicago Mob and the Illinois Democratic political
machine." [MCDOUGAL, p. 141]
(Jacob Arvey, notes Harry Golden, "controlled the Democratic Party in Illinois from 1947 to 1959." By the early 1970s, seven Jews sat on Chicago's City Council; the Sheriff of Chicago-area Cook County was also Jewish, as was the mayor's press secretary, who wrote "many of the mayor's speeches.") "When they were Democrats," noted Chicago committeeman Bernard Neistein, in the same era, "the Illinois State Legislature was empowered to invest surplus funds in Israeli bonds." [GOLDEN, H., 1973, p. 210-211, 216, 218, 220]
Another pal of Sidney Korshak was yet another Jewish lawyer, Paul Ziffren. In 1960, the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee praised Paul Ziffren, saying he "has been the greatest single force and most important Democrat in the resurgence of the Democratic party in California." Not long after, a Reader's Digest article outlined "Ziffren's long-standing ties to major organized crime figures." [MOLDEA, p. 137] According to a Los Angeles Police Department report, Ziffren was also a supplier of prostitutes to the wealthy and powerful: "It is a matter of general police knowledge that Ziffren's name appears in many of the call girl trick books which are confiscated by police when these individuals are arrested ... All readily admit to being in the Ziffren service department." [MCDOUGAL, p. 278]
Many Jewish politicos move in close quarters. As Dennis McDougal notes:
"Just as Wasserman's close friend and ally Paul Ziffren quietly
controlled the California delegation of the Democratic National Committee
for many years, so [Jewish lawyer Ed] Weisl ran the New York
delegation of the party, particularly during the 1960s when all three
would become confidants of President Lyndon Johnson."
[MCDOUGAL, p. 231]
Infamous Jewish lawyer Roy Cohn notes that
"Edward Weisl, Sr., the Democratic power broker who was to become President
Johnson's chief confidant, poured out an earful of venom against Supreme
Court Justice William O. Douglas, who had voted against Paramount Pictures
in a major anti-trust case. Weisl, a good friend of Paramount's president
Barney Balaban [also Jewish], had gone to Douglas to ask for his vote.
He thought he had every right to do this because he was one of Douglas's
closest pals. As Weisel put it to me: 'We got him in as head of the Security
Exchange Commission, we put him over the rim for the Supreme Court
nomination with FDR when there were five other people ahead of him,
we made the bastard. And now we ask him for something like this,
something perfectly proper, and he tells us to drop dead.'" [ZION, S.,
1988, p. 22-23]
Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Robert Strauss was also, since 1980, a member of MCA's Board of Directors (Wasserman's company). [MCDOUGAL, p. 461]
A more recent example of above-the-table, reputable purse strings influence in Hollywood is the clout wielded by the three Jewish media moguls -- David Geffen, Stephen Spielberg, and Jeffrey Katzenburg, and their personal business empires in recent years melded into one, Dreamworks SKG. Dreamworks "became the largest contributor to the Democratic Party with donations totaling over $2 million." [GOODMAN, p. 379] "I don't want to present myself as a person with influence," Geffen remarked in an interview. "Then," reports Fred Goodman, "he proceeded to return telephone calls to Michael Ovitz, Lew Wasserman, Barry Diller, Ted Field, and several others arranging for them to meet President Clinton when he passed through Los Angeles the following night." [GOODMAN, p. 379]
In the election year of 1996, Bill Clinton's re-election year to the presidency, the top six individual donators to the Democratic Party were Jewish moguls from Hollywood:
David Geffen -- $575,000
Lew Wasserman -- $507,000
Steven Spielberg -- $503,000
Jeffrey Katzenberg -- $408,000
Sidney Sheinberg -- $321,000
Edgar Bronfman, Jr. -- $318,000
The three greatest individual beneficiaries of this political philanthropy were California's two Jewish senators, Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, and West Los Angeles (Jewish) Congressman Mel Levine. President Clinton and Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy ranked fourth and fifth in the amount of money received from the above-mentioned six Jewish moguls. West Los Angeles Congressman Howard Berman, also Jewish, was the next ranked beneficiary. [MCDOUGAL, p. 520] In overview, a 1992 Los Angeles Times article noted Mel Levine to have been the object of the largest Jewish donations in the city. "When it comes to the potency of pro-Israel giving," the paper noted, "... Representative Levine is exhibit A ... Levine has been one of Capitol Hill's most vocal supporters of Israel." (Levine's father-in-law, Max Greenberg, once headed the Anti-Defamation League). [MILLER/MORRIS, 1-26-92, p. A1] And as the Jewish Telegraphic Agency noted after Levine later left office, "One of [Vice President Al] Gore's oldest and closest friends in Los Angeles is former Representative Mel Levine." [TUGEND, T., 2-16-2000, p. 8]
The central members of another -- largely Jewish -- Hollywood Democratic fund-raising political clique of the 1970s (called by Ronald Brownstein the "Malibu Mafia") included Sidney Sheinbaum (whose wife is the daughter of film mogul Harry Warner), Norman Lear, Miles Rubin, Ted Ashley, Max Palevsky, Harold Willens, and Leopold Wyler.
In 1992, the Los Angeles Times also singled out another local key Jewish political fundraiser (this one in the garment business), Stanley Hirsh: "Hirsh is one of the financial magnets who draws politicians from all over the United States to Los Angeles." "We have a book at the house," he told the newspaper, "that my wife keeps with records of annual votes by candidates that we follow. A lot of it is how they vote on Israel [and two other issues]." "[MILLER/MORRIS, 1-26-92, p. A1] The Times article focused on the treasure trove of (overwhelmingly Jewish) political money available from the wealthy of the city, noting that
"For individual candidates from either party, supporting Israel may
well be the single most important thing they can do to help themselves
raise money in Los Angeles. Above all else, this means voting for
the annual foreign aid bill, which currently contains $3 billion for
Israel ... Most of the biggest political beneficiaries of Los Angeles
largesse in 1989 and 1990 are regarded as important friends of the
Jewish state ... [Paul Simon of Illinois] became a hero to the pro-
Israeli community in 1984 when he ousted former Sen. Charles H.
Percy, an influential critic of Israel ... By all accounts [Congressional]
pro-Israel credentials give them special entre and appeal." [MILLER/
MORRIS, 1-26-92, p. A1]
Elsewhere, in 1998, billionaire Chaim Saban, "the biggest Israeli player in Hollywood, ... hosted a fund-raiser at his home [in Los Angeles] for President Clinton that yielded $1.5 million in donations." [TUGEND, T., 3-28-99] ["The Sabans," notes the New York Times, "have given as much as $10 million over the years to the Democratic Party and its candidates." [WEINRAUB, B., 3-4-01, sec. 3, p. 2] (In Canada, Gerald Schwartz, head of the Onex corporation, friend of both liberal and conservative politicians, "became a major fundraiser." ) [NOBLE, K., 10-11-99] Margery Tabankin, also Jewish, headed the "powerful Hollywood Women's Political Committee" and "ruled the glittering world of left-liberal political fundraising in Tinseltown" till 1997 when she took over the reins of Steven Spielberg's $55 million Spielberg Foundation. "She also heads the Barbard Streisand Foundation." [FORWARD, 1-5-01]
Across the country, at America's other nerve center, in 1994, Crain's New York Business journal published the results of a report listing "New York's top contributors to federal elections, parties, and political action committees." All of the top five money donors mentioned were Jewish: Bernard Schwartz, CEO of the Loral Corporation; Maurice Templeton, chairman of Lazare Kaplan International; Arthur Ortenberg, co-founder of Liz Claibourne Inc.; Robert Rubin, former co-chairman of Goldman Sachs & Co. and later a Bill Clinton cabinet member; and Jeffrey Keil, president of the Republic New York Corporation. [FEIDEN, p. 6] In October 2000, the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz noted that S. Daniel Abraham, founder of the Slim-Fast company, was "the Democratic Party's single heaviest private donor, contributing no less than $993,000 over the past 18 months." [LEIBOVICH-DAR, S., 10-13-2000]
In 2001, Mother Jones magazine listed the top 400 individual contributors to political [Democratic and Republican] campaigns. [MOTHER JONES, MAY 2001] These are the people who seek to influence the American political process by economic means. Although Jews represent merely 2.5% of the American population, at least 41 (and quite likely a few more) of the first 100 people listed were Jewish, including four of the top five. Of these first four, three are noted as having strong ties to Israel:
#1 was S. Daniel Abraham, former mogul of Slim Fast Foods, who "has spent most of his political and charitable energies in the last decade supporting Israel and the troubled Middle East peace process. He has helped fund Birthright Israel, a program which sponsors tours of Israel for young American Jews." Abraham contributed $1,518,500
to the Democratic Party.
#2 was Bernard Schwartz, CEO of Loral Space and Communications, a defense
contractor moving more and more into the telecommunications industry. Schwartz
donated $1,317,000 to the Democratic Party.
# 3 was David Gilo, head of the wireless communications company, Vyyo. Gilo
was born in Israel and "emigrated to the United States in 1982, retaining dual
citizenship." Gilo contributed $1,311,000 to the Democratic Party.
#5 was Haim Saban, who is also immigrant from Israel.
More Jews on the list of the nation's biggest economic string-pullers include:
9. Constance Milstein -- "born to one of New York's most prominent real estate families."
14. David Shimon -- "California's leading contributor to state campaigns"
18. Walter Shorenstein -- "... controls 25 percent of [San Francisco's] downtown."
19. Steven Kirsch -- founded computer company Infoseek
20. David Steiner -- New Jersey-based real estate mogul and former president of the Israeli lobby, AIPAC. He had to resign from that position when he was tape recorded boasting "about his political sway, saying he had 'cut a deal' with the Bush administration to give more aid to Israel. He had arranged for 'almost a billion dollars in other goodies,' he added and was 'negotiating' with the incoming Clinton administration over appointing a Secretary of State who was pro-Israel. 'We have a dozen people in his [Clinton's] headquarters,' Steiner bragged, 'and they are all going to get big jobs.'"
23. Sam Fox -- "He and his wife are particularly active in promoting the views of Jewish Republicans. Marilyn Fox was the first woman president of the Jewish Community Centers Association in its 112 year history, and her husband is chairman of the Republican Jewish Coalition. The RJC supports a strong Israel ... Fox is one of eight leaders of the RJC on the Mother Jones 400. Others include Laurence Kadish ..., Max M. Fisher ..., John Price ..., Earle I. Mack ..., Clifford Sobel ..., Lewis M. Eisenberg ..., and David M. Flaum."
37. Philip Levine -- president of Onboard Media
38. Lawrence Kadish -- "has been topping lists of Republican donors since George H. W. Bush was president. A real estate investor in New York and Florida, Kadish has long worked to build ties between the Republican Party and American Jews. He is chairman of the Republican Jewish Coalition ... The group has supported a hard-line approach to negotiating an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord, criticizing President Clinton for 'appeasing Chairman Arafat' instead of requiring 'responsibility and compliance from the Palestinian Authority.' Allied with Israel's Likud government, the group supported the construction of the controveresial Har Homa settlement in East Jerusalem, over Palestinian objections that the project jeopardized the peace process. It also supports continued American military support of Israel, including a recent project to build an anti-ballistic missile system. On the domestic front, the RJC supports school choice and voucher initiatives, saying they help curb the 'risk of assimilation' for some Jews living in the United States."
39. Jeffrey Levy-Hinte -- heads an independent film production company, Post 391
41. Alfred Lerner -- ranked by Forbes as the 51st richest American. He is the chairman and CEO of MBNA, the giant credit-card company
42. David Saperstein -- "the biggest stockholder in Westwood One, the nation's largest radio network."
50. S. Donald Sussman -- "president of hedge fund Paloma Partners ... He also sits on the board of governors of the Weizmann Institute of Science [in Israel]."
51. David Koch -- "Koch Industries, a conglomerate with major oil and gas holdings, is the second-largest privately-held company in the United States. It is also the recipient of the largest civil fine ever imposed on a corporation for violating federal environmental laws."
54. Marc Nathanson -- appointed twice by Bill Clinton "as chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and other federal broadcasting services."
56. Meyer Berman -- a stock trader
57. John Price -- real estate mogul, head of Utah-based JP Realty
58. Jeffrey Katzenberg -- Hollywood mogul, one of the heads of Dreamworks
59. Jonathan Tisch -- He "brought a torrent of bad press to the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles. As CEO of the Loews Hotel chain, Tisch was fighting to stop a union drive among 300 housekeepers and other service workers at the Loews hotel in Santa Monica, where delegates were scheduled to stay. Loews, as it turned out, ws also a major contributor to an effort to kill a labor-backed living-wage measure in Santa Monica and replace it with a business friendly intiative.
60. Harold Snyder -- pharmaceutical mogul; member of the Board of Directors of Teva, an Israeli company
61. Michael King -- heads, with his brother Roger, King World Productions, "one of the most powerful firms in television syndication."
63. Marvin Davis -- a billionaire who made his fortune, initially, in real estate. Former owner of 20th Century Fox.
65. Louis Weisbach -- head of Halo Branded Solutions
66. Alan Solomont -- nursing home mogul and once finance chair of the Democratic National Committee
68. Leonard Lauder
70. Max Fisher
71. Bernard Bergreen -- acting head of Gilman Paper, "the largest privately-owned paper company in the United States."
74. Denise Rich -- ex-wife of criminal fugitive Marc Rich, the most controversial of President Bill Clinton's executive pardons.
75. Bren Simon -- his family's Simon Property Group is "the nation's largest mall owner in the United States."
79. Samuel Heyman -- "His manufacturing firm, GAF Corporation, spent at least $7 milion on lobbyists since 1997."
84. Gary Winnick -- worth $3.2 billion. Heads telecommunications company Global Crossing.
86. Norman Pattiz -- "Founder and chairman of radio giant Westwood One."
87. Eve Weinstein -- wife of Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of Miramax Films.
88. Bernard Marcus -- co-founder of Home Depot. "Marcus is also attempting to alter politics in the Middle East through a think tank he chairs called Israel Democracy Institute ... Marcus is also working to link the Israeli economy to his home state ... [T]he hardware mogul has helped persuade state officials to offer ... Israeli firms incentives to relocate in Georgia."
89. Lew Wasserman -- popularly known as the "Godfather of Hollywood .. He sits on the board of advisors for the William J. Clinton Presidential Foundation with the [Jewish] DreamWorks triumverate of Jeffrey Katzenberg, David Geffen, and Steven Spielberg."
93. Frederic Mack -- "Like his brother Earle, Frederic Mack has long shown an abiding interest in U.S. relations with Israel ... MAck is currrently on the national board of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the nation's largest and most influential pro-Israel lobby. He also chairs the board of AIPAC's Northeast chapter, and sits on the board of the New York Jewish Community Relations Council, the Jewish Theological Seminary, and the Israel Policy Forum."
97. Ira Lipman -- is "the owner of one of the nation's largest security firms" -- Guardsmark, "which now boasts offices in more than 400 cities in the United States and Canada."
100. Irwin Jacobs -- founder of Qualcomm, Inc., "the telecommunications company that has grown to $3.3 billion in annual revenues."
In Texas, in June 1998, a news article out of Ft. Worth noted that President Clinton was expecting to raise $500,000 for his political party at a fund-raising dinner in the Dallas home of Jewish real estate developer Ray Nasher:
"For between $10,000 to $25,000 per couple, about 60 well-heeled
Democratic donors were expected to dine on grilled salmon, lobster
salad and fruit sorbet at the posh Park Lane-area home of Nasher,
who developed the NorthPark Center but may be best known for his
world-famous collection of sculptures displayed in and outside his
spacious home ... During [the President's] Houston trip, Clinton
also raised $800,000 for the Democratic National Congressional
Committee at an event at the fashionable Royal Oaks home of
attorney Richard Mithoff." [NIX, M., 6-2-98]
In Massachusetts, Elaine Schuster, heir to the Wingate Construction Company, is one of the most prominent philanthropists to the Democratic Party. Her father, Ben Siegel, "was barred in 1967 by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development from receiving Federal funding due to his history of mortgage defaults and managerial problems. Siegel also had been convicted in U.S. District Court for bribing a Federal official in order to obtain a federal contract." [MIGA, A., 4-18-96, p. 6] During the 1970s, Wingate Construction received government subsidy funds and "operated one of New York City's most notorious slums" in the South Bronx. A New York State Assembly investigation of the company reported that the firm "had apparently committed fraud" and that it is an "unscrupulous developer only interested in profits." [MIGA, A. 4-18-96, p. 6] In 1996 the Boston Herald noted that "Elaine Schuster is living proof that in politics, money talks. The veteran Democratic fundraiser ranks among President Clinton's strongest financial backers in Massachusetts." Personal paybacks to Schuster, noted the Herald, including a Clinton appointment to the Advisory Committee on the Arts for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. [MIGA, A., 4
Incredibly, in 1995, the American Congress even awarded Rabbi Menachem Schneerson, head of the Chabad Orthodox movement, the Congressional Gold Medal, "the country's highest civilian honor." Chabad is arguably a kind of Jewish Ku Klux Klan. [Click here for citations from another chapter about Schneerson's and Chabad's principles of racism] [Also, click here, for an emailed moral indictment of Chabad by Jewish scholar Michael Samuel] U. S. Senators and "more than 20 ambassadors and othe embassy officials" attended the dinner honoring Schneerson. [BATOG, J., 7-3-95, p. 4] Why was such a racist heralded by Congress? "Rabbi Schneerson," explained the Baltimore Jewish Times,
"was the first religious figure to get the coveted medal, which was approved
by Congress last October. More than a year of intensive lobbying by Chabad
forces generated some 225 House co-sponsors of the authorizing legislation.
Copies of the gold medal -- which was underwritten by donations from admirers
of Rabbi Schneerson -- are being sold by the Treasury Department. According to
Washington sources, that could be a big moneymaker for the federal government."
[BESSER, J., 6-30-95, p. 32]
In 1996, James Glassman, a Jewish journalist cited another example -- at the most blatant level, aside from billions to Israel -- of the kinds of paybacks Jews can get for political donations:
"What's wrong with this picture? In a photo in the Washington Post on
July 24, [Jewish senators] Sen. Arlen Specter, R-PA., and Sen.
Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., are handing a blown-up check -- like the
grand prize in a golf tournament -- to Steve Spielberg, the famous
Hollywood mogul. The check is drawn on the U.S. Treasury in the
amount of $1 million. It's made out to a Holocaust Foundation that
Spielberg heads. In other words, America's taxpayers are generously
supporting the favorite charity of the director of 'ET,' 'Jurassic Park,'
and other box office blockbusters. This is the same Steve Spielberg
who, says Forbes magazine, earned $285 million in 1994 and 1995 --
tops in the entertainment world. His net worth is $700 million. Since
1993, he's given $266,000 to Democratic candidates and political
committees, according to Federal Election Commission records.
Beneficiaries include the Clinton-Gore re-election campaign, Sen. Ted
Kennedy, D-Mass., Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-NJ, and, of course,
Boxer. So one way to view the check is a nice return on Spielberg's
political investment." [GLASSMAN, p. 11]
Payoffs for Lew Wasserman and MCA in the Reagan era included an exclusive contract (i.e., entitlement to monopoly) to run all guided tours in Washington DC (under MCA's subsidiary Landmark Services). Likewise, MCA attained exclusive rights (through its Curry company) at Yosemite National Park for "tours, lodging, concessions, and hotels." MCA's contract stipulated that the park's cut of total revenues would be three-quarters of one percent). [MCDOUGAL, p. 345, 369] (In this genre of political influence, Jewish alcohol mogul Lewis Rosentiel's heavy lobbying worked to get Congress to pass the "Forand Bill, named after the Congressman of that name, freeing liquor companies from punitive tax on stored whisky for a dozen extra years -- ample time to dispose of thier stocks. For Roesentiel it meant bonanza as well as salvation. The bill saved the company between $40 and $50 million, and the value of Schenley [Rosentiels' firm] stock soared by $33 million in a single day." [SUMMERS, A., 1993, p. 252] (One of Rosentiel's ex-wives, Susan, even alleged that Rosentiel later once paid president Lyndon Johnson half a million dollars and "a large sum of money" went to Emanuel Celler, Chariman of the House Judiciary Committee). [SUMMERS, A., 1993, p. 252]
Likewise, Jewish billionaire Gary Winnick's contribution of over a million dollars to the Bill Clinton presidential library netted him a $400 million military defense contract for his company Global Crossing. "Global Crossing's rivals," notes journalist Joseph Perkins, "including AT&T, Qwest Communications, Sprint and Worldcom, protested that the Clinton administration rigged the bidding process to favor Winnick's company." The then-head of the Democratic National Party, Terry McAuliffe, also "got rich off of Global Crossing, parlaying a $100,000 investment in the telecommunications company into $18 million in a little more than a year's time." [PERKINS, J., 2-8-02]
Another version of Jewish financial power in wrenching state and federal funds for special Jewish transglobal interests is the case of Florida and its literal functioning as an agent for Jews and their insurance claims in the Holocaust. Lest we forget, the Holocaust occurred a half a century ago, in Europe, and is merely one of dozens of mass human tragedies and injustices that have befallen groups of people since -- and before, for that matter -- then. But Jews as a transnational lobby must be economically reckoned with. Hence, in 1998, following a meeting with the World Jewish Congress, Florida Treasurer and Insurance Commissioner Bill Nelson announced that, among other actions:
* his state was budgeting $500,000 to fund Florida's Department of
Insurance "to investigate unpaid Holocaust claims."
* the Florida insurance pool would "drop two Swiss banks from
participating in the insurer's line of credit if the banks don't reach
satisfactory settlement in a class-action lawsuit brought against
them by Holocaust victims."
* three Swiss banks were warned that Florida intended to drop business
with them unless they decided upon a "fair settlement" with Jewish
complainants. [PR NEWSWIRE]
Across the country, also in 1998, the National Underwriter noted that
"the California Assembly has unanimously approved a plan to establish
the comprehensive Holocaust Insurance Registry in the Department of
Insurance, giving Commissioner Charles Quackenbush the authority
to suspend the business licenses of companies that fail to participate.
The 76-0 vote in the normally fractious Democratic-controlled
Assembly reflected the importance of Holocaust insurance as an
election year issue." [HOWARD, J.] [Quackenbush was forced to
resign his position two years later for a kickback scandal that
involved major insurance companies] [TUGEND, T., 7-10-2000,
In Illinois, the governor signed a bill in 1999 that declared that heirs to Holocaust "reparations and other compensations awarded to victims of Nazi persecution" didn't have to pay taxes on the sums coming their way. [GRAHNKE, L., 12-24-99, p. 12] Norman Finkelstein notes the worldwide Jewish efforts to force reparations from the Swiss government:
"The WJC [World Jewish Congress] working with institutions including
the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Simon Wiesenthal Center,
mobilized the US political establishment. Using the House and Senate
banking committees as springboards, the Holocaust industry orchestrated
a shameless campaign of vilification. The campaign rapidly degenerated
into a libel of the Swiss people." [FINKELSTEIN, N., 7-13-2000, p. 4]
Among those many caving in to Jewish economic (and, hence, political) pressure in California in 1998 was an Asian-American candidate for the senate, Matt Fong. "Fong's decision to champion the issue [of a Swiss bank boycott]," said the San Francisco Chronicle,
"could enable him to gain backing from Jewish groups, which generally
support his opponent in the United States Senate race, incumbent
Barbara Boxer, who herself is Jewish ... It was influential Jewish
groups in southern California, such as the Simon Wiesenthal Center, that
pushed the issue, prompting Fong to respond ... Dozens of other
states and cities are expected to enact similar sanctions." [COLLIER,
In New York, both the state and Manhattan drew up sanctions against the Swiss. It helped that the New York City's comptroller, Alan Hevesi, was not only Jewish but a president of B'nai Zion and a member of the Presidents Conference of Major Jewish Organizations. The (Jewish) Forward notes that
"Mr. Hevesi put his role overseeing some $70 billion in assets to pressure
the Swiss in the banking scandal. He has led a campaign to get other
public pension fund managers to get Switzerland to own up to its role
in Jewish assets it received during World War II. Having made his first
trip to Switzerland in May as part of the effort, he has become more
involved with Israel." [FORWARD, 11-14-97, p. 14]
In 1997, the Wall Street Journal also reported that the
"United States promised to donate $4 million to the Nazi Persecution
Relief Fund, aimed at compensating victims of the Holocaust, and hopes
to give $25 million over three years, according to the [Jewish]
Undersecretary of State Stuart Eizenstat. " [FRANK, R., p. A19]
What, one wonders, is so special about the suffering of the Jews above and beyond all other millions of non-Jews who also were subject to "Nazi persecution," let alone the millions of other people who have been murdered or maimed over the years in other distant lands and situations? Surely they all deserve our sympathy. But as it is dictated for us, for an inexplicable reason some merit our money. So by what perverse reasoning should U.S. taxpayers pay for solely Jewish "relief" for events across the world half a century ago, when we were by no stretch of the imagination remotely responsible as ourselves "persecutors?" If such things are on the economic agenda, where are those clamoring to make economic amends to Native Americans who have truly been robbed, quite literally, of the ground we all stand on?
Jewish lobbying pressure is worldwide in scope. In February 2000, a news item noted that "Poland's bid to join the European Union could be thrown into doubt unless it makes amends to holocaust survivors, a British Euro-MP warned today ... A group of holocaust survivors [led by New York Jewish lawyers Ed Klein and Mel Urban] visited Euro-MPs in Brussels for help in pressing their claims." [PRESS ASSOCIATION NEWSFILE, 2-9-2000]
In 1999, a newspaper article entitled "In France, Resentment Is Building Over U.S. Holocaust lawsuits." Two class-action suits were filed by Jews in New York demanding Holocaust-era restitution from French banks. "The French government and the banks are fighting the suit," noted the International Herald Tribune, "contending that it violates France's sovereignty." French and American Jewish organizations even began squabbling over the issue. [SWARDSON, A., 1999] At the fore of the burgeoning lawsuits in Europe in the name of Holocaust restitution has been the World Jewish Congress. The Christian Science Monitor noted in 1997 that "famed Vienna-based Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal ... has said that the focus should be on those who killed Jews, not those who stole from them. And he expressed worried that what he calls the WJC's stridency could spur a revival of anti-Semitism in Europe." [ECHIKSON, W., 1997]
The Jerusalem Post added in 1999 that
"Restitution of Nazi-looted property is an issue Jerusalem cannot avoid.
The Holocaust is a hot topic driven by the U.S.: by [Jewish
Assistant Secretary of Commerce Stuart] Eizenstat and American
Jewish agitation as well as by sanctions, threats, congressional hearings
and class action suits in federal courts targeting Swiss, German,
French, Italian and Austrian interests." [HENRY, M., 9-17-99, p. 4B]
Jewish demands for "restitution" from the past has also turned to Arab nations. As the Jewish Week noted in 1999, "Having successfully recovered millions of dollars worth of Jewish property lost in the Holocaust, restitution experts in Israel and the U.S. are now setting their sights on the Arab world." Jewish groups were looking to claim "tens of billions of dollars in property left behind by Jews who emigrated to Israel from Arab/Muslim countries." [CHABIN, M., 1-29-99, p. 1] The double standard here, vis-a-vis the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who had their property formally confiscated by the Jewish state when forcibly driven away by the Israeli military, is astounding. Jewish author David Pinsky once wrote about a Jewish family that took over an Arab house in Israel. The wife watched her children playing with toys the Palestinian children left behind:
"What right had she and her family to occupy a house which did not
belong to her? To use a garden and field which were taken by
force from other people who ran away in the panic of war and are
not permitted to return? Are she an her family not living on goods
robbed from others? Is she not doing to Arabs what the Nazis did
to her and her family?" [ELLIS, M., 1990, p. 62]
Reparations for vast sums of stolen Palestinian property by the Jews of Israel is to this day rarely even mentioned, let alone legally addressed.
The avalanche of Jewish lobbying internationally for Holocaust reparation demands has caused some Jews, like the head of the Anti-Defamation League, Abraham Foxman, to worry that the vast amounts of money being demanded by Jews today only confirms notions that international Jewry has immense economic power and that "the Jews died [in the Holocaust not] because they were Jews, but because they had bank accounts, gold art, and property." [SCHOENFELD, G., SEPT 2000, p. 27]
Gabriel Schoenfeld, editor of the American Jewish Committee's Commentary magazine, notes with concern the endless Judeo-centric demands upon many of the world's governments,
"With the exception of the forced laborers and some other currently
favored groups like Gypsies, homosexuals, and the mentally ill, both
European corporations and Jewish organizations have said
embarrassingly little about the great numbers of non-Jews who were
deprived of life, limb, and property at the hands of the Nazis ... Jewish
organizations are fighting first and foremost for Jewish interests ...
To lead or participate in a process through which some are given
restitution while others in similar circumstances, but on the wrong side
of lists, are not, is to sow the seeds of needless acrimony and to
court censure on grounds to which Jews of all people should be
especially sensitive." [SCHOENFELD, G., 2000, p. 34]
"The pursuit of billions in Holocaust guilt money," observes Jewish columnist Charles Krauthammer, "has gone from the unseemly to the disgraceful." [SCHOENFELD, G., 2000, p. 34]
There are apparently even special rules for bending American law when Israel is concerned. Yitz Greenberg recalls
"From the age of about the age of 12 on, I went out with Jewish National Fund
boxes into the Brooklyn subways to collect money for Israel ... My older brother
had an old broken down car that he used to transport the boxes from our local
branch to the main office. One day he parked his car in a no parking zone to deliver
the money and got a parking ticket. The price of the ticket could have broken the
back of the organization. Besides that my brother was very headstrong; fighting that
ticket was a matter of principle. At the traffic court, everyone was 'guilty, guilty,' no
matter what they said. When it was his turn, he said, "Well, I had these boxes to
deliver and so I had to park.' 'What boxes were they?' asked the judge. 'Those were
JNF boxes,' he answered. 'It's a good cause.' 'Not guilty,' the judge said. Back at the
office, no one believed my brother. They called up the traffic court. It turned out that
the judge was Manuel Rothenberg, president of the Jewish National Fund."
[FROMMER, M., FROMMER, H., 2001]
There are of course a variety of issues that powerful Jewish groups actively lobby. As Jack Wertheimer notes about organized Jewish Orthodox organizations:
"Orthodox Jews actively engage in the American political process
to further their own aims. In this regard, the most right-wing sects
have been especially adept at exploiting political opportunities.
It has now become routine in New York politics for local and
even national politicians to pay court to Hasidic rabbis. What is
less well known is the sophisticated lobbying effort that won for
Hasidic groups the status of a 'disadvantaged group,' with the
attendant entitlement to special federal funds." [WERTHEIMER,
J., 1993, p. 119]
On smaller, local scale levels, the underlying machinations of the Jewish community are the same. "In localities across the country," adds Stephen Isaacs, "Jews like non-Jews have been known to invest in candidates in return for government contracts, favorable rezonings on potentially valuable plots of real estate ... Jews have tended to be active in such instances of bribing ... Yiddish has a word for the bribe: shmeer (to grease), a word that has somewhat come into the American English idiom." [BRENNER, p. 78]
There are more public -- albeit modified -- examples of the bribe. In 1997 the New York Times expressed concern that New York governor George Patakis' acceptance of income-producing speaking engagements
"invited conflict of interest. Through a Manhattan talent agency ... for
$15,000 each, the Governor has already given four speeches, all to
out-of-state groups. The audiences included a magazine conglomerate
[Jewish?], two chapters of the Jewish National Fund, and the Cosmetic,
Toiletry, and Fragrance Association [Jewish?]." [NY TIMES, p.
The (Jewish) Forward noted the close ties between Pataki and cosmetics heir and media baron Ron Lauder (who we've met before):
"The payments by the JNF [Jewish National Fund] -- a series of speaking
fees of $15,000 apiece to Mr. Lauder's pal, Governor Pataki (whose
wife is a Lauder consultant) -- have raised eyebrows in some corners."
[FORWARD, 11-14-97, p. 14]
A further Pataki example: In 1998 Federal prosecutors were "examining whether state officials gave lenient treatment to a Hasidic rabbi imprisoned in a widely publicized kidnapping case after appeals were made on his behalf by a fund-raiser for the campaign of Governor George E. Pataki." [LEVY, p. 29] The U.S. government prosecutor in the case complained that "prison officials told him the transfer [decision to eventually release] has been made at high levels." The rabbi in question, Shlomo Helbrans, was not even an American citizen -- he was an Israeli. Originally sentenced to prison for 4-12 years, he was shifted to a program where he was freed on the only condition that he had a job. The "prominent fundraiser" who pulled the strings behind the scenes in this case, Leon Perlmutter (also a member of the ultra-Orthodox Satmar sect) also "lobbied state officials" for the release of two other Israelis convicted of drug dealing. They were paroled and deported home. (Ziv Oved was serving time for his participation in a "$1 million-a-week heroin and cocaine drug ring in Brooklyn.") [GREENBERG, E., 5-1-98, p. 10] Another Perlmutter associate, Abraham Lekkow, had given $45,000 to the Pataki campaign. [LEVY, 4-26-98, p. 29] Jeff Wiesenfeld, "Pataki's executive assistant who deals with Jewish affairs, appeared before a grand jury in Brooklyn" about the favoritism allegations. [GREENBERG, E., 5-1-98, p. 10]
In January 2000, New York City mayor Rudolph Giulani's "chief fundraiser and former chief of staff," Bruce Teitelbaum, was investigated for political favors to Orthodox Jewish groups. (Teitelbaum, a Republican, is the husband of Suri Kasirer, "a major Democratic fund-raiser and lobbyist.") [TOPOUSIS, T., 1-5-2000, p. 10] The collapse of a building under construction that killed a Mexican-American laborer and injured 11 others, says the New York Times,
"led prosecutors ... to examine the building practices of the owner,
Chaim Ostreicher. But early in the inquiry, Gaston Silva, the city's
former building commissioner, told prosecutors that he had been
pressured by Mr. Teitelbaum ... to reassign Joseph Trivisanno, a
chief buildings inspector whose style had annoyed some developers
in the Orthodox Jewish community. Mr. Trivisanno has told prosecutors
he believed he was forced from his position because he has been too
tough with Orthodox builders and developers in enforcing regulations.
Mr. Teitelbaum was the administration's liaison to the city's Orthodox
Jews, among whom the mayor has long enjoyed political support."
[BARRY, D., 1-12-2000, p. B10]
In 1978, Alex Liberman (a survivor of Auschwitz), took over as New York City's director of leasing under the (also Jewish) mayor Ed Koch administration. Liberman oversaw $80 million and soon became New York's "director of negotiations." Jack Newfield and Wayne Barrett describe what happened next:
"By this point in his career, Liberman was already taking advantage of
his discretionary public power and demanding an assortment of
kickbacks for city leases. Landlords were writing checks to his
synagogue at his suggestion, and Liberman was pressuring his
fellow directors at the temple to split the contributions with him.
At first, the synagogue's president rejected the idea, and Liberman
got no part of the initial small donations. But Remsen Heights
Jewish Center had a working-class, struggling congregation,
and when Liberman began dangling larger and larger contributions,
the temple's leadership weakened ... Eventually the synagogue was
laundering $10,000 checks ... [NEWFIELD/BARRETT, p. 215] In
the real estate world] the biggest of the immunized bribe-payers
was Seymour Cohen, ... a major force in Manhattan real estate. The
company and its principals, who leased more office space to the city
than any other landlord, had given Koch $40,000 in campaign
contributions and let him run his gubernatorial campaign rent free
out of one of their buildings. It had been no less generous with other
city officials -- giving Comptroller Jay Goldin $178,000 (he had never
audited one of their leases) and Manhattan borough president Andrew
Stein the free and exclusive use of Cohn's luxurious Hampton's home
for a summer." [NEWFIELD/BARRETT, p. 215]
On the Republican side of "the bribe," in 1995 prominent Congressman Newt Gingrich's wife raised eyebrows by taking a position (while he was in office) as the vice president for business development for the Israeli Export Company. She had visited the Jewish state in 1993 under the auspices of Israel's political lobbying arm, AIPAC. Ms. Gingrich was "hired at an undisclosed salary to help recruit business for a free-trade zone in Israel." [BAER, S., p. 6]
Jewish/Israeli influence in local politics on the other side of the country? In 1989 the Los Angeles Times featured an expose on the questionable personal and business relationship between Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley and his "friend" Abraham Spiegel. A federal grant jury was in fact beginning a criminal investigation, also subpoenaing Bradley's campaign fund-raiser (also Jewish), Ira Distenfield. (For his part, Distenfield, a Republican, yet the largest personal campaign contributor to Democrat Bradley in 1985, was eventually "sued by five current and former city commissioners for allegedly misappropriating their investments in a limited partnership that included several other political insiders.") [CLIFFORD, F., 3-27-85, p. B1; KRIKORIAN, G., 9-3-90, p .B1] "The City Attorney," noted the Times, "found no illegality in ... the way a top mayoral aide cut through city red tape for three Spiegel [real estate] developments ... Nonetheless ... the relationship raises questions about the degree of access to the mayor enjoyed by political contributors and supporters who have dealings with the city ... The sheer number and personal nature of Spiegel favors for the mayor ensures that he shares an intimacy with Bradley that few others enjoy." [PASTERNAK/BUNTING, p. 1]
Spiegel even drew the African-American mayor of Los Angeles into the web of international activism for Israel. "Bradley," noted the Times, "has traveled twice to Israel to participate in ground-breaking, and dedication of museum and university buildings donated by Spiegel. And Spiegel in turn raised funds at a Los Angeles dinner to establish a Tom Bradley Chair in Social Integration at a college near Tel Aviv ... Spiegel has often invited local officials to galas for visiting Israeli dignitaries." The Times noted one especially disturbing meeting Bradley had with Spielberg; the other two guests were former Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban and Israel's Los Angeles consul general. "The discussion at their table," said the Times, "centered on two topics -- Bradley's friendship for Israel and Spiegel's construction projects in Los Angeles ... Spiegel became Bradley's 'point man' in Los Angeles' Jewish community, raising the mayor's profile among Israeli officials and thus among affluent local supporters of Israel." [PASTERNAK, J.; BUNTING, Glenn, F.; p. 1]
The mayor that succeeded Tom Bradley? The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles notes that another Jewish "mover and shaker," Steven Soboroff, is the "best pal and top adviser to Mayor Richard Riordan, who is backing Soboroff as his successor in City Hall." [TUGEND, 10-22-99]
The case of California governor Gray Davis? "Back in the late 1970s, "notes Joel Kotkin in the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, "... Davis became acquainted with [former Governor Jerry] Brown's powerful coterie of Jewish political bankrollers like financiers S. Jon Kreedman, superagent Jeff Wald, and Eli Broad. The big Democratic political money in Los Angeles Democratic politics, Davis realized, was Jewish ... Davis made it his job to be the Gentile champion of the Jews." [KOTKIN, 5-29-98] As the Jewish Bulletin of Northern California noted in 1999,
"This was Davis' fourth trip to Israel, his first as governor. It's gratifying
to see a political leader who understands and cares about the Jewish
homeland." [JEWISH BULLETIN OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA,
11-5-99, p. 24A]
In 1999, Davis "signed a state budget ... that included $2 million for building the new Jewish Museum in San Francisco and $1.25 million for construction of the Peninsula Jewish Community Center in Foster City." [SCHUSTER, J., 7-9-99, p. 17] Can we imagine millions of tax-payer dollars earmarked for a Christian or Muslim Museum, or a Polish or Guatemalan Community Center?
Former Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres notes his impressions of then-California governor Jerry Brown in the 1980s:
"I once appeared with Governor Jerry Brown before the Union of
Meat Cutters in San Diego. He made a wonderful speech. He said,
'Well, I live on my salary. I never invested in anything. The only thing
I'm going to invest in are the bonds of Israel, because I love Israel.
If you would show me a map and ask me to identify Israel, I probably
couldn't find it. But Israel is in my heart.'" [STARR, J., 1990, p. 225]
(In 2001, Tom Hayden, left-wing darling of progressive causes, former California state representative, and ex-husband of Jane Fonda, was defeated in a bid for a seat on the Los Angeles City Council. He lost to a Jewish opponent, Jack Weiss, "a former prosecutor who has never held an elected office." As the Los Angeles Times discretely noted about the election, "A Midwestern Catholic, Hayden ... faced a subtle challenge in a district known for electing Jewish community activists as leaders.") [FOX, S., 6-17-01]
What about politics in Philadelphia, the icon of American patriotism? In 2000, President Clinton appointed "Philadelphia attorney, communal leader and state Democratic fundraiser S. David Fineman" as a U.S. District judge for Eastern Pennsylvania. Fineman had been earlier appointed by Clinton as a high official at the Post Office where he "helped shepherd a postage stamp honoring the deeds of Holocaust hero Raul Wallenberg as well as the first stamp to mark Chanukah." [FELDMAN, S., 3-23-2000, p. 15]
In late 1999, Ed Rendell, a Jew, ended his term as Philadelphia's mayor. (President Clinton attended a $1,000-per-plate dinner honoring Rendell at the end of his term.) [FELDMAN, S., 12-9-99, p. 5] The former mayor then became the new general chairman of the Democratic National Party, "the chief spokesman for the Democratic Party." [CATABIANI, M., 10-3-99, p. A1] Within months his office announced the appointment of three new "finance vice chairs" for the party. Two, Kenneth Jarin and Alan Kessler were also from Philadelphia and they were both Jews. (A third Jew from Philadelphia, Thomas Leonard, continued, since 1993, as a DNC finance vice chairman. He also served as the state of Pennsylvania's Democratic Party finance chairman).
In Fall 1999, a Jewish Republican, Sam Katz, ran against an African-American, Democrat John Street, (who beat a Jewish opponent, Marty Weinberg, in the primary) to replace Rendell as the mayor of Philadelphia. (Katz's dog, noted a Jewish journal, is even named Jabo, in honor of the famous right-wing fascist/Zionist Ze'ev Jabotinsky). 87% of the Jews of Philadelphia -- despite high nationwide Jewish proclivities to liberalism and the Democratic Party -- voted for Republican Katz. [FELDMAN, S., 3-2-2000, p. 1] Katz lost the mayoral contest, however, to the African-American by a narrow margin. A victory against Jewish political dominance? Hardly. Jews, after all, are central to the Democratic Party machine. As the Jewish Exponent observed about the African-American candidate's victory:
"From mayor Ed Rendell to District Attorney Lynne Abraham to City
Controller Jonathan Saidel to primary opponent Marty Weinberg to
campaign co-finance chairman Robert Feldman to State Senator
Allyson Schwartz -- it appeared clear that Street could not have gained
his slim victory over Republican Sam Katz Tuesday without key Jewish
supporters. Need more proof? Also on stage in the [victory] ballroom
at the Warwick Hotel were campaign insiders Leonard Ross, Leonard
Klehr and Mark Alderman; Rabbi Solomon Isaacson, who helped get
the votes out in the far Northeast, and Philadelphia Federation of
Teachers president Ted Kirsch, who prominently endorsed Street in
September. In the back of the room, chief campaign spokesman Ken
Snyder was busy fielding last-minute questions from reporters, and
looking on was campaign media consultant David Axelrod."
[FELDMAN, S., 11-4-99, p. 1]
In a follow-up article, the Jewish Exponent noted that "As was the case during Street's campaign, Jews are playing prominent roles in the transition phase [to the new mayor]." Two co-chairs of the transition committee were Jewish: Leonard Klehr and Judith Rodin (the president of the University of Pennsylvania). Education Committee chiefs included Lee Annenberg, David Cohen, and Ralph Roberts; working under them were Lois Yampolsky and Deborah Kahn, who was later named to be Philadelphia's Secretary of Education. [FELDMAN, S., 3-9-2000, p. 15] The Government Organization Committee included Leonard Ross, Mark Adelman, and Alan Kessler. Marty Weinberg was in Policy and Programs. Jewish Task Force transition leaders also included Ed Schwartz, Emmanuel Freeman, Ira Lubert, Moshe Porat, Marciarose Shestack, David Marshall (Campaign Chairman for the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia), Harold Goldman (president of Jewish Family and Children's Services), Michael Blum, Harriet Dichter, Ken Jarin, Robert Feldman, John Binswanger, Steven Cozen and Rabbi William Kuhn. [FELDMAN, S., 12-2-99, p. 10]
Two weeks later the Jewish Exponent featured another article about the many Jews in mayor Street's entourage, joking to its Jewish audience that "the Jewish community is well represented in this round of appointments. In fact, if your name is not on the list, you just might feel left out." Appointments of Jews in city government included:
Education: Shelly Yanoff, Sandra Fellman, Ted Kirsch.
Government Organization Specialists: Bennett Levin, Larry Silverman, Michael Sklaroff, Ronald Caplan, Sandy Fox.
Policy and Programs: Stuart Shapiro, Ellen Solms, Neil Stein, Max Berger, Richard Green, Sharon Pinkenson, Roseann Rosenthal, Larry Cohen, Bart Blatstein, Marvin Block, Howard Asher, Joseph Zuritsky, Mike Masch, Deborah Kodish, Adele Manger, Stephanie Naidoff, Marjorie Sarnoff, Sandra Stein, Sallie Glickman, Brad Blumberg, Jeffrey Batoff, Judith Eden, Kenneth Goldberg, Wendy Rosen, Ted Hershberg, Paul Levy, Ronald Rubin, Connie Beresin, Howard Kessler, Larry Frankel, Michael Karp, Vicky Weitzman, Joel Posner, Rabbi Lina Grazier-Zerbarini and Sharon Weinberg. [FELDMAN, S., 12-16-99, p. 18]
In the same time frame, the Exponent also did an article about the visit of the Tel Aviv mayor to Philadelphia, noting that the two sites were "sister cities." "There has been, for a long time -- or as long as I can remember," noted the Chairman of the Jewish Federation, Joseph Smukler, "a special relationship between Tel Aviv and Philadelphia." [FELDMAN, S., 4-20-2000, p. 13] Among new mayor John Street's ceremonial tasks was to cut the ribbon to open Philadelphia's new "National Liberty Museum: America's Home for Heroes." The museum's Executive Director is Gwen Borowsky. Wealthy media mogul Irwin Borowsky founded the organization. He also is the founder of the "American Interfaith Institute, which aims to expunge anti-Jewish sentiment from editions of the New Testament." Borowsky's museum, like so many these days, clearly aims to appropriate American patriotic heritage under the umbrella of Jewish Holocaust mythology. In the heart of Philadelphia, one of the icons of American heritage, the Liberty Museum features a second floor "hall of heroes [which] is studded with Holocaust memories." [MONO, B., 1-20-2000, p. 9]
And new Philadelphia mayor John Street's inevitable bending to Jewish Zionist concerns and their ties to Israel? In 1998, while still a city councilman, Street, his wife, and son were flown to Israel for eight days as a guest of a Philadelphia Jewish businessman, Joseph Zuritsky. Criticism of Israel, nor Jewish loyalties, was not the focus of a Philadelphia Daily News story about the trip. After all, as the paper observed, "Most of the potential candidates in the 1999 mayor's race, as well as Mayor Rendell, have traveled to Israel at some point in their careers -- and in most cases the trip was paid for or subsidized by one of several groups promoting closer U.S. ties to the Jewish state." These politicians courted by Zionists include Happy Fernandez, Doug Evans, and John White, Jr.) [BUNCH, W., 11-2-98]
Rather, the Daily News piece examined the economic self-interests of Zuritsky (the CEO of the Parkway Corporation, Philadelphia's major "parking lot developer"), in sponsoring Street's trip to the Jewish state. The future mayor's journey
"was paid for by a parking-lot magnate at the same time his firm
was lobbying the [City] Council for millions of dollars in low-cost
financing for a Center City development ... Zuritsky said he had no
motive in sponsoring the trip -- which had planning assistance from
several local Jewish community leaders -- other than to educate
Philadelphia's highest-ranking black leader about Israel and Mideast
politics. He said he wanted to promote ethnic harmony." [BUNCH,
Among the critics of the trip was the president of the Philadelphia division of Common Cause, Barry Kaufmann, also Jewish.
But there's even more Jewish/Zionist politicking in Pennsylvania. In 2000, that state's governor, Tom Ridge (later the first appointment as U.S. secretary of Homeland Security), was awarded the "Friend of Zion Award" by the fundamentalist Orthodox Jewish organization Aish HaTorah and the city of Jerusalem. As noted by the Jerusalem Fund, Ridge's honor was based upon his "unbending support for the Jewish state." Just the year before Governor Ridge had received the Scopus Award from the American Friends of Hebrew University in Philadelphia. [PR NEWSWIRE,-24-2000]
Jewish/Israeli propagandizing influence in the African-American community -- from Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley across the country to Philadelphia mayor John Street -- also includes Marion Barry [the African-American mayor of Washington D.C., famed when he was busted for cocaine possession in 1990. Barry's public relations "image maker" was David Abramson. [JAFFE/SHERWOOD, 1994, p. 98] (Max Berry, also Jewish, was prominent African-American D.C. city politican Walter Fauntroy's finance chairman.[JAFFE/SHERWOOOD, 1994, p. 94] John Hechinger, former chairman of the Washington DC City Council after fellow Jew Max Kampleman's appointment for the position had trouble with the Senate, "became a cornerstone in [Fauntroy's] organization." [JAFFE/SHERWOOD, 1994, p. 94, 62] Joseph Danzansky [CEO of the Giant supermarket chain] had links to the African American political community that allegedly spared his stores' from being burned in Washington DC riots). [JAFFE/SHERWOOD, 1994, p. 79] Barry also had a Jewish "longtime friend and campaign fundraiser": a wealthy real estate developer, Jeffrey Cohen [LAFRANIERE, S., 1-19-90] In Cohen's real estate hassles with city departments, note Harry Jaffe and Tom Sherwood (in their book about Washington DC politics), Barry was known to have lobbied in Cohen's behalf, having, for instance,
"stepped in and recommended that the certificate [to build] be okayed ... [JAFFE/SHERWOOD, 1994, p. 158] ... Cohen, the former Boy Banker, had
built his real esate empire with Marion Barry's help. The mayor had given his friend sweet-heart government leases and an $11-million city loan to prop up the grandiose Shaw redevelopment project. Cohen had repaid Barry with a pipeline into Jewish campaign contributions and a secret piece of a real estate deal in Nantucket ... [JAFFE/SHERWOOD, 1994, p. 305-306] Cohen says that he vascillated
over the deal but he eventually agreed to make Barry a 10 percent partner
in the $1 million building for the sake of Barry's son Christopher. Cohen
then created a dummy corporation to hide Barry's stake. Four months later,
on December 2, 1985, the mayor sent city councilman David Clarke a bill
that would float $9 million in tax-exempt bonds for Cohen to use in the
renovation of the Manhattan Laundry, a sturdy structure that Cohen wanted
to turn into offices for himself. The bond passed, and once again the city
picked up Jeffrey Cohen's tab." [JAFFE/SHERWOOD, 1994, p. 179-180]
(In a broader political sense, "Cohen's key to Republican power came through his association with E. Bob Wallach, a San Francisco lawyer who was an old friend of Ronald Reagan official [Ed] Meese's. Wallach would eventually be indicted in the Wedtech military contracting scandal and smear Meese in the process, but in 1985 he was Cohen's conduit to raw power. In a complex web that developed during the early 1980s, Wallach invested in Cohen's Washington real estate deals; Cohen helped get bank loans for Meese; and Meese gave Cohen and Barry entree into the White House.") [JAFFE/SHERWOOD, 1994, p. 161-162]
Jewish/Israeli influence in the Black community was also noted by the Jerusalem Post in 1996, in a piece headlined "The Israeli "Secret" Diplomacy Inside the Afro-American Community." As the Post observes:
"There are 100 Black colleges and universities in this country but only
41 are members of the United Negro College Fund presided over by
William H. Gray, III, the ex-congressman. And he is the 'secret weapon'
of Israel ... Black scholars, intellectuals and students are the new Israeli
Softening African-Americans to Israeli propaganda is expedited by "Israel Cultural Days" at Black American colleges, visits by Ethiopian Jews (who, never stated, face, as Blacks, omnipresent racism in Israel: see Israel chapter), and vacations to Israel for seven presidents of African-American colleges to build "a new bridge between the academic community in Israel and the black academic community in this country." [NAHSHON, G., 3-96] In March 2002, a controversy arose about African-American politican H. Carl McCall's visit to Israel. As the New York Times reported:
"When H. Carl McCall, the [New York] state comptroller and a Democratic
candidate for governor of New York, visited Israel for three days last week,
he insisted that it was an official state visit to allow him to inspect Israeli
investments financed with the New York State pension fund. Even though
Mr. McCall acknowledged that the trip could benefit his bid for governor,
he said it would be paid for mostly by the state pension fund, rather than
by his campaign. Yesterday, Mr. McCall's campaign acknowledged the
existence of a photograph from that trip taken of the comptroller with
a cocked M-16 held to his shoulder, conducting shooting practice at
what his aides said was an antiterrorist camp at an undisclosed location
in Israel." [NAGOURNEY, A., 3-12-02]
In 2001, after the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington DC, even Al Sharpton, the controversial African-American religious leader who had long been at odds with Jewish organizations, visited Israel. As Rabbi Shmuley Boteach explained, Sharpton was known as "someone who was antagonistic to the Jewish community. But I think anyone who knew him privately, Rabbi Schneier, myself, [knew] that was clearly not the case ... After September 11 ... he said to me that he wanted to make a bold gesture of reconciliation to the Jewish community ... I hope that all my Jewish brothers and sisters will extend not just an olive branch, but a warm hand of familial friendship, seeing Rev. Sharpton as a friend of the Jewish community, as a friend of the State of Israel." [FORWARD, 10-26-01] The Village Voice also notes that Sharpton has also been courted by Jewish New York mayoral candidate Mark Green who "took Sharpton and his wife to the opening of a performance of Judgment at Nuremberg, a Broadway play about the Holocaust. At the same time Green was trying to kosher Sharpton, he was riding his coattails to popularity in the African American community." [NOEL, P. 10-22-01]
With expanding Hispanic populations in Los Angeles, New York, and Florida (areas heavily populated with Jews), and rising Hispanic political power, Jewish attention in recent years has been shifting towards "coaltion building" also with Hispanics. This is despite the fact that Jews and Hispanics have little in common: Hispanics tend to be ardently Catholic and many are impoverished. Jews are the most affluent ethnic group in America, and dominant in the California garment factories that tend to hire Hispanic workers at low wages. But, as the (Jewish) Forward noted in 2001:
"In the current Los Angeles mayor's race, Jews and Hispanics appear to be
backing the same candidate, Antonio Villaraigosa, a former speaker of the
state assembly, over his white opponent, former City Attorney James Hahn ...
'I've always chided the pro-Israel leadership for not taking Hispanic leaders
to Israel the way they do with blacks," said Linda Chavez, a conservative
political thinker who was President Bush's first nominee for seceretary of
labor. Such trips have in fact begun. Mr. Villaraigosa, the L. A. mayoral
contender, visited Israel in 1999 with other Latino leaders on an ADL-
sponsored trip. 'On Israel Independence Day he talked about how that
impacted him," said the ADL's Mr. Lehrer." [DONADIO, R., 5-11-01]
(Linda Chavez is married to Chris Gersten, former Executive Director of the Republican Jewish Coalition). [BESSER, J., 1-5-01]
On May 31, 2001, during the last Los Angeles mayoral debate, KNX radio reporter Frank Mottek challenged Villaraigosa about his former secessionist ideology. The candidate did not respond directly to the question, however, but shielded himself with platitudes and his strong Jewish connections:
MOTTEK: "It has been reported Mr. Villaraigosa that when you were at UCLA
you were active in a Latino rights group which among other things says in its constitution that it is in favor of forming a separate republic in the Southwest United States. Do
you hold the beliefs of that organization as your own and do you still support the
group and what do you tell kids that see this kind of stuff on the Internet?"
VILLARAIGOSA: "I say that we have to do everything to combat hate and ignorance.
I say that we need to do what the [Simon Wiesenthal] Museum of Tolerance has done.
I know, because later in June I'm going to be honored by the Museum of Tolerance.
I put together over the last six years more than 18 million dollars for this museum. I
put money for this museum. That amount of money is unprecedented in the history
of this state. I put money together for this museum because I agree with the Rabbis
who work here. Rabbi May, Rabbi Cooper. I supported this museum because they
have the tools for tolerance program in our schools and in our police department. I'd
like to get the person that worked on that Website in one of those programs so that
we can teach them the need to come together and not vilify one another. I'm proud
of the fact that this is a great country. This is a country of opportunity and this is
also a country of free speech. So I honor his right to free speech, I just hope that
he works on the tolerance." [MOTTEK, F., 5-31-01]
In March 2002, New York politician David Weprin made the news when he -- ardent activist for Jewish causes (his mother is a Jew from Cuba) -- decided to spread his influence and seek membership in the the New York City Council's Black and Hispanic Caucus. Some of the members of this minority coalition rebuffed him. "The Weprin name is synonymous with Jewish affairs as it is with Queen politics ... Even if the Hollis Democrat [Weprin] has not identified as much with Hispanic causes," editorialized Newsday in support of his admission, "he is emblematic of a city in which many people claim multiple heritage." [NEWSDAY, 3-4-02]
Incredibly, Weprin, Jewish activist reinvented politically as Hispanic, had made the news on behalf of far-right Zionist causes just a few weeks earlier. As the Jewish Forward reported
"A freshman New York City councilman is winning some powerful
endorsements for his proposal to name a street in his native Queens after
slain Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavim 'Gandhi' Ze'evi, who had urged
the expulsion of Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The
proposal by Democrat David Weprin, who chairs the City Council's
powerful finance committeee, has won the endorsement of [Jewish]
State Assemblyman Dov Hikind of Brooklyn, as well as Rabbi Avi
Weiss of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale in the Bronx ... The enthusiasm
of some mainstream Jewish organizations for the street-naming proposal
may be the latest sign of what communal leaders say is a new era
in which it is no longer verboten for American Jews to discuss, or in some
cases prokmote , Ze'evi's platform of 'transfer.' The term 'transfer' has
come to refer to the mass removal of Palestinians from the West Bank
and Gaza to other Arab countries by means that Ze'evi himself was often
vague about. Most mainstream Jewish groups, from left to right, historically
have rejected the doctrine as immoral." [CATTAN, N., 1-25-02]
The Jewish lobbying of American politicans towards Zionism and Israel is broad. In 2001, for example, mayor Ralph Appezzato of Alameda (near San Francisco) was one of 46 mayors from 25 countries to attend a special conference for mayors in Jerusalem sponsored by the American Jewish Congress. Wined and dined in Israel, upon returning, noted the Jewish Bulletin of Northern California, Appezzato now "wears the Lion of Judah pinned on his lapel. He also has a mezuzah [the traditional Jewish religious artifact on doorframes], ("slanted correctly -- my Jewish friends told me"). "Because of the intifada [the Palestinian uprising against Israeli rule which had so far taken hundreds of lives]," Mayor Appezzato told reporters, "tourism is down. It's absolutely wonderful to go to all the sites and not have to fight the crowds." [GOLDSMITH, A., 5-5-01]
In 2001, Jewish mogul Michael Bloomberg was elected to be the new mayor of New York City. The New York Times noted that mayor-elect Bloomberg, current mayor Rudy Giuliani, and New York governor George Pataki were planning a visit to Israel together on Bloomberg's private jet. "Their schedule," noted the Times, "would include visiting the sites in Israel that were recently attacked by suicide bombers, laying wreaths and meeting with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and other officials." "It is an appropriate time to show the people of Israel that our prayers are with them," said Bloomberg. "It is an important trip, it is a brief trip, but when you really care you fit things in." "Events this week require that I be in Israel," said Governor Pataki. [STEINHAUER, J., 12-5-01] In February 2002, New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani was awarded the "Friend of Israel Humanitarian Award" by the Greater Miami Jewish Federation. "There is a very strong connection between Israel and the United States that's even deeper than the blood lines, " he told the Jewish dinner crowd, "The actual strength and depth of our connection is very simple: We're democracies." [DE VALLE, E., 2-11-02]
In 2002, the Jewish-dominated New York City City Council decided it was an international body when it drafted a proposal "for the removal of the PLO from New York" (the United Nations offices are located in that city) but the State Department intervened to complain that "its passage could complicate cease-fire efforts in the Middle East." [RADLER, M., 4-25-02]
What about Jewish political purse strings in Massachusetts? In 1998, the Jewish Advocate noted that
"How well three local businessmen each raise funds -- while putting aside
their friendship -- could have a major impact upon the governor's race in
Massachusetts. Boston lawyer Richard Glovsky of Newton is chairing
the finance committee of [state] Attorney General Scott Harshbarger's
campaign, while nursing home magnate Alan Solomont and private
investor Paul Egerman, both of Weston, are sharing these
responsibilities in former state senator Patricia McGovern's camp.
Both gubernatorial candidates are Democrats ... Egerman's wife, Joanne,
and Glovsky are members of the board of directors of the Anti-
Defamation League of B'nai B'rith's New England chapter."
[GELBWASSER, M., 2-5-98, p. 1]
How about Jewish political prominence in San Francisco? Jewish scholar Seymour Lipset notes that, despite popular Jewish convictions of rampant anti-Semitism around them,
"San Francisco provides an example of how some Jews can totally
ignore reality. Polls taken among contributors to the San Francisco
Jewish Community Federation have found that one-third believe
that a Jew cannot be elected to Congress from San Francisco. A
poll reported such results in 1985 when all three members of
Congress from contiguous districts in or adjacent to the city were
Jewish, as were two state senators, the mayor and a considerable
part of the city council." [LIPSET, p. 156]
If modern San Francisco is so wonderful for Jews, where does Jewish anti-Semitic paranoia there come from, San Francisco's anti-Semitic past? Hardly. Earl Raab, an assistant director of the San Francisco Jewish Relations Council wrote in 1950 that
"The Jewish community in San Francisco has been called, with reason,
the wealthiest, per capita, in the country. There is, at the same time,
a startling poverty of anti-Semitic tradition. San Francisco, for cities of
its size, is the nation's 'white spot' of anti-Jewish prejudice ... At times
Jewish citizens have concurrently held the presidencies of the Chamber
of Commerce, the Community Chest, the Board of Education, Art, Fire,
and Harbor Commissions, and many other appointive and elective
posts; it is a situation that cannot be duplicated in any other city with
a six percent Jewish concentration." [p. 230]
Not far from San Francisco, in 1998, in a celebration of Israel's 50th anniversary, a San Francisco Jewish ethnic newspaper noted that "costumed volunteers from Congregation Beth David in Saratoga, representing great 20th century Israeli leaders, will greet the crowd. Mayors Judy Nadler of Santa Clara, Donald Wolf of Saratoga and Ralph Faravelli of Mountain View, plus Santa Clara County Supervisor Joseph Simitian and Mountain View Councilmember Joseph Kleitman will head a ceremony introduced by Jewish community leader Dr. Steve Green." [JEWISH BULLETIN, 6-5-98]
What about Jewish influence in New Jersey, beside Jewish-dominated New York? "Key campaign strategists for the Democrats' U.S. Senate primary races," noted the New Jersey Jewish News in 2000, "are Jewish." Steven Goldstein was co-campaign manager for one candidate (the later primary winner), and Jim Lanard the director of strategic planning and spokesman for another. "Goldstein believes that his Jewish identity 'intensely' informs his career." Lanard studied Hebrew while living for a year in Israel. [FRIEDLAND, E., 6-1-2000, p. 13] Yet another Jewish behind-the--scenes New Jersey politico, Ira Cohen, was chair of the "pro-Israel" Draft Bob Grant Committee. Cohen noted that he has "no allegiance to anybody exclusive of my people -- the Jewish people, my family, my children and grandchildren, and how this country goes." [FRIEDLAND, E., 6-1-2000, p. 14]
What about Jewish influence in, of all places, South Carolina? Are there Jews close to the reins of power there, in a state where there are few Jews? In 2000, Sam Tenenbaum chaired Governor Jim Hodge's inaugural committee. Sam's wife, Inez, is the South Carolina Superintendent of Education. [GRESOCK, S., 8-3-2000] (Even in Utah, Joe Waldhotz, husband of non-Jewish Congressman Enid Greene, effectively destroyed his wife's political career after he committed a variety of crimes worth 21 months in prison. [DILLON, L., 5-29-99, p. A1] In Georgia, Dianne Harnell Cohen is the governor's deputy chief of staff). [ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES, 6-18-99]
How about non-Jewish, arch-conservative Republican senator Jesse Helms, from North Carolina? How was he conquered for the Zionist cause? Zionist journalist Sidney Zion tells the story of (infamous Jewish attorney, friend of mobsters, and political activist) Roy Cohn's dragging of Helms onto the Zionist bandwagon:
"Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina was the premier target of the Jewish lobby
in his bid for re-election in 1984. It wasn't just that his voting record on Israel was
terrible; the big thing was that Helms was in line to head up the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee. Jewish money was flowing into the coffers of his opponent,
the incumbent Governor James B. Hunt, and the election was attracting nationwide
media coverage, particularly in New York. It looked like a toss-up, and Helms
was very nervous indeed. What to do? Call Roy Cohn.
Roy held a party for Helms, with a guest list made up of some of the richest
Jews in New York plus a few wealthy goyim, who were either pro-Israel
out of conviction or out of friendship with Cohn. That anybody in the city
would show up at a bash for Helms was an act of friendship for Roy. Helms
was being portrayed as practically the reincarnation of the Third Reich.
When I got word about this party, I was appalled. I couldn't believe Roy
Cohn would got this far. He was pro-Israel, whatever else his madness,
he was consistently pro-Israel. How the hell could he allow his right-wing
bullshit to bring him to this?
But I'd never act moralistic with Roy Cohn.
All I said was: 'How'd that Jesse Helms fund-raiser go?'
'It wasn't a fund-raiser.'
'Roy,' I said, 'I know you held a fucking fund-raiser for Jesse Helms.'
'It wasn't that at all,' he said. 'It was interferon.'
'Inteferon. To stop the flow of pro-Israeli money to Hunt. That's what it
what it was about. We didn't ask anybody for a dime. We told them we
we didn't want their money. And we didn't Jesse didn't need money. He
only needed to cut off the other guy's money. Anyway it would have
been stupid to ask these people for campaign contributions. Let's face
it, they couldn't be caught dead backing Jesse Helms. So the cancer
'Did it work?'
'Sure. Jesse will win the election.'
'But why do you want that? You've always been for Israel.'
'Jesse Helms isn't anti-Israel,' Cohn said.
'How'd he manage to fool the world?'
'He voted against some Israeli appropriations. He votes against
appropriation bills all the time. He votes against the Arabs. He's an
old-line Republican. Tha'ts all there is to it. I know him forever, he's
not pro-Arab, he's not anti-Israel. He's for Israel.'
Several months after Helms won re-election, he went to Israel with Roy
Cohn. Within a week he was a total Israeli hawk, to the right of General
When I next saw Roy, I said, 'Well, you're the only guy I know who
cashed in markers for Israel.'
He didn't even smile. He said, 'I told you, Jesse Helms was pro-Israel.'
'But Roy, nobody knew it until you took him over there.'
'I knew it,' Roy said.
'Did he know it?'
'He knows it now.' And now Roy Cohn smiled." [ZION, S., 1988, p. 264-265]
Atlanta, Georgia? In 2001, the Atlanta Jewish Times noted the Jewish dimensions of the race for mayor:
"The vast majority of Atlanta's 86,000 Jews will not vote for mayor, since they
live outside the city limits. But they will give money, and for good reason. Many
work within the city boundaries ... The Jewish supporters who have decided [who
to vote for] are primarily aligning themselves with Pitts and Franklin [the mayoral
frontrunners]. Each has several Jews on his or her finance committee ... Dr. Larry
Cooper ... ["a major Jewish supporter"] is chairing Franklin's finance committee."
[POLLAK, S., 5-11-01]
In Miami, Florida, Elaine Bloom "has been a radio talk-show host, regional president of the National Council of Jewish Women and a top UJA activist. She recently stepped down as chief Florida fund-raiser for Israel's Bar-Ilan University." Ms. Bloom, notes J. J. Goldberg, "is one of the most powerful and longest serving Democrats in the Florida state legislature." [GOLDBERG, J. J., 1-28-2000, p. 12] In 1999, Donald Warshaw, Miami's powerful city manager, was fired after nearly two years in the position. He was accused of "spending $86, 563 in pension and charity funds on trips, designer clothes, $21,276 in hockey tickets and other things from 1993 to 1995 while serving as police commissioner." [WILSON, C., 10-11-2000] Earlier, in 1993, Dade County Commissioner (Miami, Florida) Joe Gersten, also Jewish, was accused of smoking cocaine with a prostitute in a Miami drug den and subsequently fled to Australia. [DE FEDE, J., 3-16-94]
Also in Florida, in 1999, State Senator Al Gutman was sentenced to two years in prison for "conspiracy in a Medicare fraud case." Gutman and his wife Marci "secretly owned companies that billed Medicare for health care services that were not performed." He "collected at least $2 million from fraudulent billings while he served in the Legislature." [FIELDS, T., 10-20-99; FIELDS, T., 10-26-99] In 2002, Edward Mezvinsky, a former Congressman from Iowa, "was indicted on 66 counts of fraud and related charges for allegely bilking more than $10 million." Those signing letters to the court trying to get him off easy were Edward Shils (a University of Pennsylvania professor, Jonathan Yarowsky, a former genral counsel to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, and Rabbi Gerald Wolpe. [MOORE, T., 1-9-02] In 2002, the Nashville (Tennessee) Vice Mayor, Ronnie Steine, "withdrew from the 5th District Congressional race ... after admitting he shoplifted from a Target Store ... and [he] says he has been cited one other time for stealing from the same store." [KNOXNEWS, 4-28-02]
Jewish interest in political activity is not always, of course, expressly linked to Israel and other Jewish causes. The Las Vegas Review noted the case of Arthur Goldberg in 1999. Goldberg heads Park Place Entertainment, the largest casino/hotel conglomerate in America (Cesar's Palace, Bally's, et al). "The New Jersey Casino Control Commission," noted the paper,
"criticized Goldberg and faulted his judgements for allowing his company
to pay the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives $240,000
during a 1994 campaign to legalize casinos ... Goldberg wasn't here to
hear the decision [of the Casino Control Commission] ... [He] was
hosting President Clinton at a $10,000 per plate Democratic fund-raiser
at the company's Paris Las Vegas hotel-casino." [WEINERT, J., p. 2D]
Elsewhere, intensive Jewish lobbying and Jewish money to secure special treatment for fellow Jews around the world has long been a tradition. A 1999 article in the Boston Globe noted the special treatment Jews get in trying to get refugee status to America from Russia (nearly three-quarters of a special refugee program for Russian cases, mostly claiming anti-Semitism, are Jews):
"In other troubled parts of the world, would-be refugees must show
they are being persecuted or have a "well-founded fear" of persecution
... But applicants from the former Soviet Union need only show 'credible
basis' for concern that they might face persecution. Such vague
standards left INS employees uncertain what assertions were
acceptable to win refugee status. But they said they soon learned
from their superiors that a claim of a minor act of discrimination,
such as being denied a promotion or a raise, was acceptable, without
any need for verification. The majority of the 275,000 who emigrated
here through the program were men, women, and children of Jewish
heritage ... An attempt to end the program now could prove costly to
Democratic candidates, especially to Hilary Rodham Clinton, who
has taken steps to court Jewish voters in New York state." [KURKJIAN,
One INS "superior" told the Globe, "I'll admit the program is more generous than elsewhere, but that's what Congress mandated." Dan Stein of the Federation of American Immigration Reform testified to Congress that "This program has been documented to be so loosely administered that it has served as a conduit for the settlement of a strong refugee mafia to take root in the United States." [See the chapter on Jewish dominance in the "Russian Mafia"]. "Added one INS interviewer," says the Globe, "who asked for anonymity: 'The prevailing attitude was that Congress had passed the ... amendment loosening the restriction for Jews to enter as refugees and we weren't to stand in the way of putting up numbers' ... Refugee status is an immigrant's dream. Refugees are entitled to special benefits, including welfare of eight months, health insurance, employment services, and instruction in English as a second language for 18 months, that are not available to foreign visitors with work visas. And it allows for them to petition for U.S. citizenship after five years." [KURKJIAN, p. A1]
Jews across the world have long been a crucial issue for American Jewry, and the Jews of Russia have been of paramount concern to them since the late 19th century. In the early years of the twentieth century, says J. Bruce Nichols, "the American Jewish Committee brought Jewish concern [about Russian Jews] into the political and economic mainstream by forcing Congress to terminate the eighty year-old treaty regulating U.S. commercial ties with Russia ... The [Congressional] vote [on ending the treaty in support of Jewish interests] firmly established the AJC as a force in the conduct of the nation's foreign affairs." When Turkey in 1914 expelled over a thousand Russian Jews from Palestine, "several U.S. Navy ships were used to transport them to safety in Alexandria, Egypt. In March 1915 the U.S. Navy shipped 900 tons of [American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee] relief supplies to Palestine; a second shipment courtesy of the government followed the next year ... According to a report filed in July 1916 by the U.S. Consul in Jerusalem, only 18,000 of the 82,000 Jews in Palestine were self-supporting; the rest depended on American charity." [NICHOLS, p. 33-34]
American immigration policy towards Soviet Jews parallels that of guilt-ridden Germany where a 1991 law "gives preferential treatment to Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union ... Once in Germany ... they enjoy a wide range of government benefits intended to aid their absorption, including employee retraining, German language programs, subsidized housing, free health care and generous welfare payments. After a seven-year residency period, they may apply for German citizenship." [FISHKOFF, 8-8-97] In 1990, there were 29,000 Jews in Germany; within seven years Russian immigrants pushed the number to 90,000. "Given the prevailing pro-Israel atmosphere in reunited Germany," notes Sue Fishkoff, "where Holocaust education is being introduced in the five new [German] states and where Israel and the German Jewish community's affairs feature prominently in the daily news, it would be political death for any [German] community leader or business mogul to come out against giving money to a Jewish cause." [FISHKOFF, 8-8-97]
After World War II, Jewish organizations discretely lobbied to get 100,000 European Jews to American shores. As Peter Novick describes the efforts:
"Two thirds of the million-dollar budget of the lobbying operation was underwritten
by the family of Lessing Rosenwald, the most prominent American anti-Zionist.
The goal of the campaign's initiators was to bring in 100,000 Jewish survivors.
But since it was impolitic and contrary to American tradition for legislation to
specify the religion of immigrants, and since Jews were estimated to comprise
25% of all DPs [displaced persons], they pressed for a law that would bring
in a total of 400,000 DPs over four years. To this end, the Citizens' Committee
on Displaced Persons was established -- ostensibly nondenomenational, but
in fact largely funded and staffed by Jews ... The CCDP ... systematically
downplayed the presence of Jews among the DPs ... [NOVICK, P., 1999, p. 81-82]
... In late 1948 a Jewish journalist charged in the New York Post that a high
proportion of non-Jewish DPs were Nazi collaborators. The allegation was
denounced in the Jesuit magazine America as 'anti-Christianism' quite
comparable to ... anti-Semitism.' An open breach between Jewish and
Christian groups was only narrowly averted." [NOVICK, P., 1999, p. 89]
In the U.S. in the 1970s, concerted Jewish pressure on Congress to force the Soviet Union to allow Jews to emigrate to Israel, and America, resulted in an attachment to a trade bill that afforded "most favored nation status to the Soviet Union on the condition that it lifted its emigration restrictions ... When emigration ... swell[ed] to an annual high of 51,000 in 1979, Congress also expanded its financial assistance with the relocation of Soviet émigrés in Israel. In 1976 it appropriated more than $100 million for that purpose ... [The American Congress began funding Israeli refugee-absorption programs as early as 1951] [NICHOLS, JB, p. 110] ... In contemporary refugee work there is no parallel to U.S./Israeli cooperation in the modern aliyah [immigration to Israel]. Since the founding of Israel the United States has played a critical role in financing the immigration." [NICHOLS, JB, p. 145]
And what has this Jewish protectionism, and special U.S. governmental favoritism, to Jewish immigrants from Russia provided the United States, and the world? As Robert Friedman, author of a book on the "Russian Mafia," notes,
"Most of [the first wave of Jewish Russian immigrants, beginning in
1975] settled in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, which became a ground
zero for the Russian mob. And then over the course of the next
15 years, they expanded from a neighborhood extortion group to
a multi-billion dollar international crime cartel ... [They], along with
corrupt oligarchs of the former Soviet Union, had looted Russia, had
stolen everything that wasn't nailed down ... [Thousands of Jewish
criminals] all pretended they were [Jewish Russian Zionist activist
Natan] Sharansky ... [They] came [to America] under the guises, under
the banner of Jewish refuseniks who were fighting for freedom, for
religious freedom." [PENKAVA, M., 5-3-2000]
As Martha Birsch, an assistant attorney for the U.S. Organized Crime and Racketeering Strike Force, notes, "We view Russian organized crime as definitely a growing and potentially very serious threat in the United States ... Russian organized crime is fairly unique in that it is ... truly international in scope." [PENKAVA, M., 5-3-2000]
The Jewish American lobby demands special concessions for fellow Jews all over the world. During the politically delicate Israeli airlifts of Jews from Ethiopia to the Jewish state too, "the [U.S.] government had few options but to allow minority interests within the Jewish community to determine its policy." [NICHOLS, JB, p. 145] In the case of Ethiopian Jewish refugees in Sudan, "at Israel's request," notes Jacob Abadi, "Washington promised [Sudan] an increase of $200 million in economic aid in return for a commitment to allow the Falashas to fly out of Sudan." [ABADI, 1999] Even during the 1979 Iranian revolution, notes J. J. Goldberg, "the INS [Immigration and Naturalization Services] was ordered to exempt Jews and Bahais from the harsh treatment being meted out to Iranians at the border." [GOLDBERG, JJ, p. 184]
But Russian Jews have long been especially dear to the American Jewish heart (millions of American Jews trace their roots to that country) and again and again American foreign policy bends to Jewish will. A 1986 press report noted that "the status of Soviet Jews has emerged in advance as a central topic at the Reagan-Gorbachev meeting ... This development made an arms control-human rights/Jewish emigration linkage a fact of life in superpower negotiations." "Rarely," noted New York Times reporter David Shipler in 1987, "has there been as much harmony between an administration and an interest group as there is now between the Reagan administration and the organizations campaigning on behalf of Soviet Jewry." [BEKER, A., p. 448]
In 1999 intensive Jewish lobbying efforts were still calling the shots in American-Russian foreign policy. "President Clinton," noted the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, "has rejected an appeal by Russian President Boris Yeltsin to repeal a law that conditioned U.S.-Russian trade relations [the Jackson-Vanik Amendment] on the freedom of Jews and others to leave the country ... [Yelstin spoke to Clinton] as the American Jewish Committee reprinted in full-page ads in the New York Times and Los Angeles Times a letter to Yeltsin from all but one of the 100 members of the U.S. Senate threatening to end economic and political support for Russia unless Yeltsin confronted the rise in anti-Semitic rhetoric." [DORF, M., 6-23-99, p. 7]
Among President Bill Clinton's other extraordinary favors for the Jewish lobby was the one that concerned America's new 1996 spy satellite. "Israel has demanded special treatment," noted the (London) Daily Telegraph, "deploying America's influential Jewish lobby to head off what it viewed as a major threat to its national security." Clinton administration policy ultimately decided that the spy satellite would not be used to view Israeli territory -- the only nation on earth afforded such treatment. [WARREN, M., 9-9-96, p. 28]
In 1988, the Palestinians declared themselves an independent nation. Palestinian leader Yassar Arafat requested a visa to visit the United States to speak to the United Nations (whose formal home, of course, is in New York City). Anti-Palestinian Jewish/Zionist influence was so strong in American government that Arafat's request was refused. In response, notes Israeli Amnon Rubenstein, "in an unprecedented action, the United Nations then moved the entire General Assembly to Geneva, Switzerland, so that Arafat could speak during a special session on the question of Palestine. A total of 154 countries supported the resolution, with only the United States and Israel voting against it." [RUBENSTEIN, A., p. 141] Ten years later, in 1998, always following Israeli dictates as United States Middle East foreign policy, the U.S. resisted popular world opinion again. By a United Nations vote of 124 to 4, Palestinians were provided "the right to take part in the [UN] General Assembly and reply to ... speeches; to co-sponsor resolutions on Middle East issues" as part of its newly afforded "super-observer" status. "In Washington," noted the New York Times, "the State Department condemned the vote in strong terms. The department spokesman, James P. Rubin, said the Clinton Administration considered the vote an unnecessary and untimely mistake." [CROSSETTE, B., 7-8-98]
Under continuous Jewish pressure, in 1995, Congress finally passed an act with profound political implications in the Middle East, requiring that the United States embassy in Tel Aviv be moved to Jerusalem (an action that is widely viewed in the Middle East as an American sanctioning of Jewish claims to all of Jerusalem as its capitol. The move is so detrimental to the Israeli-Arab "peace process" that the actual change has yet to be carried out). [GERSHKOFF, 1999]
For years the Jewish/Israeli lobby has fought to get the United Nations to rescind its November 1975 resolution that formally declared: "Zionism is racism." One of the avenues to this accomplishment was the United Nations purse strings (in conjunction with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the communist bloc), of which United States contributions by the 1980s amounted to about 50% of the U.N.'s economic base. [Mrejen, p. 67] In August 1985 the United States Congress approved the "Kassebaum Amendment" which substantially cut U.S. subsidies to the world body, precipitating for it a financial crisis. In a 1998 article in Israeli Affairs, Jewish author Emmanuel Mrejen complained about the injustice of "unbridled majoritarianism" (i.e., the system of one nation, one vote) of the UN, a voting design that usually functioned negatively for the powerful western nations. And Israel. "Israel," wrote Mrejen, "should support [U.N.] reforms aimed at limiting the disastrous effects of majoritarianism [i.e., democratic voting], which both permitted the success of the anti-Israel propaganda at the UN and deeply discredited the UN itself ... As explained by [Israeli] professor Yehuda Blum, the charter of the United Nations 'has been eroded over the years under the deleterious effects of the dictatorship of the majority.'" [MREJEN, p. 81] By the 1990s, thanks primarily to Jewish and American pressures upon the world community, the UN resolution equating Zionism with racism was rescinded.
(A refreshingly uncommon approach to the "Zionism is racism" issue was that of Jewish-born poet Allen Ginsberg. "He told me in our 1992 interview," says Roger Kamenetz, "that he agreed with the former United Nations resolution stating that Zionism is racism. 'And the fact that everybody is so screamingly angry that Zionism can't be called that is even worse.'") [KAMENETZ, R., 1994, p. 151]
In 2002, Iraq's deputy prime minister, Tariq Aziz, publicly complained about the U.N.'s handling of its planned investigation of an alleged Israeli massacre of Palestinians in the West Bank town of Jenin. Israel refused to cooperate. As London's Guardian observed:
"[Iraq] accused the United Nations of double standards yesterday for imposing
sanctions on Baghdad for 11 years, but failing to take any action against Israel
for blocking a fact-finding inquiry into military action at the Jenin refugee camp ...
[Iraqi official] Aziz said [the U.N.'s] handling of the Jenin fact-finding issue
was proof of double standards, arguing that while the UN stood firm [under
U.S. pressure] on its resolutions on Iraq, it had done little in the face of Israel's
resistance to security council resolutions, even those supported by the U.S."
[MACASKILL, E., 5-2-02]
Jewish and Zionist interests are also increasingly molded into the U.S. government via the Anti-Defamation League. The ADL -- founded in the early 20th century to diffuse hostility towards Jews and, later, to also promote Israeli interests -- today functions as a kind of private ethnic police agency. The ADL, accused by some critics as having links to Israeli's Mossad spy agency, has for decades morphed into various U.S. police and security organizations, providing spy information about what it defines as "hate" groups (those deemed "anti-Semitic" are of course the most important to them). [The ADL was caught spying, on the full political spectrum of political organizations -- many critical of Israel -- in the early 1990s -- See the Anti-Semitism chapter]. With a yearly budget of nearly $50 million, it also provides indoctrination to its own interpretations of ethnic, religious, and racial "tolerance" (Any of the many, many racist and chauvinistic expressions of Jewish and Israeli intolerance are NEVER part of the curriculum).
In February 2002 the Los Angeles Times reported that the ADL had "announced a new partership with law enforcement agencies to help deal with hate crimes and extremists ... For much of its history, officials said, the Anti-Defamation League has worked with law enforcement to combat bias and hate crimes, but the creation of the committee formalizes this relationship and brings more agencies together ... Law enforcement groups [involved in the ADL closure] include the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, the Los Angeles police, the Highway Patrol, the FBI, the state attorney general's office and agencies from Bakersfield, Palm Springs, Pasadena, Riverside, San Bernardino and Santa Barbara." Also, that same month, the Jewish Bulletin noted that "the [San Francisco-based] Anti-Defamation League has been working with local and federal law enforcement in Salt Lake City to monitor extremist activity at the Winter Olympics." [GOLDSMITH, A., ADL WORKING, 2-2002] In other words, a private Judeo-centric, pro-Israel propaganda organization has become institutionalized as an active, formalized part of the American law and security system.
Ironically, the ADL's record with the U.S. government has not necessarily been stellar. Jewish Hollywood mogul Dore Schary -- national chairman of the ADL from 1963-69 -- was, for example, noted in FBI reports as a "strong communist sympathizer." [WILCOX, L., 1999, p. 61, 62] "Ironically," notes Laird Wilcox,
"FBI records reveal that Dore Schary was not the only ADL operative whose
alleged communist 'links and ties' caught the FBI's attention. Other references
are made in FBI internal documents to David Edelsburg, director of the ADL's
Washington office, as a member of the National Lawyers Guild. A reference to
Gilbert J. Balkin, director of the Florida Regional Office of the ADL, and his
wife Revy, alluded to 'links and ties' with the Council for American-Soviet
Friendship and the Southern Conference for Human Welfare and noted that
they are 'alleged communist front organizations.' It also noted that Revy
Balkin was editor of a monthly newspaper called the Miami Beacon that 'was
always in accord with the Communist Party line." [WILCOX, L., 1999,
(As Wilcox underscores, even if such alleged ADL communist links were circumstantial, this is the methodology used very often by the great Jewish organization itself against those it singles out as having associated with "racists," "Nazis," "anti-Semites," etc.)
Jewish money talks in many ways in American political life; some of the committed rich can even take on less overtly Jewish issues -- virtually alone -- that are dear to them. In 1998 Jewish multi-millionaire Ron Unz, for instance, embarked on what may be a new trend; by "will and wealth," noted the New York Times, he was the founding -- and central -- force in successfully lobbying the public to wipe out bilingual education in California. The head of a voter's initiative that he instigated, its advertising costs totaled $1.2 million, of which he personally contributed $700,000. [BRUNI, p. 1, 30]
In 1999, William Pfaff, a commentator in the Los Angeles Times, noted with profound pessimism that:
"As the United States approaches the 2000 presidential race in which
more money will be spent than ever, the fact must be faced that America
has become a plutocracy. Money rules government. The transformation
is probably irreversible ... Many Americans undoubtedly do not
realize that other nations do not run their politics in this way ... The
unrecognized but crucial reality, however, is that even if Americans
should come to recognize what has happened, and should wish to
restore the democratic foundations of their republican form of
government, they could change nothing. Established constitutional
interpretation and legal precedent, and the power of money in the
legislative process, now can prevent any fundamental change."
[PFAFF, p. 9]
Although crucial and overwhelmingly dominant, money is not absolutely everything in the American political system, of course. There are other political dimensions within which Jews are omnipresent also. "The benefits Jews demand for access to government becomes especially evident when we see the extent to which Jews have relied upon the state and the public economy to achieve positions of influence and status in American society," says Benjamin Ginsberg, "... Protestants tend to derive their positions mainly from activities in the private sector and Catholics from trade union leadership. Jews, on the other hand, have depended primarily on the media, foundations, and public interest groups, and appointed government posts to achieve positions in the American political and social elite." [GINSBERG, p. 103]
Jews -- as 2.5% of the American population and 6% of its electorate -- have proven to be twice as likely to vote in political elections as other Americans. Almost half of all Jews live in the most populated states -- New York and California, states that account for 166 electoral votes in Presidential elections. These factors -- their clustering in important states, their disproportionate proclivity to vote, their profound financial influence, and their deep sense of Jewish/Israel "causes" -- make Jews potentially pivotal in any Presidential election. Whitfield notes that
"About a quarter of the voters in New York state ... are Jewish. In
1976 they went about 80% for Carter over Gerald Ford, enabling the
Democrats to carry the state and with it the Presidency. Had Carter
and the incumbent evenly split the Jewish vote of New York, Carter
would have lost the state and with it the White House. Thus, the
influence of a tiny minority is magnified in an incorrigibly anti-
majoritarian, winner-take-all system; and that is why their attitudes
and impulses have counted ever since the political alignment that
began in 1932." [WHITFIELD, Am Space, p. 93]
In Bill Clinton's successful bid for the American presidency, and reelection, he also garnered 80% of the national Jewish vote. [ROTH, B., 10-11-99] As conservative Rabbi Daniel Lapin disdainfully observed, "More than 80 percent of Jews voted for the man whom nearly 60 percent of American voters rejected." [LAPIN, D., 1999, p. 293]
In 2001 the Jewish Forward also has noted the implications of Jewish voting power:
"The available evidence on Jewish voting patterns, when examined closely,
shows that the Jewish community is in fact an extremely potent political
force in the United States and will remain so for years to come ... Jews are
strategically located in the places that make the most difference on Election
Day ... Jews are concentrated and communally active in all [the "swing states"],
especially Florida, Pennsylvania and California. This has been true for
decades, even if it did not get national attention until November 2000,
when Mr. Bush, by some interpretations, won his presidency thanks to
thousands of Florida Jews who unwittingly cast their votes for Pat
Buchanon ... True, a majority of Jews vote Democratic. However, a study
of Jewish voting habits during the past century shows that enough Jewish
vogters -- some 30% -- will switch parties to punish a candidate who takes
positions they dislike. In states such as Florida and California, in which
Jews number 4% to 6% of the electorate, a 30% swing can tip the scales
in a close election ... In 1972, for example, when Jewish support for the
Democrats was at record highs, the party's candidate was the liberal
isolationist George McGovern. So controversial was Mr. McGovern's
stand on the Middle East that Israel's ambassador in Washington at the
time, Yitzhak Rabin, went public with his preference for Richard Nixon.
In that election, 16% of the Jewish vote shifted away from the Democrats.
An even greater Jewish exodus accompanied the 1980 re-election bid of
President Carter, just months after his administration voted for an
anti-Israel resolution in the United Nations Security Council. In both
case, the defecting Jewish votes made up a significant portion of the
Republican victory margin ... What all this means is that the Jewish vote
countes. While most Jews will not base their votes on the issue of Israel
alone, if at all, a large portion apparently will switch parties when a
candidate seems threatening to the Jewish state ... Thus, Jewish communal
identity remains politically potent. If the strident pro-Israel stances taken
in the most recent presidential election are any indication, the politicians --
if not the rabbis -- have already figured this out." [HELMREICH, J., 4-6-01]
As early as 1947, the year before Israel proclaimed its nationhood, a political advisor to President Harry Truman -- in discussing upcoming elections -- noted that "Jews hold the key to New York and the key to the Jewish voters is what the Administration does about Palestine [Israel]." [GROSE, p. 218] "Zionist influence increased exponentially during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations," notes J. J. Goldberg, "because the affluence and influence of Jews in American society had increased. Jews had become vital donors to the Democratic Party; they were key figures in the organization's labor movement, which was essentially the Democratic Party." [GOLDBERG, JJ, p. 158]
In 1961, in a meeting with David Ben-Gurion at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, President John F. Kennedy told the Israeli Prime Minister, "I know I was elected because of American Jews. I owe them my election. Tell me, is there something that I can do for the Jewish people?" [TIVNAN, p. 56] Among favors for Jewish lobbyists were the facts that Kennedy "was the first president to provide arms (the Hawk missile) to Israel. In the months prior to his assassination, he was preparing for conferences on Soviet treatment of Jews." [WEINSTEIN, L., 1985, p. 5] (The "third man" in Jacqueline Kennedy's life -- after the president and Aristotle Onassis -- was Maurice Templeton, a Jewish diamond merchant who became Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis's financial adviser after her second husband's death in 1975. Templeton "is said to have turned her $26 million inheritance into $100 million." Templeton moved in with Ms. Kennedy Onassis in 1982, and lived with her until her death in 1994. [O'Clery, p. 8] Jacqueline's daughter by JFK, Caroline, married Edwin Schlossberg -- also Jewish. For that matter, even the wife of President F. D. Roosevelt, Eleanor, in later years had a similar Jewish "close friend and frequent traveling companion" -- David Gurewitsch, her physician. There are even existent FBI documents alleging, based in part on a tape recording, that she had an affair with a Jewish American socialist leader, Joseph Lash, in 1943. President Roosevelt was informed of these items. At the time of the alleged affair, Lash was the Executive Secretary of the American Student Union; he had met the president's wife while testifying at a Senate investigation of left-wing political activities in the United States. In 1972 Lash wrote a Pulitzer-winning book about the Roosevelts.) [FISHER, J., 1-31, 2000; BIRMINGHAM POST, 2-3-2000, p. 5]
Dorothy Kearns Goodwin's book about the Roosevelts notes the intensity of the Eleanor Roosevelt-Joe Lash (under investigation for communist activity) relationship like this:
"Although public concerns dominated the thoughts and activities of the president and the first lady in the early months of 1942 ... Eleanor seemed obsessed by her relationship with Joe Lash; and the president, as always, seemed to be removed from everybody, in spite of his ever-tolerant, ever-cheerful manner." [GOODWIN, D.K., 1995, p. 334] ... On the third floor of the White House, Eleanor set aside a room for Lash to use whenever he was on leave [from the army]. On her desk she placed an enlarged photo of Lash. 'I want to be able to look at you all the time,' she explained. In addition, Eleanor told Joe to call her collect at the White House whenever the president was away at Hyde Park, and to 'know that her love was there for him always. No other engagement can't be given up, if there is a chance to see you!' ... In the White House, Eleanor waited anxiously for his letters and calls. 'Your telegram came,' he happily noted. 'I could have kissed the telegram. I was so glad to have word from you.' [GOODWIN, D.K., 1995, p. 337] Eleanor was not the central person in Joe's life that spring, however. For more than a year, he had been involved with a fellow worker at the International Student Center. Trude Pratt. The situation was complicated, since Trude was still married to Eliot Pratt, a wealthy man who was threatening to keep the children if she divorced him ... Eleanor had promised Lash before he went into the army that she would give up any other engagement if she had a chance to see him. Despite the pressure of an almost inhuman schedule, she kept her promise. No sooner was Lash transferred to weather-forecasting school at Chanute Field than Eleanor journeyed to Urbana, Illinois, to see him ... Three weeks later, Eleanor joined Joe Lash again, this
time at the Hotel Blackstone in Chicago. Here, too, they stayed in Eleanor's room most of the day. In the afternoon, they went out for a walk; in the evening, Lash was so drowsy that he fell asleep on the bed while Eleanor stroked his forehead. 'I loved just sitting near you while you slept ...,' Eleanor later wrote. But the pleasures Eleanor derived from her time with Lash were quickly dispelled when she was told by a hotel employee that her room had been bugged. For weeks, it turned out, Lash had been under surveillance by the army's Counter-Intelligence Corps. Mistakingy convinced that he was part a communist conspiracy, the CIC had been reading his mail and trailing
him wherever he went. When the first lady's telegram arrived, inviting him to join her
at the Hotel Blackstone, the CIC bugged her room. Apparently unconcerned about the impropriety of spending two weekends in adjoining rooms with a young serviceman, Eleanor went to see Hopkins as soon as she returned and pleaded with him to find out what was going on. Hopkins took the matter to General Marshall, who confirmed that Mrs. Roosevelt's room had indeed been bugged. When the president learned that army agents had put his wife under surveillance without presidential authorization, he was furious. Moving quickly to take action against everyone responsible, he ordered an immediate shake-up of the army's intelligence operations, including the disbanding
of the CIC. In addition, military orders were drawn up to send Lash overseas, along with his entire group of weather forecasters." [GOODWIN, D. K., 1995, p. 420]
After JFK, the presidential successor was Lyndon Johnson whose treasurer for his first Senate campaign was a member of a prominent Texas Jewish family, James Novy (he was also the regional chairman of the Zionist Organization of America). Other Jewish appointees when Johnson became President included Abe Fortas as a Supreme Court Justice (he ultimately resigned in 1969, after controversy over his "extrajudicial" activities, including financial links to convicted Jewish financier Louis Wolfson), [MURPHY, B., 1983, p. 4-5] Wilbur Cohen (Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare), Arthur Goldberg (Kennedy's Secretary of Labor) as the ambassador to the United Nations, Walter Rostow as the National Security Adviser, Walter's brother Eugene as third in power at the State Department, the "intellectual in residence" John Roche, and Abe Feinberg as a close personal aide. Arthur Krim, the head of United Artists was notable as an important Democratic Party fundraiser. (He also had an Israeli wife). Such men, notes Edward Tivnan, "were avid supporters of Israel." [TIVNAN, p. 59; PLESUR, M., 1982, p. 143]
During Lyndon Johnson's presidency, notes Steven Spiegel, "the administration was filled with people sympathetic to Israel," including "John Roche and Ben Wattenberg, two speechwriters on the White House staff .. Sheldon Cohen, Chief of the Internal Revenue Service ... Arthur Goldberg as Ambassador to the United Nations and Eugene Rostow as Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs." [SPIEGEL, S., p. 128] Other pro-Israel, influential Jews in President Johnson's circle included lawyers Ed Weisel and David Ginsberg -- Ginsberg even counted the Israeli embassy itself as a client. Johnson also reportedly developed a close personal friendship with Israeli ambassador Ephraim Evron; he was often invited to Johnson's home. [SPIEGEL, p. 129] Two of Johnson's "closest advisers" were also Jewish, Abe Fortas and Edwin Weisel, Sr., both of whom "felt deeply about the security of Israel." [HERSH, S., p. 126] In evaluating President Johnson's political career, his wife, Lady Bird, once noted that "Jews have been woven into the warp and woof of all his years." [HERSH, S., p. 128]
As Jewish author James Yaffe noted in 1968, "Many Jews go to work for the government. Though it is impossible to determine to what extent they are actually making policy, they do have key positions in all the departments of the cabinet, even the formerly sacrosanct State Department." [YAFFE, J. 1968, p. 224]
Johnson's Republican nemesis for the presidential election in 1964 was Arizona senator Barry Goldwater (ancestor's name: Goldwasser), whose father was Jewish. Goldwater never forgegrounded a Jewish identity and was known as an Episcopalian:
"The Senator had gotten his start in Arizona politics in 1949 when Harry
Rosenzweig, son of a pioneer Phoenix jeweler, persuaded him to run for
the Phoenix City Council on a better government ticket. Both were elected.
The Senator readily admits that he learned his politics at the knee of his uncle
Morris [Goldwater]. Morris, Mayor of Prescott [Arizona] for twenty-two years,
was a Democrat ... After Barry Goldwater's [non-Jewish] wife Peggy died, the
Senator remarried in 1992. Harry Rosenzweig, Barry's life-long personal and
political friend, remarked with a smile, 'Susan Wechsler is a very nice Jewish
woman.'" [SOUTHWEST JEWISH ARCHIVES, Spring 1993]
In June 1967, during Johnson's presidency, one of the most infamous (and much-hushed up) incidents in Israeli-American relations occurred off the coast of Israel: a United States spy ship, the USS Liberty, alone and unprotected in international waters, was repeatedly strafed, bombed, napalmed, and torpedoed by Israeli jets and ships. 34 Americans were killed and over 130 others were wounded. The Israeli government provided a formal apology, claiming that it was a case of mistaken identity. The United States government officially agreed. Most of those who were on the ship believed this to be a blatant lie: the attack upon Americans was deliberate.
In 1979, James M. Ennes, Jr., a surviving officer of the destroyed ship, wrote a book-length expose (published by Random House) about what he, and others involved with the poorly-armed ship, felt was a massive "cover-up" in the American government about the incident. After watching the close and careful inspection of the ship by circling Israeli planes, and researching government and CIA documents, Ennes explains the reason for the subsequent Israeli attack, (six bombing and strafing passes from jets overhead and three torpedoes from a nearby Israeli ship). Ennes spotted the Israeli exploitation of an old, old Jewish theme: the insistence of categorical innocence. In the context of Arab-Israeli hostilities, and the Six Day War of 1967:
"The Israeli government was acutely aware of President Johnson's
warning: the American president had told [Israeli] Foreign Minister
Eban that he would support Israel only in self-defense, not attacks
against her neighbors. It was important, then, for Israel to be seen
as an innocent victim fighting off hoards of wild-eyed Arabs. Not
surprisingly, Israel claimed that nearly everything she did was in
self-defense ... Now, with the war virtually over and with the world
crying for peace, could Israel put troops in Syria without being
seen as an aggressor? Probably not. Not with the USS Liberty
so close to shore and presumably listening. Liberty would have
to go ... The invasion of Syria just a few hours after the attack
on Liberty came as a surprise to most of the world. There seemed
to be no connection between the two events, and writers who
claimed to see a connection had no facts to back up their
speculative stories. They had no facts because the facts were
kept from them." [ENNES, p. 212-213]
Eventually, frustrated at an enforced censorship upon all ship crewman to keep them from speaking freely to the press about what had occurred, the Liberty's engineer officer, George Golden, among others, secretly leaked their feelings to an Associated Press reporter, charging that both their experience and all evidence pointed to a deliberate, and planned, Israeli attack upon the ship, fully realizing that it was American. In response, the (Jewish) American ambassador to Malta, George Feldman, notes Ennes, "berated Golden by telephone for the unauthorized news leak (still assumed to have originated with some undisciplined seaman), and then dispatched a Navy lieutenant to follow up in person ... Feldman held key positions in the Democratic National Convention and in 1965 was appointed to an ambassadorship by President Johnson." [ENNES, p. 167-168] The USS Liberty story soon was dropped from attention by the nation's media.
One of the ship's officers, Jim McGonagle, was eventually awarded a Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions during Israeli attack. But Ennes observes that it was done with as little publicity as possible:
"Why was the presentation made by the Secretary of Navy? And why
in the Navy Yard? Medals of honor are ordinarily presented in the
White House by the President with great fanfare and elaborate
ceremony. McGonagle's medal should have been awarded with
no less pomp. A naval officer with the medals and awards told me
the story: 'The government is pretty jumpy about Israel,' he said.
'The State Department even asked the Israeli ambassador if his
government had any objection to McGonagle getting the medal.'
'Certainly not!' Israel said. But to avoid any possible offense
McGonagle's citation does not mention Israel at all, and the award
ceremony kept the lowest possible profile." [ENNES, p. 194]
And the consequences of the Jewish nation's deliberate attack upon the American ship? Ennes notes with disdain that "a few days after the war, the government of France reneged on a contract for delivery to Israel of fifty Mirage fighters. The United States, in turn, began negotiations with Israel for delivery of fifty Phantom F-4 fighters." Less than two years after the destruction of the Liberty, 120 Israeli pilots were being trained in the United States about their new American-built war planes. [ENNES, p. 196-197]
In a 1974 volume on Jews in the American political process, Stephen Isaacs noted that
"the most respected political reporter of the day (David Broder)," "the
best known political media expert (David Garth)," "the top political
filmmaker"(Charles Guggenheim, [who noted in later years that "the
broadcasting industry is dictating how the political process in the
United States is to be carried out," ROWE] "two of the three
principal national public opinion surveyors (Louis Harris and David
Yankelovitch)," "the most successful popular political historian
(Theodore White)," "the leading authority on campaign financing
(Herbert E. Alexander)," "the pre-eminent producer of political radio
commentary (Tony Schwartz)," and "the best known political satirist
(Art Buchwald)" were Jews. So also were "many of the most
prominent political fund raisers, leading political speechwriters, and
the Chairman of the Democratic National Convention." Four of the top
Presidential candidates in 1972 had Jews as part of their "top managerial
entourage." [ISAACS, p. 7-8]
In 2001, the New Jersey Jewish News reviewed a biography (entitled "Wild Man: The Life and TImes of Daniel Ellsberg") about Daniel Ellsberg (the man who leaked the infamous "Pentagon Papers" about the Vietnam War during the President Richard Nixon administration). Ellsberg's parents were both Jewish. "Richard Nixon roundly cursed Ellsberg," notes the News,
"but Nixon on this occasion didn't invoke any anti-Semitic slurs. Ellsberg, it
seems, just wasn't Jewish enough to provoke that sort of name-calling. Yet the
un-Jewish character of the Ellsberg affair is all the more remarkable for the
extraordinary number of Jews involved in the case. How often have so many
disparate American Jews taken center stage in a national event? To name just a
few, we have Leslie Gelb, the chief author of the Pentagon Papers; Henry
Kissinger, Nixon's national security adviser and Ellsberg's former Harvard
colleague; Leonard Weinglass and William Kunstler, two of Ellsberg's attorneys;
Max Frankel and Arthur O. Sulzberger of the New York Times, which first
published the secret papers; Sidney Zion, the maverick reporter who named
Ellsberg as the leaker; Seymour Hirsh, the investigative journalist and one of
Ellsberg's close friends; Barbara Streisand, who sang to raise money for
Ellsbeg's legal defense front; Louis Marx, the toy tycoon and Ellsberg's
father-in-law; Bernard Barker, the Washington burglar; Noam Chomsky,
an outspoken Ellsberg defender; and Ellsberg's countless Jewish colleagues
and acquaintances at Harvard, at the RAND corporation, in the government,
and in the anti-Vietnam War movement ... Before, during, and after the Pentagon
Papers episode, Ellsberg was an egomaniac, a narcissist, a braggart, a liar and
compulsive fantasist, a drug abuser, a negligent husband and father, indeed a
serial adulterer [and] pornography collector." [NESVISKY, M., 9/6/2001]
Jews also of course make the important social rounds. In 1976, notes Lenni Brenner, "Israel Bonds put on a fashion show in Washington. Among the models were Mrs. David Brinkley, Mrs. Martin Agronsky, and Mrs. Dan Rather. It is also revealing that some of the other models were Mrs. Henry Jackson, wife of the pro-Israel 'Senator from Boeing,' Mrs. Joseph Sisco, wife of the ex-Under Secretary of State. Present were the wives of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, and the Head of the Federal Reserve Board. Obviously some leading TV news people are too close to the Zionists." [BRENNER, p. 326]
"Selling has become the most important aspect of politics," adds Isaacs, "and selling is what many Jews have had to do for centuries. Their major role in merchandizing and advertising, for instance, represents a natural extension of history and tradition ... Since promoting is a sophisticated concomitant of selling, it is unsurprising to see the descendants of Europe's mercantile class appearing now as political advertising consultants, media specialists, speech writers, campaign managers, [and] mail-order fund raisers." [ISAACS, p. 29] "Jews not only staff domestic service agencies," notes Benjamin Ginsberg, "but are ... extremely active in the public interest groups, think tanks, consulting firms, and universities that develop the domestic state's policies and are funded by its grants." [GINSBERG, p. 152]
The fulcrum of the massive and continuous Israeli lobbying effort in Washington DC is the American Israel Public Action Committee (AIPAC). (Its original title was the American Zionist Committee for Public Affairs.) [KENEN, I., 1981, p. 107] AIPAC was founded in 1953, notes Steven Siegel, when "the tension between the [Eisenhower] administration and Israeli supporters was so acute that there were rumors (unfounded as it turned out) that the administration would investigate the American Zionist Council. Therefore, an independent lobbying committtee was formed (which years later was renamed [AIPAC]." [SPIEGEL, p. 52]
50,000 dues-paying members strong, AIPAC has an annual budget of $15 million and offices in eight cities. "It's endorsement," says Paul Findley, "usually results in contributions from the nearly 100 pro-Israel political action committees around the country." [FINDLEY, DEL, p. 95] In 1987 the New York Times wrote that AIPAC "has become a major force in shaping United States policy in the Middle East ... [t]he organization has gained power to influence a presidential candidate's choice of staff, to block practically any arms sale to an Arab country and to serve as a catalyst for intimate military relations between the Pentagon and the Israeli army. Its leading officials are consulted by State Department and White House policy makers, by senators and generals." [FINDLEY, DEL, p. 96] AIPAC's Israel lobby, notes Richard Curtiss, has "the power to pump up to a million dollars into the campaign coffers of any friendly member of Congress, or into the campaign of the opponents of an unfriendly member." [CURTISS, p. 12]
"A lobby is a night flower," says AIPAC research director Steve Rosen, "-- it thrives in the dark and dies in the sun." [RAVIV, p. 326] (Another version of this strategy of behind-the-scenes intrigue is past World Zionist Organization president Nahum Goldmann's comment about Zionism itself: "With us, the watchword is confidentiality." [GOLDMANN, N., 1978, p. 47] ) "I believe in political loyalty," said the AIPAC president in 1992, "If someone has been good for Israel, no matter who -- if my brother would run against them -- I would support them because they'd been good to Israel." [FINDLEY, p. 105]
"So great is the perceived power of AIPAC to mobilize financial support for pro-Israel candidates -- or to challenge those perceived as hostile," notes Martin Sieff, "that this year , as is usually the case, around half the members of the Senate and one-third of the House of Representatives were expected to attend the policy banquet at [AIPAC's annual] conference." [SIEFF, 1999]
Hedrick Smith noted in the New York Times that AIPAC had become a "superlobby ... [It] gained so much political muscle that by 1985 AIPAC and its allies could force President Reagan to renege on an arms deal he had promised to [Jordan's] King Hussein. By 1986, the pro-Israel lobby could stop Reagan from making another jet fighter deal with Saudi Arabia; and Secretary of State George Shultz had to sit down with AIPAC's executive director -- not Congressional leaders -- to find out what level of arms sales to the Saudis AIPAC would tolerate." [FINDLEY, Del, p. 97] If things go as planned, said AIPAC director Thomas A. Dine, "if there is a Secretary of State who is not positive about Israel, he will not be able to overcome the bureaucratic relationship between Israel and the United States that we have established." [FINDLEY, Del, p. 98]
As Michael Massing noted in the Los Angeles Times in 2002, during the bloody Palestinian revolt against oppressive Israeli rule and the American government's reluctance to restrain Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon's vicious reprisals upon the Palestinian people:
"The American Israel Public Affairs Committee focuses on Congress. Long
regarded as one of the most effective foreign-policy lobbies in Washington,
AIPAC has an annual budget of $19.5 million, a staff of 130, and some 60,000 members. From its office near Capitol Hill, it researches issues, tracks legislation
and lobbies Congress. Most of all, it gives money--lots of it. Between 1997 and
2001, the 46 members on AIPAC's board together gave political candidates and parties well in excess of $3 million, or an average of more than $70,000 apiece.
Many of its members give money as well. Much of this money is distributed
through a network of pro-Israel political action committees. Recipients include
many key members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, from Democratic Sens. Barbara Boxer, Charles E. Schumer and Paul Wellstone to GOP Sens. Christopher S. Bond, J. Dennis Hastert and Trent Lott. It is not surprising, then, that Congress tends to go along with whatever AIPAC wants. What AIPAC wants, meanwhile, is determined by its wealthy and powerful board of directors, which is united in its commitment to a strong Israel and to securing unwavering U.S. support for it. Since Sharon became prime minister, AIPAC has steadfastly backed him. With
the United States coming under strong international pressure to rein in both Israelis
and Palestinians, AIPAC has pressed the Bush administration to crack down on Arafat--and leave Sharon alone. Thus, last fall, when U.S. Secretary of State
Colin L. Powell was preparing a new peace initiative with Zinni serving as a special envoy, AIPAC sent a memo to its members in the field, urging them to meet with
their congressional representatives and press them to keep the administration off Israel's back. The memo, notes a former AIPAC official, was part of 'an aggressive campaign to get AIPAC members to call on their congressmen to put pressure on
the administration not to send Zinni to the region. Their emphasis was clearly to try
to minimize any effort by the administration to say Israel must exercise restraint.' That effort has largely succeeded." [MASSING, M., 3-10-02]
In 1994 Neal Sher was appointed the head of AIPAC. He was formerly the director of the Justice Department's Office of Special Investigations (OIS), the department that sought to curry Jewish favor by allowing Israel to extradite, and execute, Cleveland factory worker John Demjanjuk on fraudulent charges that he was Nazi mass murderer Ivan the Terrible. Sher replaced Tom Dine who was forced to resign, alas, for classical anti-Semitic comments about Orthodox Jews:
"I don't think mainstream Jews feel very comfortable with the Ultra-
Orthodox. It is a class thing, I suppose. Their image is 'smelly.' That's
what I'd say now you've got me thinking about it. Hasids and New York
diamond dealers." [FRIEDMAN, p. A10]
A few days later the AIPAC vice president, Harvey Friedman, was also forced to resign for calling Israel's deputy foreign minister a "little slime ball." [WEISSKOPF, p. A23] In yet another top AIPAC resignation the year earlier, the St. Louis Dispatch noted that
"AIPAC president David Steiner was forced to resign abruptly after he
was secretly tape-recorded bragging about AIPAC's influence over State
Department appointments in Bill Clinton's administration." [LIPMAN, p.
Despite the fact that Steiner confirmed the obvious, Pat Buchanan, a 1996 candidate for the Presidency, attracted massive Jewish accusations of "anti-Semitism" for his widely reported comment that the United States Congress was "Zionist occupied territory." "On Middle East policy," says former Undersecretary of State George W. Ball, "Congress behaves like a bunch of trained poodles, jumping through the hoops held by Israel's lobby." [FINDLEY, p. xxvii] Former Ambassador to the United Nations Donald McHenry has complained that "because of the [Israeli] lobby's influence, our government is unable to pursue its own national interests in the Middle East." [FINDLEY, p. xxvii]
AIPAC supports the Near East Report, a weekly newsletter sent to all Congressmen, and important academic, media, and governmental officials. It has also published Myths and Facts foregrounding its "facts" to favor Israel, and The Campaign to Discredit Israel, a volume that functions as a blacklist against those who have opposed excessive Zionist influence in America. 21 organizations and 39 individuals were listed "who are active in the efforts to weaken the bonds between the United States and Israel, who seek to enhance United States-Arab relations at the expense of Israel, or who perform paid services to Arab governments pursuing these goals." The Anti-Defamation League's version of the same defamations is Arab Propaganda in America: Vehicles and Voices. [FINDLEY, p. 102-103] AIPAC also, notes the White House Weekly, "carefully monitors the pro- or anti-Israel voting records of every congressman on Capitol Hill. A word from its publications can unleash Niagras of financial support for pro-Israel candidates for national office from Maine to New Mexico. Senators and others hostile to the Jewish state, conversely, find immensely well-funded political action campaigns (PACS) springing up overnight to arm their opponents once AIPAC has pointed the way." [SIEFF, 1999]
Gregory Slabodkin, who was formerly employed at AIPAC, notes that "To date, revelations about AIPAC's blacklisting and smear tactics have barely scratched the surface of the pro-Israel lobby's secret activities ... AIPAC operates a covert section in its research department that monitors and keeps files on politicians, journalists, academics, Arab-American activists, Jewish liberals and others it labels 'anti-Jewish.'" [FINDLEY, DEL, p. 103] AIPAC files exist for a variety of people; national politicians or governmental administrators include former Chief of Staff John Sununu, former Reagan Secretaries of Defense Caspar Weinberger and Frank Carlucci, Former President Jimmy Carter and former Democratic Presidential candidate George McGovern, Senate Minority Leader Robert Dole, Republican Senator John Chafee, House Majority Whip David Bonior, and Democratic Representatives John Conyers, John Dingell, Mervyn Dymally, Mary Rose Oakar, Nick Joe Rahall, James Traficant, Jr., among others. [FINDLEY, p. 104] Liberal Jews afforded files included Richard Dreyfuss, Barbara Streisand, Peter Yarrow, and Woody Allen. [FRIEDMAN, Israel, p. 26] "The most insidious aspect of the files," said Murray Potner, former editor of the American Jewish Committee's magazine Present Tense, "is that it leads to enormous self-censorship in the Jewish community. When they track progressive Jews, they are trying to intimidate." [FRIEDMAN, Israel, p. 26]
"Although it is Israel's registered foreign agent," says Jane Hunter, "AIPAC is also a networking mechanism for national and regional Jewish leaders, many of whom sit on its governing bodies ... [HUNTER, p. 188] ... Of particular concern to Jews who have never felt that the pro-Israel network represented them, it's actions only confirm the old shibboleth of the anti-Semites: that Jews control the media, that they conspire to control the government." [HUNTER, p. 191] AIPAC was even criticized by some Israelis in the context of intra-Israeli politics: "[The] new government in Israel ... include officials who have harshly criticized AIPAC for a pro-Likud [right-wing] tilt." [BESSER, J., 5-21-99, p. 26]
In 1997, a group of former public officials took legal steps all the way to the Supreme Court to break AIPAC's veil of secrecy and try "to force AIPAC to register as a political action committee and disclose its contributors." AIPAC's lawyers included Thomas Olsen, an assistant attorney general under Ronald Reagan, and former California Congressman Mel Levine. As the (Jewish) Forward noted, "Whatever the nine justices decide ... AIPAC's involvement on the edge of political funding is likely to attract continuing scrutiny." [FORWARD, 10-3-97, p. 1]
In 1986, Israeli Ze'ev Chafets (an immigrant from America) followed Lori Posner, an AIPAC national organizer, to a series of Jewish activism meetings throughout the "boondocks" of America -- the likes of Nebraska and Louisiana. "Money is no problem for us," she told him, "... I'm not out here looking for rich Jews. I'm looking for activists." "People who can make a difference [in the American political system]," adds Chafets,
"become what are known as 'key contacts.' Ideally, they have a personal
relationship with a member of Congress or a senator, or have political
chits they can cash on behalf of Israel. Given the extraordinarily high
degree of Jewish involvement in politics, it isn't too hard to find key
contacts -- Lori estimates that AIPAC has them for about ninety percent
of the members of the House of Representatives, and ninety-eight
percent of the Senate." [CHAFETS, MEMBERS, p. 42-43]
Democratic, Republican, or anything else, so long as they adhere to the single issue of support for Israel, AIPAC is interested in them. "AIPAC," notes Chafets, "is an aggressively nonpartisan group, and there is room for everyone." [CHAFETS, p. 42-43] "Our [Zionist] movement," declared Cleveland rabbi and Zionist leader Abba Silver in the 1940s, "is not wedded to any one political party. We have strong and warm friends in both." [UROFSKY, M., 1978, p. 58] Or, as Jewish journalist Wolf Blitzer puts it, "those American Jewish political activists who are most successful in supporting AIPAC are those who are Zionists first, Democrats or Republicans second." [BLITZER, p. 132]
From Israel, the Jerusalem Post ran an article in 2001 about the Jewish Americans who live there -- both Democrats and Republicans -- who are united on this fundamental pro-Israel issue:
"The local chapters of Democrats Abroad and Republicans Abroad
have come together with the Yisrael Ba'aliya Israel Citizen's Information
Council, a project of the immigrant party's 'Anglo Department,' in an effort to
impact American policy toward Israel ... Democrats Abroad and Republicans
Abroad, organizations whose primary role is regeistering Americans in
Israel to vote by absentee, act as vehicles for their members to express
political views and try to influence American policy ... Yisrael Ba'aliya
director-general Eli Kazhdan said ... many voters who have moved from
America ... care deeply about both Israel and America. 'We don't see it
as interfering with American policy,' Kazhdan said. "It's not politicians
who are doing this. It's grassroots people who have dual citizenship."
[HOFFMAN, G., 11-23-01]
In American, AIPAC's aim is not to let either party, Democratic or Republican, be popularly perceived as a "Jewish" party. As the Jewish Telegraphic Agency noted in 1999:
"Incensed at President Clinton's plans in March 1998 to pressure
Israel with a public blueprint for peace with the Palestinians, Jewish
Republicans turned to Capitol Hill. But as Republican senators lined
up to voice their opposition to the White House, the American Israel
Public Affairs Committee stepped in. The effort could not be partisan,
the pro-Israel lobby argued, pushing the National Jewish Coalition
aside. It took a two-week, bruising lobbying campaign by AIPAC
before 81 senators [of the total 100] would sign a letter to Clinton
pledging to oppose United States pressure on Israel." [DORF, M.,
5-12-99, p. 7]
Clinton's catering to Jewish interests, its money, and its vote was usually a mainstay. During the 1992 presidential campaign, the Washington Post reported on its front page that "Clinton today charged that [Presidential rival George] Bush administration rhetoric has helped create an atmosphere in which 'overt anti-Semitism is more acceptable.'" [EDSALL, p. A1] "In its new strident rhetoric, public and private, against Israel, against the Jewish community," Clinton told the Jewish Community Relations Council, "the reference to how the Jewish community will vote in elections ... that sort of thing, this [Bush] administration has ever so subtly ... broken down the taboo against overt anti-Semitism. And that is very, very dangerous at any time.'" [EDSALL, p. A1]
(All politicians must pander to the Jewish lobby. On another occasion Clinton told the Jewish Leadership Council, "If I ever let Israel down, God would never forgive me." In 1992, Republican Vice President Dan Quayle told the American Israel Political Action Committee, "Fellow Zionists, Israel and the United States need each other. We benefit from each other and our alliance is unshakeable because it rests on two firm pillars -- strategic interests and common values." [HARTUNG, J., 1995] )
"AIPAC has placed its supporters into the highest reaches of the Clinton White House," later noted Village Voice reporter Robert Friedman, echoing the same observation in the Jewish Forward. [FRIEDMAN, p. 26] AIPAC is so entrenched there that in 1992 AIPAC's legal counsel, David Ifshin, was also legal counsel for the Clinton Presidential campaign. Another overt activist at AIPAC, Richard Schifter, was a senior foreign policy adviser in the Clinton administration. [FRIEDMAN, p. 26] This is an old theme. Bernard Rapoport began membership in the Democratic National Finance Committee in 1976. He was also a member of AIPAC and the Jerusalem Committee. Philip Klutznik, the Secretary of State under President Carter, once even noted that Diaspora Jews were "a creative part of contemporary Zionism ... fully legitimate and enduring." [WALDEN, p. 216]
In the 1980s, prominent Jews in and around the White House who formed an informal AIPAC "advisory group" included John Lehman, eventual secretary of the Navy in the Reagan administration; Elliot Abrams, eventual assistant secretary of state for human rights; Max Kampelman, the head U.S. arms control negotiator (for President Carter, Kampelman headed the U.S. delegation to the Committee for Security and Cooperation, and for President Reagan he headed the U.S. delegation for nuclear arms negotiations with the Soviet Union); [STARR, J., 1990, p. 143] Ben Wattenburg at the American Enterprise Institute; and legislative aides to senators, like Jay Berman and Ken Davis. [BLITZER, p. 123] In 1982, referring to the many national Jewish organizations that work together towards influencing American policy, Nathan Perlmutter, then head of the Anti-Defamation League, noted that, "in a sense our organizations have served as a sectarian government (albeit not elected by the popular Jewish vote) within a secular government, that of the popularly elected legislative and executive branches of the American government." [PERLMUTTER, p. 69]