Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
Opinion Editorials, January 2013
Unchecked Israel Firsters Plague Washington
By Jamal Kanj
Redress, Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, January 16, 2013
The undue influence of money and single-issue interest groups is bankrupting the essence of American democracy and discouraging honest Americans from serving their nation.
In the current debate over Chuck Hagel’s pick to head the Pentagon, it is becoming self-evident that any political appointment in a US administration must first pass the Israeli litmus test.
Pressure from Israel firsters in early 2009 forced Barack Obama to rescind the nomination of Charles Freeman to head the National Intelligence Council (NIC). The Zionist lobby’s thought police was concerned with Freeman’s score card on Israel.
On his reasons to withdraw from consideration to head the NIC, Freeman blamed “…unscrupulous people with a passionate attachment to the views of a political faction in a foreign country [Israel]“.
Freeman was a career diplomat with a stellar record in the state and defence departments spanning more than three decades.
Stooges and spies
When patriot Americans are harangued on their less than slavish submission to the Israeli lobby, “unscrupulous” citizens with “passionate attachment” to a foreign country have been able to serve unchallenged in various US administrations.
Rahm Israel Emanuel
Obama’s first White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, was a Zionist and a proud son of a former member of the Irgun Jewish terrorist organization. He volunteered to serve in the Israel army in 1991.
Dennis Ross and Martin Indyk co-founded the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) in the mid-1980s. The think-tank was sponsored by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
Ross’s first paper at WINEP called on the State Department to appoint a “non-Arabist Special Middle East envoy”, meaning a non-professional diplomat who would “not feel guilty about our relationship with Israel”.
Less than 10 years later, Ross became the first “non-Arabist” Middle East peace envoy. In his new role, a senior State Department official described him as having a “bad habit” of pre-consulting “with the Israelis”.
Martin Indyk, Lawrence Franklin and Douglas Feith
In the early 1980s, Indyk worked as deputy research director for AIPAC. His American citizenship file was purportedly fast tracked to become Clinton’s ambassador to Israel in 1995. While serving in Tel Aviv in 2000, his security clearance was briefly suspended – unheard of for a serving US ambassador – by the State Department on suspicion of mishandling sensitive materials.
In 2004 the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) uncovered information about an Israel spy working in the Department of Defence. The FBI identified the mole as Lawrence Franklin, a policy analyst working for Under Secretary of Defence for Policy Douglas Feith.
Franklin was accused of passing sensitive information to AIPAC staff and to Naor Gilon, head of the political department at the Israeli embassy. In the period leading up to the Iraq invasion, this alleged Israeli spy worked with the Pentagon’s Iraq policy office.
Pleading guilty, Franklin explained that he shared the confidential information not for financial gains, but for ideological reasons and in the hope that AIPAC would help get him a job with the National Security Council (NSC).
His boss was also forced to resign from the Pentagon months later on related charges. Ironically, Feith was fired almost 20 years earlier from NSC for apparently passing “classified material to an official of the Israeli embassy in Washington.”
According to his book They Dare to Speak Out, ex-congressman Paul Findlay avers that in 1970 the FBI caught Richard Perle on tape “discussing classified information with someone at the Israeli embassy”.
He was once described as an Israeli agent of influence. Still, he served for six years as assistant secretary of defence in the Reagan administration and for two years as the chairman of the Defence Policy Board Advisory Committee under George W. Bush.
During their sabbatical between two Republican administrations, Perl and Feith prepared a major policy document in 1996 advising then Israeli Prime Minister Binjamin Netanyahu on how to make “a clean break” from the peace process.
Following the election of George W Bush, the yesteryear Netanyahu’s advisors became political appointees in the new administration. They repackaged Netanyahu’s “a clean break”, making it the centre of Bush’s foreign policy in the period leading up to the invasion of Iraq and ending America’s direct involvement in the Palestinian-Israeli peace.
In 1983 the New York Times criticized Perle for recommending the US army to purchase weapons from an Israeli company that had paid him 50,000 dollars in consulting fees a year earlier.
AIPAC-supported institutions are used as rotating doors for “unscrupulous” political appointees switching back and forth between Israeli think-tanks and alternating US administrations.
It is no secret that AIPAC started seeding the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs and defence councils since the early 1980s. Replacing professional staff, the new advocates turned the defence and state departments into parochial Zionist dens and driving America deeper into the quagmire of Israeli wars.
A version of this article was first published in the Gulf Daily News. The version here is published by permission of Jamal Kanj.
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