The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy

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60 Steven M. Cohen, The 2004 National Survey of American Jews, sponsored by the Jewish Agency for Israel’s Department of Jewish-Zionist Education, February 24, 2005. The figure two years earlier was 28 percent. See Steven M. Cohen, The 2002 National Survey of American Jews, sponsored by the Jewish Agency for Israel’s Department of Jewish-Zionist Education, conducted in November-December 2002. Also see Amiran Barkat, “Young American Jews Are More Ambivalent Toward Israel, Study Shows,” Ha’aretz, March 7, 2005; Steven M. Cohen, “Poll: Attachment of U.S. Jews to Israel Falls in Past 2 Years,” Forward, March 4, 2005; M.J. Rosenberg, “Letting Israel Sell Itself,” Israel Policy Forum Issue Brief #218, March 18, 2005.

61 J.J. Goldberg, “Old Friend, Shattered Dreams,” Forward, December 24, 2004; Esther Kaplan, “The Jewish Divide on Israel,” Nation, July 12, 2004; Michael Massing, “Conservative Jewish Groups Have Clout,” Los Angeles Times, March 10, 2002; Eric Yoffie, “Reform the Conference,” Forward, August 2, 2002.

62 Ori Nir, “FBI Probe: More Questions Than Answers.” Forward, May 13, 2005.

63 Inigo Gilmore, “U.S. Jewish Leader Hit over Letter,” London Sunday Telegraph, August 12, 2003; Isi Liebler, “When Seymour Met Condi,” Jerusalem Post, November 24, 2005. Also see Sarah Bronson, “Orthodox Leader: U.S. Jews Have No Right to Criticize Israel, Ha’aretz, August 2, 2004.

64 Liebler, “When Seymour Met Condi”; Ori Nir, “O.U. Chief Decries American Pressure on Israel,” Forward, December 2, 2005; Idem, “Rice Trip Raises Concern over U.S. Pressure on Israel,” Forward, November 18, 2005; Seymour D. Reich, “Listen to America,” Jerusalem Post, November 13, 2005.

65 Jeffrey H. Birnbaum, “Washington’s Power 25,” Fortune, December 8, 1997. AIPAC was ranked number 4 in a similar study conducted in 2001. See Jeffrey H. Birnbaum and Russell Newell, “Fat and Happy in D.C.,” Fortune, May 28, 2001.

66 Richard E. Cohen and Peter Bell, “Congressional Insiders Poll,” National Journal. March 5, 2005; James D. Besser, “Most Muscle? It’s NRA, Then AIPAC and AARP,” Chicago Jewish Star, March 11-24, 2005.

67 See Max Blumenthal, “Born-Agains for Sharon,”, October 30, 2004; Darrell L. Bock, “Some Christians See a ‘Road Map’ to End Times,” Los Angeles Times, June 18, 2003; Nathan Guttman, “Wiping Out Terror, Brining On Redemption,” Ha’aretz, April 29, 2002; Tom Hamburger and Jim VandeHei, “Chosen People: How Israel Became a Favorite Cause of Christian Right,” Wall Street Journal, May 23, 2002; Paul Nussbaum, “Israel Finds an Ally in American Evangelicals,” Philadelphia Inquirer, November 17, 2005. Daniel Pipes maintains that, “other than the Israel Defense Forces, America’s Christian Zionists may be the Jewish state’s ultimate strategic asset.” “[Christian Zionism:] Israel’s Best Weapon?” New York Post, July 15, 2003.

68 The weakness of the “Palestinian Lobby” in the United States is captured in the headlines of these two articles: Nora Boustany, “Palestinians’ Lone Hand in Washington,” Washington Post, April, 19, 2002; George Gedda, “PLO Loses D.C. Office Because of Unpaid Rent,” Chicago Tribune, April 12, 2002. On the weak impact of the “Arab Lobby,” see Ali A. Mazrui, “Between the Crescent and the Star-Spangled Banner: American Muslims and U.S. Foreign Policy,” International Affairs, Vol. 72, No. 3 (July 1996), pp. 493-506; Nabeel A. Khoury, “The Arab Lobby: Problems and Prospects,” Middle East Journal, Vol. 41,No. 3 (Summer 1987), pp. 379-396; Andrea Barron, “Jewish and Arab Diasporas in the United States and Their Impact on U.S. Middle East Policy,” in Yehuda Lukacs and Abdalla M. Battah, eds., The Arab-Israeli Conflict: Two Decades of Change (London: Westview, 1988), pp. 238-259.

69 Jake Tapper, “Questions for Dick Armey: Retiring, Not Shy,” New York Times Magazine, September 1, 2002. Also, Tom DeLay has called himself “an Israeli at heart.” See James Bennet, “DeLay Says Palestinians Bear Burden for Achieving Peace,” New York Times, July 30, 2003.

70 Quoted in Mitchell Bard, “Israeli Lobby Power,” Midstream, Vol. 33, No. 1 (January 1987), pp. 6-8.

71 Quoted in Edward Tivnan, The Lobby: Jewish Political Power and American Foreign Policy (NY: Simon and Schuster, 1987), p. 191. J.J. Goldberg, the editor of the Forward, said in 2002, “There is this image in Congress that you don’t cross these people or they take you down.” Quoted in John Diamond and Brianna B. Piec, “Pro-Israel Groups Intensify Political Front in U.S.,” Chicago Tribune, April 16, 2002.

72 Quoted in Camille Mansour, Beyond Alliance: Israel in U.S. Foreign Policy, trans. James A. Cohen (NY: Columbia University Press, 1994), p. 242.

73 Although AIPAC has been able to use its political muscle to avoid having to register as a foreign agent for another government, it is especially concerned about that problem today because of the Larry Franklin spy scandal, and thus it is going to considerable lengths to emphasize its “American side.” See Ori Nir, “Leaders Fear Probe Will Force Pro-Israel Lobby to File as ‘Foreign Agent’ Could Fuel Dual Loyalty Talk,” Forward, December 31, 2004; Idem, “Leaders Stress American Side of AIPAC,” Forward, May 27, 2005.

74 “Sen. Hollings Floor Statement Setting the Record Straight on His Mideast Newspaper Column,” May 20, 2004, a copy of which can be found on the former Senator’s web site.

75 Published in an AIPAC advertisement in the Chicago Jewish Star, August 29 – September 11, 2003. Sharon is not alone in his appraisal of AIPAC’s power. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid says that “I can’t think of a policy organization in the country as well-organized or respected [as AIPAC]” and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called it “the most effective general interest group . . . across the entire planet.” Former President Bill Clinton described AIPAC as “stunningly effective” and “better than anyone else lobbying in this town.” Quotations downloaded from the AIPAC website on January 14, 2005 [].

76 Thomas B. Edsall and Alan Cooperman, “GOP Uses Remarks to Court Jews,” Washington Post, March 13, 2003. Also see James D. Besser, “Jews’ Primary Role Expanding,” Jewish Week, January 23, 2004; Alexander Bolton, “Jewish Defections Irk Democrats,” The Hill, March 30, 2004; E.J. Kessler, “Ancient Woes Resurfacing as Dean Eyes Top Dem Post,” Forward, January 28, 2005. Hamilton Jordan wrote a memorandum to President Jimmy Carter in June 1977, in which he said: “Out of 125 members of the Democratic National Finance Council, over 70 are Jewish; In 1976, over 60% of the large donors to the Democratic Party were Jewish; Over 60% of the monies raised by Nixon in 1972 was from Jewish contributors; Over 75% of the monies raised in Humphrey’s 1968 campaign was from Jewish contributors; Over 90% of the monies raised by Scoop Jackson in the Democratic primaries was from Jewish contributors; In spite of the fact that you were a long shot and came from an area of the country where there is a smaller Jewish community, approximately 35% of our primary funds were from Jewish supporters. Wherever there is major political fundraising in this country, you will find American Jews playing a significant role.” Hamilton Jordan, Confidential File, Box 34, File “Foreign Policy/Domestic Politics Memo, HJ Memo, 6/77,” declassified June 12, 1990.

77 Douglas Brinkley, “Out of the Loop,” The New York Times, December 29, 2002. Lawrence Kaplan reports that after Bruce Riedel, the Middle East expert on the National Security Council, left his job at the end of 2001, the Pentagon “held up the appointment of Riedel’s designated successor, Middle East expert Alina Romanowski, whom Pentagon officials suspect of being insufficiently supportive of the Jewish state.” “Torpedo Boat: How Bush Turned on Arafat,” New Republic, February 18, 2003. The position was eventually filled by Elliot Abrams, a fervent supporter of Israel. “Indeed, for the government of Israel,” Nathan Guttman wrote, “it is a gift from heaven.” See “From Clemency to a Senior Post,” Ha’aretz, December 16, 2002.

78 E.J. Kessler, “Lieberman and Dean Spar Over Israel,” Forward, September 9, 2003; Stephen Zunes, “Attacks on Dean Expose Democrats’ Shift to the Right,” Tikkun, November/December 2003.

79 Zunes, “Attacks on Dean”; James D. Besser, “Dean’s Jewish Problem,” Chicago Jewish Star, December 19, 2003 — January 8, 2004.

80 E.J. Kessler, “Dean Plans to Visit Israel, Political Baggage in Tow,” Forward, July 8, 2005; Zunes, “Attacks on Dean.”

81 Laura Blumenfeld, “Three Peace Suits; For These Passionate American Diplomats, a Middle East Settlement is the Goal of a Lifetime,” Washington Post, February 24, 1997.

82 Samuel (“Sandy”) Berger, President Clinton’s National Security Advisor, reports that at one point during the negotiations at Camp David (July 2000), Dennis Ross made the remarkable comment that, “If Barak offers anything more, I’ll be against this agreement.” Unedited transcript of “Comments by Sandy Berger at the Launch of How Israelis and Palestinians Negotiate (USIP Press, 2005),” U.S. Institute of Peace, Washington, DC, June 7, 2005.

83 Quoted in Blumenfeld, “Three Peace Suits.”