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Oct-12-2009 22:19printcomments

At What Cost the Israel Lobby?

At what cost has the U.S. acted as if the Israel lobby is not a foreign agent?

IDF tank firing on Lebanon
David Ben-Gurion, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jr., and Congressman John Kennedy. It was taken in Ben-Gurion's Jerusalem home in early October 1951. Bobby Kennedy was also there, but is not in the photo. Courtesy:

(TEMPE, Az.) - More than 46 years ago, President John F. Kennedy sought to preclude a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. In June 1963, he wrote the last in a series of insistent letters to Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion. Those letters sought what Israel now demands of Iran: international inspections of its nuclear facilities. The key difference: Kennedy knew for certain that Israel, while portraying itself a friend and ally, repeatedly lied to Kennedy about its nuclear weapons development at the Dimona reactor in the Negev Desert.

Best estimates point to sometime between 1962 and 1964 when Israel produced its first weapon in what is now a vast nuclear arsenal estimated at 200-400 warheads. Kennedy’s letter to Ben-Gurion was anything but friendly. The words he chose were drawn not from diplomacy but from the instructions that a judge gives a jury on criminal culpability. In that brusque letter, the U.S. commander-in-chief insisted that this purported ally prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the Zionist enclave was not developing nuclear weapons.

One day after that June 15th letter was cabled to Tel Aviv for delivery by the U.S. ambassador, Ben-Gurion abruptly resigned citing undisclosed personal reasons. As his resignation was announced before the letter could be physically delivered, Jewish authors routinely claim that Kennedy’s message failed to reach Ben-Gurion. Nonsense. That interpretative gloss ignores what we now know about Israeli operations inside serial U.S. presidencies—and about Tel Aviv’s routine intercept of White House communications.

Deprived of an Israeli government with which to negotiate, Kennedy was denied a national security victory that may well have spared the world a problem he foresaw almost a half-century ago. In retrospect, that Israeli conduct raises topical questions about the ability of the U.S.—or any nation—to hold Zionist extremists accountable.

The Khazars vs. the Kennedys

During this same 1962-63 period, Senator William J. Fulbright of Arkansas, chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations, convened hearings on the legal status of the American Zionist Council. The AZC received funds from the Jewish Agency, a predecessor to the state of Israel. As a recipient of U.S. taxpayer funds, the Jewish Agency used those funds to lobby for more funds. Under U.S. law, that conduct required the AZC to register as a foreign agent.

Attorney General Robert Kennedy joined Fulbright in that quest. That effort was thwarted by the Israel lobby and then by the death of President Kennedy. Thereafter, concerns about the impact of Zionist influence on U.S. policy making continued to grow. By 1973, Fulbright could announce with confidence: “Israel controls the U.S. Senate.” In 1974, he lost his Senate seat. [See: “How the Israel Lobby Took Control of U.S. Foreign Policy.”]

Fast-forward to today and imagine the Middle East without an enclave of nuclear-armed Zionist extremists. The threat that Kennedy posed to Tel Aviv’s arsenal was eliminated five months after Ben-Gurion’s strategically well-timed resignation. When Vice President Lyndon Johnson was sworn in as his successor, LBJ quickly increased the arms budget for Israel. Imagine today’s Zionist influence on U.S. policy had Fulbright and the Kennedys succeeded in requiring that the lobby register as what it is: a foreign agent.

Following the Kennedy assassination in November 1963, Nicholas Katzenbach replaced RFK as Attorney General. Soon thereafter, the AZC evaded registration as it morphed into the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. AIPAC now oversees a transnational network of pro-Israeli political operatives commonly known as “the Israel lobby.”

The Kennedy/Fulbright risk to Zionist influence reemerged five years later when Robert Kennedy announced his candidacy for the presidency during the height of an unpopular war that was vastly expanded under the leadership of the Texan who replaced his brother as president. Another Kennedy presidency posed for Tel Aviv a two-fold threat.

First, Robert Kennedy’s peace candidacy revived the possibility that he would pursue his brother’s agenda and target Israel’s nuclear arsenal in order to preclude a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Second, with Fulbright still wielding influence on U.S. foreign policy, a Kennedy administration revived concerns about restrictions on the Israel lobby.

When this charismatic contender surged in the political polls, that threat was eliminated June 5, 1968 at a campaign event in Los Angeles. His death at the hand of Sirhan Sirhan, a Palestinian émigré, coincided with the first anniversary of the Six-Day War. The assassin later cited as his motive Kennedy’s campaign pledge to provide more fighter jets to Israel.

With that murder, the road to the presidency was cleared for Richard Nixon. When lobbied by Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, Nixon readily agreed to endorse an “ambiguous” status for Israel’s nuclear arsenal, akin to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Special Standard for a Special Friend

Due to its “special relationship” with the U.S., Tel Aviv remains a non-signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Its Dimona facility has never been subjected to the inspections it now seeks for Iran. But for photographs taken inside the Dimona facility in 1986 by nuclear technician Mordecai Vanunu, that “ambiguity” might well remain intact.

The International Atomic Energy Agency has repeatedly certified that Iran is not enriching uranium beyond the 3.5% required for nuclear energy. Tehran has agreed to send its uranium abroad for the further enrichment required for medicine (19.5%), a level still well below the 90% required for nuclear weapons.

In mid-September, the U.S. intelligence agencies reported to the White House that their assessment since the National Intelligence Estimate of November 2007 remains unchanged. They still do not believe that Iran has resumed nuclear weapons development work

What about Israel? What has their lobby been doing? Answer: lobbying. As during the Kennedy era, Tel Aviv remains focused on a single goal: ensuring that its ally and patron continues a six-decade policy ensuring that Israel is not held accountable—for anything.

At what cost has the U.S. acted as if the Israel lobby is not a foreign agent? The strategic issue faced by Fulbright and the Kennedys remains unresolved: how best can the U.S. eliminate Israeli influence as a threat to national security? Since that fateful letter of June 1963, what has been the cost of this lobby to U.S. interests? What costs have been imposed on others by this special relationship? At what point will Americans say: Enough!



Special thanks to:

Jeff Gates is a widely acclaimed author, attorney, investment banker, educator and consultant to government, corporate and union leaders worldwide.

Jeff's latest book is Guilt By Association — How Deception and Self-Deceit Took America to War (2008). His previous books include Democracy at Risk: Rescuing Main Street From Wall Street and The Ownership Solution: Toward a Shared Capitalism for the 21st Century. For two decades, an adviser to policy-makers worldwide. Counsel to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee (1980-87).

For more: information, visit: You can email Jeff Gates at this address:

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mark hope October 20, 2009 11:49 pm (Pacific time)

 (Editor's note: We normally never run any comments of this length, but I read this and it is interesting and we decided to go ahead and approve it after adding the formatting.  Mark, if you have worked hard on a researched article that relies on facts, as this seems to, feel free to send it in to be published as an article.  I will sure consider it.  Comments of this length are discouraged, but your input is encouraged.  Write to me at



The day after the attack on the World Trade Center, the Jerusalem Post, the most respected and famous Israeli newspaper in the world, reported that 4000 Israelis were missing in the attack on the WTC. The Foreign Ministry compiled the number from Israeli relatives, who in the first few hours after the attack, contacted the Israeli Foreign Ministry and gave the names of Israeli friends and relatives who worked in the WTC or who had business scheduled in it or its adjacent structures. Even without seeing the article in the Jerusalem Post, logic alone would tell you that there would be many hundreds, if not thousands of Israelis in the World Trade Center at the time of the attacks. The international Jewish involvement in banking and finance is legendary.

For instance, two of the richest firms in New York are Goldman-Sachs and the Solomon Brothers; and both firms have offices in the Twin Towers. Many executives in these firms regularly commute back and forth to Israel. New York is the center of world-wide Jewish financial power, and the World Trade Center is at its epicenter. One would naturally expect the Israeli death toll to be catastrophic. When George Bush made his speech before Congress, it turns out that he made a significant error other than saying that the WTC attackers did it because they “hated freedom.” Bush made a point to say that in addition to thousands of Americans, 130 Israelis died in the WTC. Searching through hundreds of articles trying to track down the true Israeli death toll, I found a New York Times piece that clarified the precise number of Israelis who died in the World Trade Center attack.

It turned out that of the 130 Israelis President Bush claimed had died in the World Trade Center, 129 of them were still alive. Only one Israeli had actually died. I was incredulous. “Good God,” I said to myself, “only one Israeli!” Here is the pertinent excerpt from the NY Times:
But interviews with many consulate officials Friday suggested that the lists of people they were collecting varied widely in their usefulness. For example, the city had somehow received reports of many Israelis feared missing at the site, and President Bush in his address to the country on Thursday night mentioned that about 130 Israelis had died in the attacks.

But Friday, Alon Pinkas, Israel’s consul general here, said that lists of the missing included reports from people who had called in because, for instance, relatives in New York had not returned their phone calls from Israel. There were, in fact, only three Israelis who had been confirmed as dead: two on the planes and another who had been visiting the towers on business and who was identified and buried. (New York Times, Sept. 22)

The very low death toll of 130 suggested that a number of Israelis at the Trade Center had been warned before the attack. When I found out the truth that only one Israeli had died, there could be no doubt that there had been a prior warning for many Israelis. Having only one Israeli casualty among the 4500 dead at the WTC is simply a statistical impossibility. Even if the Israeli Foreign Ministry and the Jerusalem Post had grossly overestimated the number of Israelis in the World Trade Center by say 3,000 (400 percent), there still should have still been 1,000 Israelis there at the time of the attacks. Again, even if only a few hundred Israelis were present at the time of the attack, only one Israeli death occurring there is statistically absurd. Either September 11 had to be a big Jewish holiday, or a number of Israeli citizens had some advance warning of the impending attack.


The Jewish Lobby and media power also has cost the United States about 6 billion dollars a year in foreign aid and weapons, almost one third of America’s entire foreign aid budget during the last half century and as much money spent in America’s drug war.

It has poisoned our relations with the oil-rich Mideast nations. In response to our policies, the Arabs came together and developed their “oil weapon” which has cost Americans at least ten at least ten trillion dollars in higher oil costs.

It has alienated the entire Arab world, leading to destruction or confiscation of billions of dollars of American property in those countries, kidnapping of American citizens, and generated enormous hatred for the American people.

How has Israel has paid us back for our support? They have continually spied on us on us (the Jonathan Pollard Case), sold our highest secrets LIKE STEWART NOZETTE (such as to the biggest nuclear threat to us currently in the world: the Communist Chinese) 11 and stolen our enriched uranium for their illegal nuclear weapons.


Anonymous October 13, 2009 5:56 pm (Pacific time)

The US also said its commitment to the Palestinians "remains strong," as did its objections to Israeli settlement activity, following the publication of a Fatah memo saying hope in President Barack Obama had been lost. 'Palestinians cannot afford to lose the support of the American president' "All hopes placed in the new US administration and President Obama have evaporated," the document said. Obama "couldn't withstand the pressure of the Zionist lobby, which led to a retreat from his previous positions on halting settlement construction and defining an agenda for the negotiations and peace." "Our commitment to the Palestinian people remains strong," a State Department official responded, adding that American opposition to settlements remained in place: "We continue to emphasize that America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements." Talk is cheap!

Vic October 13, 2009 7:03 am (Pacific time)

Thank you for this article !

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