When a state arises from the dispossession of an Indigenous people and when that state persists in the brutalization, murder, and humiliation of the Indigenous people, some vociferous voices are likely to respond to such moral outrages. The dispossessors would be compelled to expiate their crimes or try and cover up their crimes. The Lobby is frequently accused of attempting to prevent or stifle debate about Israel and itself: a fabricated taboo. Nonetheless, more and more attention is being focused on The Lobby’s role in covering up Zionist crimes and its own criminal activity in the United States.
Just what is The Lobby, and how did it come about? Grant F. Smith, a director of research at the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy in Washington, D.C., has written a primer on The Lobby. In Smith chronicles A 1 PAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee, originally the American Zionist Committee for Public Affairs until a name change in 1959) from its origins in the American Zionist Council through the 1963 Fulbright Senate Hearings and up to the current campaign to push the United States to militarily attack Iran. Smith tells of four laws that regulate the sphere within which AIPAC operates in the US. The Logan Act, which prohibits unapproved diplomacy on behalf of the US; federal election laws, which govern funding- of campaigns and prohibit non-profit corporations from coordinating political action committees (PACs) nationally; the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA), which requires disclosure of foreign agents and their activities in the US; and the 017 Espionage Act which prohibits unlawful disclosure to another state of US national intelligence that is damaging to the US. Smith writes, “AIPAC has serially violated these four laws.”
AIPAC is able to get away with this because of its expanding influence in education, media, government, and the courts. However, there have been attempts to .in in AIPAC. The Fulbright Senate hearings arose from a concern about the influence of unregistered foreign agents on policy and the public in the US. The corporate media is targeted with pro-Israel propaganda, is evidenced by the 1963) memo from Harry Steinberg of the American Zionist Committee. Such propaganda has thwarted US government efforts. Smith mentions one declassified US state department memo, indicating that the Israeli government and The Lobby had sabotaged the John F. Kennedy administration’s attempt to resolve the plight of Palestinian refugees. Smith describes AIPAC’s murky operations, hiding it finances through intermediaries and money laundering, and refusing to divulge the names of its financial backers.
A measure of gratitude might be expected for US largesse provided to Israel, diplomatic maneuvers on its behalf, and forgiveness of Israeli crimes against the US. Smith, however, details Israeli sales of advanced US military technology to nations like China without US government approval, using underhanded methods to negotiate trade deals with the US, interfering in US elections, spying on the US, and Israeli terrorism against the us.
During bilateral free trade discussions, Israel used stolen US international trade documents to negotiate to its advantage. Smith notes that after the US-Israel Free Trade Agreement came into effect, the US trade deficit had ballooned to $47.5 billion by 2006. The sanctity of US elections is also violated by Israel. Smith details shady shenanigans during the 1986 California Senate race and the 1988 AIPAC AstroTurf Political Action Committee – the latter, a scandal involving illegally coordinating PACs across the US. Efforts at upholding election laws have been lax. Eventually, the Federal Election Committee had to be sued to enforce violations of US election law in 1987. The outcome was disappointing and its appeal to the Supreme Court has been side stepped repeatedly, leaving the case in limbo 20 years later.
Another legal prosecution on going is that against AlPAC employees Keith Weissman and Kevin Rosen charged with mishandling classified US government information. Yet, as Smith reveals, Paul McNulty, the chief prosecutor in the case, let it be known that he wanted AIPAC to emerge minimally scathed. Smith writes, “Israeli government officials were certainly involved in the Operation Susannah terrorist attack against US targets … and that AIPAC and its leadership have been strenuously engaged in garnering and channeling unconditional US political support for the ethnic cleansing and brutalization of indigenous Palestinian populations from conquered lands annexed, seized, or illegally occupied by Israel.”
Smith writes that The Lobby directed the US to “one of the most inane causes ever conceived: the military invasion of Iraq.” Moreover, Smith found that “the attacks of 9/11 provided a powerful catalyst to once again misdirect the US economy at an advantageous moment for the Israel lobby.” Iraq has been devastated, and over a million Iraqi civilians have been killed following AIPAC lobbying for the illegal invasion. With Gazans being starved, Iraq in tatters, Lebanon slowly recovering, and Syria bombed, now AIPAC has its sights set on Iran. The Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), as Smith makes clear, is a propagandizing arm for AIPAC objectives. The desire for a US military attack on Iran is attested to by a 47% increase in WIN EP’s Iran centric media placements.
The violent thrust of Zionist colonialists into the Middle East has been turned it into a zone of lethality. The US colludes in the crimes of Zionism and has thereby, understandably, made itself an enemy of many Middle Eastern peoples. This is the danger of having Israeli agents operate beyond the law in the US. This is why Smith’s book is so valuable. It illuminates AIPAC chicanery in manipulating US policy in the Middle East. In Foreign Agents, Grant Smith has drawn together the historical threads of a foreign lobby group that has managed to slip between the cracks despite its connection to numerous illegal activities in the United States. Foreign Agents reveals what every American citizen should know about AIPAC, the Israeli lobby which holds sway over many US politicians, and hence US politics, often to the detriment of US interests.