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Jamal Kanj: Unchecked Israeli firsters

Unchecked Israeli firsters


January 8, 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 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 resume serving in the Foreign Service and the Defense Department for more than three decades.

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.

Obama’s first Chief of Staff, Ram Emanuel was Zionist and a proud son of a former member of the Irgun Jewish terrorist organization. He volunteered to serve in the Israel army during 1991 Gulf War.

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 “non-Arabist Special Middle East envoy,” meaning a nonprofessional diplomat who would “not feel guilty about our relationship with Israel."

Less than ten years later, Ross became the first “non-Arabist” Middle East Peace envoy. In his new role, a senior Department official described him as having a “bad habit” of pre-consulting “with the Israelis.”

In the early 80s, 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 on duty 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 Defense. The Bureau identified the mole as Lawrence Franklin, a policy analyst working under Secretary of Defense 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. Leading 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 getting 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, Fieth was fired almost twenty 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 Defense in the Regan administration and for two years as the chairman of the Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee under George W Bush.

During their sabbatical between two Republican administrations, Perel and Feith prepared a major policy document in 1996 advising then Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin 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 center of Bush’s foreign policy leading 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 paid him $50,000 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 AIPAC started seeding the State’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs and Defense councils since the early 1980s. Replacing cadre of professional staff, the new advocates turned the Defense and State Departments into parochial Zionist dens driving America deeper into the quagmire of Israeli wars.

* Mr Kanj ( writes a weekly column on Arab issues and is the author of “Children of Catastrophe,” Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America. A version of this article was first published by the Gulf Daily News newspaper.


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