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They Dare Speak Out

 

by Senator Paul Findley

 

One day in early December 1982, 1 was called to the Republican cloak- room, an area just off the floor of the House of Representatives where Congressmen may receive telephone calls, have a light lunch, or watch television. The House was engaged in the post-election "lame duck" session, finishing up legislative business which had been put off by cam- paign pressures. Waiting on the phone was a prominent citizen I had known and admired for years. He expressed his regret at my defeat at the polls the previous month, then made the surprising suggestion that I write a book about Israel's lobby. He even suggested the title. That telephone call started me down a fascinating trail that absorbed most of my time and energies for the next two years and culminated in this volume. The journey elicited great support from many people and entailed, from others, many frustrations. TTie magnitude and diversity of cooperation I received were surprising. The frustrations were not. Although there were many dark moments when I harbored evil thoughts about my friend for luring me into writing this book, there were rewards aplenty, and now I wish I could thank him by name in this space for making the suggestion. I cannot, for I promised him anonymity.

 

Trump / Clinton Timeline

 

 

 
They Dare Speak Out ... by Paul Findley

Charles Percy Adlai Stevenson III George Ball J. William Fulbright Jesse Jackson Georgie Anne Geye,

 

People and Institution
Confront Israel's Lobb

 

Tin

SPEAK OU

BY PAUL FINDLEY

A Congressman from Illinois for twenty-two years

 

James Ennes

 

Miriam Ward Philip Klutzmck Dean Francis Sayre Paul McCloskey Sheila Scoville

 

They Dare to
Speak Out

 

PEOPLE AND INSTITUTIONS
CONFRONT ISRAEL'S LOBBY

 

by Paul Findley

 

Lawrence Hill Books

 

To our grandchildren

Andrew, Cameron, Henry, and Elizabeth

may they always be able

to speak without fear

 

Contents

 

 

Preface

 

 

Introduction: A Middle West

 

 

Congressman Meets the Middle East

1

One

King of the Hill

25

Two

Stilling the Still, Small Voices

50

Three

The Deliberative Body Fails to

 

 

Deliberate

84

Four

The Lobby and the Oval Office

114

Five

Penetrating the Defenses at Defense—

 

 

and State

139

Six

The Assault on "Assault"

165

Seven

Challenges to Academic Freedom

180

Eight

Tucson: Case Study in Intimidation

212

Nine

Church and State

238

Ten

Not All Jews Toe the Line

265

Eleven

Beyond the Banks of the Potomac

287

Twelve

Repairing the Damage

315

Thirteen

America's "Intifada"

333

 

Chapter Notes

361

 

Index

379

 

Preface to the 1989 Edition

 

One day in early December 1982, 1 was called to the Republican cloak-
room, an area just off the floor of the House of Representatives where
Congressmen may receive telephone calls, have a light lunch, or watch
television. The House was engaged in the post-election "lame duck"
session, finishing up legislative business which had been put off by cam-
paign pressures. Waiting on the phone was a prominent citizen I had
known and admired for years. He expressed his regret at my defeat at
the polls the previous month, then made the surprising suggestion that
I write a book about Israel's lobby. He even suggested the title.

That telephone call started me down a fascinating trail that absorbed
most of my time and energies for the next two years and culminated in
this volume. The journey elicited great support from many people and
entailed, from others, many frustrations. TTie magnitude and diversity
of cooperation I received were surprising. The frustrations were not.
Although there were many dark moments when I harbored evil thoughts
about my friend for luring me into writing this book, there were rewards
aplenty, and now I wish I could thank him by name in this space for
making the suggestion. I cannot, for I promised him anonymity.

I can name only one of the five people who contributed the most
in the preparation of my manuscript — Robert W. Wichser, a good friend
and for fourteen years director of my Washington staff, who perished
in flood waters in December 1985. While the other four are enthusiastic
about the text and convinced the book meets a long-standing need, they
unanimously asked that their names not be mentioned in these acknowledg-
ments. Recognizing the Israeli lobby's potential for malice, they agreed
that such mention might jeopardize their careers. One said bluntly, "In
helping you, I'm taking a big chance. If this gets out, I will be fired
from my job." Others who helped expressed similar concern. Much of
the information provided here is volunteered by career government offi-
cials who want the public to be aware of how the lobby functions but
insist that their own names be withheld. These requirements tell a lot
about the sensitivity of the subject matter.

Happily, I can acknowledge by name several people who provided
yeoman support. I am especially indebted to Washington journalist Donald
Neff , former Middle East correspondent for Time magazine and author
of Warriors at Suez and Warriors for Jerusalem, and George W. Weller,

 

v«7 Preface

former foreign correspondent for the Chicago Daily News who now lives
in Rome, for their extensive and valuable suggestions on organization
and style. If you detect a professional touch here and there, credit these
gentlemen. My gratitude also extends to a number of my former col-
leagues in Congress and many citizens around the United States and else-
where who provided both encouragement and cooperation, especially
former Senator James Abourezk.

I must also thank the word processor to which I was glued for eighteen
months. The attachment was so constant that my wife, Lucille, occa-
sionally described herself— without really complaining— as a Wang
widow. In fact, when she first learned that I was thinking of writing this
book, she offered to live on beans and water if need be to see the project
to completion.

The Spartan diet was unnecessary, thanks to a grant provided by
Sangamon State University, Springfield, Illinois, and funded by the Ameri-
can Middle East Peace Research Institute, a nonprofit organization based
in Boston, Massachusetts. The grant covered most of the expenses I
encountered in the preparation of the text. During this period I also
received helpful income by speaking at chapter meetings of the American-
Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.

My quest for a publisher began in March 1983 and was predictably
long and frustrating. Declining to represent me, New York literary agent
Alexander Wylie forecast with prophetic vision that no major U.S. pub-
lisher would accept my book. He wrote, "It's a sad state of affairs."
Bruce Lee of William Morrow and Company called my manuscript "out-
standing," but his company concluded that publishing it "would cause
trouble in the house and outside" and decided against "taking the heat."
Robert Loomis of Random House called it an "important book" but
reported that the firm's leadership decided the theme was "too sensi-
tive." Twenty other publishers also said no.

In July 1984, veteran publisher Lawrence Hill agreed to take the
gamble. When he died in March 1988, I lost a friend, and the cause
of human rights lost an able advocate. He would rejoice, I am sure, that
this book now appears in a new updated edition.

The response since publication of the first edition in June 1985 has
been substantial. Despite informal but effective attempts to curtail its sale
in the early months, They Dare to Speak Out became a best seller— nine
weeks, for example, among the Washington Post top ten. Thanks in great
measure to the enthusiasm of readers themselves, over 70,000 copies
have been sold. Scores of readers made bulk purchases for distribution
to their friends, business associates, and public libraries. It elicited reviews
in fifty-two periodicals, invitations to appear on over eighty television

 

Preface ix

and radio programs, including NBC's "Today Show" and PBS's "Late
Night America," and lectures on twenty-five campuses.

In another heartening response, more than eight hundred readers have
taken the trouble to locate me by telephone or mail. Most of them, con-
cerned over the damage being done by Israel's lobby, ask, "Where do
we go from here?"

Many, I hope, will support the Council for the National Interest,
Post Office Box 53048, Washington DC 20009, the newly-formed
citizens' lobby mentioned in the last chapter of this new edition. Other
worthy groups include the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Commit-
tee, Suite 500, 4201 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington DC 20008;
the Arab American Institute, Suite 501, 918 16th Street NW, Washing-
ton DC 20006; the National Association of Arab Americans, 2033 M
Street NW, Washington DC 20036; The American Educational Trust,
1900 18th St. NW, Washington DC 20009, toll-free 1-800-368-5788;
and the National Council on U.S. -Arab Relations, Suite 515, 1735 Eye
Street NW, Washington DC 20006.

To keep up to date on Middle East developments, I suggest the
monthly Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Box 53062, Washing-
ton DC 20009; the monthly Israeli Foreign Affairs, Box 19580,
Sacramento CA 95819; the fortnightly Middle East International, Suite
306, 1700 17th Street NW, Washington DC 20009; the quarterly Arab
American Affairs, Suite 411, 1730 M Street NW, Washington DC 20036;
the quarterly Journal of Palestine Studies, Georgetown Station, Post Office
Box 25301, Washington DC 20007.

Paul Findley
1040 West College
Jacksonville, IL 62650
June 1, 1989

 

Introduction

 

A Middle West Congressman
Meets the Middle East

 

"How did a Congressman from the corn-hog heartland of America get
entangled in Middle East politics?" people ask. Like most rural Con-
gressmen, I had no ethnic constituencies who lobbied me on their
foreign interests. As expected, I joined the Agriculture Committee
and worked mainly on issues like farming, budget and welfare reform.

Newly appointed in 1972 to the subcommittee on Europe and the
Middle East, I had represented the Springfield, Illinois, area for 12
years without attracting much attention at home or abroad.

Eight short years later, my involvement in Middle East politics
would bring me infamy among many U.S. Jews, notoriety in Israel and
applause throughout the Arab world. By 1980, in urban centers of pro-
Israel activism— far from the local Jews in central Illinois who knew
and trusted me, I found myself in the most expensive Congressional
campaign in state history. Thanks to a flow of hostile dollars from both
coasts and nearby Chicago, I became "the number one enemy of Is-
rael 9 ' and my re-election campaign the principal target of Israel's lobby.

Prodded by a professor at Illinois College, I had already begun to
doubt the wisdom of United States policy in the Middle East when I
first joined the subcommittee. For the most part, I kept these doubts
private, but not because I feared the political consequences. In fact, I
naively assumed I could question our policy anywhere without getting
into trouble. I did not realize how deeply the roots of Israeli interests
had penetrated U.S. institutions.

Congressmen generally heard only the Israeli case. Arab Ameri-
can lobbies, fledgling forces even today, were nonexistent. Arab em-
bassies, which even today hire public relations experts only with
reluctance, then showed little interest in lobbying. Even if a Congress-

1

 

2 They Dare to Speak Out

man had wanted to hear the Arab viewpoint, he would have had
difficulty finding an Arab spokesman to explain it.

My personal involvement with Middle East politics started with a
constituent problem that had no direct connection with the Arab-Israeli
conflict. It began in the spring of 1973 when a letter arrived from Mrs.
Evans Franklin, a constituent who wrote neighborhood news for a
rural weekly newspaper I once edited. In this letter, she pleaded for my
help in securing the release of her son, Ed, from a faraway prison. He
had been convicted of espionage and sentenced to five years' solitary
imprisonment in Aden, the capital of the Marxist People's Democratic
Republic of (South) Yemen. After reading her plea, I had to consult a
map. I knew only that Aden once had been a major British base.

Had it not been for a series of cancelled airline flights, his mother
told me, Franklin would never have set foot in Aden. Returning from
Ethiopia to his teaching post in Kuwait, he was rerouted through Aden
and then delayed again by the cancellation of his departing flight. His
luck worsened. A camera buff and unaware of local restrictions, he
photographed a prohibited area. The Adenese were still nervous about
blonde-haired visitors, remembering the commando raid the British
had conducted shortly after they left Aden six years earlier. When
Franklin snapped the pictures, he was immediately arrested, kept in an
interrogation center for months, and finally brought to trial, convicted
and sentenced. My efforts to secure his release proceeded for the most
part without aid from the State Department. Our government had had
no relations, diplomatic or otherwise, with Aden since a 1969 coup
moved the regime dramatically to the left. This meant the State Depart-
ment could do nothing directly. I asked a friend in the Egyptian embassy
in Washington to help. Franklin's parents, people of modest means
living in a rural crossroads village, sent a request to Salim Rubyai Ali,
South Yemen's president, seeking executive clemency. I sent a similar
request. Our government asked the British to intervene through their
embassy in Aden. There was no response to any of these initiatives.

In December 1973 I visited Abdallah Ashtal, Aden's ambassador
to the United Nations in New York, to ask if I could go personally to
Aden and make a plea for Franklin's release. Ashtal, a short, hand-
some, youthful diplomat who was taking evening graduate courses at
New York University, promised a prompt answer. A message came
back two weeks later that I would be welcome.

If I decided to go, I would have to travel alone. I would be the first
Congressman— House or Senate — to visit Aden since the Republic was
established in 1967 and the first United States official to visit there
since diplomatic relations were severed in the wake of the coup two
years later. Although this was an exciting prospect, it also caused me

 

Introduction 3

some foreboding. Moreover, I had no authority as an envoy. South
Yemen, sometimes called the Cuba of the Arab world, was regarded by
our State Department as the most radical of the Arab states. A State
Department friend did nothing to relieve my concern when he told me
that Aden's foreign minister got his job "because he killed more oppo-
nents than any other candidate."

Troubling questions came to mind. How would I be received? I
discussed the trip with Alfred L. Atherton, Jr., assistant secretary of
state for Near East and South Asia affairs. I asked him, "If they lock
me up, what will you do first?" He smiled and said, "Look for another
Congressman to come get you out!"

Still, I was probably the only person able to help. Franklin's
mother told me, "I doubt if Ed can survive five years in a Yemen jail."
My wife, Lucille, expressed deep concern over the prospects of the
trip but agreed that I had little choice but to go.

I also thought the trip might be an opportunity to open the door to
better relations with a vital but little-known part of the world. With the
imminent reopening of the Suez Canal, better relations with Aden
could be important to United States interests in the Indian Ocean.
After all, Aden, along with French-held Djibouti, was a guardian of a
world-famous and vitally important strait, the gateway to the Suez
Canal. If the Soviets, already present with aid missions and military
advisers, succeeded in dominating the Aden government, they could
effectively control the canal from the south. It was obvious that, be-
yond the release of Franklin, the United States needed good relations.

I decided that I must go. The trip was set for late March 1974.

From Middle East scholars, I learned that Secretary of State
Henry Kissinger, who was soon to begin shuttle negotiations between
Israel and Egypt, was held in high esteem in Aden. I asked him for a
letter that I could take with me which would be as explicit as possible
about United States-Aden relations. A personal letter arrived three
days before I left. In it, Kissinger said he welcomed my "humanitarian
mission" to Aden and added: "Should the occasion arise, you may wish
to inform those officials whom you meet of our continuing commitment
to work for an equitable and lasting Middle East peace and of our
desire to strengthen our ties with the Arab world."

The letter was addressed to me, not to the Aden government. It
was a diplomatic "feeler." I hoped it would convince any officials I met
that the United States wanted to establish normal relations.

A good traveler always brings gifts. At the suggestion of an Egyp-
tian friend, I secured scholarships from three colleges in Illinois to
present to South Yemeni students. I also located and had specially
bound two Arabic language translations of Carl Sandburg's biography

 

4 They Dare to Speak Out

of Lincoln, The Prairie Years. In addition, I also carried two small
busts of Lincoln — my most celebrated constituent — hoping he would
be known even in Aden.

I left Washington early enough to visit Syria before heading south
to Aden. Syria had not had normal diplomatic relations with the United
States since the 1967 war with Israel, and despite its growing impor-
tance, no member of the House of Representatives had visited there for
five years. To my surprise, President Hafez Assad of Syria agreed to
receive me without advance appointment. Perhaps he was intrigued
with the presence of a United States Congressman who said he had an
open mind about Middle East issues.

Assad received me in the spacious second-floor reception room of
his offices. A tall, thickset man with a prominent forehead and a warm,
quiet manner, Assad made his points forcefully but without a hint of
hostility. While sipping small cups of rich Syrian coffee, he voiced his
pain over United States support of Israel's actions: "We are bitter
about the guns and ammunition you provide to Israel, and why not?
But bitterness is not hostility. In fact, we have very warm feelings
about the American people. Despite the war, the Syrian people like
Americans and have for years."

While sympathizing, I took the initiative, urging him to restore full
diplomatic relations and to take a page from the public relations book
of the Israelis. I suggested that he come to the United States and take
his case directly to the American people over television.

Assad responded, "Perhaps we have made some mistakes. We
should have better public relations. I agree with what you say and
recommend, but I don't know when I can come to the United States."

As I rose to leave, Assad said, "You have my mandate to invite
members of your Congress to visit Syria as soon as possible. They will
be most welcome. We want those who are critical as well as those who
are friends to come."

While I later extended Assad's invitation personally to many of
my colleagues and, in a detailed official report, to all of them, few
accepted. The first Congressional group did not arrive until 1978, four
years later.

After my interview with Assad, I was driven late at night from
Damascus to Beirut for the flight to Aden. As our car approached the
Syria-Lebanon border, I could hear the sound of Israel's shelling of
Lebanon's Mt. Hermon, a sobering reminder that seven years after the
1967 war the fighting still continued.

In 1974, Beirut was still the "Paris of the Middle East," a western-
like city with a lively night life and bustling commerce. A new Holiday
Inn had just opened near the harbor. Every street seemed to boast two

 

Introduction 5

international banks, at least three bookstores and a dozen restaurants.
A year later the Holiday Inn became a battleground between Phalangist
militia, backed by Israel, and the Lebanese left coalition, including
Palestinians, helped by various Arab governments and by Moscow. Its
walls were ripped open by shells, its rooftop pavilion littered with the
bodies of fallen snipers. The vicious civil war, which began in 1975, had
turned Beirut into a city of rubble.

But even in 1974, the Palestinians in the refugee camps did not
share the prosperity of the city. I passed the hovels of Sabra and
Shatila, where, nine years later, the massacre of hundreds of Palestin-
ian civilians would shock the world. My embassy escort said, "These
miserable camps haven't improved in 20 years."

I also passed the Tel Zaatar refugee camp, whose wretched inhabi-
tants would soon suffer a fate even more cruel. A year later that camp
was besieged for 45 days by rightist "Christian" militias, armed and
advised by Israel's Labor government. Fifteen thousand Palestinians
died, many of them after the camp surrendered. Virtually every adult
male survivor was executed. That slaughter was little noted by the
world press. Hardly anyone, save the Palestinians, remembers it.

At that time, the spring of 1974, I had no premonition of the
tragedies to follow. I boarded the Aden-bound plane at Beirut with just
one person's tragedy on my mind — that of Ed Franklin.

Mission in Aden

In Aden, to my surprise and pleasure, I was met by a delegation of
five youthful officials, three of them cabinet ministers. Mine was the
only gray hair in sight that night. The group had stayed up until 2 a.m.
to meet the plane. "Welcome. We have your quarters ready," said the
government's chief of protocol. Good news! This meant, I felt, that I
would not be stuck off in a hotel room. My quarters turned out to be a
rambling old building which years ago, in imperial days, was the resi-
dence of the British air commander. A tree-shaded terrace — a rarity in
Aden — looked over the great harbor, a strategic prize ever since white
men first rounded the Cape of Good Hope in the sixteenth century.
Blackbirds chattered overhead.

I received permission to visit Franklin at 7:15 that first night. I
found him under guard in an apartment on the second floor of a small
modern building. When I entered, he was standing by a couch in the
livingroom. We had never seen each other before.

"I presume you are Congressman Findley."

Despite the emotion of the occasion, I smiled, sensing how Dr.
Livingston must have felt years before in Africa.

 

6 They Dare to Speak Out

After 16 months of confinement, Franklin was thin, almost gaunt.
His trousers were several sizes too big, his blonde hair was neatly
combed, his face cleanly shaved and he was surprisingly well tanned.
He looked much older than his 34 years.

We were able to talk alone. I said, "You're thin, but you look
well." He answered, "I'm very glad you came, and I feel pretty well.
Much better now that you're here. A few days ago when I used a
mirror for the first time in months, I was shocked at how I look." He
said he had got the tan from daily exercise in the prison yard, adding
that he had been transferred to the flat two days before, obviously
because authorities did not want me to see the prison.

"Here is a box of food items your family asked me to deliver."
When I said that, his face, which until then had displayed no emotion,
fell. "I guess this means I am not going home with you."

I said, "I don't know."

Franklin changed the subject. "I had to leave my Bible at the
prison. I hated to, because I like to read it every day."

I said, "Many people have been praying for you."

He responded, "Yes, I knew at once, even before I got word in
letters from home. I could feel it."

Franklin told me he had not been physically abused but said the
food was terrible and some of the rules bothered him. "I am not al-
lowed to have a pen and paper. I like to write. I once wrote poetry on a
sack, but then my pencil was discovered and taken from me. I don't
know why." Still, he seemed to hold no grudge against his captors. "I
like the Arab world. Maybe someday when the American embassy is
reopened, I could even get a job here."

I assured him: "I'll do my very best to secure your release, or at
least shorten your term. That's why I'm here, and I'll try to see you
again before I leave. I'll also try to get approval for you to have pencil
and paper."

On the way back to my quarters, I passed on Franklin's request for
writing materials to my escort officer, who answered simply, "I will
report your request." I spent Friday, a Moslem day of worship, touring
the nearby desolate countryside. The main tourist attraction is an an-
cient, massive stone well built to store the area's scarce rainfall. That
evening the British consul, a compassionate man who had occasionally
delivered reading material to Franklin, joined me for dinner. The Brit-
ish long ago understood the importance of maintaining diplomatic rela-
tions even with hostile regimes and, shortly after their stormy
departure from Aden, they had established an embassy there.

Saturday morning Foreign Minister M. J. Motie came to my quar-
ters for a long discussion of United States-Yemen relations. The plight

 

Introduction 7

of the Palestinians under Israeli occupation was at the top of his
agenda, Franklin at the top of mine. He charged, "The United States is
helping Saudi Arabia foment subversion along Yemen's borders." I told
him I was troubled by this charge, was unaware of such activity and I
hoped to help improve relations. Motie responded, "While the past is
not good, the present looks better, but we need a substantial sign of
friendship. For example, we need aid in buying wheat."

After the discussion, I spent a long and fruitless afternoon trying
to fill a shopping list my family had sent with me. The bazaar had little
but cheap Japanese radios and a few trinkets. It had even fewer shop-
pers. I returned to the guest house, finding, to my astonishment, an
assortment of gifts, each neatly wrapped — among them a jambia, the
traditional curved Yemeni dagger, and a large ceremonial pipe. The
gifts were accompanied by a card: "With the compliments of the presi-
dent."

Were these gifts merely sweeteners to take the place of Franklin on
my homeward journey? Or were they a harbinger of success? I dared
not believe the latter. I had received no hint that the government would
even shorten Franklin's sentence, but, at least, it acceded to his re-
quest for paper and pencil.

My second visit with Franklin was more relaxed than the first. He
accepted the pencils and paper I brought him with the comment, "I
hope I won't need them except for tonight." I responded that I had no
reason to hope he would be able to leave with me, but, strictly on my
own hunch, felt that he would be released soon.

I met with President Ali the night before my scheduled departure
inside the heavily guarded compound where the president both lived
and had his offices. I was ushered into a long reception hall adorned
with blue flowered carpeting and gold drapes down three sides. The
fourth side opened into a large courtyard. Two rows of ceiling fans
whirred overhead. In the center of this large hall was a lonely group of
gold-upholstered sofas and chairs.

By the time I reached the circle of furniture, President Ali, the
foreign minister of Aden and an interpreter were walking through the
same door I had entered. I needed no introduction. I had seen Ali's
picture many places around Aden, but frankly it did him little justice.
He was a tall, well-built man of 40. His black hair had a touch of gray.
His skin was dark, his bearing dignified. He was soft-spoken, and two
gold teeth glistened when he smiled.

After exchanging greetings, I thanked him for his hospitality and
for the gifts. Then I launched into my own presentation of gifts: first,
the Lincoln book and bust, then the scholarships.

What he was waiting for, of course, was the letter from Kissinger

 

8 They Dare to Speak Out

which would indicate the weight the United States gave my mission.
When I handed it to him, I tried to broaden its importance.

"Perhaps your excellency will permit me to explain,'* I said. This
letter presents formally the desire of the U.S. to re-establish diplomatic
relations. This is important. Our government needs these relations in
order to understand Aden's policies and problems. The president of
the United States and the secretary of state are limited in foreign pol-
icy. They can do only whatever the Congress will support, so it is also
important for Congressmen to gain a better understanding of Aden's
situation and of the Arab world in general."

Ali responded: "Aden is the shining example of the Republic.
Other areas of our country are quite different. The people are much
poorer." I gulped. I had seen only Aden, Ali's "shining example" which
struck me as very poor, so I could only guess at conditions elsewhere.

While I took notes, Ali told me that the anti-poverty efforts of his
government were handicapped by "subversion" from neighboring
states. He said, bluntly, "The belief is held by the people of our country
that all suffering, all damage caused by subversives, is really the work
of the United States government. All military equipment we capture is
United States equipment." Some of it, he said, was outside this build-
ing for me to examine.

I interjected that this information was not known in the United
States, underscoring the need for diplomatic relations, so this sort of
injury would stop. He nodded. "I favor relations with the United
States, but they must relate to grievances now seen by my people." He
added, "Aden does not wish to be isolated from the United States."

Ali thanked me for the gifts, indicating the interview was over. I
sensed this was my long-awaited opportunity, my chance to launch into
an appeal for Franklin.

It was not needed. Ali interrupted by saying simply, "Regarding
the prisoner, as soon as I heard of your interest in him, I saw to it that
he received preferential treatment. I have carefully considered your
request and your desire that he be released. I have decided to grant
your request. When you want him, you may have him."

I could scarcely believe what I had heard. "When you want him,
you may have him." I was so overcome with joy I half-stumbled leav-
ing the room. Franklin was free. In fact, he was waiting at my quarters
when I returned. We were on the plane at 6 o'clock the next morning,
headed for Beirut, New York and then St. Louis — where a joyous
family welcomed Franklin home.

I am convinced the main reason for Franklin's release was the
decision by the government to probe ever so cautiously for better
relations with the United States. Caution was necessary, because there

 

Introduction 9

were those in both nations who did not wish to see relations improved.
Ali was the least Marxist of a three-man ruling junta. In the State
Department, even some "Arabists," still resentful over the Yemeni ex-
pulsion of the United States presence years before, rejected Aden as
nothing but a "training ground for PLO terrorists/' Others, such as
Kissinger, felt differently. Ed Franklin had provided the opportunity to
begin the probing.

But the United States government fiddled, hedged and delayed
three years. Jimmy Carter replaced Gerald R. Ford in the White
House, and Cyrus Vance became secretary of state. Our government
turned down Aden's request to buy wheat on credit, then refused to
consider a bid to buy three used airliners. The United States kept
putting off even preliminary talks. At a second meeting with me in
September 1977— this time in New York where he addressed the United
Nations — Ali restated his desire for renewed relations with the United
States and suggested that I report our discussion to Secretary of State
Cyrus Vance. I did so, and after my report, Vance and Foreign Minister
Motie of South Yemen agreed to exploratory talks. To me, this ap-
peared like a momentous breakthrough. The talks were to begin in
Aden in just a few weeks, shortly after New Year's Day. Sadly, pro-
crastination took over.

No precise date for the meetings had been set when I returned to
the Middle East with a number of other Congressmen in January 1978.
I altered my own itinerary long enough for a side trip to Aden. Before I
left the group, we met with Secretary of State Vance, whose travels
happened to cross ours, and with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Fahd —
a large, impressive man who spoke eloquent English and was to be-
come the Saudi monarch. Fahd spoke approvingly of my efforts in
Aden and asked me to tell officials in Aden that Saudi Arabia was ready
to resume sending them economic aid.

"It's a Good Omen"

When I arrived, the scene in Aden had improved. South Yemen
had already exchanged ambassadors with its former arch-enemy, Saudi
Arabia — even though the two nations still had disputes over territory.
Aden had also just agreed to diplomatic relations with Jordan. The
local radio station no longer harangued American and Saudi "imperial-
ists." This time my wife, Lucille, accompanied me. We were assigned
to the same guest house I had used before, where the principal change
was the presence of a well-stocked refrigerator.

President Ali received us in the same spacious hall, along with an
honor guard. Although he avoided comment on Saudi Arabia's offer of
aid, Ali spoke of Crown Prince Fahd with great warmth.

 

10 They Dare to Speak Out

Then he added, "We are looking forward to the expected arrival of
the diplomatic delegation from the United States before the end of the
month." I am sure my face fell. I knew the delegation was not coming
that month. In fact, the mission had been delayed indefinitely. A few
days before, Vance had told me the bad news but had not explained why.
When I expressed the hope that Ali had been notified of the delay,
Vance had replied, "We will take care of it." But, unfortunately, no one
did.

Ali was left waiting, day by day, for a group that did not arrive. I
did not feel free to tell him of the change, so I listened and tried to look
hopeful. I knew the delay would strengthen his critics who opposed
reconciliation with the United States.

I changed the subject: "Some of our strategists say you have let
the Soviets establish a naval base here. Do you have a comment?"

He strongly protested: "That is not true. We do not allow the
Soviets, or any foreign nation, to have a military base in our territory.
But we do cooperate with the Soviets because they help us." Ali con-
cluded our discussion by giving me a message to take to Washington:

Please extend my warm greetings to President Carter. Kindly inform him that
we are eager to maintain smooth and friendly relations between Democratic
Yemen and the United States. We recognize that President Carter is concerned
about maintaining friendly relations with all countries. We feel that is a positive
policy. We believe our relations should be further strengthened.

As we parted, I gave Ali a pottery vase our daughter, Diane, had
made for him. He said, "That's very nice. Please thank your daughter. I
admire it." Then he stepped to the door to admire something else, rain,
which is a rarity in Aden.

"It's a good omen," he said.

I left Aden more convinced than ever that diplomatic relations
would help the United States and our friends in the region. The United
States and Saudi Arabia had a common interest in minimizing the
Soviet presence in South Yemen. We needed a diplomatic mission
there. Back in Washington, I missed no opportunity to press this rec-
ommendation on Secretary Vance and on the White House staff.

At the White House a month later I was able to make a personal
appeal to President Jimmy Carter. Carter said he was "surprised and
pleased" by Ali's message.

"His words are surprisingly warm," he observed. "We've been
hoping to improve our situation there." I urgently argued that there
should be no further delays: "Another cancellation would be baffling to
President Ali, to say the least."

 

Introduction 1 1

Carter thanked me, and, as Vance had earlier, told me he would
"take care of the matter."

Carter was true to his word. Five months after my last meeting
with Ali, a team of State Department officials arranged to visit Aden on
June 26, 1978, for "exploratory talks" to discuss in a "non-committal
way" the resumption of diplomatic negotiations. Ali was to meet them
on the day of their arrival.

It was too late. Aden's Marxist hardliners decided to act. Con-
cerned by Ali's probing for improved relations with the United States
and Saudi Arabia, radicals seized fighter planes, strafed the presi-
dential quarters, took control of the government, and on the day the
U.S. delegation was scheduled to arrive, arrested Ali. He was executed
by a firing squad. Ambassador Ashtal called from New York to tell me
the delegation would still be welcome, but the mission was scrubbed.
The group, after traveling as far as Sa'ana, capital of North Yemen,
returned to Washington. Distressed over the execution of Ali, I asked
Ashtal for an explanation. He told me, "It's an internal matter of no
concern to the outside world."

Still, Ali's fate concerned me deeply. And still does. I have often
wondered whether my goodwill and his merciful act toward Ed Frank-
lin contributed to his downfall.

My journeys to Aden had broader personal importance than my
ultimately unsuccessful efforts to re-establish diplomatic relations.
After years on Capitol Hill, I had heard for the first time the Arab
perspective, particularly on the plight of the Palestinians. I began to
read about the Middle East, to talk with experts and to begin to under-
stand the region. Gradually, Arabs emerged as human beings.

The word of my experiences got around, and soon my office be-
came a stopping place for people going to and from the Middle East —
scholars, business people, clerics, government officials. It was unusual
for anyone in Congress to visit Arab countries and take an interest in
their problems. I began to speak out in Congress. I argued from what I
considered to be a U.S. viewpoint — neither pro-Israel nor pro-Arab. I
said that our unwillingness to talk directly to the political leadership of
the Palestinians, like our reluctance to talk to President Ali in Yemen,
handicapped our search for peace. Diplomatic communication with
other parties, however alien, however small, is a convenience to our
government. It does not need to be viewed as an endorsement. Thus, I
asked, why not talk directly to PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, the ac-
knowledged political voice of the Palestinians? One reason, I dis-
covered, was that Henry Kissinger, who had provided help on my long
road to Aden, had, yielding to an Israeli request, agreed not to com-

 

12 They Dare to Speak Out

municate formally with the PLO until they recognized the right of
Israel to exist — a tough demand, especially in light of Israel's flat re-
fusal to accept a new Palestinian state as its neighbor!

I decided to communicate with Arafat to help break the ice. I had
first met the PLO leader in January 1978 during that Congressional
mission to the Middle East when I saw Ali for the last time. Joining me
were several colleagues, Democrats Leo Ryan of California, who was
later to die in the violence at Jonestown, Guyana, and Helen Meyner of
New Jersey. A Republican Congressman also attended, but, fearful
that the news would cause him problems with Israeli activists in his
district, asked me not to mention his presence. Before the meeting, I
had many of the same misgivings that I felt before going to Aden four
years earlier. I was wary, because meeting Arafat crossed the chalkline
which Kissinger, at Israel's demand, had drawn.

•7 Stand Behind the Words"

When I crossed the line, to my surprise I discovered that Arafat,
who received us in a heavily guarded second-floor apartment, was not
a wild-eyed, gun-waving fanatic. He spoke softly and listened atten-
tively. He met us bare-headed — he was nearly bald. This took us by
surprise, because in public he was always attired in the Palestinian
headdress or military cap. To questions about PLO terrorism, he re-
peated his usual litany, but coming from the depth of his experience it
seemed somewhat more forceful: "I am a freedom fighter. We are
fighting for justice for our people, the four million Palestinians dispos-
sessed and scattered by three decades of war."

Later that year, I had a second and more productive meeting with
Arafat. This time I was alone. We met in the same apartment as before.
With him were Abu Hassan, his security leader who was soon to die in
a car-bombing, in Beirut, and Mahmoud Labadi, his public affairs
officer, who later deserted Arafat and joined Syrian-supported hardlin-
ers. Such was the ferment in that tortured group. I wanted Arafat to
clarify the terms under which the PLO would live at peace with Israel.
Was he ready to recognize Israel? In a four-hour discussion late into
the night, he provided the answer. Working carefully word by word,
and phrase by phrase, he fashioned a statement and authorized me to
report it publicly.

I wrote the words and read them back several times so he could
ponder their full meaning. When it was done I asked Arafat if he would
sign his name on the paper bearing the words. He answered, "No, I
prefer not to sign my name, but I stand behind the words. You may
quote me."

 

Introduction 13
The declaration Arafat gave me follows:

The PLO will accept an independent Palestinian state consisting of the West
Bank and Gaza, with a connecting corridor, and in that circumstance will
renounce any and all violent means to enlarge the territory of that state. I
would reserve the right of course to use non-violent, that is to say diplomatic
and democratic means, to bring about the eventual unification of all of Pales-
tine. We will give de facto recognition to the State of Israel. We would live at
peace with all our neighbors.— Damascus, November 30, 1978.

I was elated — perhaps too much so. Arafat's pledge contrasted
sharply with the harsh rhetoric of earlier Palestinian public statements
which called, in effect, for the elimination of the state of Israel. It was
not, of course, everything Israel or the United States would want, but
it was an encouraging start. If true, it belied the image of the fanatic
who believed only in violence. During the long interview we covered
many points, and, determined to protect my credibility, I asked Arafat
to identify statements he did not wish to make public. The carefully-
drafted pledge was not one of these. He wanted the world to know,
and, clearly, he expected a positive response from President Carter. To
use one of the PLO leader's favorite expressions, he had "played a
card" in authorizing me to transmit this statement. It was a step beyond
anything his organization had officially proclaimed.

Tragically, it brought no reaction from the U.S. government. I later
learned that Secretary of State Vance privately recommended that the
administration "take note" of it, though no public announcement was
made. In subsequent public interviews, Arafat — always a nimble ac-
tor — sidestepped questions about the pledge.

Nevertheless, Carter's newly-appointed special ambassador to the
Middle East, Robert Strauss, a prominent Democrat who had previ-
ously been chairman of the Democratic National Committee, was in-
trigued with my communication with Arafat and became a frequent
visitor to my office. I often thought that bringing Arafat and Strauss
together would be important to the peace process.

The fact that Strauss is Jewish would have helped thousands of
Jews in Israel to put aside their government's hard line. But Strauss,
despite his unique intimate relationship with Carter and his demon-
strated ability to negotiate complicated problems on both the interna-
tional and domestic scene, never received full presidential backing on
the Middle East. Late in his diplomatic mission, just before he was
shifted to the chairmanship of Carter's ill-fated campaign for re-
election, Strauss told me, "If I had had my way, I would have been
talking directly to Arafat months ago."

I found myself being drawn deeper and deeper into Middle East

 

14 They Dare to Speak Out

politics. Early one Sunday morning in August 1979, Assistant Secre-
tary of State Harold Saunders called me in Illinois to ask for my help.
At Arafat's behest, Kuwait was demanding consideration of a United
Nations resolution sympathetic to the Palestinians. The United States,
because of Israel's objections, would not support this resolution but
did not want to go on record against it. The vote was scheduled for the
following Tuesday. Given more time, Saunders hoped to find a formula
which would satisfy both the Arab states and the United States. Mindful
of President Carter's rule against even informal talks with the PLO, he
carefully avoided directly asking that I call Arafat. Nevertheless, I
knew Saunders well enough to grasp the purpose of his call. He hoped I
could persuade Arafat to cancel the scheduled vote.

My call to Arafat's office in Beirut went through instantly, unusual
for the chaotic Beirut exchange. I urged Arafat to delay the U.N.
confrontation, arguing that this would cost him nothing while winning
him the gratitude of the United States. Two hours later Arafat sent
word to Kuwait causing the vote to be postponed. This spared the U.S.
an embarrassing public spat with Arab friends. That same weekend,
Carter's ambassador to the United Nations, Andrew Young, acted less
cautiously than Saunders and met on the same issue with Zuhdi Terzi,
the PLO observer at the United Nations. So firm was Carter's edict
against talking with the PLO that this incident led to Young's resigna-
tion.

I was soon on the phone again with the State Department. This
time my help, through Arafat, was needed in getting the U.S. hostages
out of our embassy in Tehran. In our 1978 meeting, the PLO leader had
told me of his close relationship with the revolutionaries in Iran, and I
saw this crisis as an opportunity for Arafat to help in a humanitarian
cause and perhaps open the door for peaceful negotiations on a broader
scale. This time Arafat was away from headquarters, but I had a long
talk with his deputy, Mahmoud Labadi, whom I had met during my
second interview with Arafat.

He reminded me that Arafat had taken my advice on the United
Nations confrontation but, in Labadi's words, "got nothing in return."
He was right. No compromise resolution was ever accepted, and
Arafat got little thanks. Labadi told me he disagreed with me regarding
the situation in Iran but would report my arguments and recom-
mendation carefully to his leader. Once more Arafat cooperated. He
sent an envoy to Khomeini, and, according to Saunders, that envoy
successfully arranged the release of the first eleven hostages.

For this, the Carter Administration thanked Arafat privately —
very privately. Publicly, Carter spokesmen did nothing to discourage
the unfounded speculation that the PLO had actually conspired with

 

Introduction 15

Iran to seize the hostages. CBS's Marvin Kalb reported darkly that
"someone" had been heard speaking Arabic (Iranians speak Farsi, a
different language altogether) inside the embassy compound. This
somehow seemed to mean that the PLO was responsible. Yet the re-
verse was true. Just before he left office, Secretary of State Vance told
me that he was in "almost daily" communication with Arafat and his
staff enlisting PLO help during the protracted Iranian hostage ordeal,
but he never said so in public.

On several occasions during off-the-record meetings at the White
House, I pleaded with the president to acknowledge publicly the mod-
erate cooperative course chosen by Arafat and warned that failure to
do so would strengthen more radical forces. Carter listened but never
followed my advice. I learned later that Vice President Walter Mon-
dale, more than any other personality in the Administration, had ar-
gued persuasively against any public statements which acknowledged
PLO cooperation.

Mahmoud Labadi never forgave Arafat for this cooperation. Three
years later he deserted the PLO leader and joined the rebels laying
siege to Arafat in Tripoli. In explaining his defection, Labadi de-
nounced Arafat by denouncing the aid Carter had ignored, "He
[Arafat] gave far too many concessions to the U.S. and to the Israelis
and he got nothing back. We think that we should step up armed
resistance against the Israeli occupation." Labadi and his defecting
comrades turned their weapons against Arafat, predicting — wrongly —
that military measures could deliver for the Palestinian people what the
PLO chief's diplomacy apparently could not.

Throughout 1979 and 1980, while deploring Palestinian violence, I
also did my utmost to get the Carter Administration to pressure Israel
to halt its repeated military attacks on Lebanon. Israel had begun
periodic heavy bombing of villages and even areas in Beirut. The
bombings were killing innocent civilians. Also, the planes and bombs
were supplied by the United States. Finally Secretary of State Vance
took an unusual step. He issued a formal written report to Congress
stating that Israel "may have violated" the United States law which
declared that United States-supplied weapons could be used only in
self-defense. While the Administration did not take the next logical
step of suspending military aid to Israel because the law was violated,
the "may have violated" announcement made a point. It was one of
those rare occasions when a United States administration has pub-
licly rebuked Israel.

Behind the scenes, Carter was tougher— but not for very long. He
sent a diplomat to Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin's office dur-
ing the summer of 1980 with a warning that U.S. aid to Israel would be

 

16 They Dare to Speak Out

imperiled if Israel's air attacks against Lebanon continued. The ul-
timatum got results. Begin backed down, immediately phoned his Air
Force chief and ordered the attacks stopped.

Later that summer Carter's resolve faded as the November elec-
tions approached. Israel resumed its use of U.S.-supplied weapons
against Lebanon, but Carter fell silent. My protests were lonely on
Capitol Hill and largely ignored by the makers of policy in the Adminis-
tration.

My efforts did not, however, go unnoticed elsewhere. I became
something of a curiosity, if not a celebrity, appearing on national televi-
sion, interviewed on the radio and quoted in newspapers and maga-
zines internationally. At times it was heady stuff. Ed Franklin's mother
must have marveled at how her letter had changed my life.

Turmoil in the Middle West

While I was organizing my one-man peace initiative, my critics
were organizing to put me out of office. Partisan critics back home,
who had watched my re-election margins reach landslide proportions —
I received 70 percent of the votes cast in 1978 — correctly surmised that
my unusual activities in foreign policy would provide them with the
money to attack me in the upcoming elections. Beginning in the spring
of 1979, an aggressive former state legislator, David Robinson, strongly
encouraged by pro-Israel activists, began campaigning fulltime for the
Democratic nomination for the Congressional seat I had held for nine-
teen years. Then, three months before the March 1980 primary, David
Nuessen, the popular Republican mayor of Quincy, Illinois, entered
the primary election, challenging my renomination in a professionally
managed campaign that was supported substantially by pro-Israel
political action committees and individuals. The contributions financed
a relentless pummeling that bruised me more than I realized. I
squeaked through the Republican primary with only 55 percent of the
vote.

It was a year of surprises, the greatest being the reaction to my
candidacy of Dr. Arthur Burns, former chairman of the Federal Re-
serve Board and now ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany.
Just after the primary election, I explained my campaign plight during a
telephone conversation on legislative matters, and Burns responded
generously, "We simply cannot afford to lose you. Your re-election is
very important to the entire nation." Gratified, I made a modest re-
quest: "If you would put those sentiments in a letter that I could use in
the campaign, that would be a great help."

His endorsement was not a high priority objective. In fact, I did

 

Introduction 17

not even think to ask for it until he praised my record. But I expected
Burns to agree without hesitation. Why not? The courtesy was routine
for a Republican as senior as I, and Burns had been not only a lifelong
and outspoken Republican, but a close friend throughout my career in
Congress. Several years earlier, at my request, he had spoken at the
commencement program of my alma mater, Illinois College. Our views
on economic and fiscal issues were the same.

His answer was the deepest wound of a traumatic year: "Oh, I
couldn't do that. It's your views on the PLO. I'm sorry."

I was stupefied. I am used to surprises — and disappointments —
but this refusal left me speechless.

A lesson? No event, before or since, disclosed to me so forcefully
the hidden leverage of the Israeli lobby on the U.S. political scene. This
great, kind, generous Jewish elder statesman, a personal friend for
twenty years, could not ignore the lobby and say a public good word
for my candidacy. I report this episode because, when a great man like
Arthur Burns feels he must keep his views private, lesser men and
women who would speak out face an enormous challenge.

Meanwhile, Democrat Robinson solicited campaign contributions
through advertising in Jewish newspapers from coast to coast, stirring
up interest by calling me a "practicing anti-Semite, who is one of the
worst enemies that Jews and Israel have ever faced in the history of the
U.S. Congress." He drew funds from each of the fifty states. In all, the
campaign cost $1.2 million — the most expensive in Illinois history. We
each spent about $600,000. University students from New York and
California, as well as other states, came to central Illinois to staff
Robinson's phone banks and handle other campaign chores.

"Dirty tricks" dogged me even when I wasn't campaigning and
away from my district. The Chicago Council on Foreign Relations
asked me to speak on foreign policy, and midway through my lecture
on foreign policy one evening in Chicago, a man shouted from a door-
way: "We've received a call. There's a bomb in the room." The crowd
of 500 made a fast exit. The police later found a pipe loaded with
bubble gum placed in the grand piano on the stage. Later, Robinson
activists drove all the way to Detroit, Michigan, where I was a delegate
to the Republican convention, to picket and to amuse onlookers with
the chant, "Paul, Paul, he must go. He supports the PLO."

Trapped on a Bus with Percy

At first, my plight escaped the attention of the Reagan presidential
campaign. In fact, when his scheduling office learned that I was having
a fund-raising luncheon in Springfield, his manager asked if Reagan

 

18 They Dare to Speak Out

could stop by since he would be nearby that day. That unsolicited
warmth quickly chilled. When he was scheduled to visit Illinois, New
York City organizers warned Reagan's managers: "Appear friendly
with Findley and you lose New York." This led them to take unusual
measures to keep their candidate a safe distance from me.

Springfield, located in the heart of my district, posed a problem,
because it is the home of the first Republican president, Abraham
Lincoln, and therefore a Mecca for Republicans. During a day in Il-
linois, a Republican presidential candidate simply could not pass by
Springfield. The Reagan camp was concerned about how to make the
expected pilgrimage and still keep me at arm's length.

Greg Newell, chief of scheduling, first planned to finesse the prob-
lem by having Reagan deliver a major address from Lincoln's home at
the very moment he knew I would be attending my major fundraiser of
the year halfway across town. Just for insurance, Newell made it a
deep finesse by moving Reagan's Springfield appearance all the way
across town to the Lincoln Tomb instead of the home. He also
scrubbed Reagan's speech, a decision to minimize press interest in the
Springfield stop.

I realized, however, that many of my supporters would also want
to see Reagan when he came to town. To accommodate them (and
ensure good attendance at my own function), I rescheduled my fund-
raiser early enough so those attending — myself included — could attend
the Reagan appearance at the tomb.

Reagan's manager passed an order quietly, or so they thought:
"Under no circumstance is Findley to get near Reagan," even though
elsewhere in Illinois, Congressional candidates were to appear on
speaking platforms with him. Learning of the order, my manager, Don
Norton, vented his outrage to Reagan headquarters. The Reagan team
shifted gears again. This time they declared that all Congressmen were
to be treated alike during the day in Illinois. None was to share the
speaking platform with Reagan. Congressman Ed Madigan, irritated
when told he must either speak before Reagan's arrival in Bloomington
that day or wait until Reagan had left the platform, made no speech at
all.

At Springfield, Reagan campaign staffer Paul Russo had only one
assignment, but it was an important one. He was to keep me out of
camera range when Reagan was nearby. I was literally coralled behind
a rope 50 feet away while Reagan was photographed in the ceremonial
"rubbing Lincoln's nose" on a statue at the tomb entrance.

At the next stop, a coal mine near Springfield, Russo's team tried
to keep me on a bus and in the process trapped my friend, Senator
Charles H. Percy, too. The purpose was to keep only me away from

 

Introduction 19

Reagan during his remarks to the crowd. But Percy had the misfortune
to be on the bus with me, so he too was detained. Together we managed
to force the door open but only after Reagan had concluded his re-
marks and left the area.

Bob Hope Backs Out

The "panic" even spread to Hollywood. Bob Hope, who never
wavered under enemy fire on war fronts in World War II and Korea and
withstood heavy criticism for his support of President Nixon's Viet-
nam policies, encountered a new and more devastating line of fire when
he agreed to appear at a fund-raising event for me in Springfield.

Two years earlier I had organized a 75th birthday party for Hope in
the House of Representatives. It was the most fun-filled moment in the
House I can remember. Hope and his wife sat in the gallery as one
Congressman after another voiced their praise of the great entertainer.
The tributes filled 14 pages of the Congressional Record.

Gratefully recalling the unique party, Hope agreed to help in my
1980 campaign. His manager, Ward Grant, knowing from the start that
I was being opposed by pro-Israel activists because of my work on
Middle East policy, declared, "We need men in Congress who speak
their mind."

Coast-to-coast pressure quickly brought a change. Don Norton
recalls an urgent telephone message he received from Hope's manager:

Grant told me that Hope was getting tremendous pressure from Jews and non-
Jews all over the country. He said it's gone to the point where Hope's lawyer of
35 years, who is Jewish, has threatened to quit. The pressure was beyond
belief, like nothing they had ever experienced before, and Hope just couldn't
come.

Stunned, Norton pleaded that the event was widely publicized, all
arrangements made, tickets sold and enthusiasm high. His plea was to
no avail. When Norton told me of the crisis, I tried repeatedly to get a
phone call through to Hope himself, hoping to persuade him to recon-
sider.

Failing to get a call through, I wrote a confidential letter, giving
Hope details of my unpublicized endeavors the year before to promote
understanding between PLO leader Yasser Arafat and Robert Strauss,
President Carter's special emissary to the Middle East. I sent him
copies of messages I had transmitted at the request of the two leaders. I
asked Hope to keep the information confidential, because then — as
now — our government was maintaining a public posture of refusing to
communicate with the PLO. This letter brought no response, nor were
my phone calls answered.

 

20 They Dare to Speak Out

A happy surprise. Strauss, himself Jewish and a prominent Demo-
crat, agreed to help. Encountering Strauss one afternoon on the steps
of the House of Representatives, I explained my problem and asked
him if he would be willing to talk to Hope and explain to him that I got
in hot water with certain Jews simply by trying to work for my country
and for peace in the Middle East.

By then Strauss had left his diplomatic post and was serving as
chairman of Carter's ill-fated campaign for re-election. In a remarkable
gesture of magnanimity to a Republican in the midst of a hotly con-
tested election, Strauss agreed, adding: "Maybe I can help him under-
stand the 'crazy' pressure he's getting." He gave me phone numbers
where Hope could reach him.

In a wire to Hope I said: "[Strauss] will be glad to talk with you or
anyone about the value of my work and what he described as the 'crazy
pressure' you have been receiving."

By then, however, the "crazy" pressure had taken its toll, and
Hope never made the call. I still have a souvenir of my chat with
Strauss. It bears the phone number he gave me and my record of his
parting words: "I wish you the best. I hope we both make it November
4, because we need to work together on the problems that remain."

A few days later, I finally got a call through to Hope. He was not
his usual bubbly self. I assured him it had never occurred to me that he
would have such an avalanche of protest calls, but now that the event
had been scheduled it would hurt if he failed to come.

Hope interjected, "I read those letters you sent me. You should go
public on this. Defend yourself with the facts." I said, "I just can't do
that. It is highly secret information, and releasing it might hurt the
peace process Carter is trying to advance." He paused, then said, "I
just don't need this problem. I've been getting all these calls. It's too
much pressure. I don't want to get involved."

Hope did not come, but, happily, only one ticket holder asked for a
refund. The sell-out crowd heard a stirring address by Congressman
Guy Vander Jagt, who filled in at the last minute.

Lobby pressures also intruded when former President Gerald R.
Ford agreed to appear in my behalf, this time in Alton, Illinois.

The first sign of trouble was a call from Pfcdm Springs in which
Ford's secretary reported that the former president had to cancel his
date because his staff had mistakenly booked him to speak at a meeting
of the Michigan Bar Association the same day. There was no other time
that Ford could help me, the caller said, before election day. To deter-
mine if some accommodation was possible, my assistant, Bob Wichser,
called the Michigan Bar Association, only to learn that there was no
conflict — no event was scheduled.

 

Introduction 21

I was puzzled* I had worked closely with Ford during the 16 years
he was Republican leader of the House, noting with admiration that he
had never let disagreement on a policy issue keep him from cam-
paigning for Republican Congressmen seeking re-election. When I
finally reached Ford by phone, he said: "Paul, I've got to be up front
with you. I've got to be candid. My problem is your relationship, your
activities with the PLO and Arafat."

The day before, Reagan had lambasted Carter for refusing to
brand the PLO a terrorist organization. "This puts me in a difficult
position," said Ford. "I'm trying to help Reagan. If I come out and
support you, at every press conference, I will be badgered and dogged
with the question of how I could campaign for Reagan and then go and
support Findley with his views on the PLO."

Despite these setbacks and the nationwide campaign against me, I
won in 1980 with 56 percent of the vote. I felt that the worst was over —
what more could the pro-Israeli activists do? Thus, I continued my
peace endeavors. I did not anticipate the severe new challenges related
to the Arab-Israeli dispute that were yet to come. In late 1981 a federal
court, responding to shifts in population, ordered boundary changes in
my district that eliminated Jacksonville, my old hometown, and added
Decatur, the city with the nation's highest unemployment. Marginally
Democratic before, my district was now substantially so. Then, too,
recession fever was high and farmers were restless.

When election time came around again two years later, I was
unopposed in the primary, but a strong Democratic opponent, Richard
Durbin, emerged in the general election. More experienced and popu-
lar, he quickly picked up the resources Robinson had amassed, includ-
ing Robinson's list of nationwide contributors. The Associated Press
reported that: "Israel's American supporters again are pouring money
into an emotional drive to unseat Central Illinois Representative Paul
Findley." On the plus side, Reagan lieutenants were helping this time.
My former House colleague, Vice-President George Bush, brushed
aside pro-Israeli complaints from Texas and appeared at an event in my
behalf in Springfield.

This time re-election was not to be. I lost by 1 ,407 votes, less than
one percent of the total cast. In a vote that close, almost any negative
development could account for the difference. The attack by pro-Israel
activists was only one of several factors. Nevertheless, the American
Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Washington's principal pro-
Israel lobby, claimed credit for my defeat. In a report to a Jewish
gathering in Austin, Texas, a few days after election day, Thomas A.
Dine, the organization's executive director, said his forces brought ISO
students from the University of Illinois to "pound the pavements and

 

22 They Dare to Speak Out

knock on doors" and concluded, "This is a case where the Jewish
lobby made a difference. We beat the odds and defeated Findley." He
later estimated that $685,000 of the $750,000 raised by Durbin came
from Jews. With my supporters raising almost exactly the same sum,
the contest once again set a new state record for total spending.

 

No Ready Answers

The campaign to remove me from Congress had started early in
1979 and covered most of the next four years. It attracted the attention
and resources of people in every state in the Union. Reports from
friends suggested its national scope. Senator Bob Dole of Kansas, for
six years my colleague on the House Agriculture Committee, said he
heard pro-Israel leaders in Kansas speak with great emotional intensity
about my candidacy both before and after election day. Clarence
Palmby, former undersecretary of agriculture, learned that my defeat
was the principal 1982 political objective of the partners in a large New
York City law firm.

After my twenty-two years in Congress, losing was, of course, a
disappointment. But my main reaction was wonderment. I was puzzled
by the behavior of the pro-Israel activists. Why did they go to such
trouble to eliminate me from Congress? Why did people from all over
the country who did not know me personally and very likely knew little
of my record dig so deeply in their own pockets — many of them con-
tributing $1,000 to my opponents? What sustained this commitment for
a four-year period?

Israeli activists could find few flaws in my voting record. Over the
years I had voted consistently for aid to Israel. Sometimes I was highly
critical of Egypt and other Arab states. Even when I was trying to get
President Carter to suspend aid, as a temporary device to force Israel
to halt its attacks on Lebanon, I had voted for all measures in Congress
which authorized future Israeli military and economic assistance. In-
terestingly, many Israelis shared my views. According to polls, so did
many U.S. Jews. Beyond Middle East policy, I had supported causes
most Jews applauded: civil rights, community action programs, equal
rights for women, a freeze on nuclear weapons and normalization of
relations with China.

Moreover, I was but one of 435 Members of the House of Repre-
sentatives. While senior among the Republicans, I was just one of nine
on the Foreign Affairs subcommittee dealing with the Middle East.
More often than not I stood completely alone when I criticized Israel,
whether I spoke in committee or on the floor of the House of Repre-

 

Introduction 23

sentatives. Surely they realized that I posed no serious threat. Could
Israel's supporters not tolerate even one lonely voice of dissent?

Or was the lobby's purpose to make an example of me in the
Elizabethan manner? (According to legend, Queen Elizabeth occasion-
ally hanged an admiral, just as an example to the others). Was I chosen
for a trip to the political gallows to discourage other Congressmen from
speaking out?

I could not reconcile the harsh tactics I had experienced with
traditional Jewish advocacy of civil liberties, a record I had admired all
my life. In Congress, I had worked closely in support of human rights
causes with Jewish Congressmen like Allard Lowenstein, Stephen Sol-
arz and Ben Gilman. In my wonderment, I pressed Doug Bloomfield, a
friend on the AIPAC staff, for an explanation. He shrugged, "You were
the most visible critic of Israeli policy. That's the best answer I can
give." It was hardly adequate.

The unanswered question led to others.

Do other Congressmen have similar experiences? To be sure,
those who speak out are few in number, but it seemed implausible that
the lobby would target me alone. I wanted the facts.

Beyond Congress were the president and the vast array of "mov-
ers and shakers" in the executive branch. What pressures, if any, do
they experience? A lobby formidable enough to frighten off a presi-
dential campaign team and a former president of the United States — as
Reagan and Ford had been in my 1980 election — must have great lever-
age at the highest levels of government.

What of other occupations? The lobby had intimidated Bob Hope.
Did it have similar power over people in different professions? On
campus, for example, does the tradition of academic freedom give
immunity to teachers and administrators from the kind of pressure I
had received from the pro-Israeli activists? Do clergymen escape?
How about people in business, large and small? And, vitally important
in our free society, is there intimidation of reporters, columnists, edito-
rial writers, publishers, the commentators on television and radio?

Deep questions. To me, crucial questions.

There were no ready answers, so I decided to seek them. I began
my quest by calling at the Capitol Hill offices of the American Israel
Public Affairs Committee.

 

Chapter 1

 

King of the Hill

 

Washington is a city of acronyms, and today one of the best-known in
Congress is AIPAC. The mere mention of it brings a sober, if not furtive
look, to the face of anyone on Capitol Hill who deals with Middle East
policy. AIPAC — the American Israel Public Affairs Committee — is
now the preeminent power in Washington lobbying.

In 1967, as a fourth-term Congressman just named to the House
Foreign Affairs Committee, I had never heard of it. One day, in private
conversation in the committee room, I voiced a brief criticism of Is-
rael's military attack on Syria. A senior Republican, William S.
Broomfield of Michigan, responded with a smile, "Wait till 'Si' Kenen
over at AIPAC hears what you've said." He was referring to I. L.
Kenen, the executive director of AIPAC, whose name was just as
unfamiliar to me as the organization he headed. I learned later that
Broomfield was not joking. AIPAC sometimes finds out what Con-
gressmen say about Middle East policy even in private conversations,
and those who criticize Israel do so at their political peril.

AIPAC is only a part of the Israeli lobby, but in terms of direct
effect on public policy it is clearly the most important. The organiza-
tion has deepened and extended its influence in recent years. It is no
overstatement to say that AIPAC has effectively gained control of
virtually all of Capitol Hill's action on Middle East policy. Almost
without exception, House and Senate members do its bidding, because
most of them consider AIPAC to be the direct Capitol Hill representa-
tive of a political force that can make or break their chances at election
time.

Whether based on fact or fancy, the perception is what counts:
AIPAC means power— raw, intimidating power. Its promotional litera-
ture regularly cites a tribute published in The New York Times: "The
most powerftil, best-run and effective foreign policy interest group in

25

 

26 They Dare to Speak Out

Washington." A former Congressman, Paul N. "Pete" McCloskey puts
it more directly: Congress is "terrorized" by AIPAC. Other Congress-
men have not been so candid on the public record, but many House
and Senate members privately agree.

AIPAC s preeminence is relatively new. Only a few years ago the
Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations was regarded
as the strongest pro-Israel voice in Washington, speaking as it did for
the leadership of the 38 main Jewish groups. The Anti-Defamation
League, American Jewish Committee and AIPAC were generally in its
shadow. The latter two organizations have about 50,000 members each.
The Anti-Defamation League is technically subordinate to B'nai B'rith
with its worldwide membership of 500,000, but it raises its own funds
and has attained substantial independence. Although prominent in
their younger years, Washington representatives Hyman Bookbinder
of the American Jewish Committee and Dave Brody of the Anti-
Defamation League are now substantially eclipsed by AIPAC.

The Washington presence is only the most visible tip of the lobby.
Its effectiveness rests heavily on the foundation built nationally by
U.S. Jews, who function through more than 200 national groups. A
professional on the AIPAC staff says:

I would say that at most two million Jews are interested politically or in a
charity sense. The other four million are not. Of the two million, most will not
be involved beyond giving some money.

Actually, those who provide the political activism for all organiza-
tions in U.S. Jewry probably do not exceed 250,000. The lobby's most
popular newsletter, AIPAC's Near East Report, goes to about 60,000
people, a distribution that the organization believes is read by most
U.S. citizens who take a responsibility in pro-Israeli political action,
whether their primary interest is AIPAC, B'nai B'rith, the American
Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish National
Fund, the United Jewish Appeal or any of the other main national
groups. The newsletter also goes without charge to news media, Con-
gressmen, key government officials, and other people prominent in
foreign policy. AIPAC members get the newsletter as a part of their $35
annual dues.

In practice, the lobby groups function as an informal extension of
the Israeli government. This was illustrated when AIPAC helped draft
the official statement defending Israel's 1981 bombing of the Iraqi nu-
clear reactor, then issued it the same hour as Israel's embassy.

No major Jewish organization ever publicly takes issue with posi-

 

King of the Hill 27

tions and policies adopted by Israel. Thomas A. Dine, executive direc-
tor of AIPAC, spoke warmly of President Reagan's peace plan when it
was announced in September 1982, but as soon as Israel rejected the
plan, Dine fell silent.

This close coordination sometimes inspires intragovernment
humor. "At the State Department we used to predict that if Israel's
prime minister should announce that the world is flat, within 24 hours
Congress would pass a resolution congratulating him on the dis-
covery," recalls Don Bergus, former ambassador to Sudan and a re-
tired career diplomat.

To Jewish organizations, however, lobbying Washington is serious
business, and they look increasingly to AIPAC for leadership. Stephen
S. Rosenfeld, deputy editor of The Washington Post editorial page,
rates AIPAC as "clearly the leading Jewish political force in America
today."

AIPAC's charter defines its mission as legislative action, but it
now also represents the interests of Israel whenever there is a per-
ceived challenge to that country's interests in the news media, the
religious community, on U.S. college campuses — anywhere. Because
AIPAC's staff members are paid from contributions by American citi-
zens, they need not register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
In effect, however, they serve the same function as foreign agents.

Over the years the pro-Israel lobby has thoroughly penetrated this
nation's governmental system, and the organization that has made the
deepest impact is AIPAC, to whom even the president of the United
States turns when he has a vexing political problem related to the Arab-
Israeli dispute.

The Ascendancy of Thomas A. Dine

Faced with rising public opposition to the presence of U.S.
Marines in Lebanon, President Ronald Reagan in October 1983 sought
help from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The terrorist
bombing which killed more than 200 Marines asleep in their barracks at
the Beirut airport was yet to come. Still, four Marines had already
died, three by sniper fire, and Congressional concern was rising.
Democratic Congressman Sam Stratton of New York, a veteran known
for his "hawkish" views, called the Marines "sitting ducks" and pre-
dicted heavy casualties. He wanted them out.

Others cited the War Powers Resolution and questioned whether
the president had authority to keep forces in a hostile environment
such as Beirut for more than 90 days without the express approval of

 

28 They Dare to Speak Out

Congress. Some Congressmen began drawing parallels between the
Marine presence in Lebanon and the beginnings of the disastrous U.S.
experience in Vietnam.

President Reagan objected, as did his predecessors, to the restric-
tions imposed by the War Powers legislation. If he accepted its terms,
he would have to withdraw the forces within 90 days or get Congress to
approve an extension. If he insisted that the law did not apply because
the situation was not hostile, events might quickly prove him wrong
and, regardless, he would have a rebellious Congress on his hands.

He decided to finesse the problem. He asked Congress for legisla-
tion letting him keep the existing force of Marines in Lebanon for 18
months. This would please the "strict constructionists" who felt the
chief executive must live with the War Powers Resolution. It would
suit his own needs, because he was confident that the orderly removal
of the Marines would occur within the 18-month period.

Thanks to extraordinary help from an unlikely quarter, Reagan's
plan had relatively clear sailing in the House of Representatives.
Speaker Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill, the most prominent elected Demo-
crat in the nation, gave the legislation his strong support. To O'Neill, it
was a question of patriotism, and enough Democrats answered his call
to assure passage in the Democrat-controlled body.

But the Senate, although controlled by his fellow Republicans,
posed a more difficult problem for the president. A "nose count"
showed a close vote and probably even defeat. The president decided
he needed help and enlisted the cooperation of Thomas A. Dine, the
slender, aggressive, dark-haired young Capitol Hill staff veteran who
has headed AIPAC since 1981.

Reagan's appeal to Dine for support on the Marine issue was
without precedent. The pending bill contained no money for Israel, and
AIPAC and other Israeli lobby groups had kept hands off the Lebanon
controversy. Pro-Israeli forces did not want other Americans to blame
Israel if the Marines should encounter more trouble. Certainly Israel
already bore responsibility enough for U.S. problems in Lebanon. It
had discreetly but effectively helped to engineer the original Marine
presence in Beirut by agreeing to withdraw its forces from Beirut in
favor of a multinational force provided the United States were in-
cluded. (The multinational force would have been unnecessary had
Israel not invaded Lebanon in the first place.) Though AIPAC privately
wanted the Marines to stay in Lebanon, under the circumstances its
leadership preferred to stay in the background.

The White House call to Dine was exceptional for another reason:
Reagan needed help with Senators who were normally his most stal-
wart supporters. The president was unsure of the votes of twelve Re-

 

King of the Hill 29

publicans, among them John Warner of Virginia, Dan Quayle of
Indiana, William Cohen of Maine and James A. McClure of Idaho. All
were generally regarded as "hawkish" on military questions and, ex-
cept for McClure, strong supporters of Israel. Learning of the presi-
dential plea, one AIPAC staffer said: "If the White House is worried
about those votes, the bill is going down."

Despite its reluctance to get involved publicly in the sensitive
issue, AIPAC made the calls. Nine of the twelve Senators, including
the four mentioned above, voted with the president and helped him win
a narrow 54 to 46 victory.

AIPAC's role in the outcome was not noted in most media reports
on the dramatic event, but an elated President Reagan called Dine
personally to express his thanks. Michael Gale, then handling White
House relations with the Jewish community, provided a transcript of
the conversation with the suggestion that AIPAC publicize it. AIPAC
declined, preferring to maintain its low profile on the issue, so Gale
gave the text to Wolf Blitzer of The Jerusalem Post, who formerly
wrote for AIPAC's Near East Report. The Post quoted Reagan as
saying to Dine, "I just wanted to thank you and all your staff for the
great assistance you gave us on the War Powers Act resolution. . • . I
know how you mobilized the grassroot organizations to generate sup-
port."

"Well, we try to use the telephone," responded Dine. "That's part
of our job. And we wanted to do it and will continue to do it. . . . We
want to work together, obviously."

Work together they have. The Reagan executive branch estab-
lished a relationship with AIPAC of unprecedented intimacy. It was not
the first time the White House or the State Department had turned to
the lobbying group for help. Although these high level approaches are
little known even on Capitol Hill, they actually occur every time
foreign aid legislation is up for a vote. Whoever controls the White
House finds that securing Congressional approval of foreign aid is a
challenge and, as the legislation includes economic and military aid to
Israel, naturally looks to AIPAC for help. Except for a few humanita-
rian and church-related organizations, AIPAC serves foreign aid's only
domestic constituency.

Without AIPAC, foreign aid legislation would not be approved at
the $7 billion-plus level of 1983 and might have difficulty surviving at
all. A candid tribute to the lobby came from John K. Wilhelm, the
executive director of the presidential commission that made recom-
mendations in late 1983 on the future direction of foreign aid. Briefing a
world hunger board at the State Department in January 1984, Wilhelm,
a career veteran in the Agency for International Development, said the

 

30 They Dare to Speak Out

active support of the pro-Israeli lobby was "vital" to Congressional
approval of foreign aid. In the early 1960s when aid to Israel was
modest — less than $100 million a year— a foreign-aid bill squeaked
through the House of Representatives by a scant five votes. AIPAC
was then in its infancy.

AIPAC also crafted the strategy which produced a $510 million
increase in 1983 aid for Israel — an increase which was astonishing
because it came just after the indiscriminate bombing of Beirut and the
failure of Israeli forces to halt the massacre of Palestinian refugees in
the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps, events that aroused unprece-
dented public criticism of Israeli policy.

The administration opposed the increase but was outmaneuvered.
By the time Judge William Clark, at the time National Security Adviser
to President Reagan, sent an urgent appeal to Republican Senator
Mark Hatfield to block the increase, the issue was settled. AIPAC had
already locked in support by persuading a majority on the Appropria-
tions Committee that the add-on was a simple question of being for or
against Israel. No one wanted to champion the negative side.

AIPAC had already confounded the administration on the House
side, where the White House had argued against the increase for
budgetary reasons, contending it would be at the expense of other
needy countries. This argument was demolished when AIPAC lobby-
ists presented elaborate data showing how the extra aid to Israel could
be accomplished without cutting support for other countries. An
AIPAC lobbyist summed up: "The administration lobbyists really
didn't do their homework. They didn't have their act together." By
1984 the aid level had risen to over $2 billion a year — all of it in grants
with no repayment — and the approval margin was 112.

In February 1983, Secretary of State George Shultz named a
"blue ribbon" panel of prominent citizens to recommend changes in the
foreign aid program. Of the 42 on the commission, 27 were Senators or
House members with primary responsibility for handling foreign aid
legislation. The others had prominence in administering foreign aid in
years past.

Only one full-time lobbyist was named to the panel: AIPAC's
executive director, Thomas A. Dine. It was the first time to my knowl-
edge that a lobbyist had been selected for such a prestigious govern-
ment assignment, and Dine's selection was particularly surprising
because it put him in a close working relationship with the handful of
people who formulate and carry out policy on the very matter AIPAC
was set up to influence — aid to Israel.

A more enviable position for a lobbyist could hardly be imagined.
Former Senator James Abourezk, head of the American-Arab Anti-
Discrimination Committee, commented:

 

King of the Hill 31

It would make as much sense to let the president of Lockheed Corporation
serve on a Defense Department board which decides what planes our air force
will buy.

In November, Dine took an even bigger step up the ladder of
Washington prestige and influence. He was invited to the White House
for a private meeting with National Security Adviser Robert C. McFar-
lane, President Reagan's closest advisor on day-to-day policy in the
Middle East. On the agenda were two foreign policy topics of great
sensitivity: the Lebanese situation and the proposal to help Jordan
establish a rapid deployment force. Both of these issues, of course,
were of vital interest to Israel. Dine's invitation came just a week after
he received the President's jubilant phone call.

In January 1984 Washingtonian magazine listed Dine among the
most influential people in the nation's capital.

Dine's reputation has even stirred Arab capitals. In mid-March
1984 King Hussein of Jordan publicly blamed AIPAC, in part, for the
decline in U.S. influence and leadership for peace in the Middle East.
He also criticized the inordinate influence of the Israeli lobby on U.S.
presidential candidates. He said the candidates had to "appeal for the
favors of AIPAC, Zionism and Israel."

One development which especially provoked the king was that, for
ten days beginning in mid-March 1984, Dine personally took part in
direct foreign policy negotiations with Undersecretary of State Law-
rence S. Eagleburger and National Security Adviser McFarlane. Dur-
ing one session, Eagleburger offered to withdraw a widely publicized
proposal to sell antiaircraft missiles to Jordan if AIPAC would drop its
support of legislation requiring the removal of the U.S. embassy in
Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

By then, King Hussein's sharp criticism of the United States — and
AIPAC — had appeared in U.S. newspapers, and Dine knew it had
strengthened Congressional opposition to the sale. At the time
Eagleburger made his proposition, AIPAC already had 48 Senators
committed in opposition and received pledges from six more the next
day. Thus AIPAC was able to kill the sale without cutting a deal on
other issues.

After he rejected Eagleburger' s offer, Dine promised that AIPAC
would cease active opposition to a proposal to help Jordan establish a
rapid deployment force and would lobby to work out a compromise on
the bill to transfer the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem if the
administration would take two important steps: first, refuse to sell
Stinger antiaircraft missiles to Saudi Arabia, and, second, issue a
public letter announcing that it would engage in no further indirect
communications with the Palestine Liberation Organization. Although

 

32 They Dare to Speak Out

the public letter did not appear, the administration backed away from
the Stinger sales to both Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

Dine emerged from these negotiations with his prestige greatly
enhanced. Richard Murphy, assistant secretary of state for Near East
and South Asia affairs, the official charged with the development and
administration of United States policies relating to the Middle East,
was not invited to the Eagleburger-McFarlane-Dine negotiations, nor
was he notified of the administration decision to cancel the proposed
sale of Stinger missiles until twelve hours after AIPAC received the
information.

The Washington Post concluded that the episode "raised questions
about the propriety of the administration's making deals on foreign
policy issues with a private, special-interest organization. 9 ' Dine had a
ready response: "We think it's better to be strong and criticized, than
weak, ignored and not respected."

In part, the unprecedented presidential consideration was a tribute
to Dine's combination of ingratiating manner, tough, relentless spirit
and sheer dynamism. Under Dine, AIPAC's membership has risen
from 11,000 to over 50,000, and its annual budget from $750,000 to
more than $3,000,000.

Dine's influence is felt in power centers beyond the Oval Office.
He receives calls from presidential candidates as well as presidents and
reports that former Vice-President Walter Mondale "bounces ideas off
us" before he issues statements on Middle East policy.

Most Congressional actions affecting Middle East policy are either
approved or initiated by AIPAC.

Broadening the Network

To accomplish these feats for Israel — sometimes cooperating with
the president of the United States, sometimes not— AIPAC director
Dine utilizes a team of hard-driving, able professionals and keeps them
working together smoothly.

He keeps policy lines clear and the troops well-disciplined.
AIPAC's role is to support Israel's policies, not to help formulate
them, so AIPAC maintains daily telephone communication with the
Israeli embassy, and Dine meets personaUy with embassy officials at
least once a week.

Though AIPAC has a staff of only 60 — small in comparison to
other major U.S. Jewish organizations — it taps the resources of a broad
nationwide network of unpaid activists. Annual membership meetings
in Washington are a major way to rally the troops. Those attending
hear prominent U.S. and Israeli speakers, participate in workshops and
seminars, and contribute financially to the cause. The conferences at-

 

King of the Hill 33

tract top political talent: the Israeli ambassador, senior White House
and State Department officials, prominent Senators and House mem-
bers. Recent conferences featured Senators Paul Laxalt of Nevada,
Joseph Biden of Delaware, Robert Kasten of Wisconsin, Christopher
Dodd of Connecticut, Robert Packwood of Oregon, Robert Dole of
Kansas, and Daniel Inouye of Hawaii.

The White House is also well represented at such conferences.
Vice-President George Bush recently assured AIPAC delegates that
the Reagan administration will keep fighting against anti-Semitism at
the United Nations and criticized the three Democratic presidential
candidates— Walter Mondale, Gary Hart and Jesse Jackson — for being
"soft on anti-Semitism."

More than 1,200 representatives from 41 states attended AIPAC's
1983 national gathering. They heard Congressman Jack Kemp of New
York, chairman of the Republican caucus in the House of Representa-
tives, describe himself as "a de facto member of AIPAC." Forty-three
House members and sixteen Senators attended the conference ban-
quet.

Art Chotin, deputy executive director of AIPAC, reported to the
group that during the previous year ten different statewide workshops
on political involvement had given the "pro-Israeli community" the
"skills they need to have an impact." Ten more were planned for 1984.
Chotin illustrated the national impact of these local events by pointing
out that a 1982 workshop in New Mexico had helped elect Democrat
Jeffrey Bingaman to the Senate. Bingaman, described by Chotin as "a
strong pro-Israeli voice in Washington," was among the 100 "pro-
Israeli citizens" attending the 1983 affair.

Tightly scheduled workshops, similar to the national conferences,
are conducted annually in each of five regions. The "capitals" are
Atlanta, Fort Worth, Hollywood, Des Moines and Chicago, and from
each a chairperson coordinates all AIPAC regional activities. To help
these outreach programs, AIPAC now has full-time staff located in
New York, New Jersey and California.

Chotin told the conference that during the 1982 Congressional
elections, 300 candidates "came to visit AIPAC" to explain their posi-
tions on "foreign aid, arms sales to Arab nations, and the general
nature of U.S.-Arab relations."

Ties with other interest groups are carefully cultivated. Christian
outreach was announced as AIPAC s newest national program, and
Merrie White, a "born-again Christian," was introduced as the director
of relations with the Christian community. According to Chotin, the
goal was nothing less than to "bring that community into AIPAC." He
noted the presence of 50 Christians representing 35 states as evidence
of progress already made toward this end. White helped organize the

 

34 They Dare to Speak Out

annual Religious Roundtable Prayer Breakfast for Israel the following
February (see chapter nine). Chris Gersten, AIPAC's political director,
came to the position after seven years as special assistant to the presi-
dent of the International Union of Operating Engineers.

AIPAC's coast-to-coast outreach is enhanced by its speaking pro-
gram. Its officers, staff members and representatives filled over 900
dates in 1982 alone. Receptions are held in scores of smaller cities.
"Parlor briefings" in the homes of Jewish leaders nationally help raise
money to supplement revenue from membership dues. Social events
on Capitol Hill help spread the word to the thousands of high school
and college students who work as interns in the offices of Senators and
Congressmen or in committee offices.

Tours of Israel which other Jewish groups arrange help to establish
a grassroots base for AIPAC's program. For example, in April 1982,
the Young Leadership Mission, an activity of United Jewish Appeal,
conducted 1,500 U.S. Jews on one week tours. "The visitors were
given a view of the magnificence you will find in any country," ob-
serves an AIPAC staff member. He said the tour had profound impact:
"It built spirit for the cause, and it raised money. The pitch for fiinds
was the final event. It came right after the folks walked out of the
memorial to the Holocaust." The effect was awesome: "The tour direc-
tors have it down to a science," he reports. "They know how to hit all
the buttons." The United Jewish Appeal and Israel share the proceeds.
Larry Kraftowitz, a Washington journalist who attended a similar tour,
calls the experience "profound." He adds, "I consider myself more
sympathetic to the New Jewish Agenda goals [than current Israeli
government policy], but I must say I was impressed."

Tours are not just for Jews. Governors, members of state legisla-
tures, and community leaders, including news media personnel, are
also given the opportunity for expense-paid tours of Israel. Trips are
also arranged for leaders nationally, especially those on Capitol Hill.
While AIPAC does not itself conduct the tours, it facilitates the
process. Over half the membership of Congress has traveled to Israel,
about half going on what is deemed official business at the expense of
the U.S. government. With few exceptions, Jewish organizations or
individuals paid the expenses of the rest.

Another group of potentially influential — but often overlooked —
Washington functionaries that AIPAC tries to influence is made up of
Congressional staffers. AIPAC works with Israeli universities who ar-
range expense-paid tours for staff members who occupy key positions.
These annual trips are called the Hal Rosenthal program, named for a
staff aide to former Republican Senator Jacob Javits who was gunned
down by a Palestinian terrorist on the first such trip. By 1984 over 50
Congressional staffers had participated.

 

King of the Hill 35

AIPAC is as successful at keeping lawmakers from visiting Arab
countries as it is in presenting only Israel's views. When the National
Association of Arab Americans, working through the World Affairs
Council of Amman, invited all Congressmen and their spouses to an
expense-paid tour of Jordan with a side trip to the West Bank in 1983, a
notice in AIPAC's Near East Report quickly chilled prospects for par-
ticipation. It questioned how Amman, without Israeli cooperation,
could get the tourists across the Jordan river for events scheduled in
the West Bank. It also quoted Don Sundquist, a Republican Congress-
man from Tennessee, as expressing "fear" that if any of his colleagues
accepted the trip they would be "used" by anti-Israeli propagandists.
Only three Congressmen made the trip. A 1984 tour was cancelled for
lack of acceptances.

AIPAC's outreach program is buttressed by a steady stream of
publications. In addition to "Action Alerts" and the weekly Near East
Report, it issues position papers and monographs designed to answer,
or often discredit, critics, and advance Israel's objectives.

The most controversial publication of all is an "enemies list" is-
sued as a "first edition" in the spring of 1983. A handsomely printed
154-page paperback entitled The Campaign to Discredit Israel, it pro-
vides a "directory of the actors": 21 organizations and 39 individuals
AIPAC identified as inimical to Israeli interests.

Included are such distinguished public servants as former Under-
secretary of State George W. Ball, retired ambassadors Talcott Seelye,
Andrew Killgore, John C. West and James Akins, and former Senator
James Abourezk. There are also five Jewish dissenters and several
scholars on the list.

Seemingly unaware of the AIPAC project, the Anti-Defamation
League of B'nai B'rith almost simultaneously issued its own "enemies
list": Pro-Arab Propaganda in America: Vehicles and Voices. It too is
identified as a "first edition," and lists 31 organizations and 34 individu-
als. These books are nothing more than blacklists, reminiscent of the
worst tactics of the McCarthy era.

A similar "enemies list" is employed in AIPAC's extensive pro-
gram at colleges and universities (see chapter seven).

"They Get the Word Out Fast 9 *

Through "Action Alert" mailings AIPAC keeps more than one
thousand Jewish leaders throughout the United States informed on
current issues. An "alert" usually demands action to meet a legislative
challenge on Capitol Hill, requesting a telephone call, telegram or, if
need be, a personal visit to a reluctant Congressman.

The network can have almost instantaneous effect. One day I

 

36 They Dare to Speak Out

whispered to a colleague in the Foreign Affairs Committee I might offer
an amendment to a pending bill cutting aid to Israel. Within 30 minutes
two other Congressmen came to me with worried looks, reporting they
had just had calls from citizens in their home districts who were con*
cerned about my amendment.

Paul Weyrich, who worked as a Senate aide before becoming a
political analyst, details the effectiveness of AIPAC:

It's a remarkable system they have. If you vote with them, or make a public
statement they like, they get the word out fast through their own publications
and through editors around the country who are sympathetic to their cause.

Of course it works in reverse as well. If you say something they don't like, you
can be denounced or censured through the same network. That kind of pres-
sure is bound to affect Senators' thinking, especially if they are wavering or
need support.

This activism is carried out by an elaborate system of officers,
committees and councils which give AIPAC a ready, intimate system
for political activity from coast to coast. Its nineteen officers meet once
a month to confer with Dine on organization and management. Each of
its five vice-presidents can expect eventually to serve a term as presi-
dent. A large executive committee totaling 132 members is invited to
Washington every three months for briefings. A national council lists
over 200 names. These subgroups include the leadership of most ma-
jor U.S. Jewish organizations.

The AIPAC staff is not only highly professional and highly
motivated but also thoroughly experienced. Director Dine worked in
several Capitol Hill jobs, first on the staff of Democratic Senator Ed-
ward Kennedy, later on the Foreign Relations Committee under Demo-
cratic Senator Frank Church of Idaho, and finally as staff director on
foreign policy for the Senate budget committee.

AIPAC's four lobbyists are Douglas Bloomfield, Ralph Nurnber-
ger, Esther Kurz and Leslie L. Levy. All but Levy worked in foreign
policy for a Senator or Congressman before joining AIPAC. Levy came
to AIPAC as a student intern and advanced within the organization.

Bloomfield, once an intern under Democratic Senator Hubert
Humphrey of Minnesota, worked for 10 years for Democratic Con-
gressman Ben Rosenthal of New York. Nurnberger worked for several
years on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and for Republican
Senator James Pearson of Kansas. Kurz worked, in succession, for
Democratic Congressman Charles Wilson of Texas, and Republican
Senators Jacob Javits of New York and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania.

The four divide up the membership of the House and Senate.
Actually, only a handful of legislators are keys to success, so each of

 

King of the Hill 37

the four lobbyists needs to watch carefully only about thirty lawmak-
ers. They concentrate on legislators from the twelve states which have
a Jewish population of at least three percent: New York, New Jersey,
California, Massachusetts, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania,
Maryland, Delaware, Florida and Connecticut.

The movement from Congressional staff job to AIPAC also occa-
sionally works the other way. A few veterans of AIPAC have moved to
government assignments, among them Jonathan Slade, now with
Democratic Congressman Larry Smith of Florida, and Marvin Feuer-
werger, who was with Democratic Congressman Stephen Solarz of
New York before he joined the Policy Planning Staff at the State De-
partment. Both Smith and Solarz are members of the Foreign Affairs
Committee, and both are passionate supporters of Israel.

Lobbyists for AIPAC have almost instant access to House and
Senate members and feel free to call them at their homes in the eve-
ning. Republican Congressman Douglas Bereuter of Nebraska, an ex-
ception, will receive no lobbyists, AIPAC or otherwise, but the doors
are wide open to AIPAC lobbyists at the offices of almost all other
Congressmen. A Congressional aide explained why:

Professionalism is one reason. They know what they are doing, get to the point
and leave. They are often a useful source of information. They are reliable and
friendly. But most important of all, they are seen by Congressmen as having
direct and powerful ties to important constituents.

The result is a remarkable cooperation and rapport between lobby-
ist and legislator. Encountered in a Capitol corridor one day, an AIPAC
lobbyist said, "Tomorrow I will try to see five members of the House. I
called this morning and confirmed every appointment, and I have no
doubt I will get in promptly." Two days later, even he seemed some-
what awed by AIPAC's clout. He reported, "I made all five. I went
right in to see each of them. There was no waiting. Our access is
amazing."

This experience contrasts sharply with the experience of most
other lobbyists on Capitol Hill. One veteran lobbyist reflected with
envy on the access AIPAC enjoys: "If I can actually see two Congress-
men or Senators in one long day, it's been a good one."

Despite its denials, AIPAC keeps close records on each House and
Senator member. Unlike other lobbies, which keep track only of a few
"key" issues voted on the House or Senate floor, AIPAC takes note of
other activities, too — votes in committees, co-sponsorship of bills,
signing of letters and even whether speeches are made. "That's depth!"
exclaims an admiring Capitol Hill staff member.

An illustration of lobby power occurred October 3, 1984, when the

 

38 They Dare to Speak Out

House of Representatives approved a bill to remove all trade restric-
tions between the United States and Israel; 98.5 percent (416) voted
affirmative, despite the strong opposition of the AFL-CIO and the
American Farm Bureau Federation. The vote was 416 to 6 on legisla-
tion that normally would elicit heavy reaction because of its effect on
markets for commodities produced in the United States.

As they voted, few were aware of a Commerce Department study
which found that the duty-free imports proposed in the bill would cause
"significant adverse effects" on U.S. producers of vegetables. Because
the White House wanted the bill passed, notwithstanding its effects on
jobs and markets, the study was classified "confidential" and kept
under wraps. One Congressman finally pried a copy loose by com-
plaining bitterly — and correctly — to the White House that AIPAC had
secured a copy for its own use.

"I Cleared It with AIPAC"

Until his defeat in an upset on November 6, 1984, Congressman
Clarence D. "Doc" Long, a 74-year-old Democrat of Maryland,
exemplified the strong ties between AIPAC and Capitol Hill. He deliv-
ered for Israel as chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee
which handles aid to Israel.

The tall, gray-haired, former economics professor at Johns Hop-
kins University trumpeted his support: "AIPAC made my district their
number one interest." AIPAC supported Long for a good reason: He
held the gavel when questions about funding Israeli aid come up. The
lobby wanted him to keep it. Chairmanships normally are decided by
seniority, and next in line after Long is David Obey of Wisconsin, who
earned lobby disfavor in 1976 by offering an amendment to cut aid to
Israel by $200 million. "Doc" Long never had any misgivings about aid
to Israel and helped his colleagues defeat Obey's amendment, 342 to
32.

Sitting at a table in the House of Representatives restaurant during
a late House session in 1982, Long explained,

Long ago I decided that I'd vote for anything AIPAC wants. I didn't want them
on my back. My district is too difficult. I don't need the trouble [pro-Israeli
lobbyists] can cause. I made up my mind I would get and keep their support.

The conversation turned to one of Obey's questions about the high
levels of Israeli aid. Long said, "I can't imagine why Dave would say
things like that." A colleague chided: "Maybe he's thinking about our
own national interest."

In September 1983, Long led a battle to get U.S. Marines out of

 

King of the Hill 39

Lebanon. He proposed an amendment which would have cut funding
for the operation in 60 days. John Hall, a reporter who knew Long's
close ties with the lobby, asked Long, "Are you sure this amendment
won't get you in trouble?" Without hesitation, the Congressman re-
plied: "I cleared it with AIPAC." He was not joking. Though this was
not the first Congressional proposal to be cleared in advance with the
Israeli lobby, it was the first time the clearance had been specifically
acknowledged in the public record. The proposal to cut aid to Lebanon
provoked a lively debate but, opposed by such leaders as Speaker
"Tip" O'Neill and Lee Hamilton of Indiana, chairman of the Subcom-
mittee on Europe and the Middle East, the measure failed, 274-153.

Although heavily supported by pro-Israeli interests — 18 pro-Israel
political action committees chipped in $31,250 for Long's 1982 re-
election campaign — Long denies a personal linkage:

Nobody has to give me money to make me vote for aid to Israel. I've been
doing that for 20 years, most of the time without contributions.

The money and votes Israel's supporters provided to Long's can-
didacy were insufficient in 1984. Although pro-Israel PACs gave him
$155,000 — four times the amount that went to any other House candi-
date—Long lost by 5,727 votes, less than three percent of those cast. A
factor in his defeat was advertising sponsored by people prominent in
the National Association of Arab Americans which attacked Long for
his uncritical support of Israel's demands. Obey, Long's likely succes-
sor as chairman, was the only Democrat on the panel who did not
accept money from pro-Israel political action committees.

Outreach on an International Scale

AIPAC not only champions Israel's causes in the U.S., but its
international ambitions as well. The lobby recently began an interna-
tional outreach program, serving Israel's interests by facilitating U.S.
aid to other countries. In 1983 it tried to help Zaire, Israel's new Afri-
can friend. Israel wanted Zaire to get $20 million in military assistance
requested by President Reagan, but AIPAC decided against assigning
the lobbying task to its regular staff. Instead, it secured the temporary
services of a consultant who button-holed members of the House Com-
mittee on Foreign Affairs. The amendment failed, but the effort helped
to pay Israel's obligation incurred when Zaire extended full diplomatic
recognition to Israel the previous year.

Columnists Rowland Evans and Robert Novak viewed the initia-
tive as the first step in an Israeli program "to broker aid favors for other
pariahs on the congressional hit list to enhance its influence." They

 

40 They Dare to Speak Out

described this new effort by Israel as M an exercise of domestic political
power by a foreign nation that raises troubling questions."

While branching out internationally, AIPAC maintains strong in-
fluence in domestic partisan campaigns. It took a major role in the
intense 1984 contest for the Senate in North Carolina, which involved
an expensive showdown between Jesse Helms, the Republican incum-
bent, who is proud to be viewed as the apostle of conservatism, and
Democratic Governor Jim Hunt, who sees himself as a leader in the
progressive politics in the "New South." These adversaries were of
one mind, however, in soliciting the pro-Israel vote, and the endeavor
led Helms into surprising activity. The contest took on special national
importance because Helms, as second-ranking Republican on the Sen-
ate Foreign Relations Committee, could have chosen to head the com-
mittee after the defeat of Senator Charles Percy (see chapter three).

In his program to win pro-Israel support, Helms had to overcome
major obstacles. In a 1979 speech, Helms had warned that Israeli West
Bank policies were "the block to a comprehensive settlement" of the
Arab-Israeli dispute* During Israel's invasion of Lebanon in 1982,
Helms made a speech in which he suggested that the United States
might ultimately need to "shut down" relations with Israel.

High on Helms's hate list is foreign aid, which he considers to be
the "the greatest racket of all time." He proclaims proudly, "I have not
voted to send one dime overseas for these programs."

Because aid to Israel is included in the foreign aid he opposed, Hunt
charged that Helms had voted against Israel no fewer than 25 times. He
also criticized Helms sharply for voting in favor of controversial mili-
tary sales to Saudi Arabia.

Hunt's campaign team sought to exploit these "mistakes" with a
letter to pro-Israel financial prospects mailed in an envelope conspicu-
ously labeled: "Caution: the enclosed information is extremely damag-
ing to the state of Israel." The damage was identified as the prospect
that Helms might become an anti-Israel chairman of the Foreign Rela-
tions Committee. This form of fiindraising brought good results: a
Helms staff member said, "We calculate that 60 percent of Hunt's
money is from the Jewish community." By mid-August Hunt had re-
ceived $130,350 from pro-Israel political action committees, Helms
zero.

Helms launched a counterattack designed to mend his relations
with backers of Israel. In May he personally introduced a visiting
Likud member of the Israeli parliament on the Senate floor and had the
text of his guest's foreign policy statement inserted in the Congres-
sional Record. He seemed to contradict an earlier statement criticizing
Israeli policies in occupied areas when he told the Senate that the

 

King of the Hill 41

United States "should never pursue any plan that envisions a separa-
tion of the West Bank from Israel."

Helms' s skill in playing both sides was demonstrated in his stand
on a proposed bill to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to
Jerusalem. Although he declined to co-sponsor the bill because of
"grave legal questions" and its "uncertain" constitutionality, Helms
urged President Reagan to order the removal of the embassy without
special legislation.

In a remarkable countermove, Helms' s campaign sent a fund ap-
peal to Jewish citizens which expressed anguish that any Jew would
consider opposing Helms in light of his "friendship" for Israel.

In the contest, the most expensive non-presidential campaign in
history, Helms spent over $13 million and Hunt over $8 million. When
the polls closed, Helms had eked out a narrow victory.

Beyond AIPAC to the PACs

AIPAC differs from most lobbies, in that it avoids endorsing candi-
dates publicly and does not raise or spend money directly in partisan
campaigns. Campaign involvement is left officially to pro-Israel polit-
ical action committees (PACs). Over 3,000 PACs are registered under
federal law, and almost all are directly affiliated with special-interest
lobbies. There are 75 PACs which focus on support for Israel, though
none lists an affiliation with AIPAC or any other Jewish organization.

Prior to 1979, pro-Israeli financial support to candidates and party
organizations came entirely from individuals. Some of these individu-
als focused heavily on an Ohio Congressional race in 1976, the candi-
dacy of Mary Rose Oakar, who was to become the first person of
Syrian ancestry elected to Congress. A popular member of the Cleve-
land city council, she confronted a field of twelve male Democrats and
an avalanche of Jewish money in the primary election race. Pro-Israeli
interests selected State Senator Tony Celebreze, regarded as a
"comer" in Ohio politics, as the candidate with the best chance to
nudge her from the nomination.

During the campaign Dennis Heffernan, a fundraiser for Cele-
preze, was asked by a surprised and uneasy colleague to explain why
more than thirty "Jewish-appearing" names were each recorded as
donating $1,000.

"What's going on here?" he asked, wondering aloud if his friend
Celebreze had "caved in" to a special interest. He asked bluntly: "Is
Tony selling himself out, or is this money given in a worthy cause?"
Heffernan responded, "Well, is Israel a worthy cause?"

Oakar found the focus by pro-Israel forces "upsetting." She ex-

 

42 They Dare to Speak Out

plained, "I hadn't said a word about the Middle East, so it had to be
because of my ethnic background. My father served in World War II
and my brother in the Army later, but you would think we were less
American."

The money helped Celebreze defeat the other eleven men, but
Oakar won the nomination. Noting the district was overwhelmingly
Democratic, the pro-Israel group sensed a hopeless situation and made
no fight against Oakar in the fall or in subsequent elections.

The prominence of "Jewish-appearing" names in the Ohio race
may have been a factor in encouraging Jews nationally to organize the
first pro-Israel political action committees in 1979. By 1982 they had
mushroomed to a total of thirty-one. Pro-Israel PACs contributed more
than $1.8 million dollars to 268 different election campaigns during the
1981-82 Federal Election Commission reporting cycle, putting them in
the highest political spending range. By mid-August 1984, the list had
increased to 75 PACs, and they had accumulated $4.25 million for the
1984 federal elections.

None of them carried a name or other information which disclosed
its pro-Israeli interest, nor did any list an affiliation with AIPAC or
other pro-Israeli or Jewish organization. Each chose to obscure its pro-
Israel character by using a bland title, like the "Committee for 18,"
"Arizona Politically Interested Citizens," "Joint Action Committee for
Political Affairs," or the "Government Action Committee." Yet all are
totally committed to one thing: Israel.

"No one is trying to hide anything," protests Mark Siegel, director
of the pro-Israeli National Bipartisan Political Action Committee and a
former White House liaison with the Jewish community. He insists that
the bland names were chosen because "There are those in the political
process who would use the percentage of Jewish money [in a given
race] as a negative." The PAC Siegel heads was formed originally to
help in the late Senator Henry Jackson's 1978 presidential bid.

Norman Silverman, who helped to found the Denver-based Com-
mittee for 18, is more explicit, saying the name selection became "an
emotional issue." Some of the organizers, mainly younger people,
wanted Jewish identity plainly set forth in the name. "Others," Silver-
man noted, "said they didn't want to be a member if we did that."

Whatever their names, pro-Israel PACs enlarge the opportunities
for individual supporters of Israel to back candidates. An individual
may contribute up to $5,000 to a political action committee but only
$1,000 to a candidate in each election. PACs, in turn, may contribute
$5,000 to a candidate in each election. Individuals often contribute the
$1,000 limit directly to a candidate and also the $5,000 limit to a PAC
supporting the same candidate. The Wall Street Journal, reviewing the

 

King of the Hill 43

growth of pro-Israel PACs in August 1983 reported that Lawrence and
Barbara Weinberg of Beverly Hills, California, gave $20,000 to the
Citizens Organized Political Action Committee, based in Los Angeles,
over a period that encompassed both the primary and general elections
in 1982 and gave $2,000 to Democrat Richard J. Durbin, the man who
defeated me in 1982. The PAC also contributed $5,000 to Durbin. That
kind of generosity is not ignored by your average politician.

The largest pro-Israel PAC is the National Political Action Com-
mittee (NatPAC), headquartered in New York with Marvin Josephson,
head of a theatrical and literary talent agency, as chairman. Its Wash-
ington-based executive director is Richard Altman, who previously
worked as political director of AIPAC. It draws money heavily from
the entertainment industry and got off to a fast start in 1982 when
Woody Allen signed its first nationwide fund-raising appeal. The Na-
tional Journal rates it as the nation's largest non-labor, non-business
political action committee.

In 1982, NatPAC raised $1.04 million and spent $547,500 on 109
candidates for Congress. It gave the $5,000 legal limit to each of 31
Senate candidates. Twenty-eight of these were elected. On the House
side, 57 of the 73 candidates it supported won. In the wake of those
successes, NatPAC ran a full-page advertisement in The New York
Times inviting further support and declaring that it was "helping to
elect officials in all fifty states who realize that Israel's survival is vital
to our own."

A recent fund-raising letter carried an appeal by Republican
Senator Robert Packwood of Oregon and Democratic Senator Patrick
Moynihan of New York, both ardent supporters of Israel: "If you be-
lieve, as we do, that Israel is a great strategic asset to the United States
and its most reliable ally in that part of the world, please read this
letter." The letter asked for support so NatPAC can "take on the
Petrodollar interests."

Five colleagues help Josephson decide which candidates receive
funds. They are Barry Dillar, chairman of Paramount Pictures Corpora-
tion, George Klein, a New York City developer, James Wolfensohn, a
New York investment banker, Martin Peretz, editor of The New Repub-
lic, and Rita Hauser, a New York lawyer who is prominent in the work
of the American Jewish Committee.

Executive director Richard Altman calls NatPAC a "grassroots
movement." By late 1983 he had signed up over 20,000 members, with
his goal for 1984 goal set at 100,000. NatPAC strives for "ecumenical
fund-raising," he says, noting the presence of Methodist Bob Hope
among the one hundred prominent Americans listed as charter mem-
bers.

 

44 They Dare to Speak Out

He is candid: "Money makes the political engine run. To elect a
friend, you have to pay for it — and we're not the only ones who know
that."

Altman declares that participating in PACs "is quintessential^
both American and Jewish, as an expression of our involvement in
political life."

Small PACs sometimes focus on candidates far from their locales.
Robert B. Golder, a Philadelphia businessman, organized the Delaware
Valley Political Action Committee (Del-Val PAC) in 1981, recruited 160
members, and dispensed $58,000 to 32 widely scattered candidates.
Twenty-eight of them won. Golder explains that his goal is to elect pro-
Israel Congressmen "in faraway places who don't have Jewish con-
stituencies." For example, his PAC sent $1,500 to Jeffrey Bingaman,
the Democrat elected to the Senate in 1982 from New Mexico. In late
1983 it sent $5,000 to Tom Corcoran, the unsuccessful challenger of
Republican Senator Charles Percy of Illinois. A 12-person executive
committee decides where the money is spent.

A San Francisco-based PAC concentrates on contests outside
California. Melvin Swig, who is chairman of the Bay Area Citizens
Political Action Committee, says: "There are enough people locally
who do enough for their constituency. We look for areas that have less
Jewish visibility than others, places where there are fewer Jews."

Golder explains the aims of such groups:

We feel we are getting more Jewish people involved. . . . Look how much we
can get from the United States government by being politically active. This is
the key thing about PACs. We're trying to get those candidates [elected] who
will vote 'Yes' on foreign aid.

Golder, Swig and other PAC leaders receive guidance from
AIPAC, which keeps them up to date on votes cast and statements
made by Senate and House members as well as positions taken on the
Middle East by candidates seeking office for the first time.

AIPAC sometimes drops all pretense at staying apart from fund
raising. For instance, a pro-Israel political action committee was orga-
nized in Virginia in 1983 during a workshop sponsored by AIPAC.

Financial help does not stop at United States borders. Jewish
Americans living in Israel are solicited for political action in the United
States. Newton Frolich, a former Washington lawyer who moved to
Israel eight years ago, is heading a Jerusalem-based political action
committee. In June 1984, his committee mailed a solicitation letter to
some 11,000 U.S. families living in Israel and expects to approach, in
all, the estimated 50,000 U.S. citizens living there, many of whom also
claim Israeli citizenship. His organization is called Americans in Israel

 

King of the Hill 45

Political Action Committee. Through the committee, he explains,
Americans in Israel can "keep making their contribution" to the U.S.
political process. The contribution comes back, of course, in the form
of enormous U.S. grants to Israel — greater than to any other country.

A lobby veteran who is now engaged fulltime in fund-raising wor-
ries about appearances. AIPAC's former executive director, Morris J.
Amitay, feels that smaller local PACs are best and fears that large well-
publicized national PACs may create the impression that Jews exercise
too much political power. He operates the relatively small Washington
Political Action Committee, which dispensed $89,075 in 158 races dur-
ing the 1982 campaigns.

Too much or not, Jewish influence in fund raising is widely recog-
nized. In August 1983 the Wall Street Journal reported,

Several ranking Congressmen — most of whom wouldn't comment on the rec-
ord for this story — say they believe the political effect of Jewish PAC money is
greater than that of other major lobbies because it is skillfully focused on one
foreign policy issue.

Focused it is. The pro-Israel PACs concentrate exclusively on
federal elections and focus heavily on Senate races and on House
members who occupy key foreign policy assignments.

PAC leader Mark Siegel says the PACs concentrate on the Senate,
because it is the "real battleground" on questions of foreign policy. In
1982, they invested $966,695 in Senate races, with $355,550 going to
key House contests.

Guided by AIPAC, PACs choose their targets with care. When
Lynn Adelman, a Jewish state senator in Wisconsin, in 1982 mounted
the first primary election challenge that Democrat Clement J. Zablocki
had experienced in thirty years, AIPAC recommended against an all-
out effort. AIPAC was unhappy with Zablocki's record, but did not
consider him a problem; furthermore, it concluded that Adelman
could not win. Adelman received only $9,350 from thirteen pro-
Israel political action committees. The contest made national news,
because Zablocki was chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Commit-
tee, through which all Israeli aid measures must go (see chapter two).
Despite AIPAC's low-key recommendation, a letter soliciting funds for
Adelman cited two "gains" if Zablocki lost: "Adelman' s election not
only means a friend of Israel in Congress, but also that the House
Foreign Affairs Committee will have a friend of Israel as its new chair-
man," referring to Dante Fascell of Florida, the Democrat who was
next in line to succeed Zablocki. Zablocki was re-elected by a two-to-
one margin.

Meanwhile, Fascell, the "other friend" cited in the fund-raising

 

46 They Dare to Speak Out

appeal, was receiving strong support from pro-Israel PACs in his suc-
cessful campaign for re-election in a Florida district that includes part
of Miami. TWenty-two of these PACs provided Fascell with a total of
$43,250, the second highest amount to a House candidate that year.
These funds helped him survive a challenge by a former television
newsman.

My successor, Richard Durbin, topped all House candidates, re-
ceiving $103,325 from pro-Israel political action committees. Other
House Members receiving in excess of $10,000 were Sam Gejdenson of
Connecticut, $30,175; Clarence Long of Maryland, $29,250; Ike Skel-
ton of Missouri, $20,000; Martin Frost of Texas, $18,300; Thomas Lan-
tos of California, $15,500. Most of the big money went to Senate races.
Eighteen Senators who were elected in 1982 received over $10,000
from pro-Israel PACs. Five received more than Congressman Fascell.
The top 10 were: George Mitchell, Democrat of Maine, $77,400; James
Sasser, Democrat of Tennessee, $58,250; David Durenberger, Repub-
lican of Minnesota, $56,000; Robert Byrd, Democrat of West Virginia,
$55,500; Paul Sarbanes, Democrat of Maryland, $48,500; Chic Hecht,
Republican of Nevada, $46,500; Quentin Burdick, Democrat of North
Dakota, $44,775; Lowell Weicker, Republican of Connecticut, $42,075;
Jeffrey Bingaman, Democrat of New Mexico, $36,575; Howard Met-
zenbaum, Democrat of Ohio, $35,175; Dennis DeConcini, Democrat of
Arizona, $32,000; and Donald Riegle, Democrat of Michigan, $29,000.
Eight others received in excess of $10,000 each.

Ip, the 1984 elections, by July 1 pro-Israel PACs had distributed
$1.49 million to Senate candidates and $684,465 to House candidates.

That year, Paul Simon, Democratic challenger to Republican
Senator Charles Percy, topped the Senate list with $147,870. Next in
line were Carl Levin, Michigan, $140,063; James B. Hunt, North
Carolina, $130,350; Rudolph E. Boschwitz, Minnesota, $95,100;
George J. Mitchell, Maine, $77,400; James Sasser, Tennessee, $58,250;
Albert Gore, Tennessee, $57,450; Thomas Harkin, Iowa, $57,250;
David Durenberger, Minnesota, $56,750 and Robert C. Byrd, West
Virginia, $55,500. Mitchell, Sasser, Durenberger and Byrd will not be
up for re-election until 1988. All but Boschwitz and Durenberger are
Democrats. Sixteen other Senators received over $30,000.

Of 17 House Members who received $10,000 or more, 1 1 were on
panels which handle foreign aid. One of them, Lee Hamilton of In-
diana, chairman of the Middle East Subcommittee, received all but
$500 of the $14,500 in pro-Israel PAC money that went to Indiana
House contests. The top House recipients: Clarence Long, Maryland,
$97,500; Charles Wilson, Texas, $21,750; Ben Erdreich, Alabama,
$21,250; Ronald L. Wyden, Oregon, $18,000; Mark Siljander, Michi-
gan, $16,800; Dante Fascell, Florida, $16,750; Robert G. Torricelli,

 

King of the Hill 47

New Jersey, $16,500; Harry M. Reid, Nevada, $15,500; Cardiss Col-
lins, Illinois, $14,250; Lee Hamilton, Indiana, $14,000. All but Siljan-
der are Democrats.

Despite the dramatic growth of these PACs — a development that
has occurred entirely since 1979 — most of the contributions to candi-
dates still come directly from individual pro-Israel activists.

Democratic candidates are especially dependent on contributions
from Jewish sources. A non-Jewish strategist told Stephen D. Isaacs,
author of Jews and American Politics: "You can't hope to go anywhere
in national politics, if you're a Democrat, without Jewish money." In
1968, 15 of the 21 persons who loaned $100,000 or more to presidential
candidate Hubert Humphrey were Jewish. According to Isaacs, the
Democratic National Committee, whose principal charge is the ad-
vancement of Democratic Party prospects for the White House, for
years received about 50 percent of its funds from Jewish sources.

After the 1982 election — a year before he was elected chairman of
the Foreign Affairs Committee after the sudden death of Zablocki —
Fascell remarked:

The whole trouble with campaign finances is the hue and cry that you've been
bought. If you need the money, are you going to get it from your enemy? No,
you're going to get it from your friend.

 

"Our Own Foreign Policy Agenda"

Much of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's work in
1982 centered on expanding grassroots support, enlarging outreach
programs to the college and Christian communities, and helping pro-
Israel political action committees sharpen their skills. These efforts
were largely aimed at increasing the lobby's influence in the Senate.
AIPAC wanted no repetition of its failure to block the 1981 AWACS
sale to Saudi Arabia.

One way in which AIPAC increases the number of its Senate
friends is illustrated by its interventions in a critical race in Missouri.
AIPAC stood by a friend and won. Republican Senator John C. Dan-
forth, an ordained Episcopal minister, was opposed for re-election by a
Jewish Democrat, Harriett Woods. In the closely fought contest, the
non- Jewish Danforth found that an unblemished record of cooperation
brought him AIPAC support even against a Jewish challenger. The help
was crucial, as Danforth won by less than one percent of the vote.

AIPAC also weighed in heavily in Maine, helping to pull off the
upset victory of Democratic Senator George Mitchell over Republican
Congressman David Emery. The Almanac of American Politics rated
Mitchell "the Democratic Senator universally regarded as having the

 

48 They Dare to Speak Out

least chance for re-election." He had never won an election. Defeated
for governor by an independent candidate in 1974, he was appointed to
fill the Senate vacancy caused when Senator Edmund Muskie resigned
in 1980 to become President Carter's Secretary of State,

Encouraged by AIPAC, 27 pro-Israeli political action committees,
all based outside Maine, contributed $77,400 to Mitchell's campaign.
With this help Mitchell, who has Lebanese ancestry, fooled the profes-
sionals and won handily. In a post-election phone call to AIPAC direc-
tor Thomas A. Dine, Mitchell promised: "I will remember you."

In another example, Republican Senator David Durenberger of
Minnesota received for his 1982 re-election bid $57,000 from 20 pro-
Israeli political action committees, with $10,000 of this total coming
from the Citizens Organized PAC in California. This PAC contributed
$5,000 during a breakfast meeting four months after he voted against
the sale of AWACS planes to Saudi Arabia, and added $5,000 more by
election day. Directors of the PAC include Alan Rothenberg, the law
partner of Democratic National Chairman Charles Manatt.

In close races, lobby interests sometimes play it safe by support-
ing both sides. In the 1980 Senate race in Idaho, for example, pro-
Israeli activists contributed to their stalwart friend, Democrat Frank
Church, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but also
gave to his challenger, Republican Congressman Steven D. Symms.

One reason for the dual support was the expected vote in the
Senate the next year on the AWACS sale to Saudi Arabia— during the
campaign both Symms and Church were listed as opposing it. With the
race expected to be close, the lobby believed it had a friend in each
candidate and helped both.

Symms defeated Church by a razor-thin margin; but the invest-
ment in Symms by pro-Israel interests did not pay off. By the time the
new Senator faced the AWACS vote he had changed his mind. His vote
approving the AWACS sale helped to give AIPAC one of its rare legisla-
tive setbacks.

In a post-election review in its newsletter, Near East Report,
AIPAC concluded that the new Senate in the 98th Congress would be
"marginally more pro-Israel." As evidence, it noted that two of the five
new Senators were Jewish: Frank Lautenberg, Democrat of New
Jersey, and Chic Hecht, Republican of Nevada, each "with long rec-
ords of support for Israel." It could also count as a gain the election of
Democrat Jeffrey Bingaman of New Mexico, who defeated Republican
Senator Harrison Schmitt. Voting for the AWACS sale to Saudi Arabia
and opposing foreign aid had given Schmitt bad marks, and AIPAC
gave its support to his challenger, Bingaman, in the campaign.

Because favored candidates need more money than PAC sources

 

King of the Hill 49

provide, AIPAC also helps by providing lists for direct mail fundrais-
ing. The appeal can be hard-hitting. An example is the literature mailed
in early 1984 on behalf of Republican Senator Rudy Boschwitz of Min-
nesota. Fellow Republican Lowell Weicker wrote the introductory let-
ter, citing him as a "friend of Israel in danger." He noted Boschwitz's
key position as chairman of the subcommittee "that determines the
level of aid our country gives to Israel," and praised his efforts to block
military sales to Saudi Arabia. The appeal included tributes by Senator
Bob Packwood and Wolf Blitzer, Washington correspondent for The
Jerusalem Post.

AIPAC has convinced Congress that it represents practically all
Jews who vote. Columnist Nat Hentoff reported this assessment in the
New York Village Voice in June 1983 after a delegation of eighteen
dissenting rabbis had scoured Capitol Hill trying to convince Congress-
men that some Jews oppose Israeli policies. The rabbis reported that
several Congressmen said they shared their views but were afraid to
act. Hentoff concluded: "The only Jewish constituency that's real to
them [Congressmen] is the one that AIPAC and other spokesmen for
the Jewish establishment tell them about."

An Ohio Congressman speaks of AIPAC with both awe and con-
cern:

AIPAC is the most influential lobby on Capitol Hill. They are relentless. They
know what they're doing. They have the people for financial resources.
They've got a lot going for them. Their basic underlying cause is one that most
Americans sympathize with.

But what distresses me is the inability of American policy-makers, because of
the influence of AIPAC, to distinguish between our national interest and Is-
rael's national interest. When these converge — wonderful! But they don't al-
ways converge.

After the 1982 elections, Thomas A. Dine summed up the
significance of AIPAC's achievements: "Because of that, American
Jews are thus able to form our own foreign policy agenda."

Later, when he reviewed the 1984 election results, Dine credited
Jewish money, not votes: "Early money, middle money, late money."
He claimed credit for defeating Republican Senators Charles Percy of
Illinois and Roger Jepson of Iowa and Democratic Senator Walter Hud-
dleston of Kentucky, all of whom incurred AIPAC wrath by voting for
the sale of AWACS planes to Saudi Arabia.

Dine said these successes "defined Jewish political power for the
rest of this century."

 

Chapter 2

 

Stilling the Still, Small Voices

 

The youthful Congressman from California listened as his House col-
leagues expressed their views. His earnest manner and distinctive
shock of hair roused memories of an earlier Congressman, John F.
Kennedy. For more than an hour, between comments of his own, Rep-
resentative Paul N. "Pete" McCloskey yielded the floor to other Con-
gressmen, 23 in all. While they cooperated by requesting from Speaker
"Tip" O'Neill allocations of time for the debate, most of them did so in
order to avoid a sticky issue. They were ducking legislative combat, not
engaging in it.

Real debate was almost unknown on the subject McCloskey had
chosen — aid to Israel. Most Congressmen, fearing lobby pressure,
carefully avoid statements or votes that might be viewed as critical of
Israel. Not McCloskey. Admired for his courage and independence, he
began opposing the Vietnam war long before most Americans, with-
stood the lobbying of Greek Americans to cut off military aid to Tur-
key, consistently supported controversial civil rights measures, and
now challenged conventional wisdom on Middle East policy. He and I
were members of a tiny band of Congressmen willing to criticize Israel
publicly, and both of us would soon leave Capitol Hill involuntarily.

On that June afternoon in 1980, most of McCloskey's colleagues
provided him with debate time — and joined him in the discussion —
because they saw this as the only way to keep him from forcing them to
vote on an amendment cutting aid to Israel. Some of them privately
agreed with McCloskey's position but did not want his amendment to
come to a vote. If that happened, they would find themselves in the
distressing circumstance of reacting to the pressure of Israel's lobby by
voting against McCloskey's amendment — and their own conscience.

In offering his amendment, McCloskey called for an end to the
building of Israeli settlements in the territory in the West Bank of the

50

 

Stilting the Still, Small Voices 51

Jordan river which Israel held by force of arms. To put pressure on
Israel to stop, he wanted the U.S. to cut aid by $150 million— the
amount he estimated Israel was annually spending on these projects. In
the end, tough realities led him to drop his plan to bring the amendment
to a vote:

Friend and foe alike asked me not to press the amendment. Some of my friends
argued that if I did get a roll call, the amendment would have been badly
defeated. If that happened, they argued, Israel would take heart — saying
"Sure, somebody spoke out, but look how we smashed him." Every Jewish
Congressman on the floor of the House told me privately that I was right.

Representative James Johnson, a Republican from Colorado and
one of the few to support McCloskey, was aware of the pressure other
Congressmen were putting on him. Johnson declared that many of his
colleagues privately opposed Israel's expansion of settlements but said
Congress was "incapable" of taking action contrary to Israeli policy: "I
would just like to point out the real reason that this Congress will not
deal with the gentleman's amendment is because [it] concerns the na-
tion of Israel."

It was not the first time peer pressure had stopped amendments
viewed as anti-Israeli, and McCloskey was not the first to back down to
accommodate colleagues. Such pressure develops automatically when
amendments restricting aid to Israel are discussed. Many Congressmen
are embarrassed at the high level of aid — Israel receives one-fourth
of all U.S. foreign aid — and feel uncomfortable being recorded as
favoring it. But, intimidated by Israel's friends, they are even less
comfortable being recorded in opposition. How much of the lobby's
power is real, and how much illusion, is beside the point. Because they
perceive it as real, few Congressmen wish to take a chance. Worrying
endlessly about political survival, they say: "Taking on the Israeli
lobby is something I can do without. Who needs that?" On several
occasions, sensing I was about to force a troublesome vote on aid to
Israel, a colleague would whisper to me, "Your position on this is well
known. Why put the rest of us on the spot?"

Most committee action, like the work of the full House, is open to
the public, and none occurs on Israeli aid without the presence of at
least one representative of AIPAC. His presence ensures that any criti-
cism of Israel will be quickly reported to key constituents. The offend-
ing Congressman may have a rash of angry telephone messages to
answer by the time he returns to his office from the hearing room.

Lobbyists for AIPAC are experts on the personalities and proce-
dures of the House. If Israel is mentioned, even behind closed doors,
they quickly get a full report of what transpired. These lobbyists know

 

52 They Dare to Speak Out

that aid to Israel, on a roll call vote, will receive overwhelming sup-
port. Administration lobbyists count on this support to carry the day
for foreign aid worldwide. Working together, the two groups of lobby-
ists pursue a common interest by keeping the waters smooth and frus-
trating "boat rockers" like McCloskey.

Assaulting the Citadels

For McCloskey, compromise was an unusual experience.
Throughout his public career he usually resisted pressures, even when
his critics struck harshly.

This was true when he became nationally prominent as a critic of
the Vietnam war — an effort that led him in 1972 to a brief but dramatic
campaign for the presidency. His goal was a broad and unfettered
discussion of public issues, particularly the war. The wrong decisions,
he believed, generally "came about because the view of the minority
was not heard or the view of thinking people was quiet." He contended
that the Nixon administration was withholding vital information on a
variety of issues. He charged it with "preying on people's fear, hate and
anger."

When McCloskey announced for president, his supporters sighed,
"Political suicide." His opponents, particularly those in the party's
right wing, chortled the very same words. Although the Californian
recognized that his challenge might jeopardize his seat in Congress, he
nevertheless denounced the continuation of the war: "Like other
Americans, I trusted President Nixon when he said he had a plan to
end the war." McCloskey agonized over the fact that thousands of U.S.
soldiers continued to die, and United States airpower, using horrifying
cluster bombs, rained violence on civilians in Vietnam, Laos and Cam-
bodia.

McCloskey knew war's effects firsthand. As a Marine in Korea he
was wounded leading his platoon in several successful bayonet assaults
on entrenched enemy positions. He emerged from the Korean war with
a Navy Cross, Silver Star and two Purple Hearts. He later explained
that this wartime experience gave him "a strong sense of being lucky to
be alive." It also toughened him for subsequent assaults on entrenched
enemies of a different sort — endeavors which brought no medals for
bravery.

For protesting the war, McCloskey was branded "an enemy of the
political process," and even accused of communist leanings. "At least
fifty right-wing members of the House believe McCloskey to be the
new Red menace," wrote one journalist. The allegation was ridiculous,

 

Stilling the Still, Small Voices 53

of course, but party stalwarts in California clearly were restive. So
much so, according to the California Journal, that he "needed the
personal intervention of then Vice-President Gerald R. Ford to save
him in the 1974 primary."

His maverick ways exacted a price. He was twice denied a place
on the Ways and Means Committee. Conservatives on the California
delegation rebuffed the liberal Republican's bid for membership, even
though he was entitled to the post on the basis of seniority.

By the time of his ill-fated 1980 amendment on aid to Israel,
McCloskey had put himself in the midst of the Middle East con-
troversy. After a trip to the Middle East in 1979, he concluded that new
Israeli policies were not in America's best interests. He was alarmed
over Washington's failure to halt Israel's construction of West Bank
settlements — which the Administration itself had labeled illegal — and
to stop Israel's illegal use of U.S.-supplied weapons. The Congress-
man asked, "Why?"

The answer was not hard to find. The issue, like most relating to
the Middle East, was too hot for either Congress or the White House to
handle. A call for debate provoked harsh press attacks and angry con-
stituent mail. To McCloskey, the attacks were ironic. He viewed him-
self as supportive of both Jewish and Israeli interests. As a college
student at Stanford University in 1948, he had helped lead a successful
campaign to open Phi Delta Theta fraternity for the first time to Jewish
students. He reminded a critic, Earl Raab of the San Francisco Jewish
Bulletin, that he had "voted for all the military and economic assistance
we have given to Israel in the past." McCloskey also vigorously de-
fended Israel's right to lobby: "Lobbying is and should be an honorable
and important part of the American political process." He described
the American Israel Public Affairs Committee as "the most powerful
[lobby] in Washington," insisting there was "nothing sinister or devi-
ous" about it.

Still, McCloskey had raised a provocative question: "Does
America's 'Israeli lobby' wield too much influence?" In an article for
the Los Angeles Times he provided his answer: "Yes, it is an obstacle
to real Mideast peace." McCloskey cited the risk of nuclear confronta-
tion in the Middle East and the fundamental differences between the
interests of Israel and the United States. He observed that members of
the Jewish community demand that Congress support Israel in spite of
these differences. This demand, he argued, "coupled with the weak-
ness of Congress in the face of any such force, can prevent the presi-
dent, in his hour of both crisis and opportunity, from having the
flexibility necessary to achieve a lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace."

 

54 They Dare to Speak Out

He pleaded for full discussion:

If the United States is to work effectively toward peace in the Mideast, the
power of this lobby must be recognized and countered in open and fair debate.
I had hoped that the American Jewish community had matured to the point
where its lobbying efforts could be described and debated without raising the
red flag of anti-Semitism. ... To recognize the power of a lobby is not to
criticize the lobby itself.

The article appeared shortly before McCloskey's bid for his par-
ty's nomination for the 1982 Senatorial race in California. It was an
unorthodox opening salvo, to say the least, and most of the reaction
was critical. One of the exceptions was an analysis by the Redlands
Daily Facts (California) which called his campaign a "brave but risky
business." The newspaper described him as "the candidate for those
who want a man with whom they will disagree on some issues, but who
has the courage of his intelligent convictions."

On the other hand, Paul Greenberg, in a syndicated article in the
San Francisco Examiner, wrote that McCloskey had accused the Is-
raeli lobby of "busily subverting the national interest" and linked him
with notorious anti-Semite Gerald L. K. Smith. This time, McCloskey
did not need to fight back. A few days later, the same newspaper
published an opposing view. Columnist Guy Wright noted that Green-
berg had accused McCloskey of McCarthy era tactics without quoting
"a single line from the offensive speech." Wright observed that this
was itself a common tactic of McCarthyism. He cited with approval
several of McCloskey' s recommendations on foreign policy and con-
cluded: "Now I ask you. Are those the ravings of an anti-Semite? Or
fair comment on issues too long kept taboo?"

Such supportive voices were few. An article in the B'nai B'rith
Messenger charged that McCloskey had proposed that all rabbis be
required to register as foreign agents, declaring that he had made the
proposal in a meeting with the editors of the Los Angeles Times. The
author assured his readers that the tidbit came from a "very reliable
source," and the charge was published nationally. The charge was a
complete fabrication, and Times editor Tony Day was quick to back up
McCloskey's denial.

The Messenger published a retraction a month later, but the ac-
cusation lingered on. Even the Washington office of the Israeli lobby
did not get the retraction message. In an interview about McCloskey
two years later, Douglas Bloomfield, legislative director for AIPAC,
apparently unaware of the retraction, repeated the accusation as fact.
Such false information may have colored his view of McCloskey,

 

Stilling the Still, Small Voices 55

whom he described as "bitter" with "an intense sense of hostility"
toward Jews:

I hestitate to use the term that he was anti-Semitic. Being anti-Israeli is a
political decision. Being anti-Semitic is something totally different. I think he
did not just creep over the boundary.

Despite the Messenger's retraction, there was no letup in criticism
of McCloskey. The Messenger charged McCloskey with denigrating
"the Constitutional exercise of petitioning Congress," with "obstreper-
ous performances," and with marching on a "platform of controversy
unmindful of the fact that the framework of his platform is dangerously
undermined with distortion, inaccuracy and maybe even malicious
mischief." Another Jewish publication published his picture with the
caption, "Heir to Goebbels." An article in the Heritage Southwest
Jewish Press used such descriptive phrases as "No. 1 sonovabitch,"
"obscene position against the Jews of America," "crummy" and
"sleazy" in denouncing him.

Although used to rough and tumble partisanship, McCloskey was
shocked at the harshness of the attacks. No rabbis or Jewish publica-
tions defended him. One of a small number of individual Jews who
spoke up in his behalf was Merwyn Morris, a prominent businessman
from Atherton, California. Morris argued that "McCloskey is no more
anti-Semitic than I am" — but he still switched his support to McClos-
key's opponent in the Senatorial election.

Josh Teitelbaum, who had served for a short time on McCloskey's
staff and was the son of a Palo Alto rabbi, resigned from McCloskey's
staff partly because he disagreed with the Congressman's attitude to-
ward Israel. But he also defended his former employer: "McCloskey is
not anti-Semitic, but his words may give encouragement to those who
are."

McCloskey's views on Israel complicated — to put it mildly —
campaign fund raising. Potential sources of Jewish financial support
dried up. One former supporter, Jewish multimillionaire Louis E. Wolf-
son, wrote: "I now find that I must join with many other Americans to
do everything possible to defeat your bid for the U.S. Senate and make
certain that you will not hold any future office."

Early in the race, when McCloskey was competing mainly with
Senator S. I. Hayakawa for the nomination, he felt he had a chance.
Both were from the northern part of the state, where McCloskey had his
greatest strength. After Hayakawa dropped out and Pete Wilson, the
popular mayor of San Diego, entered the contest, McCloskey's pros-
pects declined.

 

56 They Dare to Speak Out

When the primary election votes were counted, McCloskey had
won the north but lost the populous south. He finished 10 percentage
points behind Wilson. Still, his showing surprised the experts. Polls
and forecasters had listed him third or fourth among the four conten-
ders right up to the last days. Congressman Barry Goldwater Jr., the
early favorite, emerged a poor third, and Robert Dornan, another Con-
gressional colleague, finished fourth.

The final tally on election day was close enough to cause a number
of people to conclude that without the Jewish controversy McCloskey
might have won. All three of McCloskey' s opponents received Jewish
financial support. Stephen S. Rosenfeld, deputy editorial page editor of
the Washington Post, drew a definite conclusion: "Jewish political par-
ticipation" defeated McCloskey.

The lobby attack did not end when the polls closed, nor did
McCloskey shun controversy. On September 22, 1982, a few days after
the massacre of hundreds of Palestinians in the refugeee camps at
Beirut, McCloskey denounced a proposed new $50 million grant for
Israel in a speech on the House floor. He warned that the action "might
be taken as a signal of our support for what Israel did last Thursday in
entering West Beirut and creating the circumstances which led directly
to the massacre." Despite his protest, the aid was approved.

In the closing hours of the 97th Congress, after 15 years as a
member of "this treasured institution," McCloskey invoked George
Washington's Farewell Address in his own farewell, citing the first
president's warning that "a passionate attachment of one nation for
another produces a variety of evils."

McCloskey found this advice "eminently sound" and said that
Congress, in action completed the day before, had demonstrated a
"passionate attachment" to Israel by voting more aid per capita to that
country "than we allow to many of the poor and unemployed in our
own country," despite evidence that "Israel is no longer behaving like a
friend of the United States."

 

McCloskey 9 s Academic Freedom

With his political career interrupted, if not ended, McCloskey
planned to return to a partnership in the Palo Alto law firm he helped
John Wilson, a fellow graduate of Yale Law School, establish years
before. "Many of my old clients are still clients," he said, "and I
wanted to go back to them. I never thought of going anywhere else."

But others had different thoughts about McCloskey's future. Ken
Oshman, president of the Rolm Corporation, the firm's biggest client,
warned that his company "might take their law business elsewhere" if

 

Stilling the Still, Small Voices 57

McCloskey were to rejoin the firm. The senior partners invited
McCloskey to lunch and told him the episode would not cause them to
withdraw their invitation, but they wanted McCloskey to be "aware of
the problem." McCloskey's response, "I don't want to come back and
put you under that burden." In a letter to Oshman, McCloskey ex-
pressed his dismay. In reply, the industrialist said his company really
wouldn't have taken its business elsewhere but reiterated his dis-
agreement with McCloskey's views on Israel.

McCloskey accepted a partnership with the San Francisco law
firm of Brobeck, Phleger and Harrison, but the pressures followed him
there. The firm received a telephone call from a man in Berkeley,
California, who identified himself only as a major shareholder in the
Wells Fargo Bank, one of the law firm's major clients. He said that he
intended to go to the next meeting of the shareholders and demand that
the bank transfer its law business to another firm. The reason: the San
Francisco firm was adding to its partnership a "known anti-Semite" who
supported the Palestine Liberation Organization and its chairman, Yas-
ser Arafat. McCloskey's partners ignored the threat, and the bank did
not withdraw its business.

A tracking system initiated by the Anti-Defamation League of
B'nai B'rith assured that McCloskley would have no peace, even as a
private citizen. The group distributed a memorandum containing de-
tails of his actions and speeches to its chapters around the country.
According to the memo, it was designed to "assist" local ADL groups
with "counteraction guidance" whenever McCloskey appeared in
public.

Ttouble dogged him even on the campus. McCloskey accepted an
invitation from the student governing council of Stanford University to
teach a course on Congress at Stanford. Howard Goldberg — a council
member and also director of the Hillel Center, the campus Jewish
club — told the group that inviting McCloskey was "a slap in the face of
the Jewish community." Student leader Seth Linfield held up prepara-
tion of class materials then demanded the right to choose the guest
lecturers. McCloskey refused, asserting that the young director had
earlier assured him he could choose these speakers himself.

Difficulties mounted as the semester went on. Guest speakers
were not paid on time. McCloskey felt obliged to pay such expenses
personally, then seek reimbursement. His own remuneration was
scaled downward as the controversy developed. Instead of the $3,500
stipend originally promised, Linfield later reduced the amount to
$2,000 and even that amount was in doubt. According to a report in the
San Jose Mercury News, the $2,000 would be paid only if Linfield was
satisfied with McCloskey's performance. One student, Jeffrey Au,

 

58 They Dare to Speak Out

complained to school authorities that the controversy impaired
academic quality. Responding, Professor Hubert Marshall wrote that
he viewed the student activities as "unprecedented and a violation of
Mr. McCloskey's academic freedom."

McCloskey reacted sharply to his critics at Stanford:

It's a kind of reverse anti-Semitism. It is the Jewish community saying we
don't want this person teaching at Stanford and, if he does teach, we don't
want him using this material.

The San Francisco Chronicle observed that McCloskey's appoint-
ment had provoked interest beyond the university campus, noting that
"Jewish leaders around the Bay Area expressed concern when Stan-
ford's student government voted narrowly to hire McCloskey."

By mid-May, the controversy elicited action by the university pro-
vost, Albert H. Hastorf, who apologized in a letter that made news
from coast to coast. He expressed the hope that McCloskey might
derive "some small compensation" in knowing that his case "will cause
us to revise our procedures so that future guest professors and other
instructors at Stanford will enjoy the special protections that their
positions warrant." With the apology came a payment which brought
his stipend for the course to the $3,500 agreed to originally.

McCloskey told the Peninsula Times-Tribune, "Stanford doesn't
owe me an apology." He said his satisfaction came when all but one of
the fifty students rated his class "in the high range of excellence," but
he warned that other schools might face trouble. He noted that the
American Israel Public Affairs Committee "has instructed college stu-
dents all over the country to take [similar] actions." (see chapters six
and seven)

The end of the course did not terminate McCloskey's activities in
foreign policy. Throughout 1983 and into 1984, while engaged in the
practice of law, he filled frequent speaking dates on the Arab-Israel
dispute in the United States, flew several times to Europe and the
Middle East, and wrote numerous newspaper and journal articles.

While castigating Israeli policies, he also appealed to Palestinians
and other Arabs to recognize the right of Israel to exist and on one
occasion even traveled to Europe to make the appeal. In September
1983 he addressed the International Conference on the Question of
Palestine at Geneva, urging the Conference to endorse all United Na-
tions resolutions concerning the Middle East conflict. This, he ex-
plained, would put the group on record in support of Palestinian rights
but also in support of Israel's right to exist on the land it occupied
before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. He offered amendments designed to
lift a pending declaration from the level of "partisanship" to that of

 

Stilling the Still, Small Voices 59

"fairness and truth," thus giving the conference effect beyond its mem-
bership and answering "the doubters and faint hearts" who had boy-
cotted it.

McCloskey urged a call for the security of Israel, as well as justice
for the Palestinians, and forecast that such action could "change
American public opinion and ultimately the actions of the U.S. Con-
gress." The conference rejected his advice.

"It Didn't Cripple Us" But—

While McCloskey, a leader in the white Republican establishment,
battled for universal human rights and against further United States
involvement in the Vietnam war, a black Baptist preacher from the
District of Columbia, known nationally as a "street activist," pursued
the same goals within Democratic ranks.

Both were members of the House of Representatives, good
friends, and both undertook controversial journeys to Lebanon in be-
half of peace. Both paid a price for their activism, but the preacher
survived politically, while the ex-Marine did not. The preacher is the
Reverend Walter Fauntroy. Working for justice in the Middle East — not
their record of activism for civil rights at home or opposition to the
Vietnam war — caused trouble for both of them.

In large measure, Fauntroy's problems began over another black
leader's endeavors for justice in the Middle East. Andrew Young re-
signed under fire as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in
August, 1979, after it was revealed that he had met with the PLO's U.N.
observer, Zuhdi Labib Terzi. Many blacks were outraged by the resig-
nation, blaming it on Israeli pressure and, like Young, found unreason-
able the policy which prohibited our officials from talking even
informally with PLO officials.

Relations between American blacks and Jews — long-time allies in
the civil rights movement — had already been strained by dis-
agreements over affirmative action programs intended to give blacks
employment quotas and by Israel's close relations with the apartheid
regime in South Africa. The resignation of Young, the most prominent
black in the Carter Administration, intensified the strain. "This is the
most tense moment in black and Jewish relations in my memory," said
the Reverend Jesse Jackson shortly after the resignation.

During the civil rights movement of the 1960s, Fauntroy, one of the
blacks most disturbed by the resignation, had worked with Young in
the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) under the Rev-
erend Martin Luther King, Jr. They had acquired the nickname "The
Brooks Brothers" because of their habit of wearing suits and neckties

 

60 They Dare to Speak Out

on civil rights marches while most of the others were dressed more
casually.

To show support for Young and disagreement with United States
policy, Fauntroy and SCLC President Joseph Lowery traveled to New
York in the fall of 1979 to meet with Terzi. Fauntroy said he hoped to
help establish communication between Arabs and Israelis and so pro-
mote a nonviolent solution to Middle East problems, adding, "Neither
Andy Young nor I, nor other members of the SCLC, apologize for
searching for the relevance of Martin Luther King's policies in the
international political arena."

While Terzi said he was "happy and gratified" at the meeting with
the black leaders and hoped "much more will be learned by the Ameri-
can people/* prominent members of Washington's Jewish community
were upset.

"I don't think a responsible Congressman should have any truck
with terrorists," complained Rabbi Stanley Rabinowitz. Although most
Jews echoed this sentiment, a few stood by Fauntroy. Prominent Jew-
ish businessman Joseph B. Danzansky said Fauntroy "has a right to do
what he thinks his position entitles him to do." Danzansky, a friend and
political ally of Fauntroy, added, "I'd be very shocked if there were any
trace of anti- Jewish feeling. I have confidence in him as a human be-
ing."

In an attempt to calm the critics and demonstrate their "fairness,**
Fauntroy, Lowery and other SCLC leaders met with U.S. Jewish lead-
ers and with Israel's U.N. ambassador, Yehuda Blum. Afterwards,
Fauntroy told reporters that the black leaders were "asking both par-
ties [in the Middle East dispute] to recognize each other's human rights
and the right of self-determination." But pro-Israel interests saw the
outcome differently. Howard Squadron, president of the American
Jewish Committee, emerged from the meeting to say that the SCLC
contact with Terzi was "a grave error lending legitimacy to an organiza-
tion committed to terrorism and violence."

Against this tense background, black leaders from across the
United States convened in New York to express their concern over the
Young resignation and to affirm their right to speak out on matters of
foreign policy.

Some said they were making "a declaration of independence" in
matters of foreign policy. Fauntroy said:

In every war since the founding of this nation, black citizens have borne arms
and died for their country. Their blood was spilled from Bunker Hill to Viet-
nam. It is to be expected that should the United States become drawn into war
in the Middle East black Americans once more will be called upon to sacrifice

 

Stilling the Still, Small Voices 61

their lives. [His words were prophetic of the sacrifices blacks were soon to
make in Lebanon. While blacks constitute only 10 percent of the total U.S.
population, 20 percent of the Marines killed in the terrorist truck bombing at
Beirut— 47 of 246— were black.]

Even as they chafed at the criticism of their involvement in the
Palestinian question, black leaders worried about how it would affect
their efforts to advance civil rights in the United States. Jewish Ameri-
cans had long been active in advocating civil rights and were often a
major source of financial support for those efforts. Three of the four
original organizers of the NAACP were Jewish. The Washington Post
reported that during their meetings several black leaders "stressed the
need to present a unified front on the self-determination issue, while at
the same time acknowledging that some black organizations 9 heavy
reliance on Jewish philanthropy might temper their views." The valid-
ity of this concern was borne out by reports that Jewish contributors
had informed the NAACP and the Urban League that they would no
longer be providing financial support.

"It didn't cripple us," says Fauntroy, who also serves as chairman
of the board of the SCLC. "It just made us more resourceful and more
sensitive to our need to put principle above politics on questions that
bear on nonviolence and the quest for justice." It hurt fund raising for
his personal campaign: "No question about that. Some of my former
close supporters flatly stated to me that they were not going to contrib-
ute to my candidacy because I had taken the position that I did."

He demonstrated his persistence three weeks later when he joined
Lowery on a controversial trip to the Mideast. As they departed, Low-
ery declared their determination to "preach the moral principles of
peace, nonviolence, and human rights."

In a meeting with Yasser Arafat, they appealed for an end to vio-
lence, asking the PLO leader to agree to a six-month moratorium on
violence. Arafat promised to present the proposal to the PLO's execu-
tive council.

Fauntroy recalls the dramatic moment, "We asked Dr. Harry Gib-
son of the United Methodist Church to pray. Then a Roman Catholic
priest said a prayer in Arabic. We wept. At the end of the prayer,
someone — I don't know who — started singing 4 We Shall Overcome/
and Arafat just immediately crossed his arms and linked hands."

Jews in the United States, who had joined with blacks in singing
the same hymn during the tense days of the civil rights movement in
America, found this episode offensive and were alarmed at photos
showing Fauntroy embracing Arafat. Some feared the emotional meet-
ing symbolized a new black alliance with the PLO and a betrayal of

 

62 They Dare to Speak Out

their own support of blacks. They rejected the black leaders' insistence
that they were impartial advocates of peace.

The controversy deepened when Fauntroy, on his return from the
Middle East, announced that he had invited Arafat to speak in the
United States at an "educational forum" to be sponsored by the SCLC.
It would be the first in a series where opposing views could be con-
sidered.

He explained, "It would offer an opportunity for the American
people to hear both sides of the conflict, to understand it and to in-
fluence our government." Predictably, the announcement sparked criti-
cism. Rabbi Joshua Haberman of Washington Hebrew Congregation
declared that the Arafat visit would "fuel the flames that have been
festering."

At a news conference at his New Bethel Baptist Church, Fauntroy
described his mission for peace and said he would persist: "I am first
and foremost a minister of the gospel, called to preach every day that
God is our father and all men are our brothers, right here from this
pulpit." He added: "I could not be true to my highest calling if, when an
opportunity to do so arose, I refused."

He challenged his critics: "So let anyone who wishes run against
me. Let anyone who wishes withdraw his support. It doesn't matter to
me.

Nor did Fauntroy budge when an issue close to his heart became
threatened — the proposed Constitutional amendment to give full Con-
gressional representation to the people of the District of Columbia.
With the amendment pending before several state legislatures, Faun-
troy's critics said his peacemaking efforts would jeopardize approval.
He said he would not be moved by "people who are narrow and who
want to protect our self-determination rights in the District of Colum-
bia but refuse to see the right of other people who are also children of
God."

Fauntroy's resolve was to be tested during the Maryland legisla-
ture's consideration of the issue. Before the vote on this wholly unre-
lated matter, two Jewish delegates, Steven Sklar and David Shapiro,
who had supported the amendment the previous year put Fauntroy on
notice. They warned Fauntroy that unless he condemned the PLO they
would defeat the amendment by reversing their own votes and per-
suade others to join them. Fauntroy rejected the demand, but the news
coverage got twisted. In an editorial entitled "Groveling for the DC
Amendment," the Washington Post reported that Fauntroy had prom-
ised to issue the required statement and chided him accordingly: "a
handful of Maryland delegates have got Walter Fauntroy jumping
through a hoop." Fauntroy called the Post story "a total fabrication."

 

Stilling the Still, Small Voices 63

The amendment was subsequently approved by a single vote, but with-
out the support of delegates Sklar and Shapiro.

Fauntroy's Middle East problems took on a new dimension in mid-
October when Vernon Jordan, president of the National Urban
League, delivered a speech denouncing contacts between black leaders
and the PLO as "sideshows" that distracted attention from the "vital
survival issues facing American blacks at home." Some black leaders,
including civil rights activist Bayard Rustin of the A. Philip Randolph
Institute and a number of NAACP representatives, aligned themselves
with Jordan. Before leaving for Israel to express solidarity, Rustin said
he wanted Israelis to know that "there are great numbers of black
people who want the United States to give Israel whatever support it
needs."

Other blacks supported Fauntroy and angrily denounced Jordan,
accusing him of "selling out to the Jewish-Israeli lobby."

"Any civil rights organization that cannot take a stand without
being worried about its white money being cut off doesn't deserve to be
a civil rights organization," said the Reverend George Lawrence of the
Progressive National Baptist Convention. "We understand where Ver-
non is coming from. ... He doesn't want his bread cut off. We support
the right of Israel to exist, too. But we also support justice for the
Palestinian people."

Even before these exchanges among black leaders, Fauntroy an-
nounced that he had withdrawn his invitation to Arafat to visit the
United States, citing the PLO failure to order a moratorium on vio-
lence. Even so, he said he would continue his peace efforts: "We think
it is ludicrous to suggest that an appeal to the PLO to end its violence
against Israeli men, women and children and to recognize the right of
Israel to exist is tantamount to supporting terrorism and the destruc-
tion of Israel." Fauntroy added that he favored a 10 percent reduction
in U.S. military aid to Israel, which, he said, would "send a message to
Israel" not to use U.S.-supplied weaponry "on non-military targets."

While considered unbeatable in the District of Columbia, Faun-
troy's Middle East stand provoked minor competition in his bid for re-
election in 1982. Announcing her intention to seek Fauntroy's
Congressional seat, Marie Bembery emphasized that she wanted "to
protest Walter Fauntroy putting his arms around PLO leader Yasser
Arafat and singing, 'We Shall Overcome.'" She declared that she
would take no position on the Middle East conflict, stating that the
District of Columbia's delegate should "take care of problems here
first."

A month later, during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, she raised
the issue again at a candidates' forum at the Washington Hebrew Con-

 

64 They Dare to Speak Out

gregation. She baited Fauntroy: "I must say that I am shocked that
Fauntroy would have the temerity, the gall to even show up at this
forum, given his history of insensitivity to, and blatant misrepresenta-
tion of the Jewish community." Later in the evening, she said that if
Washington's delegate were Jewish and hugged the Grand Dragon of
the Ku Klux Klan, there was "no way he could come back to D.C. and
tell me he represents me as a black resident and voter of the district."

Fauntroy, speaking later to the same tense audience, stated, "I am
a supporter of Israel and Israel's right to exist, and I have the same
sensitivity to the people in diaspora who are the people of Palestine. I
continue to support the right of the Palestinian people to a homeland
today."

Both candidates gave crisp responses when they were asked if
they supported the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. Fauntroy responded,
"No." When Bembery said, "Yes," the audience stood and applauded.
The challenger's campaign fell far short on primary election day, with
Fauntroy receiving 85 percent of the vote. In the heavily Democratic
district, Fauntroy was unopposed in the November general election.

In the summer of 1983 Fauntroy found himself again embroiled in
black-Jewish controversy. As chairman of the twentieth anniversary
commemoration of the Rev. Martin Luther King's march on Washing-
ton, Fauntroy cooperated in a vain effort to win broad Jewish support
for the celebration. He agreed with other leaders to revise a "foreign
policy position" paper for the march to eliminate phrases offensive to
Jewish leaders. The final version dropped a sentence saying there is
general opposition to U.S. policy in the Middle East, as well as phrases
referring to "Palestinian rights" and calling on both Israel and the
United States to talk directly with the PLO. Despite these concessions,
most national Jewish groups refused to participate.

Reflecting on the problems created by his quest for self-
determination of people in the Middle East, as well as in the District of
Columbia, Fauntroy calls it "a growing experience" and plans to push
ahead on both fronts.

 

"Three Calls Within 13 Minutes"

Few members of the House of Representatives, besides McClos-
key and Fauntroy, have criticized Israeli policy in recent years. To a
great extent this results from the vigilance and skill of that govern-
ment's lobby on Capitol Hill which reacts swiftly to any sign of discon-
tent with Israel, especially by those assigned to the House Foreign
Affairs Committee.

A young man working in 1981 in the office of the late Democratic

 

Stilling the Still, Small Voices 65

Congressman Benjamin S. Rosenthal of New York, who was then the
leader of the House's "Jewish caucus," witnessed firsthand the
efficiency of this monitoring.

Michael Neiditch, a staff consultant, was with Rosenthal in his
office one morning when, just before 9 a.m., the phone rang. Morris
Amitay, then executive director of AIPAC, had just read the Evans and
Novak syndicated column that morning in the Washington Post and he
didn't like what he read. The journalists reported that Rosenthal had
recently told a group of Israeli visitors: "The Israeli occupation of the
West Bank is like someone carrying a heavy pack on his back — the
longer he carries it, the more he stoops over, but the less he is aware of
the burden." Rosenthal had personally related the incident to Robert
Novak. Although he used the descriptive image "ever so gently," ac-
cording to Neiditch, it caused a stir.

Amitay chided Rosenthal for speaking "out of turn." About five
minutes later, Ephraim "Eppie" Evron, the Israeli ambassador to the
United States, called with the same message. Then, just a few minutes
later, Yehuda Hellman of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish
Organizations called. Again, the same message. Neiditch remembers
that Rosenthal looked over and observed, "Young man, you've just
seen the Jewish lobby's muscles flex." Neiditch recalls: "It was three
calls within 13 minutes."

Another senior committee member, an Ohio Congressman who
was more independent of Israel's interests than Rosenthal, never-
theless found his activities closely watched. Republican Charles Wha-
len fdSt the pressure of the lobby when he accepted a last-minute
invitation to attend a February 1973 conference in London on the Mid-
dle East. It was held under the auspices of the Ford Foundation. No
Israeli representative was present, but to his surprise, on his return to
Washington, Whalen was called on by an Israeli lobby official who
demanded all of the meeting's details — the agenda, those present, why
Whalen went and why Ford had sponsored it.

Whalen recalls, "It was just amazing. They never let up." Whalen
believes it was the last such conference Ford sponsored. "They got to
them," Whalen speculates and adds that the experience was a turning
point in his own attitude toward the lobby: "If I couldn't go to a
conference to further my education, I began to wonder what's this all
about."

A Minnesota Democrat had reason for similar wonderment after
he left Congress. Richard Nolan, now a businessman in Minneapolis,
discovered the reluctance of his former colleagues to identify them-
selves with a scholarly article on the Middle East. He individually
approached fifteen Congressmen, asking each to insert in the Congres-

 

66 They Dare to Speak Out

sional Record an article which discussed the potential for the de-
velopment of profitable U.S. trade with Arab states. Written by
Ghanim Al-Mazrui, an official of the United Arab Emirates, it pro-
posed broadened dialogue and rejection of malicious stereotypes.
Under House rules, when such items are entered in the Record, the
name of the sponsoring member must be shown.

Nolan reports, "Each of the fifteen said it was a terrific article that
should be published but added, 'Please understand, putting it in under
my name would simply cause too much trouble.' I didn't encounter a
single one who questioned the excellence of the article, and what made
it especially sad was that I picked out the fifteen people I thought most
likely to cooperate." The sixteenth Congressman he approached, De-
mocrat David E. Bonior of Michigan agreed to Nolan's request. The
article appeared on page E 4791 of the October 5, 1983, Record. It was
one of those unusual occasions when the Congressional Record con-
tained a statement that might be viewed as critical of policies or posi-
tions taken by Israel or, as in this case, promoting dialogue with the
Arabs.

It was one of several brave steps by Bonior which may make him a
future target of Israel's lobby. Speaking before the Association of
Arab American University Graduates in Flint, Michigan, two months
before the 1984 election, Bonior called for conditions on aid to Israel,
declaring that the United States has been "rewarding the current gov-
ernment of Israel for undertaking policies that are contrary to our
own," including Israel's disruption of "U.S. relations with long stand-
ing allies such as Jordan and Saudi Arabia."

"An Incredible Burst of Candor"

Even those high in House leadership who represent politically safe
districts are not immune from lobby intimidation. They perceive lobby
pressure back home and sometimes vote against their own conscience.

In October 1981 President Reagan's controversial proposal to sell
AWACS (intelligence-gathering airplanes) and modifying equipment for
F-15 fighter aircraft to Saudi Arabia was under consideration in the
House. Congressman Daniel Rostenkowski, chairman of the Ways and
Means Committee and one of the most influential legislators on Capitol
Hill, got caught in the Israeli lobby counterattack. It was the first test
of strength between the lobby and the newly-installed president. Under
the law, the sale would go through unless both Houses rejected it. The
lobby strategy was to have the initial test vote occur in the House,
where its strength was greater, believing a lopsided House rejection
might cause the Senate to follow suit.

 

Stilling the Still, Small Voices 67

Under heavy pressure from the lobby, Rostenkowski cooperated
by voting "No." Afterwards he told a reporter for Chicago radio station
WMAQ that he actually favored the sale but voted as he did because he
feared the "Jewish lobby."

He contended that the House majority against the sale was so
overwhelming that his own favorable vote "would not have mattered."
Overwhelming it was, 301 to 111. Still, the Israeli lobby's goal was the
highest possible number of negative votes in order to influence the
Senate vote, and, to the lobby, Rostenkowski' s vote did matter very
much.

Columnist Carl Rowan called Rostenkowski's admission "an in-
credible burst of candor." While declaring "it is as American as apple
pie for monied interests to use their dough to influence decisions" in
Washington, Rowan added, "There are a lot of American Jews with lots
of money who learned long ago that they can achieve influence far
beyond their numbers by making strategic donations to candidates. . . .
No Arab population here plays such a powerful role." Rostenkowski,
however, was not a nuyor recipient of contributions from pro-Israeli
political action committees. In the following year, his campaign re-
ceived only $1,000 from such groups.

While the lobby is watchful over the full membership of the
House, particularly leaders like Rostenkoswki, it gives special empha-
sis to the members of the Foreign Affairs Committee, where the initial
decisions are made on aid, both military and economic.

Allegiance to Israeli interests sometimes creates mystifying voting
habits. Members who are "doves" on policy elsewhere in the world are
unabashed "hawks" when Israel is concerned. As Stephen S. Rosen-
feld, deputy editor of the editorial page of the Washington Post, wrote
in May 1983:

A Martian looking at the way Congress treats the administration's aid requests
for Israel and El Salvador might conclude that our political system makes
potentially life-or-death decisions about dependent countries in truly inscruta-
ble ways.

Rosenfeld was intrigued with the extraordinary performance of the
Foreign Affairs Committee on one particular day, May 11, 1983.
Scarcely taking time to catch its breath between acts, the panel re-
quired the vulnerable government of El Salvador to "jump a series of
extremely high political hurdles" in order to get funding "barely ade-
quate to keep its nose above water," while, a moment later, handing to
Israel, clearly the dominant military power in the Middle East, "a third
of a billion dollars more than the several billion dollars that the admin-
istration asked for it." One of Israel's leading partisans, Congressman

 

68 They Dare to Speak Out

Stephen J. Solarz, spoke with enthusiasm for the El Salvador "hurdles"
and for the massive increase to Israel.

 

"Nobody in the Leadership Will Say No"

Israel's lobby is especially attentive to the person occupying the
position as chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee and, because of
his or her ability to control the agenda at legislative meetings, takes a
close interest when a vacancy occurs in the chairmanship.

In January 1977, activists for the lobby found reason for concern
when Clement J. Zablocki of Wisconsin, after waiting eighteen years as
second-ranking Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, was in
line to take over after the retirement of Chairman Thomas E. Morgan.
A group of younger Democrats, led by Benjamin S. Rosenthal of New
York, tried to keep Zablocki from the chairmanship. They based their
challenge on allegations contained in a closely-held 38-page report pre-
pared by Rosenthal's staff which contended that Zablocki had voted
against too many Democratic foreign policy initiatives and had dubious
Korean connections.

Zablocki dismissed the Korean charges as "outright lies/* and the
Congressional Quarterly voting study reported that he had voted with
his party 79 percent of the time in the previous Congress. Zablocki
declared that the real complaint of Rosenthal and his associates was "a
feeling that I was not friendly enough toward Israel." Yet, with the
exception of one key vote, he had always supported aid to Israel. He
told columnist Jack Anderson, who had publicized the Rosenthal re-
port: "I'm not anti-Semitic, but I'm not as pro-Israel as Ben Rosenthal.
Even [then Israeli Prime Minister] Rabin doesn't satisfy Rosenthal."

Despite the lobby's opposition, Zablocki was elected chairman,
182 to 72. But the experience may have dulled his enthusiasm for
Middle East controversy, as he did not again issue statements or cast
votes opposing lobby requests. An aide said Zablocki could hardly be
blamed, since the House leadership, principally Speaker "Tip" O'Neill,
discourages opposition to Israel: "Nobody in the leadership will say no
to the Israeli lobby. Nobody."

"Outdoing the United Jewish Appeal"

Stephen J. Solarz, a hard-working Congressman who represents a
heavily Jewish district in Brooklyn, prides himself on accomplishing
many good things for Israel. Since his first election in 1974, Solarz
established a reputation as an intelligent "eager beaver," widely-
traveled, aggressive, and totally committed to Israel's interests. In

 

Stilling the Still, Small Voices 69

committee, he seems always bursting with the next question before the
witness responds to his first

In a December 1980 newsletter to his constituents, he provided an
unprecedented insight into how Israel — despite the budgetary re-
straints under which the U.S. government labors — is able to get ever-
increasing aid. Early that year he had started his own quest for
increased aid. He reported that he persuaded Secretary of State Cyrus
Vance to come to his Capitol Hill office to talk it over. There he
threatened Vance with a fight for the increase on the House floor if the
administration opposed it in committee. Shortly thereafter, he said
Vance sent word that the administration would recommend an in-
crease — $200 million extra in military aid — although not as much as
Solarz desired.

His next goal was to convince the Foreign Affairs Committee to
increase the administration's levels. Solarz felt an increase approved
by the committee could be maintained on the House floor. The first step
was a private talk with Lee H. Hamilton, chairman of the subcommit-
tee on Europe and the Middle East, the panel that would first deal with
the request. Tall, thoughtful, scholarly and cautious, Hamilton prides
himself on staying on the same "wavelength" as the majority — whether
in committee or on the floor. Never abrasive, he usually works out
differences ahead of time and avoids open wrangles. Representing a
rural Indiana district with no significant Jewish population, he is
troubled by Israel's military adventures but rarely voices criticism in
public. He guards his role as a conciliator.

Solarz found Hamilton amenable: "He agreed to support our
proposal to increase the amount of [military assistance] ... by another
$200 million." That would bring the total increase to $400 million. Even
more important, Hamilton agreed to support a move to relieve Israel of
its obligation to repay any of the $785 million in economic aid. The
administration had wanted Israel to pay back one-third of the amount.

"As we anticipated," Solarz reported, "with the support of Con-
gressman Hamilton, our proposal sailed through both his subcommit-
tee and the full committee and was never challenged on the floor when
the foreign aid bill came up for consideration." Democrat Frank
Church of Idaho, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Com-
mittee, and Jacob Javits, senior Republican — both strongly pro-
Israeli — guided proposals at the same level smoothly through their
chamber.

Solarz summed up: "Israel, as a result, will soon be receiving a
grand total of $660 million more in military and economic aid than it
received from the U.S. government last year." He reflected upon the
magnitude of the achievement:

 

70 They Dare to Speak Out

Through a combination of persistence and persuasion, we were able to provide
Israel with an increase in military-economic aid in one year alone which is the
equivalent of almost three years of contributions by the national UJA [United
Jewish Appeal].

In his newsletter Solarz said that he sought membership on the
Foreign Affairs Committee "because I wanted to be in a position to be
helpful to Israel." He explained that, while "hundreds of members of
Congress, Republicans as well as Democrats" support Israel, "it is the
members of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the House, and the
Foreign Relations Committee in the Senate, who are really in a position
to make a difference where it counts — in the area of foreign aid, upon
which Israel is now so dependent."

Solarz's zeal was unabated in September 1984 when, as a member
of the House-Senate conference on Export Administration Act amend-
ments, he demanded in a public meeting to know the legislation's impli-
cations for Israel. He asked Congressman Howard Wolpe, "Is there
anything that the Israelis want from us, or could conceivably want
from us that they weren't able to get?" Even when Wolpe responded
with a clear "no," Solarz pressed, "Have you spoken to the [Israeli]
embassy?" Wolpe responded, "I personally have not," but he admitted,
"my office has." Then Solarz tried again, "You are giving me an abso-
lute assurance that they [the Israelis] have no reservation at all about
this?" Finally convinced that Israel was content with the legislation,
Solarz relaxed, "If they have no problem with it, then there is no
reason for us to."

A veteran Ohio Congressman observes:

When Solarz and others press for more money for Israel, nobody wants to say
"No." You don't need many examples of intimidation for politicians to realize
what the potential is. The Jewish lobby is terrific. Anything it wants, it gets.
Jews are educated, often have a lot of money, and vote on the basis of a single
issue — Israel. They are unique in that respect. For example, anti-abortion
supporters are numerous but not that well educated, and don't have that much
money. The Jewish lobbyists have it all, and they are political activists on top
of it.

This Congressman divides his colleagues into four groups:

For the first group, it's rah, rah, give Israel anything it wants. The second
group includes those with some misgivings, but they don't dare step out of line;
they don't say anything. In the third group are Congressmen who have deep
misgivings but who won't do more than try quietly to slow down the aid to
Israel. Lee Hamilton is an example. The fourth group consists of those who
openly question U.S. policy in the Middle East and challenge what Israel is

 

Stilling the Still, Small Voices 71

doing. Since Findley and McCloskey left, this group really doesn't exist any-
more.

He puts himself in the third group: "I may vote against the bill
authorizing foreign aid this year for the first time. If I do, I will not state
my reason."

Solarz has never wavered in his commitment to Israel. Another
Congressman, although bringing much the same level of commitment
when he first joined the committee, underwent a change.

"Bleeding a Little Inside"

Democratic Congressman Mervyn M. Dymally, former lieutenant-
governor of California, came to Washington in 1980 with perfect cre-
dentials as a supporter of Israel. He says, "When you look at black
America, I rank myself second only to Bayard Rustin in supporting
Israel over the past twenty years." Short, handsome and articulate,
Dymally was the first black American to go to Israel after both the 1967
and 1973 wars.

In his successful campaign for lieutenant-governor, he spoke up
for Israel in all the statewide Democratic canvasses. He co-founded the
Black Americans in Support of Israel Committee, organized pro-Israeli
advertising in California newspapers and helped to rally other black
officials to the cause. In Congress, he became a dependable vote for
Israeli interests as a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

Nevertheless, in 1982 the pro-Israeli community withdrew its
financial support, and the following year the AIPAC organization in
California marked him for defeat and began seeking a credible oppo-
nent to run against him in 1984. Explaining this sudden turn of events,
Dymally cites two "black marks" against his pro-Israeli record in Con-
gress. First, he "occasionally asked challenging questions about aid to
Israel in committee"; although his questions were mild and not fre-
quent, he stood out because no one else was even that daring. Sec-
ond — far more damning in the eyes of AIPAC — he met twice with PLO
leader Yasser Arafat.

Both meetings were unplanned. The first encounter took place in
1981 during a visit to Abu Dhabi, where Dymally had stopped to meet
the local minister of planning while on his way back from a foreign
policy conference in southern India. The minister told him he had just
met with Arafat and asked Dymally if he would like to see him. Dy-
mally recalls, "I was too chicken to say 'no,' but I thought I was safe in
doing it. I figured Arafat would not bother to see an obscure freshman
Congressman, especially on such short notice."

 

72 They Dare to Speak Out

To his surprise, Arafat invited him to an immediate appointment.
This caused near panic on the part of Dymally's escort, an employee of
the U.S. embassy, who was taking Dymally on his round of appoint-
ments in the ambassador's car, a vehicle bedecked with a U.S. flag on
the front fender. Sensitive to the U.S. ban on contact between adminis-
tration personnel and PLO officials, the flustered escort removed the
flag, excused himself and then directed the driver to deliver Dymally to
the Arafat appointment. "He was really in a sweat," Dymally recalls.

After a brief session with Arafat, he found a reporter for the Arab
News Service waiting outside. Dymally told him Arafat expressed his
desire for a dialogue with the United States. That night Peter Jennings
reported to a nationwide American audience over ABC evening news
from London that Dymally had become the first Congressman to meet
Arafat since Ronald Reagan became president.

The news caused an uproar in the Jewish community, with many
Jews doubting Dymally's statement that the meeting was unplanned.
Stella Epstein, a Jewish member of Dymally's Congressional staff, quit
in protest.

Dymally met the controversial PLO leader again in 1982 in a simi-
larly coincidental way. He had gone to Lebanon with his colleagues,
Democrats Mary Rose Oakar of Ohio, Nick Rahall of West Virginia
and David E. Bonoir of Michigan, and Republican Paul N. "Pete"
McCloskey to meet with Lebanese leaders, visit refugee camps and
view the effects of the Israeli invasion.

Dymally was shocked by what he saw: "There's no way you can
visit those [Palestinian] refugee camps without bleeding a little inside."
After arrival they accepted an invitation to meet with Arafat, who was
then under siege in Beirut.

His trouble with the Jewish community grew even worse. Dymally
was wrongly accused of voting in 1981 for the sale of AWACS intelli-
gence-gathering aircraft to Saudi Arabia. He actually voted the way the
Israeli lobby wanted him to vote, against the sale. Moreover, to make
his position explicit, during the House debate he stated his opposition
in two separate speeches. He made the second speech, written for him
by one of his supporters, Max Mont of the Jewish Labor Committee,
Dymally explains, "because Mont complained that the first was not
strong enough."

Still, the message did not get through or by this time was conve-
niently forgotten. Carmen Warshaw, long prominent in Jewish affairs
and Democratic Party politics in California— and a financial supporter
of his campaigns — accosted Dymally at a public dinner and said, "I
want my money back." Dymally responded, "What did I do, Carmen?"
She answered, "You voted for AWACS."

 

Stilling the Still, Small Voices 73

Dymally finds membership on the Foreign Affairs subcommittee
on the Middle East a "no win" situation. He has alienated people on
both sides. While one staff member quit in protest when he met Arafat,
another, Peg McCormick, quit in protest when he voted for a large aid
package that included money to build warplanes in Israel.

For a time Dymally stopped complaining and raising questions
about Israel in committee. Asked why by the Wall Street Journal he
cited the lobby's role in my own loss in 1982 to Democrat Richard J.
Durbin. He told the Journal reporter, "There is no question the Find-
ley-Durbin race was intimidating."

Dymally found intimidation elsewhere as well. Whenever he com-
plains, he says, he receives a prompt visit from an AIPAC lobbyist,
usually accompanied by a Dymally constituent. He met one day with a
group of Jewish constituents, "all of them old friends," and told them
that, despite his grumbling, in the end he always voted for aid to Israel.
He said: "Not once, I told them, have I ever strayed from the course."
One of his constituents spoke up and said, "That's not quite right.
Once you abstained." "They are that good," marveled Dymally. "The
man was right."

"I Hear You"

After coming to Congress, Dymally waited two years before he
complained publicly about aid to Israel. He first voiced his concern on
a wintry day in 1983 in a Capitol Hill hearing room so crowded only
those with sharp elbows could get inside the door. The newly-formed
House subcommittee on Europe and the Middle East of the 98th Con-
gress was meeting to hear testimony on how much economic aid should
go to Israel. Those attending learned why such aid flows smoothly
through Congress — and usually is increased en route.

Sitting at the witness table was Nicholas Veliotes, at that time the
assistant secretary of state for Mideast and South Asia Affairs. The
tall, dark-haired career diplomat of Greek ancestry had previously
served in Israel and Jordan and was on Capitol Hill that day to explain
why the Reagan Administration wanted Congress to approve $785 mil-
lion for economic support of Israel as part of a $2.5 billion aid package
for the coming fiscal year. The totals were exactly the same as those
requested the year before, but the administration had decided, in a
proposal helpful to the U.S. budget, to require that Israel pay back one-
third of the amount it received for economic purposes.

Taking part in the discussion were seven Democrats and one Re-
publican, freshman Congressman Ed Zschau of California.

The news media gave the event full coverage, with floodlights

 

74 They Dare to Speak Out

adding both heat and glare to the packed room. The lights weren't the
only source of heat. For two sweltering hours Veliotes was roasted.
Five of the Congressmen took turns pelting him with statements and
questions which, in essence, castigated the administration for attempt-
ing to cut Israeli aid slightly from the amount approved the previous
year. Only Dymally sided with the administration.

The nature, intensity and imbalance of the grilling might have led a
stranger to assume that Veliotes was being examined — not by U.S.
Congressmen — but by a committee of the Israeli parliament.

In two turns at questioning, Democrat Tom Lantos of California, a
white-haired refugee from Hungary, sternly lectured Veliotes for being
unresponsive to the new threats to Israel posed by the placement of
new Soviet missiles in Syria as well as the expansion of Soviet arms
sales to Libya. Lantos belittled as "skyhook policy" the insistence by
the administration that all Israeli forces be removed from Lebanon.

Those who had followed Lantos' 1982 campaign for re-election
were not surprised at his line of questioning. At fund-raising events
Lantos hammered at the theme, "Israel needs a voice in Congress." He
offered himself as that voice. In that subcommittee hearing "the voice"
was tuning up.

A number of freshmen Democrats pursued similar questioning.
Lawrence J. Smith of Florida saw Israeli military operations in Leba-
non as a "substantial gain" toward "total peace" and wanted more
money for Israel because aid dollars had been "eroded" by inflation.

Mel Levine, another Californian, chimed in, noting Israel's "loss"
in revenue when it yielded control of the Sinai oilfields to Egypt in
compliance with the Camp David agreement. Robert Torricelli of New
Jersey suspected "coercion" because the administration did not in-
crease its request for Israel.

Committee veteran Solarz reinforced the theme by recalling that
over the last few years Congress had annually "adjusted upward" the
level or "rearranged the terms" of aid in order to be "more helpful to
Israel."

Only Dymally complained that aid to Israel was too high. "How
can the United States afford to give so much money in view of our
economic crisis ... to a country that has rejected the President's peace
initiatives and stepped up its settlements in the occupied territories?"
he demanded.

Ed Zschau, a freshman Republican from California, provided the
only other break from the pro-Israel questioning: "Do you think there
should be conditions [on aid to Israel] that might hasten the objectives
of the peace process?" Getting no response, he pressed on: "Given that
we are giving aid in order to achieve progress in peace in the area,

 

Stilling the Still, Small Voices 75

wouldn't it make sense to associate with the aid some modest condi-
tions like a halt in the settlements policy?"

Veliotes gave only cautious responses to the challenges. When
Zschau pressed for a direct answer, Veliotes answered simply, "I hear
you." Whatever his private sentiments, he had no authority to encour-
age the conditions Zschau suggested.

Dymally spoke up again a month later when the Middle East sub-
committee acted on the legislation to authorize aid to Israel and several
other Middle East countries. Dymally offered an amendment increas-
ing military aid to Egypt, half of it to be a loan and the other half a
grant. He had logic behind his amendment: it would establish "parity"
in the way the United States treated Israel and Egypt. Both were
parties to the Camp David accords and considered friendly to the
United States; and, Dymally argued, because Egypt's economic prob-
lems were more severe than Israel's, Egypt should receive U.S.
generosity at least at the same level as that extended to Israel.

His amendment was defeated. Congressman Lantos spoke against
it, citing "budgetary reasons." Only Dymally voted "yes." Its rejection
came moments after the subcommittee had passed without opposition
an amendment to increase military "forgiven direct credits" to Israel —
a euphemism for outright grants — by $200 million, plus a hefty $65
million increase in economic aid. This time, the subcommittee was
unmoved by "budgetary reasons," despite the increase in the federal
budget deficit the amendment would cause. Only Dymally had the
virtue of consistency that day: he voted in favor of both amendments.

During the same session the subcommittee voted to place legisla-
tive strings on the sale of jet fighters to Jordan. Before getting the
aircraft, King Hussein would first be required to begin negotiations
with Israel. This restriction reflected the expressed sentiments of the
House of Representatives, as 170 of its members by then had signed a
public letter to that effect. Although this public rebuke would undercut
President Reagan's private efforts to win Hussein's cooperation,
Robert Pelletreau, who as deputy assistant secretary of state was pre-
sent to speak for the administration, sat silently in the crowded hearing
room as the subcommittee adopted the restriction. Pelletreau's silence
demonstrated the administration's unwillingness to confront the lobby.

"The Administration Can't Call the Tune"

Although administration officials often blame Congress for aid in-
creases to Israel, they should save some of the blame for themselves. A
month after Dymally' s amendment was defeated in subcommittee —
and Pelletreau's unbecoming silence — the full committee on Foreign

 

76 They Dare to Speak Out

Affairs took up the same bill. This time the administration witness,
Alvin Drischler, also a deputy assistant secretary of state, managed to
land on both sides of the same question, destroying whatever influence
his presence might have had.

Under consideration was an amendment offered by Congressman
Joel Pritchard of Washington to rescind the $265 million additional
grant aid approved for Israel by the subcommittee and to bring the total
amount down to the level originally requested by the administration.
Asked for comment, Drischler told the committee, "We support the
administration's request." That is, he supported the Pritchard amend-
ment, a position that was not surprising. However, Drischler quickly
added: "But we do not oppose the add-on."

The committee room rocked with laughter when Chairman
Clement J. Zablocki complained: "We're confused." Clearly, adminis-
tration resolve, if it ever existed, had vanished. Pritchard was left
fighting for the administration amendment without administration sup-
port. He warned that the administration would lose leverage in dealing
with Israel if Congress approved the increase, but he added candidly:
"There has always been the feeling that in Congress Israel has enough
support to checkmate any administration initiative."

Democratic Congressman George Crockett of Michigan warned
that the increase would "free additional capital for [Israeli Prime Minis-
ter] Begin to continue building settlements." But Kansas Republican
Congressman Larry Winn countered by stating that increasing the
grant money would "help" Israel meet its debt service obligation to the
United States, which in 1983 would top $1 billion. Winn, in effect, was
arguing that the United States should give Israel money to repay its
debt to the United States. That sort of "logic" prevailed. The Pritchard
amendment was defeated, 18 to 5. A lobbyist for the U.S. Agency for
International Development later admitted that no fight was made for
the Pritchard amendment because "the votes just aren't there."

Pritchard, witnessing Israel's influence on Congress, puts it differ-
ently: "The administration can't call the tune of American foreign
policy."

"I Do Not Feel As Free"

Dymally's occasional independence in speaking and voting on
Middle East questions predictably brought complaints from Israel's
activists in his home district, and, although they did not succeed in
finding a credible candidate to oppose him in 1984, he sees no likeli-
hood that the breach will be closed. He says membership on the
Foreign Affairs Committee is a "no win" situation.

"I must confess to you that I do not feel as free to criticize Israel as

 

Stilling the Still, Small Voices 77

I do to criticize Trinidad, the island on which I was born," Dymally
declares. Noting that Trinidad was one of the islands supporting the
U.S. invasion of Grenada in 1983, he says his own strong opposition to
the invasion did not cause the islanders to turn against him. "Sure,
some of Trinidad's leaders were unhappy with me. But they are not
boycotting my campaign for re-election. In fact, people from that area
are putting on a fundraiser in New York for me. They don't see me as
anti-black, anti-Grenada, anti-West Indies. They just disagree with me
on the invasion, but they don't fall out."

He contrasts this reaction with that of his Jewish critics in Califor-
nia. "What is tragic is that so many Jewish people misconstrue criti-
cism of Israel as anti- Jewish or anti-Semitic." He speaks admiringly of
the open criticism of Israeli policy that often occurs within Israel itself:
"It is easier to criticize Israel in the Knesset [the Israeli parliament]
than it is in the U.S. Congress, here in this land of free speech."

Dymally notes that 10 of the 37 members of the Foreign Affairs
Committee are Jewish and finds it "so stacked there is no chance" for
constructive dialogue." He names Republican Congressman Ed
Zschau of California as the only member of the Subcommittee on
Europe and the Middle East who "even shadow boxes." No one on the
subcommittee, he says, is in there "punching."

Dymally believes the political scene in the United States would be
improved "if citizens of Arab ancestry became more effective lobbyists
themselves and became convinced of the need to give money to their
cause." One of their problems, he says, is their lack of understanding
of how to present their interests on Capitol Hill. "Foreign ethnics don't
understand the importance of lobbying. Nor do they seem to have a
sense of political philanthropy." Peter Spieller, a former student aide in
his Congressional office, told him, "The word is out [in the Jewish
community] that you have sold out for Arab money." Dymally chuck-
les. "I told him I wished the Arab Americans would give me some
money." He says they have not helped, despite his need to pay some of
his campaign debts from his 1980 campaign. Prior to that year, Dymally
had been able to count on several thousand dollars in campaign contri-
butions each time from Jewish sources. After he met Arafat and began
to raise questions about Israeli policies, this money "dried up." In the
1982 campaign he says a Jewish friend bought two $100 tickets to a
dinner. "That," he said, "was the extent of Jewish financial support that
year."

Dymally's Committee on Foreign Affairs is easily dominated by
the Israeli lobby partly because most Congressmen consider assign-
ment there a political liability. With most Americans wanting foreign
aid cut back, if not eliminated altogether, Congressmen representing
politically marginal districts take a gamble when they support foreign

 

78 They Dare to Speak Out

aid and a still bigger gamble if they are assigned to the committee that
handles it.

Donald J. Pease, a senior Democrat from Ohio, formerly a member
of the Foreign Affairs Committee, explains why Congressmen with a
special interest in Israel have no difficulty getting assigned to the com-
mittee: "It is one of the least sought after committees. If you ask for it,
you are sure to get it. One year Democrats had to hunt for recruits just
to fill their seats. The committee is looked on as a liability by most
Democrats. It is an asset only to members with large Jewish con-
stituencies." Republicans feel the same way.

Fourteen Freshmen Save the Day

Under the watchful eye of Israel's lobby, Congressmen will go to
extreme measures to help move legislation providing aid to Israel. Just
before Congress adjourned in December 1983, a group of freshmen
Democrats helped the cause by taking the extraordinary step of chang-
ing their votes in the printed record of proceedings, a step Congress-
men usually shun because it makes them look indecisive. This day,
however, under heavy pressure from pro-Israel constituents, the first-
term members buckled and agreed to switch in order to pass catch-all
legislation known as a Continuing Resolution. The resolution provided
funds for programs Congress had failed to authorize in the normal
fashion, among them aid to Israel. Passage would prevent any interrup-
tion in this aid.

For once, both the House Democratic leadership and AIPAC were
caught napping. Usually in complete control of all legislative activities
which relate to Israel, AIPAC failed to detect the brewing rebellion.
Concern over the budget deficit and controversial provisions in the bill
for Central America led these freshman Democrats to oppose their own
leadership. Unable to offer amendments, they quietly agreed among
themselves to oppose the whole package.

When the roll was called the big electric board over the Speaker's
desk showed defeat — the resolution was rejected, 206 to 203. Twenty-
four first-term Democrats had deserted the leadership and voted no.
Voting no did not mean they opposed Israeli aid. Some of them, con-
cerned over the federal deficit, viewed it as a demand to the leadership
to schedule a bill raising taxes. For others, it was simply a protest. But
for Israel it was serious.

"The Jewish community went crazy," a Capitol Hill veteran re-
calls. AIPAC's professionals went to work. Placing calls from their
offices just four blocks away, they activated key people in the districts
of a selected list of the errant freshmen. They arranged for "quality
calls" to individuals who had played a major role in the recent Congres-

 

Stilling the Still, Small Voices 79

sional election. Each was to place an urgent call to his or her Congress-
man, insist on getting through personally and use this message:

Approval of the continuing resolution is very important. Without it, Israel will
suffer. I am not criticizing your vote against it the first time. I am sure you had
reasons. However, I have learned that the same question will come up for vote
again, probably tomorrow. I speak for many of your friends and supporters in
asking that you change your vote when the question comes up again.

Each person was instructed to report to AIPAC after making the
calls. The calls were accordingly made and reported.

The House of Representatives took up the question at noon. It was
the same language, word for word, which the House had rejected two
days before. Silvio Conte, senior Republican on the Appropriations
Committee, knowing the pressure that had been applied, during the
debate challenged the freshmen Democrats to "stick to their guns" as
"men of courage." Republican leader Bob Michel chided those unable
to "take the heat from on high."

Some of the heat came, of course, from the embarrassed Demo-
cratic leadership, but AIPAC was the institution that brought about
changes in votes. On critical issues, Congressmen respond to pressures
from home, and, in such circumstances, House leaders have little
leverage. To Republicans Conte and Michel, the main issue was the
need for budgetary restraint. They argued that the measure should be
rejected for that reason. During the debate, no one mentioned that
day — or any other day — the influence of the Israeli lobby.

The urgent telephone messages from home carried the day. When
the roll was called, 14 of the freshmen — a bit sheepishly — changed
their votes. They were: C. Robin Britt of North Carolina, Jim Cooper
of Tennessee, Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, Edward F. Feighan of Ohio,
Sander M. Levin of Michigan, Frank McCloskey of Indiana, Bruce A.
Morrison of Connecticut, James R. "Jim" Olin and Norman Sisisky of
Virginia, Timothy J. Penny of Minnesota, Harry M. Reid of Nevada,
Bill Richardson of New Mexico, John M. Spratt, Jr. of South Carolina
and Harley O. Staggers, Jr., of West Virginia.

To give the freshmen an excuse they could use in explaining their
embarrassing shift, the leadership promised to bring up a tax bill.
Everyone knew it was just a ploy: the tax bill had no chance to become
law. But the excuse was helpful, and the resolution was approved, 224
to 189. The flow of aid to Israel continued without interruption.

 

Subsidizing Foreign Competition

The final vote on the Continuing Resolution authorized a remark-
able new form of aid to Israel. It included an amendment crafted by

 

80 They Dare to Speak Out

AIPAC and sponsored by ardently pro-Israeli Congressmen Clarence
Long of Maryland and Jack Kemp of New York that permitted $250
million of the military grant aid to be spent in Israel on the development
of a new Israeli fighter aircraft, the Lavi. The new fighter would com-
pete for international sales with the Northrop F-20 and the General
Dynamics F-16 — both specifically designed for export. The amend-
ment authorized privileged treatment Uncle Sam had never before ex-
tended to a foreign competitor. It was extraordinary for another
reason: it set aside a U.S. law that requires that all foreign aid procure-
ment funds be spent in the United States.

During debate of the bill, Democrat Nick J. Rahall of West Vir-
ginia was the only Congressman who objected. He saw the provision as
threatening U.S. jobs at a time of high unemployment:

Approximately 6,000 jobs would be lost as a direct result of taking the $250
million out of the U.S. economy and allowing Israel to spend it on defense
articles and services which can just as easily be purchased here in the United
States.

Americans are being stripped of their tax dollars to build up foreign industry.
They should not have to sacrifice their jobs as well.

That day, Rahall was unable to offer an amendment to strike or change
this provision because of restrictions the House had established before
it began debate. All that he, or any other member, could do was to vote
for or against the entire Long-Kemp amendment which included con-
troversial provisions for El Salvador and international banks, as well as
aid to Israel. The amendment was approved 262 to 150. Unlike
Rahall's, most of the 150 negative votes reflected opposition to other
features of the amendment, not to the $250 million subsidy to Israel's
aircraft industry.

The following May, during the consideration of the bill appropriat-
ing funds for foreign aid, Rahall offered an amendment to eliminate the
$250 million, but it was defeated 379 to 40. Despite the amendment's
obvious appeal to constituents connected with the U.S. aircraft indus-
try, fewer than 10 percent of House members voted for it. It was the
first roll call vote on an amendment dealing exclusively with aid to
Israel in more than four years, and the margin of defeat provided a
measure of AIPAC power.

After the vote, AIPAC organized protests against the 40 legislators
who had supported the amendment. Rahall recalls that AIPAC carried
out a campaign "berating those brave 40 Congressmen." He adds,
"Almost all of those who voted with me have told me they are still
catching hell from their Jewish constituency. They are still moaning
about the beating they are taking."

 

Stilling the Still, Small Voices 81

The "brave" Congressmen got little thanks. TWo ethnic groups,
the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and the National
Association of Arab Americans, congratulated Rahall on his initiative
and urged their members to send letters of congratulation to each of the
39 who supported his amendment. The results were meager. As the
author, Rahall could expect to receive more supportive mail than the
rest. He received "less than 10 letters" and speculates that the other 39
got still fewer.

"Don't Look to Congress to Act"

The reluctance of Congressmen to speak of Israel in critical vein
was apparent in 1983 when the House gave President Reagan permis-
sion under the War Powers Act to keep U.S. Marines in Lebanon for 18
months. The vote took place a few days before the tragic truck-
bombing killed over 240 Marines in Beirut. At the time the House
acted, several Marines had already died. A number of Congressmen
warned of more trouble ahead, opposing Reagan's request and strongly
urging withdrawal of the U.S. military force. Five others took the other
side, mentioning the importance of the Marine presence to the security
of Israel's northern border.

In all, 91 Congressmen spoke, but they were silent on the military
actions Israel had carried out in Lebanon during the previous year — its
unrestricted bombing of Beirut, forcing the evacuation of the PLO
fighters and then failing to provide security in the Palestine camps
where the massacre occurred. These events had altered the Lebanese
scene so radically that President Reagan felt impelled to return the
Marines to Beirut. In other words, it was Israel's actions which made
necessary the Marines' presence, yet none of these critical events was
mentioned among the thousands of words expressed during the lengthy
discussion.

A veteran Congressman, with the advantage of hindsight, ex-
plained it directly. Just after the terrorist attack which killed U.S.
Marines who were asleep in their Beirut compound, Congressman Lee
Hamilton was asked if Congress might soon initiate action on its own to
get the Marines out of Lebanon. The query was posed by William
Quandt, a Middle East specialist who had served in the Carter White
House, at the close of a private discussion on Capitol Hill involving a
small group of senior Congressmen. Hamilton, a close student of both
the Congress and the Middle East, responded, "Don't look to Congress
to act. All we know is how to increase aid to Israel."

The next year, discussions leading to the decisions on Israeli aid
by Hamilton's subcommittee were less a public spectacle and Hamil-

 

82 They Dare to Speak Out

ton himself became less directly involved. In late February 1984 he
was not consulted on aid levels, even privately, until the "Jewish
caucus" led by freshman Democrat Larry Smith of Florida had worked
out the details. Others in the caucus, all Democrats, were Mel Levine
and Tom Lantos of California and Robert Torricelli of New Jersey.
Torricelli, of Italian ancestry, represents one of the nation's most heav-
ily Jewish districts. His colleagues often refer to him teasingly as "a
non- Jewish Jew."

The group's four votes could always prevail in the ten-member
subcommittee, since the other six members never voted against a pro-
Israeli motion, and only Democrat Mervyn M. Dymally and Repub-
lican Ed Zschau even raised questions. Other Jewish Democrats on the
full committee — Howard L. Berman of California, Ted Weiss and
Gary L. Ackerman of New York, Sam Gejdenson of Connecticut,
Howard Wolpe of Michigan and Stephen J. Solarz of New York —
accepted the decisions of the "Jewish caucus." This established Smith
as almost the de facto leader of the 29 Jews in the House, a remarkable
role for a freshman. Asked to explain how a freshman could reach such
influence, a Capitol Hill veteran said, "He's always there. He never
misses a meeting. He never misses a lick."

Confronted by the caucus on the economic aid level, Hamilton
agreed to support their recommendations with one modification. He
insisted that the grant to Israel be increased by only $250 million above
the administration's request for $850 million, rather than the $350 mil-
lion increase the caucus wanted. With all of the items settled ahead of
time, the subcommittee approved the unprecedented provisions for
Israel without discussion, and then took up questions related to aid for
other Middle East countries. The panel approved an amendment of-
fered by Congressman Zschau stating that the funds were provided
"with the expectation that the recipient countries shall pursue policies
to enhance the peace process, including giving consideration to all
peace initiatives by the president and others." By the time the amend-
ment reached the full committee, AIPAC, without consulting Zschau,
demonstrated its control over such things by arranging to have the
language tied to the Camp David Accords rather than the Reagan rec-
ommendations. Written by AIPAC lobbyist Douglas Bloomfield, the
substitute language was accepted on a voice vote.

In either form the amendment was innocuous, but that could not
be said of two other amendments drafted by the lobby and passed
overwhelmingly by the subcommittee. The first amendment, accepted
without opposition, would prohibit all communications between the
PLO and the U.S. government, even through third parties, until the
PLO recognizes Israel. It was intended to bar the sort of informal

 

Stilling the Still, Small Voices 83

contact with the Palestinian leadership maintained by both the Carter
and Reagan administration. The other amendment, approved 7 to 2,
would prohibit the sale of any advanced aircraft or weapons to Jordan
until that country becomes "publicly committed" to recognizing Israel.
When King Hussein of Jordan later criticized Israeli lobby influence in
Washington in early 1984, he cited both of these amendments.

Meanwhile, Democratic Congressman Howard Berman of Califor-
nia secured hearings on a bill that would add an unprecedented new
dimension to U.S. aid to Israel. Introduced in June 1984, it proposed
granting $20 million to finance Israel's own foreign aid projects in Asia,
Africa and Latin America. It would openly authorize activities similar
to those that have been covertly financed by the CIA for 20 years (see
chapter five).

Democrat Larry Smith of Florida applauded Berman's bill: "I
think it will enhance the image of the U.S. in the Third World." Repub-
lican Larry Winn of Kansas gave it bipartisan support but noted that
the initial $20 million would be "only a drop in the bucket; we're going
to have to look further down the road at a lot more money." Although
the bill remained in committee through the 1984 session, its supporters
believe this type of aid to Israel will eventually be approved.

Clearly, the road Winn mentioned will slope upward. Aid to Is-
rael — despite U.S. budget problems and Israel's defiant behavior to-
ward the United States in its use of U.S.-supplied weapons and its
construction of settlements on occupied territory — is still rising with no
peak in sight.

 

Chapter 3

 

The Deliberative Body Fails to Deliberate

 

Just off the second-floor corridor connecting the central part of the
U.S. Capitol building with the Senate wing is the restored old Senate
chamber where visitors can look around and imagine the room echoing
with great debates of the past. Action there first gave the Senate its
reputation as the "world's greatest deliberative body" where no topic
was too controversial for open debate.

In most respects, that reputation is deserved and honored. In fact,
all five former Senators— John C. Calhoun, Daniel Webster, Henry
Clay, Robert LaFollette and Robert Taft— who are pictured in the or-
nate reception room near the large chamber now used by the Senate,
were distinguished by their independence and courage, not their con-
formity.

Today, on Middle East issues at least, independence and courage
are almost unknown, and the Senate deliberates not at all. This
phenomenon was the topic of discussion during a breakfast meeting in
1982 between Crown Prince Hassan of Jordan and Senator Claiborne
Pell of Rhode Island, the senior Democrat on the Senate Foreign Rela-
tions Committee. Pell explained with candor his own record of consist-
ent support for Israel and his failure to recognize Arab interests when
he told the Jordanian leader, "I can be honest with you, but I can't be
fair." Pell's record is typical of his colleagues.

Since the establishment of modern Israel in 1948, only a handful of
Senators have said or done anything in opposition to the policies of the
government of Israel. Those who break ranks find themselves in
difficulty. The trouble can arise from a speech, an amendment, a vote,
a published statement, or a combination of these. It may take the form
of a challenge in the next primary or general election. Or the trouble
may not surface until later — after service in the Senate has ended. Such
was the destiny of a Senator from Illinois.

84

 

The Deliberative Body Fails to Deliberate 85
"Adlai, You Are Right, But— 99

The cover of the October 1982 edition of the monthly magazine
Jewish Chicago featured a portrait of Adlai E. Stevenson III, Demo-
cratic candidate for governor of Illinois. In the background, over the
right shoulder of a smiling Stevenson, an Arab, rifle slung over his
shoulder, glared ominously through a kaffiyeh that covered his head
and most of his face. The headline announcing the issue's feature arti-
cle read, "Looking at Adlai Through Jewish Eyes."

The illustration and article were part of an anti-Stevenson cam-
paign conducted by some of the quarter-million people in Chicago's
Jewish community who wanted Stevenson to fail in his challenge to
Governor James R. Thompson, Jr.

Thompson, a Republican, was attempting a feat sometimes tried
but never before accomplished in Illinois history: election to a third
term as governor. Normally, a Republican in Illinois can expect only
minimal Jewish support at the polls.

A crucial part of the anti-Stevenson campaign was a caricature of
his Middle East record while he was a member of the United States
Senate. Stevenson was presented as an enemy of Israel and an ally of
the PLO.

Stevenson was attempting a political comeback after serving ten
years in the Senate, where he had quickly established himself as an
independent. During the oil shortage of the mid-1970s he alarmed cor-
porate interests by suggesting the establishment of a government cor-
poration to handle the marketing of all crude oil. He warned of the
"seeds of destruction" inherent in nuclear proliferation and called for
international safeguards to restrain other nations from using nuclear
technology to manufacture weapons. Concerned about the country's
weakening position in the international marketplace, he called for gov-
ernment-directed national economic strategies to meet the challenge of
foreign competition.

Stevenson lacks the flamboyant extroverted character of many
politicians. Time magazine described him as "a reflective man who
seems a bit out of place in the political arena." Effective in committee,
where most legislation is hammered out, he did not feel comfortable
lining up votes. "I'm not a back slapper or logroller," he said. "I don't
feel effective running about buttonholing Senators."

Chicago Daily News columnist Mike Royko wrote of Stevenson's
lack of charisma in a tone of affectionate teasing:

The most dangerous element in politics is charisma. It makes people get glassy-
eyed and jump and scream and clap without a thought in their heads. Adlai
Stevenson never does that. He makes people drowsy. His hair is thinning. He

 

86 They Dare to Speak Out

has all the oratorical fire of an algebra teacher. His clothes look like something
he bought from the coroner's office. When he feels good, he looks like he has a
virus. We need more politicians who make our blood run tepid.

Royko could have added that Stevenson also has none of the self-
righteousness often found on Capitol Hill. Although a "blue-blood," as
close to aristocracy as an American can be, he displayed little interest
in the cocktail circuit or the show business of politics. On a Congres-
sional tour of China in 1975 he didn't seem to mind when the other
three Senators received lace-curtained limousines and he and his wife,
Nancy, were assigned a less showy sedan.

During his second Senate term, he became disillusioned with the
Carter administration. He saw it as "embarrassingly weak" and more
concerned with retaining its power than with exercising it effectively.
In 1979, he announced he would not seek re-election to the Senate, but
he mentioned a new interest: the presidency. He might run for the
White House the next year. "I'm going to talk about ideas and see if an
idea can still triumph, or even make a dent," he said. It didn't. Steven-
son ultimately decided not to run. With Senator Edward Kennedy in
the race, he felt he would get little media attention. By the time Ken-
nedy pulled out Stevenson concluded it was too late to get organized.

After a year's breather, in 1981 he announced his interest in run-
ning for the governorship of Illinois. This time he followed through.

The make-up of his campaign organization, the character of his
campaign, and the support he had received in the past in Jewish neigh-
borhoods provided little hint of trouble ahead from pro-Israeli quar-
ters.

Several of the most important members of his campaign team were
Jewish: Philip Klutznick, president emeritus of B'nai B'rith and an
organizer of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organiza-
tions, who agreed to organize Stevenson's main campaign dinner; Mil-
ton Fisher, prominent attorney and chairman of his finance committee;
Rick Jasculca, a public relations executive who became Stevenson's
fulltime press secretary.

Stevenson chose Grace Mary Stern as his running mate for the
position of lieutenant governor. Her husband was prominent in
Chicago Jewish affairs.

Stevenson himself had received several honors from Jewish
groups in preceeding years. He had been selected by the Chicago Jew-
ish community as 1974 Israel Bond "Man of the Year," commended by
the American Jewish Committee for his legislative work against the
Arab boycott of Israel in 1977, and honored by the government of
Israel — which established the Adlai E. Stevenson HI Chair at the Weiz-

 

The Deliberative Body Fails to Deliberate 87

mann Institute of Science in Rehovot. Stevenson had every reason to
expect that organized Illinois Jewry would overlook his occasional
mild position critical of Israeli policy.

But trouble developed. A segment of the Jewish community
quietly launched an attack that would cost him heavily. Stevenson's
detractors were determined to defeat him in the governor's race and
thus discourage a future Stevenson bid for the presidency. Their basic
tool was a document provided by the AIPAC in Washington. It was
presented as a summary of Stevenson's Senate actions on Middle East
issues — though it made no mention of his almost unblemished record of
support for Israel and the tributes the Jewish community had presented
to him in testimony of this support. Like most AIPAC documents, it
would win no prizes for balance and objectivity.

For example, AIPAC pulled from a 21-page report Stevenson pre-
pared after a 1976 trip to the Middle East just this lonely phrase:
"There is no organization other than the PLO with a broadly recog-
nized claim to represent the Palestinians." This was a simple statement
of fact. But the writer of the Jewish Chicago article, citing the AIPAC
"summary," asserted that these words had helped to give Stevenson "a
reputation as one of the harshest critics of both Israel policy and of
U.S. support for the Jewish state." Stevenson's assessment of the
PLO's standing in the Palestinian community was interpreted as an
assault on Israel.

In fact, the full paragraph in the Stevenson report from which
AIPAC took its brief excerpt is studied and reasonable:

The Palestinians are by general agreement the nub of the problem. Although
badly divided, they have steadily increased in numbers, economic and military
strength, and seriousness of purpose. They cannot be left out of any Middle
East settlement. Their lack of unity is reflected in the lack of unity within the
top ranks of the PLO, but there is no organization other than the PLO with a
broadly recognized claim to represent the Palestinians.

The Stevenson report was critical of certain Israeli policies but
hardly hostile to Israel. "The PLO," he wrote, "may be distrusted,
disowned and despised, but it is a reality, if for no other reason than
that it has no rival organization among Palestinians."

Stevenson went on to issue a challenge to the political leaders of
America:

A new order of statesmanship is required from both the Executive and the
Legislative Branches. For too long Congress has muddled or gone along with-
out any real understanding of Middle Eastern politics. Neither the United

 

88 They Dare to Speak Out

States, nor Israel, nor any of the Arab states will be served by continued
ignorance or the expediencies of election year politics.

None of this positive comment found its way into the AIPAC report or
into the Jewish Chicago article or into any of the anti-Stevenson litera-
ture which was distributed within the Jewish community during the
1982 campaign.

The anti-Stevenson activists noted with alarm that in 1980 Steven-
son had sponsored an amendment to reduce aid to Israel and the year
before had supported a similar amendment offered by Senator Mark O.
Hatfield, Republican of Oregon. The Hatfield amendment proposed to
cut by 10 per cent the amount of funds available to Israel for military
credits.

Stevenson's amendment had focused on Israeli settlements in oc-
cupied territories, which President Carter and earlier administrations
characterized as both illegal and an obstacle to peace but did nothing to
discourage beyond occasional expressions of regret. Stevenson pro-
posed withholding $150 million in aid until Israel halted both the build-
ing and planning of additional settlements. The amendment did not cut
funds; it simply withheld a fraction of the $2.18 billion total aid au-
thorized for Israel that year. In speaking for the amendment, Stevenson
noted that the outlay for Israel amounted to 43 percent of all U.S. funds
allocated for such purposes worldwide:

This preference for Israel diverts funds from the support of human life and vital
American interests elsewhere in an interdependent and unstable world. ... If it
could produce stability in the Middle East or enhance Israel's security, it could
be justified. But it reflects continued U.S. acquiescence in an Israeli policy
which threatens more Middle East instability, more Israeli insecurity, and a
continued decline of U.S. authority in the world. Our support for Israel is not
the issue here. Israel's support for the ideals of peace and justice which gave it
birth are at issue. It is, I submit, for the Israel government to recognize again
that Israel's interests are in harmony with our own and, for that to happen, it is
important that we do not undermine the voices for peace in Israel or justify
those, like Mr. Begin, who claim U.S. assistance from the Congress can be
taken for granted.

The amendment, like Hatfield's, was overwhelmingly defeated.

After the vote on his amendment, Stevenson recalls, he received
apologetic comments. "Several Senators came up and said, 'Adlai, you
are right, but you understand why I had to vote against you. Maybe
next time.'" Stevenson did understand why: lobby intimidation pro-
duced the negative votes. He found intimidation at work on another
front too, the news media. He offered the amendment, he explained,

 

The Deliberative Body Fails to Deliberate 89

"because I thought the public was entitled to a debate on this critical
issue," but news services gave it no attention.

That's another aspect of this problem. It's not only the intimidation of the
American politician, it's also the intimidation of some American journalists. If
it's not the journalists, then it's the editors and perhaps more so the publishers.

Anti-Stevenson campaigners also found it expedient to portray
him as a supporter of Arab economic blackmail, despite his widely
hailed legislative record to the contrary. Stevenson was actually the
principal author of the 1977 legislation to prohibit American firms from
cooperating with the Arab boycott of Israel. But in the smear campaign
conducted against him in his gubernatorial bid his legislative history
was rewritten. He was actually accused of trying to undermine the
anti-boycott effort.

In fact, Stevenson, in a lonely and frustrating effort, saved the
legislation from disaster. For this achievement, he received a plaque
and praise from the American Jewish Committee. The chairman of the
National Jewish Community Relations Council, Theodore R. Mann,
wrote to Stevenson, expressing the organization's "deep appreciation
for your invaluable contribution to the adoption of that landmark legis-
lation." He added that the legislation "not only reassures the American
Jewish community as to the commitment of America to fairness and
nondiscrimination in international trade but, more fundamentally,
stands as a reaffirmation of our nation's profound regard for principle
and morality."

Jewish Chicago, making no mention of Stevenson's success in the
anti-boycott effort or the unstinting praise he received from Jewish
leaders, reported that he encountered "major conflicts" with "the
American Jewish leadership" over the boycott legislation.

A flyer distributed by an unidentified "Informed Citizens Against
Stevenson Committee," made the same charge. Captioned, "The Truth
About Adlai Stevenson," it used half-truths to brand Stevenson as anti-
Israel during his Senate years and concluded: "It is vitally important
that Jewish voters be fully informed about Stevenson's record. Still
dazzled by the Stevenson name, many Jews are totally unaware of his
antagonism to Jewish interests." The "committee" provided no names
or addresses of sponsoring individuals. Shirley Friedman, a free-lance
writer in Chicago, later identified the flyer as her own. The message on
the flyer concluded:

"Don't forget: It is well-known that Stevenson considers the gov-
ernor's chair as a stepping-stone to the presidency. Spread the word —
Let the truth be told!"

 

90 They Dare to Speak Out

The word was indeed spread in the Chicago Jewish community
throughout the summer and fall of 1982. The political editor of the
Chicago Sun-Times reported in June that some activists for Thompson
had been "working quietly for months to assemble a group to mobilize
Jewish voters" against Stevenson.

The result of their efforts was "The Coalition for the Re-election of
Jim Thompson" which included Jewish Democrats who had not backed
Thompson previously. When Republican Senator Rudy Boschwitz of
Minnesota, a strong supporter of Israel, came to Chicago in October to
address a breakfast gathering sponsored by the Coalition, he declared
that, as Senator, Stevenson was "a very steadfast foe of aid to Israel."

"Smear and Innuendo"

A major problem was the unprinted but widely whispered charge
of anti-Semitism against Stevenson— a man, who, like his father, had
spent his life championing civil rights for all Americans. "I learned
after election day there was that intimation throughout the campaign,"
recalls Stevenson.

Phil Klutznick's daughter, Mrs. Bettylu Saltzman, who worked on
Stevenson's campaign staff, remembers, "There was plenty of stuff
going around about him being anti-Semitic. It got worse and worse. It
was a much more difficult problem than anyone imagined."

Stevenson's running-mate, Grace Mary Stern, recalls: "There was
a very vigorous [anti-Stevenson] telephone campaign in the Jewish
community." She says leaflets charging Stevenson with being anti-
Israel were distributed widely at local Jewish temples, and adds there
was much discussion of the anti-Semitism accusation: "There was a
very vigorous campaign, man to man, friend to friend, locker room to
locker room. We never really came to grips with the problem."

Campaign fund raising suffered accordingly. The Jewish commu-
nity had supported Stevenson strongly in both of his campaigns for the
Senate. After his remarks in the last years of his Senate career, some of
the Jewish support dried up. "Many of my most generous Jewish con-
tributors stayed with me, but the organization types, the professionals
did not," Stevenson recalls. He believes the withdrawal of organized
Jewish support also cut into funds from out-of-state he otherwise
would have received. In the end, Thompson was able to outspend
Stevenson by better than two to one.

Fed up by early September with unfounded charges of anti-
Semitism, Stevenson finally responded, charging that a "subterranean
campaign of smear and innuendo" was being waged by supporters of

 

The Deliberative Body Fails to Deliberate 91

Thompson. His press secretary, Rick Jasculca, complained that the
material distributed by the Coalition for the Re-election of Jim Thomp-
son "tries to give the impression that Adlai is unquestionably anti-
Israel." Thompson's political director, Philip O'Connor, denied there
was a smear campaign and disavowed the Friedman flyer.

Thompson himself said of Stevenson, "I don't think he is an anti-
Semite, [but he is] no particular friend of Israel." The Chicago Sun-
Times published an editorial rebuke for this remark: "That's like
saying, no, I don't think Stevenson beats his wife, but she did have a
black eye last week." The editorial continued:

Far more important, the statement is not true; Stevenson as a Senator may
have occasionally departed from positions advocated by the Israeli govern-
ment, but out of well-reasoned motives and a genuine desire to secure a lasting
peace for the area. Thompson's coy phrasing was a reprehensible appeal to the
voter who measures a candidate's worth by a single, rubbery standard.

The only Jews who tried to counter the attack were those close to
Stevenson. Philip Klutznick, prominent in Jewish affairs and chairman
of the Stevenson Dinner Committee, said, "It is beneath the dignity of
the Jewish community to introduce these issues into a gubernatorial
campaign." Stevenson campaign treasurer Milton Fisher said: "Adlai's
views are probably consistent with 40 percent of the Knesset [Israeli
parliament]."

Stevenson was ultimately defeated in the closest gubernatorial
election in the state's history. The margin was 5,074 votes — one-
seventh of one percent of the total 3.5 million votes cast.

The election was marred by a series of mysterious irregularities
which Time magazine described as "so improbable, so coincidental, so
questionable that it could have happened only in Wonderland, or the
Windy City." On election night ballot boxes from fifteen Chicago pre-
cincts inexplicably disappeared, and others turned up in the homes or
cars of poll workers. Stevenson asked for a recount — past recounts had
resulted in shifts of 5,000 to 7,000 votes — but the Illinois Supreme
Court, by a 4-to-3 vote, denied his petition. Judge Seymour Simon, a
Democrat, joined the three Republicans on the court in voting against
Stevenson's request.

A post-election editorial in a suburban Chicago newspaper ac-
knowledged the impact of the concerted smear campaign on the elec-
tion outcome:

An intense last-minute effort among Chicago-area Jews to thwart Adlai Steven-
son's attempt to unseat Illinois Gov. James Thompson in last Tuesday's elec-
tion may have succeeded. The weekend before the election many Chicago and

 

92 They Dare to Speak Out

suburban rabbis spoke out against Stevenson and there were thousands of
pamphlets and leaflets distributed in Jewish areas ... $ all attacking the former
Senator.

After describing the attack, the editorial concluded,

The concentrated anti-Stevenson campaign, particularly since it went largely
unanswered, almost surely cost him thousands of votes among the 248,000
Chicago-area Jews— 266,000 throughout the state— who traditionally have
leaned in his direction politically.

Campaign manager Joseph Novak agrees: "If that effort hadn't
happened, Stevenson would be governor today." In the predominantly
Jewish suburban Chicago precincts of Highland Park and Lake County
"We just got killed, just absolutely devastated." Press secretary Rick
Jasculca adds, "What bothers me is that hardly any rabbis, or Jewish
leaders beyond Phil [Klutznick] were willing to speak up, and say this
is nonsense to call Adlai anti-Israel."

Thomas A. Dine, executive director of the American Israel Public
Affairs Committee, gloated, "The memory of Adlai Stevenson's hostil-
ity toward Israel during his Senate tenure lost him the Jewish vote in
Illinois — and that cost him the gubernatorial election."

Stevenson too believes the effort to discredit him among Jews
played a major role in his defeat: "In a race that close, it was more than
enough to make the difference."

Asked about the impact of the Israeli lobby on the U.S. political
scene, he responded without hesitation:

There is an intimidating, activist minority of American Jews that supports the
decisions of the Israeli government, right or wrong. They do so very vocally
and very aggressively in ways that intimidate others so that it's their voice —
even though it's a minority — that is heard and felt in American politics. But it
still is much louder in the United States than in Israel. In other words, you have
a much stronger, more vocal dissent in Israel than within the Jewish commu-
nity in the United States. The prime minister of Israel has far more influence
over American foreign policy in the Middle East than over the policies of his
own government generally.

The former Senator reports a profound change within the Jewish
community in recent years:

The old passionate commitment of Jewish leaders to civil liberties, social wel-
fare, in short, to liberalism has to a large extent dissipated. The issue now is
much more Israel itself. If given a choice between the traditional liberal com-
mitment and the imagined Israeli commitment, they'll opt now for the Israeli
commitment.

 

The Deliberative Body Fails to Deliberate 93

Reflecting on his career and the price he has paid for challenging
Israeli policies, Stevenson concluded:

I will have no hesitation about continuing. I wish I had started earlier and been
more effective. I really don't understand the worth of public office if you can't
serve the public. It's better to lose. It's better not to serve than to be mortgaged
or compromised.

Stevenson followed the tradition of a colleague, a famous Senator
from Arkansas who eloquently criticized Israeli policy and American
foreign policy over a period of many years.

 

The Dissenter

"When all of us are dead, the only one they'll remember is Bill
Fblbright." The tribute by Idaho Senator Frank Church, a fellow De-
mocrat, was amply justified. As much as any man of his time, J. Wil-
liam Fulbright shaped this nation's attitudes on the proper exercise of
its power in a world made acutely dangerous by nuclear weapons.
Dissent was a hallmark of his career, but it was dissent with distinction.
The fact was, Fblbright was usually right.

Fulbright first gained national attention by condemning the "swin-
ish blight" of McCarthyism. In 1954 while many Americans cheered
the crusade of the Wisconsin Senator's Permanent Investigations Sub-
committee, Fblbright cast the lone vote against a measure to continue
the subcommittee's funding. Because of this vote he was accused of
being "a Communist, a fellow traveler, an atheist, [and] a man beneath
contempt."

Fblbright opposed U.S. intervention in Cuba in 1961 and in the
Dominican Republic four years later, and was ahead of his time in
calling for detente with the Soviet Union and a diplomatic opening with
China. When he proposed a different system for selecting presidents,
Harry Thiman was offended and called him "that over-educated Ox-
ford s.o.b." Twenty-five years later, in 1974, the New York Times rec-
ognized him as "the most outspoken critic of American foreign policy
of this generation."

His deepest and most abiding interest is the advancement of inter-
national understanding through education, and thousands of young
people have broadened their vision through the scholarships that bear
his name. But Fblbright also became well known for his outspoken
opposition to the Vietnam War as "an endless, futile war . . * , debilitat-
ing and indecent" — a stand which put him at odds with a former col-
league and close friend, President Lyndon B. Johnson. President

 

94 They Dare to Speak Out

Johnson believed that America was embarked on a noble mission in
Southeast Asia against an international Communist conspiracy. Ful-
bright put no stock in the conspiracy theory, feared the war might
broaden into a showdown with China, and saw it as an exercise in "the
arrogance of power. "

In 1963 Fulbright chaired an investigation that brought to public
attention the exceptional tax treatment of contributions to Israel and
aroused the ire of the Jewish community. The investigation was
managed by Walter Pincus, a journalist Fulbright hired after reading a
Pincus study of lobbying. Pincus recalls that Fulbright gave him a free
hand, letting him choose the ten prime lobbying activities to be ex-
amined and backing him throughout the controversial investigation.
One of the groups chosen by Pincus, himself Jewish, was the Jewish
Telegraph Agency — at that time a principal instrument of the Israeli
lobby. Both Fulbright and Pincus were accused of trying to destroy the
Jewish Telegraph Agency and of being anti-Semitic.

Pincus remembers, "Several Senators urged that the inquiry into
the Jewish operation be dropped. Senators Hubert Humphrey and
Bourke Hickenlooper [senior Republican on the Foreign Relations
Committee] were among them. Fulbright refused.'*

The Fulbright hearings also exposed the massive funding illegally
channelled into the American Zionist Council by Israel. More than five
million dollars had been secretly poured into the Council for spending
on public relations firms and pro-Israel propaganda before Fulbright' s
committee closed down the operation.

Despite his concern over the pro-Israeli lobby, Fulbright took the
exceptional step of recommending that the United States guarantee
Israeli's borders. In a major address in 1970 he proposed an American-
Israeli treaty under which the United States would commit itself to
intervene militarily if necessary to "guarantee the territory and inde-
pendence of Israel" within the lands it held before the 1967 war. The
treaty, he said, should be a supplement to a peace settlement arranged
by the United Nations. The purpose of his proposal was to destroy the
arguments of those who maintained that Israel needed the captured
territory for its security.

Fulbright saw Israeli withdrawal from the Arab lands it occupied
in the 1967 war as the key to peace: Israel could not occupy Arab
territory and have peace too. He said Israeli policy in establishing
settlements on the territories "has been characterized by lack of flexi-
bility and foresight." Discounting early threats by some Arab leaders to
destroy the state of Israel, Fulbright noted that both President Nasser
of the United Arab Republic and King Hussein of Jordan had in effect

 

The Deliberative Body Fails to Deliberate 95

repudiated such Draconian threats, "but the Israelis seem not to have
noticed the disavowals."

During the 1970s Fulbright repeatedly took exception to the con-
tention that the Middle East crisis was a test of American resolve
against Soviet interventionism. In 1971, he accused Israel of "Commu-
nist-baiting humbuggery" and argued that continuing Middle East ten-
sion, in fact, only benefited Soviet interests.

Appearing on CBS television's "Face the Nation" in 1973, Ful-
bright declared that the Senate was "subservient" to Israeli policies
which were inimical to American interests. He said the United States
bears "a very great share of the responsibility" for the continuation of
Middle East violence. "It's quite obvious [that] without the all-out
support by the United States in money and weapons and so on, the
Israelis couldn't do what they've been doing."

Fulbright said the United States failed to pressure Israel for a
negotiated settlement, because

The great majority of the Senate of the United States — somewhere around 80
percent — are completely in support of Israel, anything Israel wants. This has
been demonstrated time and time again, and this has made it difficult for our
government.

The Senator claimed that "Israel controls the Senate" and warned,
"We should be more concerned about the United States' interests." Six
weeks after his "Face the Nation" appearance, Fulbright again ex-
pressed alarm over Israeli occupation of Arab territories. He charged
that the U.S. had given Israel "unlimited support for unlimited expan-
sion."

His criticism of Israeli policy caused stirrings back home. Jews
who had supported him in the past became restless. After years of easy
election victories trouble loomed for Fulbright in 1974. Encouraged, in
part, by the growing Jewish disenchantment with Fulbright, on the eve
of the deadline for filing petitions of candidacy in the Democratic pri-
mary Governor Dale Bumpers surprised the political world by becom-
ing a challenger for Fulbright's Senate seat. Fulbright hadn't expected
Bumpers to run, but recognized immediately that the popular young
governor posed a serious challenge: "He had lots of hair [in contrast to
Fulbright], he looked good on television and he'd never done anything
to offend anyone."

There were other factors. Walter Pincus, who later became a
Washington Post reporter, believed Fulbright's decision to take a golf-
ing holiday in Bermuda just before the primary deadline may have
helped to convince Bumpers that Fulbright would not work hard for the

 

96 They Dare to Speak Out

nomination. It was also the year of Watergate — a bad year for incum-
bents. In his campaign, Bumpers pointed with alarm to the "mess in
Washington" and called for a change. The New York Times reported
that he "skillfully exploited an old feeling that Mr. Rilbright . . . spent
all his time dining with Henry Kissinger and fretting over the Middle
East."

The attitude of Jewish voters, both inside Arkansas and beyond,
was also a significant factor. "I don't think Bumpers would have run
without that encouragement," says Rilbright. Following the election, a
national Jewish organization actually claimed credit for the young gov-
ernor's stunning upset victory. Rilbright has a copy of a memorandum
circulated in May 1974 to the national board of directors of B'nai
B'rith. Marked "confidential," the memo from Secretary-General Her-
man Edelsberg, announced that ". . . all of the indications suggest that
our actions in support of Governor Bumpers will result in the ousting of
Mr. Rilbright from his key position in the Senate." Edelsberg later
rejected the memorandum as "phoney."

Since his defeat, Rilbright has continued to speak out, decrying
Israeli stubbornness and warning of the Israeli lobby. In a speech just
before the end of his Senate term, Rilbright warned, "Endlessly press-
ing the United States for money and arms — and invariably getting all
and more than she asks — Israel makes bad use of a good friend." His
central concern was that the Middle East conflict might flare into nu-
clear war. He warned somberly that "Israel's supporters in the United
States . . • by underwriting intransigence, are encouraging a course
which must lead toward her destruction — and just possibly ours as
well."

Pondering the future from his office three blocks north of the
White House, Rilbright sees little hope that Capitol Hill will effectively
challenge the Israeli lobby:

It's suicide for politicians to oppose them. The only possibility would be some-
one like Eisenhower who already feels secure. Eisenhower had already made
his reputation. He was already a great man in the eyes of the country, and he
wasn't afraid of anybody. He said what he believed.

Then he adds a somewhat more optimistic note: "I believe a presi-
dent could do this. He wouldn't have to be named Eisenhower." Ril-
bright cites a missed opportunity:

I went to Jerry Ford after he took office in 1975. 1 was out of office then. I had
been to the Middle East and visited with some of the leading figures. I came
back and told the president, 'Look, I think these [Arab] leaders are willing to
accept Israel, but the Israelis have got to go back to the 1967 borders. The
problem can be solved if you are willing to take a position on it.

 

The Deliberative Body Fails to Deliberate 97

Fulbright predicted that the American people would back Ford if
he demanded that Israel cooperate. He reminded him that Eisenhower
was re-elected by a large margin immediately after he forced Israel to
withdraw after invading Egypt:

Taking a stand against Israel didn't hurt Eisenhower. He carried New York
with its big Jewish population.

I told Ford I didn't think he would be defeated if he put it the right way. He
should say Israel had to go back to the 1967 borders; if it didn't, no more arms
or money. That's just the way Eisenhower did it. And Israel would have to
cooperate. And politically, in the coming campaign, I told him he should say he
was for Israel, but he was for America first.

Ford, Fulbright recalls, listened courteously but was non-
committal: "Of course he didn't take my advice."

Yet the determination in the face of such disappointment echoes
through one of his last statements as a U.S. Senator:

History casts no doubt at all on the ability of human beings to deal rationally
with their problems, but the greatest doubt on their will to do so. The signals of
the past are thus clouded and ambiguous, suggesting hope but not confidence in
the triumph of reason. With nothing to lose in any event, it seems well worth a
try.

Warning Against "Absolutism"

James G. Abourezk of South Dakota came to the Senate in 1973
after serving two years in the House of Representatives. The son of
Lebanese immigrants — the first person of Arab ancestry elected to the
Senate — he spoke up for Arab interests and quickly became a center of
controversy.

Soon after he took office, Abourezk accepted an invitation to
speak at Yeshiva University in New York, but anxious school officials
called almost immediately to tell him of rising student protests against
his appearance. A few days later, the chairman of the dinner committee
asked Abourezk to make a public statement calling for face-to-face
negotiations between Israel and its Arab neighbors, assuring Abourezk
that this proposal, identical to the one being made by Israel's prime
minister, Golda Meir, would ease student objections and end the pro-
test. Although Abourezk favored such negotiations, he refused to
make the requested statement. He explained, "I do not wish to be in
the position of placating agitators." Rabbi Israel Miller, vice-president
of the school, came to Washington to urge Abourezk to reconsider.
When Abourezk again refused, the dinner chairman telephoned again,
this time to report that students were beginning to picket. Sensing that

 

98 They Dare to Speak Out

school officials wanted the event cancelled, Abourezk offered to with-
draw from the obligation. His offer was hastily accepted.

Soon after, Abourezk was announced as the principal speaker at a
rally to be held in Rochester, New York, to raise money for victims of
the Lebanese civil war. The rally's organizing committee was im-
mediately showered with telephoned bomb threats. In all, 23 calls
warned that the building would be blown up if Abourezk appeared on
the program. With the help of the FBI, local police swept the building
for bombs and, finding none, opened it for the program. A capacity
crowd, unaware of the threats, heard the event proceed without inci-
dent.

After making a tour of Arab states in December 1973, Abourezk
sympathized with Arab refugees in a speech at the National Press Club
in Washington. Covering his speech for the AIPAC newsletter, Near
East Report, Wolf Blitzer wrote, "If [Abourezk's] position were to
prevail, Israel's life would be jeopardized." Blitzer's report was sent to
Jews who had contributed to Abourezk's campaign, accompanied by a
letter in which I. L. Kenen, AIPAC director, warned that Abourezk
was "going to great lengths" to "undermine American friendship for
Israel." The mailing, Abourezk recalls, began an "adversary relation-
ship" with AIPAC. He adds, "I doubt that I would have spent so much
time on the Middle East had it not been for that particular unfair
personal attack." (In 1980, after retiring from the Senate, Abourezk
founded the American- Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, which
now has 20,000 members and whose purpose, he says, "is to provide a
countervailing force to the Israeli lobby.")

On one occasion in the Senate, Abourezk turned lobby pressure to
his advantage. Wishing to be appointed in 1974 to fill a vacancy on the
Senate Judiciary Committee, he warned David Brody, lobbyist for the
B'nai B'rith's Anti-Defamation League, that if he did not secure the
appointment he would seek a seat on the Foreign Relations Committee.
He recalls, with a chuckle, "This warning had the desired effect. The
last thing Brody wanted was to see me on Foreign Relations where aid
to Israel is decided. Thanks to the help of the lobby I received the
appointment to Judiciary, even though James Allen, a Senator with
more seniority, also wanted the position." The appointment enabled
Abourezk to chair hearings in 1977 on the legality of Israel's occupa-
tion of the West Bank and Gaza. "They were the first — and last hear-
ings — on this subject," Abourezk recalls. "And not one of my
colleagues attended. I was there alone."

In 1975, Abourezk invited the head of the PLO's Beirut office,
Shafiq al-Hout, to lunch in the Senate and learned that PLO-related
secrets are hard to keep. On Abourezk's assurance that the event
would be kept entirely private, eleven other Senators, including Abra-

 

The Deliberative Body Fails to Deliberate 99

ham Ribicoff of Connecticut, who is Jewish, attended and heard al-
Hout relate the PLO side of Middle East issues. Within an hour after
the event was concluded, Spencer Rich of the Washington Post tele-
phoned Abourezk for comment. He had already learned the identity of
all Senators who attended. The next day Israel's leading English lan-
guage daily newspaper, the Jerusalem Post, reported that Ribicoff and
the others had had lunch with "murderer" al-Hout.

A major storm erupted in 1977 when Abourezk agreed on short
notice to fill in for Vice-President Walter Mondale as the principal
speaker at the annual Jefferson- Jackson Day dinner sponsored in Den-
ver by the Colorado Democratic Party. Jewish leaders protested his
appearance, and John Mrozek, a labor leader in Denver, attacked
Abourezk as "pro-Arab and anti-Israel." Betty Crist, a member of the
dinner committee, moved that the invitation be withdrawn. When the
Crist motion was narrowly rejected, the committee tried to find a pro-
Israeli speaker to debate Abourezk, with the intention of cancelling the
event if a debate could not be arranged. This gave the proceedings a
comic twist, as Abourezk at no point had intended to mention the
Middle East in his remarks. Unable to find someone to debate their
guest, the committee reconsidered and let the invitation to Abourezk
stand in its original form.

Arriving at the Denver airport, Abourezk told reporters, "As a
United States Senator, I have sworn to uphold the government of the
United States, but I never dreamed that I would be required to swear
allegiance to any other government." In his remarks to the dinner
audience of 700, he warned of the "extraordinary influence of the Zion-
ist lobby." He said the United States "is likely to become, if it has not
already, a captive of its client state."

He said, "The point of the controversy surrounding this dinner has
been my refusal to take an absolutist position for Israel. There is ex-
treme danger to all of us in this kind of absolutism. It implies that only
one position — that of being unquestionably pro-Israel — is the only po-
sition."

The Rocky Mountain News reported that his speech received a
standing ovation, "although there were pockets of people who sat on
their hands." The Denver newspaper editorialized, "James Abourezk
is not a fanatic screaming for the blood of Israel. Colorado Democratic
leaders should be proud to have him as their speaker. He is better than
they deserve."

"Sins of Omission"

The Israeli lobby's long string of Capitol Hill victories has been
broken only twice during the past twenty-five years. Both setbacks

 

100 They Dare to Speak Out

occurred in the Senate and involved military sales to Saudi Arabia. In
1978 the Senate approved the sale of F-15 fighter planes by a vote of 54
to 44, and in 1981 the sale of AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control
System) intelligence-gathering planes and special equipment for the
F-15s by a vote of 52 to 48. Curiously, both controversies entangled the
American Israel Public Affairs Committee in the politics of the state of
Maine.

This involvement began on the Senate floor one afternoon in the
spring of 1978 when Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy received a whis-
pered message which brought an angry flush to his face. AIPAC had
forsaken a Senate Democrat with a consistently pro-Israeli record.
Senator William Hathaway of Maine, who had, without exception, cast
his vote in behalf of Israel's interests, was being "dropped" by the
lobby in favor of William S. Cohen, his Republican challenger. Ken-
nedy strode to the adjoining cloakroom and reached for a telephone.

Kennedy demanded an explanation from Morris J. Amitay, then
executive director of AIPAC. Flustered, Amitay denied that AIPAC
had taken a position against Hathaway. The organization, he insisted,
provides information on candidates but makes no endorsements.
Pressed by Kennedy, Amitay promised to issue a letter to Hathaway
complimenting him on his support of Israel.

The letter was sent, but the damage had already been done.
Though Amitay was technically correct — AIPAC does not formally
endorse candidates for the House or Senate — the lobby has effective
ways to show its colors, raise money and influence votes. In the Maine
race, it was making calls for Cohen and against Hathaway. The shift, so
astounding and unsettling to Kennedy, arose from a single "failing" on
Hathaway's part. It was a sin of omission, but a cardinal sin
nonetheless.

Over the years, Hathaway had sometimes refused to sign letters
and resolutions which AIPAC sponsored. The resolutions were usually
statements of opinion by the Senate — called "sense of the Senate"
resolutions — and had no legislative effect. The letters were directed
to the president or a cabinet officer, urging him to support Israel. In
refusing to sign, Hathaway did not single out AIPAC projects; he often
rejected such requests from other interest groups as well, preferring to
write his own letters and introduce his own resolutions. Nor did he
always refuse AIPAC. Sometimes, as a favor, he would set aside his
usual reservations and sign.

Hathaway cooperated in 1975 when AIPAC sponsored its famous
"spirit of 76" letter. It bore Hathaway's name and those of 75 of his
colleagues and carried this message to President Gerald R. Ford: "We
urge that you reiterate our nation's long-standing commitment to Is-

 

The Deliberative Body Fails to Deliberate 101

rael's security by a policy of continued military supplies, and diplo-
matic and economic support." At another moment, this expression
would cause no ripples. Since the administration of John F. Kennedy,
the U.S. government had been following a policy of "continued military
supplies." But when this letter was made public in January 1975, it
shook the executive branch as have few Senate letters in history.

Ford, dissatisfied with Israeli behavior, had just issued a statement
calling for a "reappraisal" of U.S. policies in the Middle East. His
statement did not mention Israel by name as the offending party, but
his message was clear: Ford wanted better cooperation in reaching a
compromise with Arab interests, and "reappraisal" meant suspension
of U.S. aid until Israel improved its behavior. It was a historic pro-
posal, the first time since Eisenhower that a United States president
even hinted publicly that he might suspend aid to Israel.

Israel's response came, not from its own capital, but from the
United States Senate. Instead of relying on a direct protest to the
White House, Jerusalem activated its lobby in the United States,
which, in turn, signed up as supporters of Israel's position more than
three-fourths of the members of the United States Senate.

A more devastating — and intimidating — response could scarcely
be conceived. The seventy-six signatures effectively told Ford he could
not carry out his threatened "reappraisal." Israel's loyalists in the Sen-
ate — Democrats and Republicans alike — were sufficient in number to
reject any legislative proposal hostile to Israel that Ford might make,
and perhaps even enact a pro-Israeli piece of legislation over a presi-
dential veto.

The letter was a demonstration of impressive clout. Crafted and
circulated by AIPAC, it had been endorsed overnight by a majority of
the Senate membership. Several Senators who at first had said "No"
quickly changed their positions. Senator John Culver admitted can-
didly, "The pressure was too great. I caved." So did President Ford. He
backed down and never again challenged the lobby.

This wasn't the only time Hathaway answered AIPAC's call to
oppose the White House on a major issue. Three years later, Ford's
successor, Jimmy Carter, fought a similar battle with the Israeli lobby.
At issue this time was a resolution to disapprove President Carter's
proposal to sell F-15 fighters to Saudi Arabia. The White House needed
the support of only one chamber to defeat the resolution. White House
strategists felt that the House of Representatives would overwhelm-
ingly vote to defeat the sale, so they decided to put all their resources
into the Senate.

Lobbying on both sides was highly visible and aggressive. Freder-
ick Dutton, chief lobbyist for Saudi Arabia, orchestrated the pro-sale

 

102 They Dare to Speak Out

forces on Capitol Hill. The Washington Post reported, "Almost every
morning these days, the black limousines pull up to Washington's
Madison Hotel to collect their Saudi Arabian passengers. Their des-
tination, very often, is Capitol Hill, where the battle of the F-15s un-
folds."

The Israeli lobby pulled out all the stops. It coordinated a nation-
wide public relations campaign which revived, as never before,
memories of the genocidal Nazi campaign against European Jews dur-
ing World War II. In the wake of the highly publicized television series,
"Holocaust," Capitol Hill was flooded with complimentary copies of
the novel on which the TV series was based. The books were accom-
panied by a letter from AIPAC saying, "This chilling account of the
extermination of six million Jews underscores Israel's concerns during
the current negotiations for security without reliance on outside
guarantees." Concerning the book distribution, AIPAC's Aaron Rosen-
baum told the Washington Post: "We think, frankly, that it will affect a
few votes here and there, and simplify lobbying."

Senator Wendell Anderson of Minnesota at first agreed to support
the proposed sale. He told an administration official: "Sure, I'll go for
it. It sounds reasonable." But a few days before the vote he called
back: "I can't vote for it. I'm up for election, and my Jewish co-
chairman refuses to go forward if I vote for the F-15s." Furthermore,
he said, a Jewish group had met with him and showed him that 70
percent of the contributions to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign
Committee the previous year came from Jewish sources.

The pressure was sustained and heavy. Major personalities in the
Jewish community warned the fighter aircraft would constitute a seri-
ous threat to Israel. Nevertheless a prominent Jewish Senator, Abra-
ham Ribicoff of Connecticut, lined up with Carter. This was a hard
blow to Amitay, who had previously worked on Ribicoff 's staff. Earlier
in the year Ribicoff, while keeping his own counsel on the Saudi arms
question, took the uncharacteristic step of criticizing sharply Israeli
policies as well as the tactics of AIPAC. In an interview with the Wall
Street Journal, Ribicoff described Israel's retention of occupied terri-
tory as "wrong" and unworthy of U.S. support. He said AIPAC does "a
great disservice to the U.S., to Israel and to the Jewish community."
He did not seek re-election in 1980.

The Senate approved the sale, 52 to 48, but in the process Carter
was so bruised that he never again forced a showdown vote in Con-
gress over Middle East policy.

Hathaway was one of the forty-four who stuck with AIPAC, but
this was not sufficient when election time rolled around. AIPAC
wanted a Senator whose signature — and vote — it could always count

 

The Deliberative Body Fails to Deliberate 103

on. Searching for unswerving loyalty, the lobby switched to Cohen. Its
decision came at the very time Hathaway was resisting pressures on
the Saudi issue. The staff at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Com-
mittee was outraged. One of them declared to a visitor: "AIPAC de-
mands 100 percent. If a fine Senator like Hathaway fails to cooperate
just once, they are ready to trade in his career." A staff member of a
Senate committee declared: "To please AIPAC, you have to be more
pure than Ivory soap — 99.44 percent purity is not good enough." Lack-
ing the purity AIPAC demanded, Hathaway was defeated in 1978.

Caught in the AWACS Dilemma

William S. Cohen was elected to the Senate but soon found himself
in a storm similar to the one Hathaway, his predecessor, had encoun-
tered. Once again a proposal to sell military equipment to Saudi Arabia
raised concerns among pro-Israeli forces about a Senator from Maine.
It occurred soon after Ronald Reagan's inauguration, when the new
president decided to approve the same request that the Carter adminis-
tration had put off the year before. Saudi Arabia would be allowed to
purchase its own AWACS planes, along with extra equipment to give
Saudi F-15 fighters greater range and firepower. Israeli officials op-
posed the sale, because, they said, this technology would give Saudi
Arabia the capacity to monitor Israeli air force operations.

As in 1978, the Senate became the main battleground, but the
White House was slow to organize. Convinced that Jimmy Carter the
year before had taken on too many diverse issues at once, the Reagan
forces decided to concentrate on tax and budget questions in the early
months of the new administration. This left a vacuum in the foreign
policy realm which AIPAC filled skillfully. New director Thomas A.
Dine orchestrated a bipartisan counter-attack against arms transfers to
Saudi Arabia. Even before Reagan sent the AWACS proposal to
Capitol Hill for consideration, the Associated Press reported that the
Israeli lobby had lined up "veto-strength majorities."

AIPAC's campaign against AWACS began in the House of Repre-
sentatives through a public letter attacking the sale sponsored by Re-
publican Norman Lent in New York and Democrat Clarence Long of
Maryland. Ultimately, in October, the House rejected the proposed
sale by a vote of 301 to 111, but the real battleground was the Senate.
Earlier in the year, before the Senate took up the question, Senator
Bob Packwood of Oregon, always a dependable supporter of Israel,
announced that fifty-four Senators, a majority, had signed a request that
Reagan drop the idea. Needing time to persuade the Senators to
change, the White House put off the showdown. By September, fifty

 

104 They Dare to Speak Out

Senators had signed a resolution to veto the sale and six more promised
to sign if needed. Once more, the White House had no choice but to
delay.

This time the Saudis were testing their relationship with the new
president and left more of the lobbying to the White House than was
true in 1978. Their case relied heavily on personal efforts of Republican
Senate leader Howard Baker, Senator John Tower, chairman of the
Armed Services Committee, and Senator Charles Percy, chairman of
the Foreign Relations Committee. Lobbyist Frederick Dutton was in-
structed to keep in the background, though David Sadd, executive
director of the National Association of Arab Americans, helped organ-
ize the support of U.S. industries with a stake in the sale.

Meanwhile, Dine's team roamed the Senate corridors while
AIPAC's grassroots contacts brought direct pressure from con-
stituents. The Post reported that "AIPAC's fountain of research mate-
rials reaches a readership estimated at 200,000 people." Senator John
Glenn of Ohio, said: "I've been getting calls from every Jewish organi-
zation in the country. They didn't want to talk about the issues. The big
push was to get me to sign this letter and resolution." Glenn did not
sign, largely because he hoped to broker a deal with the White House.

Syndicated columnist Carl T. Rowan wrote "there is strong evi-
dence" that the AWACS struggle increased "public resentment against
the 'Jewish lobby/"

The issue was portrayed by some as a choice between President
Reagan and Prime Minister Begin. Bumper stickers appeared around
Washington which read, "Reagan or Begin?" When the Senate finally
voted, Cohen, although announced in opposition, switched and pro-
vided one of the critical votes supporting the AWACS sale. He ex-
plained his reversal by declaring that Israel would have been branded
the scapegoat for failure of the Middle East peace process if the pro-
posal were defeated.

Aside from this "sin," one of "commission" in the eyes of AIPAC,
his behavior was exemplary. Never once did he stray from the fold, and
in 1984 AIPAC did not challenge his bid for re-election.

Standing Up for Civility

One of the most popular members of the Senate, Charles "Mac"
Mathias of Maryland is something of a maverick — a role probably nec-
essary for his political survival. He is a Republican in a state where
Democrats outnumber Republicans by three to one.

During the Nixon administration especially, he frequently dis-
sented from the Republican party line. His opposition to the war in

 

The Deliberative Body Fails to Deliberate 105

Vietnam and his staunch advocacy of civil rights and welfare initiatives
earned him a place on the Nixon administration's "enemies list" of
political opponents. In a December 1971 speech, before the Watergate
break-in at Democratic headquarters that led to Nixon's downfall, and
while the country was angrily divided by domestic tensions and the war
in Vietnam, Mathias advised Nixon to work to "bind the nation's
wounds." He urged the president to "take the high road" in the 1972
campaign and to disavow a campaign strategy "which now seems des-
tined, unnecessarily, to polarize the country even more." In the same
message Mathias criticized Nixon's advisers for "divisive exploitation
of the so-called social issues [through] ... the use of hard-line rhetoric
on crime, civil rights, civil liberties and student unrest." Mathias was
alarmed at what he saw as the Republican drift to the right.

In 1975 and 1976 he even considered running for president as an
independent "third force" candidate in an effort to forge a "coalition of
the center." The late Clarence Mitchell, director of the Washington
office of the NAACP, said: "He's always arrived at his position in a
reasoned way." In fact, early in his career he marked himself as a
progressive and a champion of civil rights, and his constituency takes
his liberalism on social issues in stride. A resident of Frederick,
Mathias's home town, told the Washington Post, "Why, a lot of people
around here think he's too liberal. But they seem to vote for him. The
thing is, he's decent. He's got class."

He also has flashes of daring. In the spring of 1981, he wrote an
article in the quarterly Foreign Affairs that he knew would put him in
hot water with some of his Jewish constituents, criticizing the role
played by ethnic lobbies — particularly the Israeli lobby — in the forma-
tion of U.S. foreign policy. The controversial article upset Maryland's
influential Jewish community, which had consistently supported
Mathias's campaigns for office. Mathias had voted to sell fighter planes
to the Saudis in 1978 and his vote helped President Reagan get Senate
clearance for the AWACS sale in 1981.

The same year the controversial article appeared, just after voters
elected him to his third term in the Senate, Mathias took another step
which appeared so politically inexpedient that many people assumed
he had decided to retire from Congress in 1986. At the urging of
Senators Howard Baker and Charles Percy, who wanted another mod-
erate Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, Mathias gave
up a senior position on the Appropriations Committee in order to take
the foreign policy committee assignment.

His committee decision shook the leadership of Baltimore, the
largest city in the state and a competitor for federal grant assistance.
As the Baltimore Sun noted in an article critical of the move, "Had he

 

106 They Dare to Speak Out

remained on the Appropriations Committee, Mr. Mathias almost cer-
tainly would have become chairman of the subcommittee that holds
the purse strings for the Department of Housing and Urban De-
velopment, an agency of great importance to the "renaissance 9 of Balti-
more."

Contrary to the assumptions of Maryland political observers,
Mathias was not planning to retire. Although he left a committee im-
portant to his constituents, the Senator welcomed the opportunity to
help shape the issues that come before the Foreign Relations Commit-
tee. He was exhibiting a political philosophy admired by former
Senator Mike Mansfield, who once called Mathias "the conscience of
the Senate," and by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who
recognized Mathias as "one of the few statesmen I met in Washington."

These qualities led Mathias to write his controversial Foreign Af-
fairs article calling for "the re-introduction of civility" into the discus-
sion of "ethnic advocacy" in Congress. He acknowledged that ethnic
groups have the right to lobby for legislation, but he warned, "The
affirmation of a right, and of the dangers of suppressing it, does not . . .
assure that the right will be exercised responsibly and for the general

 

Mathias cited the Israeli lobby as the most powerful ethnic pres-
sure group, noting that it differs from others in that it focuses on vital
national security interests and exerts "more constant pressure." Other
lobbying groups "show up in a crisis and then disappear" and tend to
deal with domestic matters. Mathias continued:

With the exception of the Eisenhower administration, which virtually com-
pelled Israel's withdrawal from the Sinai after the 1956 war, American presi-
dents, and to an even greater degree Senators and Representatives, have been
subjected to recurrent pressures from what has come to be known as the Israel
lobby.

He added an indictment of his colleagues: "For the most part they have
been responsive [to pro-Israeli lobbying pressure], and for reasons not
always related either to personal conviction or careful reflection on the
national interest."

Mathias illustrated his concern by reviewing the "spectacular"
success of AIPAC in 1975 when it promoted the "spirit of 76" letter:
"Seventy-six of us promptly affixed our signatures although no hear-
ings had been held, no debate conducted, nor had the administration
been invited to present its views."

The Maryland Republican felt the independence of Congress was
compromised by the intimidating effect of AIPAC's lobbying. He
wrote that "Congressional conviction" in favor of Israel "has been

 

The Deliberative Body Fails to Deliberate 107

immeasurably reinforced by the knowledge that political sanctions will
be applied to any who fail to deliver" on votes to support high levels of
economic and military aid to Israel.

Although he signed the 1975 AIPAC letter to President Ford,
Mathias resisted AIPAC's 1978 lobbying against the Carter adminis-
tration's proposal to sell 60 F-15 fighter planes to Saudi Arabia. In the
Senate debate before the vote he said that both Israel and Saudi Arabia
were important friends of the United States and that "both need our
support."

Despite this attempt to balance American interests with Israel and
the Saudi Arabia, Mathias said an "emotional, judgmental atmosphere"
surrounded the arms sale issue. He quoted from a letter written to a
Jewish newspaper in New York condemning his vote:

Mr. Mathias values the importance of oil over the well-being of Jews and the
state of Israel. . . . The Jewish people cannot be fooled by such a person, no
matter what he said, because his act proved who he was.

Yet Mathias had already responded to such criticism in his Foreign
Affairs article:

Resistance to the pressures of a particular group in itself signals neither a
sellout nor even a lack of sympathy with a foreign country or cause, but rather
a sincere conviction about the national interest of the United States.

He appealed to both the president and the Congress to "help to reduce
the fractiousness and strengthen our sense of common American pur-
pose." The president's national constituency afford him a unique op-
portunity to work toward this end, but Congress, "although more
vulnerable to group pressures," must also be active, he wrote.

Mathias asserted that it is not enough simply to follow public
opinion: "An elected representative has other duties as well — to formu-
late and explain to the best of his or her ability the general interest, and
to be prepared to accept the political consequences of having done so."
He warned that ethnic advocacy tends to excessiveness and can thwart
the higher good of national interests.

The Baltimore Jewish Times reported that Jewish leaders faced "a
delicate dilemma" as they considered how to respond to the article:

Basically, they're damned if they do and damned if they don't. If they keep a
low profile and do not challenge Mathias's assertions, they feel they will be
shirking their duty and giving in. Yet if they "go after" the Senator, they will be
falling into a trap by proving his point about excessive pressure.

Some Jews decided to take the latter course. Arnold Blumberg, a
history professor at Towson State University, charged that Mathias "is
in the mainstream of a tradition which urged Americans to pursue trade

 

108 They Dare to Speak Out

with Japan and Nazi Germany right up to the moment when scrap
metal rained on the heads of American GIs from German and Japanese
planes." A prominent Jewish community official charged that the arti-
cle was "malicious" and expressed hurt that Mathias had the "poison in
him to express these views." Congressman Benjamin S. Rosenthal, a
Democrat from New York and a senior member of the House Foreign
Affairs committee, charged that Mathias was "standing on the
threshold of bigotry" and denying "to the ethnic lobbies alone the right
to participate in shaping the American concensus on foreign policy."
Other critics expressed the fear that the article would encourage anti-
Semitism.

A spokesperson for the Maryland Jewish War Veterans organiza-
tion said Mathias had "sold" himself "to the cause of the Saudis," while
a letter to the Baltimore Sun chided, "I wish that [Mathias] had had the
integrity to express those views one year prior to his re-election rather
than one year after."

One critic, identified as "a former lobbyist," told the Jewish Times
of Baltimore,

Mathias is a bright, well-respected legislator who's been effective on Soviet
Jewry, but when it comes to Israel he was always the last to come on board. He
was always reluctant, and was pressured by Jewish groups, and he resented the
pressure. He sees himself as a statesman above the fray. Now he obviously
feels he's in a position to say what he really believes.

The Jewish Community Relations Council in San Francisco
criticized Mathias in its August 3, 1981, "Backgrounder" issue for rais-
ing the issue of "dual loyalty" within the "Jewish lobby." Mathias
dismissed the charge as a false issue. In Maryland, the article was
denounced by some rabbis, though Rabbi Jacob Angus of Baltimore
publicly defended Mathias.

Two journalist friends, Frank Mankiewicz and William Safire,
warned Mathias at the time that his article would "cause trouble." Two
years later Mankiewicz assessed the Senator's future and said he felt
the article had created serious problems.

Ethnic lobbying still worries Mathias. Pondering each word over a
cup of tea one afternoon in the fall of 1983, he told me,

Ethnic ties enrich American life, but it must be understood they can't become
so important that they obscure the primary duty to be an American citizen.
Sometimes the very volume of this kind of activity can amount to an excessive
zeal.

Some of his critics had not read his article, Mathias recalls with a
smile. "In a way, they were saying, I haven't read it, but it's outrag-
eous." At breakfasts sponsored by Jewish groups, Mathias was regu-

 

The Deliberative Body Fails to Deliberate 109

larly challenged. "When this happened, I would ask how many had
actually read my article. In a crowd of 200, maybe two hands would be
raised."

Did the article close off communication with Jewish constituents?
"I can't say it closed off access, but I have noticed that invitations have
fallen off in the past two years." Mathias did not seek a fourth term
in the Senate. He told a friend that controversy in the Jewish community
was a factor in his decision.

$3.1 Million from Pro-Israel Sources

Boy wonder of industry, self-made millionaire, tireless Republican
campaigner for progressive causes, Charles H. Percy was a bright pros-
pect for the presidency for a time in the late sixties. He skyrocketed to
prominence during his first term in the Senate, which began in 1967
after he won an upset victory over Paul Douglas, the popular but aging
liberal Democrat.

In his first election 60 percent of Jewish votes — Illinois has the
nation's fourth largest Jewish population — went to Douglas. But in the
next six years Percy supported aid for Israel, urged the Soviet Union to
permit emigration of Jews, criticized PLO terrorism, and supported
social causes so forcefully that Jews rallied strongly to his side when he
ran for re-election. In 1972 Percy accomplished something never before
achieved by carrying every county in the state and, even more remark-
able for an Illinois Protestant Republican, received 70 percent of the
Jewish vote.

His honeymoon with Jews was interrupted in 1975 when he returned
from a trip to the Middle East to declare, "Israel and its leadership, for
whom I have a high regard, cannot count on the United States in the
future just to write a blank check." He said Israel had missed some
opportunities to negotiate and he described PLO leader Yasser Arafat
as "more moderate, relatively speaking, than other extremists such as
George Habash." He ui^ged Israel to talk to the PLO if the organization
would renounce terrorism and recognize Israel's right to exist behind
secure defensible borders, noting that David Ben Gurion, Israel's first
prime minister, had said that Israel must be willing to swap real estate
for peace.

A week later Percy received this memorandum from his staff: "We
have received 2,200 telegrams and 4,000 letters in response to your
Mideast statements. . . . [They] run 95 percent against. As you might
imagine, the majority of hostile mail comes from the Jewish community
in Chicago. They threaten to withhold their votes and support for any
future endeavors."

 

1 10 They Dare to Speak Out

That same year Percy offended pro-Israel activists when he did not
sign the famous "spirit of 76" letter through which seventy-six of his
Senate colleagues effectively blocked President Gerald R. Ford's in-
tended "reappraisal" of Middle East policy. This brought another flood
of protest mail.

Despite these rumblings, the pro-Israel activists did not mount a
serious campaign against Percy in 1978. With the Senator's unprece-
dented 1972 sweep of the state fresh in mind, they did not seek out a
credible opponent either in the primary or the general election. In fact,
when the Democratic nomination went largely by default to an un-
known lawyer, Alex Seith, Jews took little interest. Even Percy's vote
to approve the sale of F-15 planes to Saudi Arabia during the campaign
year caused him no serious problem at that time.

In fact, only about one hundred Chicago Jews, few of them promi-
nent, openly supported Seith. Seith's scheduler, who is Jewish, called
every synagogue and every Jewish men's and women's organization in
the state, but only one agreed to let the candidate speak. His campaign
manager, Gary Ratner, concludes, "It was a ghetto mentality. Most
Jews felt there was no way Percy would lose, so why get him mad at
us." Of the $1 million Seith spent, less than $20,000 came from Jews.
Encouraged by Philip Klutznick, a prominent Chicago Jewish leader,
Illinois Jews contributed several times that amount to Percy. Of 70
Jewish leaders asked to sign an advertisement supporting the Senator,
65 gave their approval. On election day, Jewish support figured heavily
in Percy's victory. He received only 53 percent of the statewide total
but an impressive 61 percent of the Jewish vote.

The 1984 campaign was dramatically different. Pro-Israel forces
targeted him for defeat early and never let up. Percy upset Jews by
voting to support the Reagan administration sale of AWACS radar
planes to Saudi Arabia (a sale also supported by the Carter administra-
tion). These developments provided new ammunition for the attack
already underway against Percy. Percy's decision was made after staff
members who had visited Israel said they had been told by an Israeli
military official that the strategic military balance would not be af-
fected, but that they did not want the symbolism of the United States
doing business with Saudi Arabia.

Early in 1984, AIPAC decided to mobilize the full national re-
sources of the pro-Israel campaign against Percy. In the March pri-
mary, it encouraged the candidacy of Congressman Tom Corcoran,
Percy's challenger for the nomination. One of Corcoran's chief advis-
ers and fundraisers was Morris Amitay, former executive director of
AIPAC. Corcoran's high-decibel attacks portrayed the Senator as anti-
Israel. His fund-raising appeals to Jews cited Percy as "Israel's worst

 

The Deliberative Body Fails to Deliberate 1 1 1

adversary in Congress." A full-page newspaper advertisement, spon-
sored by the Corcoran campaign, featured a picture of Arafat and
headlined, "Chuck Percy says this man is a moderate." A letter to
Jewish voters defending Percy and signed by fifty-eight leading Illinois
Jews made almost no impact.

Although Percy overcame the primary challenge, Corcoran's at-
tacks damaged his position with Jewish voters and provided a strong
base for AIPAC's continuing assault. Thomas A. Dine, executive di-
rector of AIPAC, set the tone early in the summer by attacking Percy's
record at a campaign workshop in Chicago. AIPAC encouraged fund-
raising for Paul Simon and mobilized its political resources heavily
against Percy. It assigned several student interns fulltime to the task of
anti-Percy research and brought more than one hundred university
students from out-of-state to campaign for Simon.

Midway in the campaign, AIPAC took a devious step to make
Percy look bad. The key votes selected by AIPAC and used to rate all
Senators showed Percy supporting Israel 89 percent of the time during
his career. This put him only a few points below Simon's 99 percent
rating in the House of Representatives and was hardly the contrast
AIPAC wanted to cite in its anti-Percy campaign. The lobby solved the
problem by changing its own rulebook in the middle of the game. It
added to the selected list a number of obscure votes Percy had cast in
the subcommittee and letters and resolutions that Percy had not signed.
The expanded list dropped the Senator's rating to only 51 percent, a
mark useful to Simon when he addressed Jewish audiences.

While most financial support from pro-Israel activists came to
Simon from individuals, political action committees figured heavily. By
mid-August these committees had contributed $145,870 to Simon,
more than to any other Senate candidate. By election day, the total had
risen to $235,000, with fifty-five committees participating.

In addition, a California Jewish activist, Michael Goland, using a
loophole in federal law, spent $1.6 million for billboard, radio and
television advertising which urged Illinoisans to "dump Percy" and
called him a "chameleon."

Percy undertook vigorous countermeasures. Former Senator
Jacob Javits of New York, one of the nation's most prominent and
respected Jews, and Senator Rudy Boschwitz, chairman of the Senate
Foreign Relations Committee subcommittee concerning the Middle
East, made personal appearances for Percy in Chicago, and one hun-
dred Illinois Jews led by former Attorney General Edward H. Levi
sponsored a full-page advertisement which declared that Percy "has
delivered for Illinois, delivered for America and delivered for Israel."
The advertisement, in an unstated reference to Goland's attacks,

 

1 12 They Dare to Speak Out

warned, "Don't let our U.S. Senate race be bought by a Californian."

Except for charging in one news conference that Simon pro-
claimed that he had a 100 percent voting record for the pro-Israel
lobby, Percy tried to avoid the Israel- Jewish controversy in the cam-
paign.

These precautions proved futile, as did his strong legislative en-
deavors. His initiatives as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee brought Israel $425 million more in grant aid than Reagan
had requested in 1983 and $325 million more in 1984, but these suc-
cesses for Israel seemed to make no difference. A poll taken a month
before the election showed a large majority of Jews supporting Simon.
The Percy campaign found no way to stem the tide.

When the votes were counted, Percy had lost statewide by 89,000
votes. One exit poll indicated that Percy won 35 percent of the Jewish
vote. In the same balloting Illinois Jews cast only 30 percent of their
votes for the re-election of President Ronald Reagan, despite their
unhappiness with the chief executive's views on the separation of
church and state, abortion, and other social issues — not to mention his
insistence on selling AWACS planes to Saudi Arabia.

In an election decided by so few votes, any major influence could
be cited as crucial. Although broadly supportive of Reagan's program,
Percy was remembered by many voters mainly as a moderate, progres-
sive, Republican. Some conservative Republicans rejoiced at his de-
feat. The "new right," symbolized by the National Conservative
Political Action Committee, withheld its support from Percy and early
in the campaign indicated its preference for Simon, despite the latter's
extremely liberal record in Congress.

Yet the Middle East controversy alone may have been sufficient to
cost Percy his Senate seat. Thousands of Jews who had voted for Percy
in 1978 left him for the Democratic candidate six years later. And these
votes fled to Simon mainly because Israel's lobby worked effectively
throughout the campaign year to portray the Senator as basically anti-
Israel. Percy's long record of support for Israel's needs amounted to a
repudiation of the accusation, but too few Jews spoke up publicly in his
defense. The Senator found that once a candidate is labeled anti-Israel
the poison sinks so swiftly and deeply it is almost impossible to re-
move.

The Middle East figured heavily in campaign financing as well as
voting. Simon's outlay for the year was $5.3 million and Percy's about
$6 million. With Goland spending $1.6 million in his own independent
attack on Percy, total expenditures in behalf of the Simon candidacy
came to $6.9 million.

 

The Deliberative Body Fails to Deliberate 1 13

Forty percent — $3.1 million — came from Jews disgruntled over
Percy's position on Arab-Israel relations. Indeed, Simon was promised
half this sum before he became a candidate. While he was still ponder-
ing whether to vacate his safe seat in the House of Representatives in
order to make the race, he was assured $1.5 million from Jewish
sources. The promise came from Robert Schrayer, Chicago area busi-
nessman and leader in the Jewish community, whose daughter,
Elizabeth, was helping to organize anti-Percy forces in her job as as-
sistant director of political affairs for AIPAC.

Reviewing the impact of the Middle East controversy on his de-
feat, Percy says, "Did it make the difference? I don't know. But this I
believe: I believe Paul Simon would not have run had he not been
assured by Bob Schrayer that he would receive the $1.5 million."
Simon acknowledges, "This assurance was a factor in my decision."

AIPAC's Dine told a Canadian audience: "All the Jews in America,
from coast to coast, gathered to oust Percy. And American politi-
cians — those who hold public positions now, and those who aspire —
got the message."

 

Chapter 4

 

The Lobby and the Oval Office

 

On a Sunday afternoon, just a few days before the presidential election
in 1960, John F. Kennedy, the Democratic candidate, parked his car in
front of the residence at 4615 W Street, just off Foxhall Road in a
fashionable section of Washington. He was alone, unencumbered by
the Secret Service officers soon to be a part of his life.

He wanted to get away from campaign pressures and have a chat
with Charles Bartlett, a journalist and a close friend of many years.
Their friendship had remained firm since they became acquainted in
Florida immediately after World War II, and it was Bartlett who first
introduced Kennedy to his future bride, Jacqueline Bouvier.

The night before, Kennedy had gone to dinner with a small group
of wealthy and prominent Jews in New York. An episode of the eve-
ning troubled him deeply. Describing it to Bartlett as an "amazing
experience," he said one of those at the dinner party — he did not iden-
tify him by name — told him he knew his campaign was in financial
difficulty and, speaking for the group, offered "to help and help
significantly" if Kennedy as president "would allow them to set the
course of Middle East policy over the next four years." It was an
astounding proposition.

Kennedy told Bartlett he reacted less as a presidential candidate
than as a citizen. "He said he felt insulted," Bartlett recalls, "that
anybody would make that offer, particularly to a man who even had a
slim chance to be president. He said if he ever did get to be president
he would push for a law that would subsidize presidential campaigns
out of the U.S. Treasury. He added that whatever the cost of this
subsidy, it would insulate presidential candidates in the future from this
kind of pressure and save the country a lot of grief in the long run."

Just what Kennedy said in response to the proposition, Barlett did
not know. "Knowing his style, he probably made a general comment
and changed the subject."

114

 

The Lobby and the Oval Office 1 15

After learning of the event from Bartlett, I talked with one of the
people attending the dinner, Myer Feldman, a Washington attorney
who worked closely in the Kennedy campaign in 1960 and later became
assistant to the president with special responsibilities for liaison with
the Jewish community. I hoped he could supply further details. As a
freshman Congressman in 1961-62, 1 had had several friendly encoun-
ters with Feldman over wheat sales to the Soviet Union.

He recalled the gathering which, he said, was held at the apart-
ment of Abraham Feinberg, chairman of the American Bank and Trust
Company in New York and influential in national Jewish affairs and the
Democratic Party. Those attending, Feldman recalled, were "ambigu-
ous about Kennedy." They weren't sure "which way he would go" on
Middle East policy and therefore not sure they would support him. The
candidate was "peppered with tough and embarrassing questions."
Asked for his opinion about moving the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel
Aviv to Jerusalem, Kennedy had replied, "Not under present circum-
stances." He said Kennedy answered all questions directly and made a
good impression on his hosts. Feldman said he was unaware of the
proposition that "insulted" the future president.

It was not the first time Middle East politics intruded forcibly into
presidential campaigns. Bartlett says that when he related the episode
to Roger L. Stevens, head of the John F. Kennedy Center for the
Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., Stevens responded, "That's
very interesting, because exactly the same thing happened to Adlai
[former U.N. Ambassador Adlai E. Stevenson] in Los Angeles in
1956." Stevenson was then the Democratic candidate for president,
opposing the re-election of Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Ethnic group pressure is an ever-present part of U.S. partisan
politics, and because the president of the United States is the executor
of all foreign policy, and the formulator of most of it, pressures natu-
rally center on the people who hold or seek the presidency. When the
pressure is from friends of Israel, presidents — and presidential candi-
dates — often yield.

Lobby pressure on the White House is applied at several different
levels. The most direct — person-to-person — varies greatly, depending
on the inclinations of the person who is president at the time.

Some of those applying pressure are close personal friends whose
influence is limited to just one presidency, an example being Harry S.
Truman's close friendship with Ed Jacobson, his former haberdashery
partner and an ardent Zionist. Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Krim, Jewish lead-
ers from New York, maintained a close relationship with Lyndon B.
Johnson. A White House official of the period recalls: "Arthur Krim
stayed at the LB J Ranch during crucial moments before the 1967 war
and his wife, Mathilde, was a guest in the White House during the

 

1 16 They Dare to Speak Out

war." White House logs show that Mrs. Krim talked frequently by
telephone with Johnson.

Other Jewish leaders maintain a relationship from one administra-
tion to another. Abraham Feinberg of New York, who hosted the dinner
for Kennedy in October 1960, kept close White House ties over a
period of years. He was a frequent visitor at the White House during
the Johnson years, and as late as 1984, during the pre-convention presi-
dential campaigning, brought the leading Democratic contenders, Wal-
ter Mondale and Gary Hart, together for a private discussion at his
New York apartment. Philip Klutznick of Chicago, former president of
B'nai B'rith, kept close relations throughout the Truman, Eisenhower,
Kennedy, Johnson and Carter administrations.

Sometimes Israeli diplomats have a personal relationship which
gives them direct access to the president. Ephraim Evron, then deputy
chief in the Israeli embassy and a friend since Senate days, sometimes
talked privately with Johnson in the Oval Office.

The second level of pressure comes through officials close to the
president— his adviser on relations with the Jewish community or
others among his top aides. President Kennedy told a friend, with a
chuckle, that he learned that when he was away from Washington,
Myer Feldman, his adviser on Jewish matters, would occasionally in-
vite Jewish leaders to the White House for a discussion in the Cabinet
Room.

The third level for pressing the presidency is within the top levels
of the departments — the State Department, Defense Department and
National Security Council — where Israeli officials and groups of U.S.
citizens who are pro-Israeli activists frequently call to present their
agendas to cabinet officers or their chief deputies (see chapter five).

"The Votes Are Against You"

Zionists began pressing their case early in the administration of
Harry S. Truman and intensified their efforts in 1947 when Truman
initially expressed opposition to the establishment of a Jewish state in
Palestine. Jewish leaders bought newspaper advertising designed to
transform public shame and outrage over the Holocaust into popular
support for the idea of a Jewish national homeland. Both Houses of
Congress passed resolutions urging presidential support.

When Thiman continued to resist and publicly urged citizens to
avoid inflaming "the passions of the inhabitants of Palestine," a group
of New Jersey Jews wired: "Your policy on Palestine . . . has cost you
our support in 1948." With election day approaching, it was a reminder
of the grim political facts of life. Two-thirds of American Jews lived in

 

The Lobby and the Oval Office 1 17

New York, Pennsylvania and Illinois, and these states would cast 1 10
electoral votes in the presidential voting. Considered the underdog in
the upcoming election despite his incumbency, Truman knew he must
have those votes to win.

With a proclamation announcing the new state of Israel expected
soon, Truman assembled his Middle East ambassadors to get their
views. Their spokesman, ambassador to Egypt Pinkerton "Pinky"
T\ick, advised against immediate recognition. He told Truman the deci-
sion should be delayed long enough to carry out the consultation with
Arab states that Truman's predecessor, Franklin D. Roosevelt, had
promised the king of Saudi Arabia.

Thiman replied, "Mr, TUck, you may be right, but the votes are
against you." In deciding to recognize Israel immediately, Truman re-
jected not just Tack's advice but that of all his military and diplomatic
advisers. He chose instead the recommendation of his close friend and
former associate in the haberdashery trade, Ed Jacobson. In fact, pro-
Israeli partisans today generally view Truman's immediate recognition
of Israel as a prime example of effective lobbying through a "key
contact" rather than the usual pressure tactics. Jacobson's pro-Zionist
view was shared by Thiman's political advisers, particularly Clark Clif-
ford.

Secretary of State George C. Marshall opposed the decision so
strongly that he bluntly told Thiman soon after his recognition an-
nouncement that if the election were held the next day he would not
vote for him. Sentiments were of course much different in Israel. Dur-
ing a 1949 White House visit, the chief rabbi of Israel told the presi-
dent, "God put you in your mother's womb so you would be the
instrument to bring about the rebirth of Israel after 2000 years."

In partisan political terms, Thiman's decision paid off. On election
day he received 75 percent of the Jewish vote nationally, which helped
him win a razor-thin upset victory — and a permanent place of honor on
the face of Israeli postage stamps, as well as in the hearts of Zionists.

"Dismayed by 'Partisan Considerations 9 "

Presidential behavior toward the state of Israel took a turn in the
opposite direction when Truman's successor, Dwight D. Eisenhower,
assumed office. He resisted pressures from the Israeli lobby and on
three occasions forced Israel to abandon major policies to which it was
publicly and strongly committed.

In September 1953, he ordered a cancellation of all aid —
amounting to $26 million — until Israel stopped work on a diversion
canal being constructed on the Jordan River in violation of the 1949

 

1 18 They Dare to Speak Out

ceasefire agreements, a project which would help assure Israeli control
of water resources which were important to all nations in the region. It
was the first time a president actually cut off all aid to Israel. He also
instructed the Treasury Department to draft an order removing the tax-
deductible status of contributions made to the United Jewish Appeal
and other organizations raising funds for Israel in the U.S.

Predictably, Eisenhower's decision kicked up a major storm. Dr.
Israel Goldstein told an audience of 20,000 celebrating Jerusalem's
3,000th birthday at New York's Madison Square Garden: "Peace will
not be helped by withholding aid as an instrument of unwarranted
duress." New York members of Congress joined the bandwagon.
Senator Robert Wagner called the decision "cruel and intemperate,"
and Congressman Emanuel Celler denounced it as a "snap judgment."
All major Jewish organizations condemned the action.

Eisenhower stood firm in withholding aid, and less than two
months later Israel announced it was ceasing work on the river diver-
sion project. The president had won a first round, the confrontation
was postponed, aid to Israel was resumed, and the order ending the
privileged tax status enjoyed by Zionist groups was not issued.

Eisenhower faced the lobby again in October 1956, just days be-
fore his re-election as president. Israel had negotiated a secret deal
with Britain and France under which the three nations would coordi-
nate a military attack on the Nasser regime in Egypt, which had just
taken over the Suez Canal. Israel would strike across the Sinai Desert
and move against the canal, while British and French forces, after an
air bombardment, would invade from the north.

The allied governments assumed that the United States would not
interfere; France and Britain believed that Eisenhower would avoid a
public showdown with his wartime allies. Israel, with the U.S. presi-
dential election just days away, counted on partisan pressures from its
American lobby to keep candidate Eisenhower on the sidelines. All
miscalculated.

When Israel's invasion of Egypt began on October 29, Eisenhower
immediately cancelled all aid to Israel. He permitted only the delivery
of food already in transit, stopping all other forms of assistance, both
economic and military. These measures created such pressure that
Israel halted its attack. The British and French, also under heavy U.S.
pressure, abandoned their invasion from the north.

Despite partisan assaults on his Middle East policy, the president
was, of course, easily re-elected. In fact, more American Jews voted
for Eisenhower in 1956 (40 percent) than those who had supported him
in 1952 (36 percent).

But Eisenhower's problems with Israel were far from over. Even

 

The Lobby and the Oval Office 1 1 9

after the invasion was halted, Israel decided to keep occupying forces
in the Egyptian-administered Gaza Strip, as well as the strategic village
of Sharm el-Sheik at the access to the Gulf of Aqaba. Despite protests
by the United States and six resolutions by the United Nations, Israel
refused to withdraw. As weeks passed, lobby pressure against
Eisenhower's position received support from Eleanor Roosevelt, for-
mer President Truman, and leaders of both parties in the Senate,
Democrat Lyndon Johnson of Texas and Republican William
Knowland of California.

Informed that the United States might support U.N. sanctions
against Israel, Knowland threatened to resign as a member of the U.N.
delegation and warned Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, "This
will mean a parting of the ways." Dulles was firm: "I think you should
study this. We cannot have all our policies made in Jerusalem." Dulles
told Henry Luce, owner of Time, Inc. and a supporter of Israel's
position, "I am aware how almost impossible it is in this country to
carry out a foreign policy not approved by the Jews. [But] I am going to
try to have one. This does not mean I am anti-Jewish, but I believe in
what George Washington said in his farewell address, that an emotional
attachment to another country should not interfere."

Eisenhower considered the issue vital. He summoned the biparti-
san leadership of Congress to the White House to request their sup-
port. Unwilling to tangle with pro-Israeli activists, the group refused.
That night the president wrote in his diary: "As I reflected on the
pettiness of the discussion of the morning, I found it somewhat dismay-
ing that partisan considerations should enter so much into life-or-
death, peace-or-war decisions."

A determined president took his case to the American people in a
televised address in the spring of 1957:

Should a nation which attacks and occupies foreign territory in the face of the
United Nations disapproval be allowed to impose conditions on its own with-
drawal? If we agreed that armed attack can properly achieve the purposes of
the assailant, then I fear we will have turned back the clock of international
order.

Letters and telegrams poured into the White House, but almost all
of the communications came from Jews, 90 percent supporting Israel's
position. Dulles complained, "It is impossible to hold the line because
we get no support from the Protestant elements in the country. All we
get is a battering from the Jews."

Eisenhower persisted, declaring that the United States would sup-
port a U.N. resolution imposing sanctions if Israel did not withdraw
from all of the Sinai peninsula and from Gaza and threatening to take

 

120 They Dare to Speak Out

away the tax privilege enjoyed by donors to Israeli causes. Faced with
that prospect, Israel finally capitulated and withdrew from the oc-
cupied territory.

 

"Armed Shipments Are . . . Ready to Go"

Israel fared better at the hands of the next occupants of the White
House. Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson began to
help Israel in its military activities, not hold it back.

Although there is no evidence to suggest that Kennedy accepted
the dinner party propositions— to exchange control of Middle East pol-
icy for campaign contributions — he fared well on election day in 1960,
receiving 82 percent of the Jewish vote, topping even Harry Ihiman's
75 percent, and, as president, he made a decision vital to Israel's
military plans. He approved for the first time the U.S. sale of weapons
to Israel.

But Israel's military fortunes received a still greater boost with the
arrival in the Oval Office of President Lyndon B. Johnson. Johnson's
sympathy for the underdog — in his view, Israel — made him responsive
to the demands of Israel and its lobby in the United States. Friends of
Israel with special influence included Arthur Goldberg, U.S. ambassa-
dor to the United Nations, Philip Klutznick of Chicago, and three New
Yorkers, Abraham Feinberg and Arthur and Mathilde Krim. The latter
often worked through the Rostow brothers, Walt Rostow, Johnson's
national security adviser, and Eugene Rostow, assistant secretary of
state for political affairs.

In a September 1966 letter to Feinberg, Klutznick called for an im-
proved relationship between Johnson and the American Jewish com-
munity. He did not want Jewish differences with Johnson over the
Vietnam war and aid to private schools, for example, to complicate
American support for Israel. He called on Feinberg to help establish a
"sense of participation." The elements of a deal were present. At the
time, Johnson desperately wanted public support for the war in South-
east Asia, and the Jewish leaders wanted assurance that the U.S. would
stand by Israel in a crisis.

Aid levels were increased, clearances issued for almost any mili-
tary item, and extensive credit extended.

Lobby pressure may not have been needed to persuade Johnson to
support Israel, but the pressure came nevertheless. Harold Saunders, a
member of the National Security Council staff and later Carter's assist-
ant secretary of state for the Near East and South Asia, recalls the
avalanche of telegrams and letters that urged President Johnson to

 

The Lobby and the Oval Office 121

stand behind Israel when Egypt's President Nasser closed the Strait of
Tiran in May 1967: "I had 150,000 telegrams and letters from the Jew-
ish community in boxes in my office. I do not exaggerate. There were
150,000 pieces of paper sitting there. They all said the same thing. And
Johnson decreed that every one of them should be answered."

In early June, on the day that Israel attacked Egypt, the president
received this urgent message from Rostow: "Arthur Krim reports that
many armed shipments are packed and ready to go to Israel, but are
being held up. He thinks it would be most helpful if these could be
released."

Israel was at war, and this time the president of the United States
would cause no problems. Aid would go forward without interruption,
and calls for sanctions against Israel in the United Nations would face
adamant U.S. opposition. The United States would actively support
Israel's military endeavors. Powerful new ties with Israel would lead
the president of the United States to cover up the facts concerning one
of the most astonishing disasters in the history of the United States
Navy, the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty (see chapter five),

Saunders recalls that after the Arab-Israeli war, pro-Israeli inter-
ests blanketed the White House with the basic demand that Israel not
be forced to withdraw from territory it occupied until the Arab states
agreed to a "just and lasting peace" with Israel. Under this demand,
Israel could use occupied Arab territory as a bargaining "chip" in seek-
ing Arab recognition, an option that President Eisenhower refused to
permit Israel to use after the Suez crisis in 1957.

Saunders adds, "This Israeli demand was accepted by President
Johnson without discussion in the National Security Council or other
policy institutions. It has had a profound impact on the course of
events in the Middle East since that time." According to another high
official of that period, the policy was adopted because the lobby suc-
ceeded in "pervading the very atmosphere of the White House."

Nixon's Order Ignored

Although Johnson's successor, Richard M. Nixon, came to office
with little Jewish help, he supported Israel so heavily in his first term as
president that in 1972 re-election campaign Israel's ambassador to
Washington, Yitzhak Rabin, openly campaigned for him. Nixon won
35 percent of the Jewish vote in 1972, up 20 points from four years
before.

In 1973 he came powerfully to Israel's defense when Arab states
tried to recover territory seized in 1967 by the Israelis. During the

 

122 They Dare to Speak Out

conflict, the weapons and supplies Nixon ordered airlifted to Israel
proved to be Israel's lifeline. His decision to order forces on a high
state of alert worldwide may have kept the Soviet Union from under-
taking a larger role.

Privately, Nixon criticized Israel for failing to cooperate in a com-
prehensive settlement of issues with its Arab neighbors. On several
occasions, he ordered Henry Kissinger, national security adviser and
later secretary of state, to suspend aid to Israel until it became more
cooperative. Three days before he resigned the presidency, Nixon in-
structed Kissinger to disapprove an Israeli request for "long-term mili-
tary assistance." Kissinger writes in his memoirs: "He would cut off all
military deliveries to Israel until it agreed to a comprehensive peace.
He regretted not having done so earlier; he would make up for it now.
His successor would thank him for it. I should prepare the necessary
papers." Kissinger adds that Nixon did not return to the subject. Al-
though "the relevant papers were prepared," according to Kissinger,
they were "never signed." Nor did Kissinger see fit to carry out the
orders. (In July 1984, Nixon verified the Kissinger account, saying it
was accurate and adding that he "still believes that aid to Israel should
be tied to cooperation in a comprehensive settlement.")

Assuming the presidency in 1975, Ford took no action on the cut-
off papers prepared for Nixon, but confronted Rabin, who by then had
become the Israeli prime minister, over the same comprehensive peace
settlement issue. In an effort to elicit greater Israeli cooperation, Ford
announced in 1975 that he would "reassess" U.S. policy in the Middle
East (see chapter three). Under lobby-organized pressure from the
Senate, Ford dropped the reassessment, but this retreat did not win
him votes when he sought a full term as president the next year. In
1976, 68 percent of the Jewish vote went to Democrat Jimmy Carter.

Uncritical Support Is No Favor to Israel

During the period between Carter's election in 1976 and his inau-
guration in January 1977, the Israeli lobby played a role in his decision
on who would manage foreign policy. Carter decided to nominate as
Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, a man of decency and fairness and
possessing the right impulses on Middle East policy, but in doing so he
passed over George W. Ball, a man who had all these same important
qualities but who also possessed the experience, personal force and
worldwide prestige Carter would need in upcoming crises in the Middle
East and elsewhere.

When I visited him at his Princeton, N.J., residence during the
summer of 1983 — seeking background facts on this period — Ball was

The Lobby and the Oval Office 123

well into writing his fourth major book. I found him at the end of a
narrow corridor lined with cartoons and photographs of the political
past, in a large high-ceilinged room bustling with the activity of a city
newsroom just before presstime. Once a private art gallery, it is now
filled with computers, papers, books and busy people.

At the center of it all, pecking away at a word processor keyboard
and surrounded by papers stacked high on a U-shaped table sat the
former deputy secretary of state under two presidents, former U.S. am-
bassador to the United Nations, and former executive with one of
Manhattan's largest investment banking firms. At 73, he was still busy
trying to bring order out of a world in disarray. The Manchester Guar-
dian characterized him as "an idealist facing chaos with dignity."

I was armed with questions. What price had Ball paid for speaking
out on Middle East issues? Had it hurt his law practice, spoiled his
chances to serve in higher office? Ball took time to talk, but he was
busy. He had just addressed the cadets at West Point and was midway
in preparing an editorial piece for the Washington Post in which he
would warn the Reagan administration of immense pitfalls ahead in its
Lebanese policy. He was one of my heroes, especially for his courage
on Vietnam policy, and I admired his brilliance as a writer. Eloquent
and witty, he reminded me more of his colleague in the Johnson admin-
istration, former Secretary of State Dean Rusk, but their views on
Vietnam were sharply at odds,

"I'll be with you in a minute," Ball said, glancing up from the
keyboard. He gave the computer keys a few more whacks, stood up,
whipped out a diskette and told his assistant, Lee Hurford, "Print it
all." His six-foot two-inch frame exuded confidence and power. Mak-
ing his way through the array of books and papers, he explained, "I'm
addicted to this machine. I would never go back to a typewriter. I quit
commuting to Manhattan," he added, gesturing down the corridor,
"because I can slip down here evenings if I have some ideas to put
down."

Put them down he has. Over the years many diplomats have firmly
criticized Israeli policies, but most have confined their advice to pri-
vate circles. Those who have spoken out publicly usually have done so
in muted tones. Close friends doubt that Ball has any muted tones. He
has never pulled any punches. But while on government assignments
Ball dutifully kept his advice private.

Ball has paid a price for such candor on Israeli policy. He was one
of only three people considered for appointment as secretary of state
under President Carter, and except for his outspoken views on Middle
East affairs, his nomination would have seemed inevitable.

His political and professional credentials were immaculate. A

 

124 They Dare to Speak Out

lifelong Democrat, he twice campaigned vigorously for Adlai E.
Stevenson for president. In 1959 he became a supporter of John F.
Kennedy's presidential ambitions. His diplomatic experience and pres-
tige were diverse and unmatched. He had served as number two man in
the State Department under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon
Johnson. In those assignments he dealt intimately with the Cuban mis-
sile crisis and most other major issues in foreign policy for six years.
He took the job as ambassador to the U.N., a job he did not want,
because, in his words, "L.B.J, had surrounded me."

Ball challenged military policies forcefully within administration
circles. On a proposed policy question Johnson would frequently go
around the cabinet room for advice, then say, "Now let's hear what
Ball has to say against it."

Ball consistently argued against the buildup in Vietnam. The
Washington Post described him as "the consistent dove in a hawkish
administration." Journalist Walter Lippman, a close friend, urged him
to resign in protest: "Feeling as you do, you should resign and make
your opposition public." Ball declined, believing it important that criti-
cism of the war be heard directly from within the administration,
though Johnson usually rejected his advice.

Ball was one of America's best-known and most admired diplo-
mats, but he probably spiked his prospects of becoming Carter's secre-
tary of state when he wrote an article entitled "The Coming Crisis in
Israeli-American Relations" for the Winter 1975/76 issue of Foreign
Affairs quarterly. It provoked a storm of protest from the Jewish com-
munity.

In the article, Ball cited President Eisenhower's demand that Is-
rael withdraw from the Sinai as "the last time the United States ever
took, and persisted in, forceful action against the strong wishes of an
Israeli government." He saw the event as as watershed. "American
Jewish leaders thereafter set out to build one of Washington's most
effective lobbies, which now works in close cooperation with the Is-
raeli embassy."

He lamented the routine leakage of classified information:
Not only do Israel's American supporters have powerful influence with many
members of the Congress, but practically no actions touching Israel's interests
can be taken, or even discussed, within the executive branch without it being
quickly known to the Israeli government.

He bemoaned Israel's rejection of U.S. advice at a time when Israel's
dependence on U.S. aid had "reached the point of totality."

Yet he was not surprised that Israel pursued an independent
course:

 

The Lobby and the Oval Office 125

Israelis have been so long conditioned to expect that Americans will support
their country, no matter how often it disregards American advice and protests
and America's own interests.

Despite such sharp criticism, candidate Carter for a time con-
sidered Ball his principal foreign policy adviser and selected him as one
of three finalists for secretary of state when, as the president-elect, he
took up the process of selecting his cabinet. The other two finalists
were Paul Warnke, former assistant secretary of defense and, of
course, Cyrus Vance.

Zbigniew Brzezinski, Carter's national security adviser, wrote in
his book Power and Principle that Ball was his preference for secre-
tary of state during the period preceding election day although he later
shifted to Vance. Asked for his views during the postelection process
at Plains, Georgia, Brzezinski told Carter that Ball would be "a strong
conceptualizer but probably a poor organizer, an assertive individual
but probably somewhat handicapped by his controversial position on
the Middle East." He said Ball's appointment as secretary of state
would be received "extremely well in Western Europe and Japan,
probably somewhat less so in the developing countries, and negatively
in Israel."

A number of Jewish leaders urged Carter not to name Ball to any
significant role in his administration. The characteristic which made
Ball unacceptable to the Israeli lobby was his candor; he wasn't afraid
to speak up and criticize Israeli policy. Carter dropped Ball from con-
sideration.

With Carter's cabinet selection process completed, Ball continued
to speak out. Early in 1977 he wrote another article in Foreign Affairs,
"How to Save Israel in Spite of Herself," urging the new administra-
tion to take the lead in formulating a comprehensive settlement that
would be fair to the Palestinians as well as Israel. For a time Carter
moved in this direction, even trying to communicate with the Palestine
Liberation Organization through Saudi Arabia. When this approach
floundered, Carter shifted his focus on attempting to reach a settlement
between Egypt and Israel at Camp David, where Ball believes Carter
was double-crossed by Begin. "I talked with Carter just before Camp
David. We had a long dinner together. He told me he was going to try to
get a full settlement on Middle East issues, and he seemed to under-
stand the significance of the Palestinian issue. On this I have no doubt,
and I think he desperately wanted to settle it." After Camp David,
Israel frustrated Carter's goals, continuing to build settlements in oc-
cupied territory and blocking progress toward autonomy for Palestin-
ians in the West Bank.

 

126 They Dare to Speak Out

Although not a part of the Carter Administration, Ball continued
to be an all-time favorite on television interview shows. One of these
appearances led to a public exchange with a Jewish leader. On a panel
interview in late 1977 Ball said he felt the Jewish community in the
United States had put United States interests "rather secondary in
many cases."

To Morris B. Abram, Manhattan lawyer and former president of
the American Jewish Committee, these were fighting words. Enlisted
the year before in support of the effort to make Ball the secretary of
state, Abram wrote him a public letter, published in the Washington
Post, charging that these comments established Ball "as one who is
willing to accept and spread age-old calumnies about Jews."

Responding in the Washington Post, Ball denied that he was sug-
gesting that "even the most ardent Zionist consciously choose Israel
over America." He explained, "I suggest rather that the effect of their
uncritical encouragement of Israel's most excessive actions is not
wholly consistent with the United States' interests." His correspon-
dence with Abram was published in the Washington Post. Ball con-
cluded,

When leading members of the American Jewish community give [Israel's]
government uncritical and unqualified approbation and encouragement for
whatever it chooses to do, while striving so far as possible to overwhelm any
criticism of its actions in Congress and in the public media, they are, in my
view, doing neither themselves nor the United States a favor.

During the Reagan administration, Ball became one of the few
Democrats trying to take his party back to the Middle East morality of
Eisenhower. Of Reagan, he said,

He did not demand, as he should have done under the law, that we would exact
the penalties provided unless the Israelis stopped murdering civilians with the
weapons we had provided them solely for self-defense. Instead he bought them
off by committing our own Marines to maintain order while we persuaded the
PLO leaders to leave rather than face martyrdom.

Ball did not let his business career, any more than his public
career, soften his public expressions. He admitted that his plain talk
about the Middle East "certainly hasn't helped" his business career:

I'm sure that my partners at Lehman Brothers had to absorb a certain amount
of punishment. But they were tolerant and understanding people. I never felt I
lost anything very much by speaking out. I'm politically untouchable, but I am
sure certain groups would rather shoot me than deal with me.

While never shot at for his views, his encounters with the Israeli
lobby were numerous and began early in his career. He recalls the day,

 

The Lobby and the Oval Office \T1

during the 1952 presidential race, when a pro-Israel emissary visited
Adlai Stevenson's presidential campaign headquarters in Springfield,
Illinois. The emissary told Ball that his friends had gathered a "lot of
money" but wanted to "discuss the Israeli question" before turning it
over. Ball says Stevenson met with the group — "He met with any
group" — but he "never made any of the promises expected."

In more recent presidential campaigns, Ball experienced lobby
pressure of a different kind. In early 1979, impressed with the early
pronouncements of John B. Anderson, Ball announced that he planned
to vote for the maverick Republican who was running for president as
an independent. Upon hearing the news, an elated Anderson called
Ball and promised to visit him at Princeton "soon." Anderson changed
his mind. He never came. Convinced by his campaign staff that he had
to cultivate the pro-Israeli community if he hoped to make progress as
a candidate, Anderson made a ritual visit to Israel. He issued state-
ments fully supporting Israel. He shunned Ball.

The elder statesman had a similar experience in 1983. After testify-
ing to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee one morning, Ball was
approached by Senator John Glenn, who was already testing the presi-
dential waters. Glenn invited Ball to call because he wanted his advice
on foreign policy issues. After trying unsuccessfully to get calls
through, Ball wrote him. He stated his willingness to help Glenn set up
a panel of scholars and former diplomats who could help the candidate
with ideas, statements and speeches during the hectic days of cam-
paigning. Ball had done the same thing for Adlai Stevenson in 1956.
Several weeks later a letter arrived from Glenn stating that he would
take up the suggestions with his campaign staff. That was the end of
Ball's relationship with Glenn.

Despite the intimidating factors that led candidates Carter, Ander-
son and Glenn to avoid his help, Ball feels the lobby is overrated in the
power it can deliver. While it controls many votes in strategically im-
portant states and provides generous financial support to candidates,
he contends these are not the principal factors of influence.

Ball believes the lobby's instrument of greatest power is its will-
ingness to make broad use of the charge of anti-Semitism: "They've got
one great thing going for them. Most people are terribly concerned not
to be accused of being anti-Semitic, and the lobby so often equates
criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. They keep pounding away at
that theme, and people are deterred from speaking out."

In Ball's view, many Americans feel a "sense of guilt" over the
extermination of Jews by Nazi Germany. The result of this guilt is that
the fear of being called anti-Semitic is "much more effective in silenc-
ing candidates and public officials than threats about campaign money
or votes."

 

128 They Dare to Speak Out
He Was Not Consistent

Although proceeding without the services of George Ball, Jimmy
Carter, for a fleeting moment, gave every indication of being a presi-
dent who would stand up to Israel and pursue policies based on U.S.
interests in the Middle East. He came to the presidency determined to
be fair to Arab interests, as well as Israel, and once in office even
advocated a homeland with secure borders for the Palestinians (see
introduction).

While this endeavor soon faded, Carter made great strides in
foreign policy elsewhere. In addition to organizing the Camp David
Accords, his administration marked the consummation of the treaty
with Panama, normalization of diplomatic relations with China, a major
reform in international trade policy, and the initial agreement with the
Soviet Union on strategic arms limitation, But in overall Middle East
policy he lacked consistent purpose and commitment.

Carter was dismayed when Jews in the United States remained
disgruntled with his administration despite his major role in achieving a
long-sought Israeli goal, the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. A
senior diplomat whose career stretches back over twenty years, re-
members the pressures Jewish groups brought to bear following the
joint U.S.-Soviet communiqu6 of October 1977. Carter was trying to
revive the Geneva conference on the Middle East in order to get a
comprehensive settlement of the Arab-Israeli dispute. The American
Jewish community strongly objected. The diplomat recalls, "I remem-
ber I really had my hands full meeting with protesting Jewish groups. I
figured up one day, totaling just the people the groups said they repre-
sented, that I must have met with representatives of half the entire U.S.
Jewish community."

The groups came well briefed. All, he says, used the same theme:

What a terrible unpatriotic act it was to invite the Russians back into the
Middle East; it was anti-Israel, almost anti-Semitic. I would spend part of my
time meeting Jewish groups on Capitol Hill in the offices of Senators and
Congressmen.

Other times I would meet with groups of 20 to 40 in my conference room at
State Department. Meanwhile Secretary of State Vance would be meeting with
other groups, and the President with still others.

The pressure was too much. Carter yielded to lobby pressures and
quickly dropped the proposal. Carter also learned, like Ford before
him, that yielding to the lobby on relations with Israel did not pay
dividends on election day. Many Jews deserted him when he sought re-
election in 1980.

 

The Lobby and the Oval Office 129
"They Wouldn't Give Him a Dime* 9

The same year, the pressures of pro-Israeli activists became deci-
sive in the fortunes of a renegade Texas Democrat who turned Repub-
lican because he wanted to succeed Jimmy Carter as president.

In October 1979, John Connally, who had been Democratic gover-
nor of Texas, came to Washington to give the first major foreign policy
speech of his campaign for the presidency. The field of Republican
aspirants to the White House was already crowded. Although Ronald
Reagan had not yet formally entered the race, seven other Republicans
had announced their candidacy.

Connally's campaign theme was "leadership for America,'* and
television advertisements showed him the "candidate of the forgotten
American who goes to church on Sunday." This American, Connally
believed, was looking for leadership. His speech to the Washington
Press Club contained a section outlining a plan to resolve the Arab-
Israeli conflict. It was part of a campaign strategy designed to present
the former governor of Texas and secretary of the treasury as a deci-
sive leader capable of talking man to man with powerful foreigners. He
had served in several cabinet positions under President Nixon. From
this wide-ranging political experience, he should have known the sen-
sitivity of the Arab-Israeli question.

Several Middle East peace plans had been advanced by sitting
presidents, but the plan Connally outlined in his speech was the most
ambitious ever presented by a candidate for the office. He argued that
the Carter initiative at Camp David had stalled because of failed diplo-
matic leadership and that it was time for the United States to pursue a
new Middle East policy, one "based not on individual Arab or Israeli
interests, but on American interests."

American interests demanded peace and stability in the region,
Connally said, and this could best be achieved by a program whereby
the Israelis withdrew from occupied Arab territories in return for Arab
acceptance of Israeli sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Arabs
would be obligated to "renounce forever all hostile actions toward
Jews and give up the use of oil supply and prices to force political
change." This would ensure an uninterrupted supply of Middle Eastern
oil, which, Connally said, "is and will continue to be the lifeblood of
Western civilization for decades to come." The United States would
guarantee the stability of the region by greatly expanding its military
presence there.

Connally became the first prominent presidential candidate to de-
clare his support for Palestinian self-determination. He said the Pales-
tinians should have the option of establishing an independent state on

 

130 They Dare to Speak Out

the West Bank and Gaza or an autonomous area within Jordan. Pales-
tinian leaders willing to work for a compromise peace settlement with
Israel should be welcomed to discussions, he added, but "those ex-
tremists who refuse to cooperate and continue to indulge in terrorism
should be treated as international outlaws by the international commu-
nity."

Connally also suggested that future American aid be conditioned
on Israeli willingness to adopt a more reasonable policy on the West
Bank. Noting the strain imposed upon the Israeli economy by the need
for constant military preparedness, he said, "Without billions of dollars
in American economic and military aid, Israel simply could not sur-
vive. Yet it is only candid to say that support for this level of aid, in the
absence of greater willingness by Israeli leadership to compromise with
their neighbors, is eroding." He criticized the Begin government's
"policy of creeping annexation of the West Bank," quoting a group of
American Jewish leaders who earlier in the year had denounced Israeli
policy on the West Bank as "morally unacceptable and perilous for the
democratic character of the Jewish state."

Connally knew his speech would stir controversy, and indeed the
criticism came quick and hard. Rabbi Alexander Schindler, president
of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, said Connally's call
for withdrawal from the territories "is a formula for Israel's liq-
uidation." The Washington Star quoted unnamed Israeli officials in
Washington as calling his plan "a total surrender to blackmail by Arab
oil-producing countries." Henry Siegman, executive director of the
American Jewish Congress, said Connally's criticism of the Camp
David peace process "gives encouragement to the Arab confrontation
states who urge a violent solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. It is
disappointing, although perhaps not surprising, that Mr. Connally
should emerge as the candidate of the oil interests." Connally's cam-
paign manager later accused the Israeli embassy of orchestrating the
attack.

Few news commentators praised his speech. Christian Science
Monitor columnist Joseph C. Harsch found Connally's peace plan re-
markable for its candor. Harsch wrote that Connally "broke with and,
indeed, defined the pro-Israel lobby." He "said things about Israel
which no prominent American politician has dared to say for a long
time, with the exception of Senator J. William Fulbright." Agreeing
that the peace plan was really nothing new, Harsch pointed out that it
"comes out of the book of official American foreign policy as stated
since the 1967 war." What was unusual, Harsch wrote, was that this
policy should be articulated by a candidate for president:

 

The Lobby and the Oval Office 131

The immediate question is whether Mr. Connally can demonstrate that it is
possible to take the official government position on Middle East policy and still
survive in the present political climate.

Writing in the Nation, Arthur Samuelson called Connally' s plan
"both wrong and dangerous," but went on to say that "Connally's
candor is praiseworthy":

For all too long, public debate over the Middle East has been characterized by
a marked dishonesty on the part of aspirants for public office. Rather than put
forward how they plan to break the impasse in American-Israeli relations that
has remained constant since 1967, they fall over one another in praise of
Israel's virtues.

The Washington Post called Connally's speech "a telling measure
of how American debate on this central issue is developing":

No previous candidate for a major party's presidential nomination has staked
out a position so opposed to the traditional line. Mr. Connally offers no defer-
ence to the 'Jewish lobby,' attacking the current Israeli government's policies
head on.

Within a few days of the speech, however, less friendly voices
were heard. A Jewish Republican running for mayor of Philadelphia
snubbed Connally by refusing to be photographed with him. Two Jew-
ish members of Connally's national campaign committee resigned in
protest. One of them, Rita Hauser, chairman of the Foreign Affairs
Council of the American Jewish Committee, called the speech "inex-
cusable" and said it represented "the straight Saudi line." The second,
attorney Arthur Mason, said he was fearful that Connally's speech
might stir anti-Semitism.

The bad news kept coming. The New York Republican Committee
withdrew its invitation for Connally to speak at its annual Lincoln Day
dinner, and traditional big givers boycotted a fundraiser in New York
that was to feature Connally. The Washington Post quoted an unnamed
source who said the speech had robbed Connally of support which his
pro-business positions had won among some Jews: "Now they
wouldn't give him a dime."

Certainly the Connally candidacy suffered problems unrelated to
his positions on the Middle East. The campaign experienced organiza-
tional difficulties, the forceful Texan came across to some as too "hot"
on the "cool" medium of television, and he was undoubtedly hurt by
his switch from the Democratic to the Republican party in 1973.

But Winton Blount, Connally's campaign chairman, believes that

 

132 They Dare to Speak Out

none of these factors equalled the "devastating" effect of the contro-
versial speech. Connally himself says there is "no question" that the
speech hurt. Columnist William Safire, an admirer of Connally but also
a pro-Israeli hard-liner, made a pained assessment of the speech's ef-
fect on the presidential race:

Supporters of Israel — along with many others concerned with noisy U.S.
weakness in the face of Soviet military and Arab economic threats — made a
reassessment of Ronald Reagan and decided he looked ten years younger.

 

Succumbing to Israeli Dictates

In 1984, it was no contest at all on the Republican side of the
presidential race, either for the nomination or in respect to policy
toward Israel. Ronald Reagan had the field to himself and was not
about to risk a confrontation like the one fatal to the candidacy of John
Connally four years before.

In late 1983, certain to be a candidate for re-election, Reagan was
in a position to deliver, not just promise. He had encountered Israeli
pressures in opposition to his September 1982 peace plan and his delay
in delivering fighter aircraft in the wake of Israel's bombing of the Iraq
nuclear plant. But he had avoided a major showdown with Israel, and,
beginning in 1983, Reagan went all-out for the Jewish vote, pandering
to the Israeli lobby while trying to keep the Middle East crisis on hold
until after the election.

Polls showed the need for repair work. In 1980 Reagan had re-
ceived 40 percent of the Jewish vote — the largest ever by a Repub-
lican—but half of this support had since drifted away. In April 1983
Albert A. Spiegel, a longtime Reagan supporter, had quit as a special
adviser to Reagan on Jewish affairs. Spiegel was upset over a news-
paper story which said Reagan intended to press his Middle East peace
plan despite Jewish opposition and felt he could be re-elected without
Jewish votes.

In December Reagan launched a broad bid for Jewish support. The
first action was upgrading the position of White House liaison with the
Jewish community, but his changes on the policy front were even more
significant. After meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir
in December 1983, Reagan announced a dramatic increase in the level
of aid. Instead of the old formula, under which Israel was required to
pay back some of the funds advanced, the administration requested
that in the future all aid be in the form of a grant. In addition, in a
gesture to Israel's sagging industry, he agreed that $250 million in U.S.
aid funds could be spent in Israel to help finance the manufacture of a

 

The Lobby and the Oval Office 133

new Israeli warplane. United States aircraft firms were dismayed, be-
cause they receive no similar government aid. (See chapter two.)

Reagan proposed a new higher level of "strategic cooperation*' in
the military field and a free trade relationship which would make Israel
the only nation with tariff-free access to both the European community
and the United States.

All of this won applause from the Israeli lobby. Near East Report,
the AIPAC newsletter, declared editorially: "[Reagan] has earned the
gratitude of all supporters of a strong U.S.-Israel relationship."

In March, Reagan made further concessions to the lobby. He re-
fused to intercede with Israel at the request of King Hussein of Jordan,
whom he had been pressing to join the peace process. Aiming both to
strengthen Yasser Arafat against more radical elements within the
Palestine Liberation Organization, and to improve his own influence
over the Palestinian cause, Hussein asked the president for help. He
wanted Reagan to press Israel to permit Palestinians living on the West
Bank and Gaza to attend the upcoming session of the Palestine Na-
tional Council. In another message, Hussein asked the United States to
support a U.N. resolution declaring illegal the settlements Israel has
built in Arab territory it occupies, a position maintained for years by
previous presidents. Reagan rejected both requests. Hussein told a
reporter for the New York Times that "the United States is succumbing
to Israeli dictates," and he saw no hope for future improvement.

The leading contenders for the Democratic nomination, like
Reagan, never missed an opportunity to pledge allegiance to Israel.

 

"Conscience of the Democrats"

The 1984 presidential contest often focused on the competition
between former Vice-President Walter Mondale and Senator Gary
Hart on the question of who was more loyal to Israel. Mondale accused
Hart of being weak in supporting the removal of the U.S. embassy from
Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Hart accused Mondale of trying to "intimidate
and coerce Israel into taking unacceptable risks" while he was vice-
president under President Carter.

Actually, Mondale was the principal pro-Israel force within the
Carter Administration. During the 1980 campaign he responded to
lobby pressure by helping to engineer a diplomatic maneuver that
proved costly to the United States. When Donald McHenry, the U.S.
ambassador to the United Nations, cast a vote March 1 rebuking Israel
publicly for its settlements policy — the first such rebuke of an Israeli
action since the Eisenhower administration— Jewish circles were furi-

 

134 They Dare to Speak Out

ous, and so was Mondale. McHenry's vote supported a resolution
which offended the pro-Israel lobby on two points: it was critical of
Israeli settlements on the West Bank, and it referred to East Jerusalem
as "occupied territory."

Mondale organized an immediate counterattack within White
House circles. He persuaded Carter that the State Department had
wrongly advised him. Late in the evening of the controversial vote the
White House announced a "failure in communications" between Wash-
ington and New York. It explained that McHenry had misunderstood
his instructions and should have abstained. Three days later, Secretary
of State Cyrus Vance personally took the blame for the "failure." Few
believed him.

Both the nation and the Carter-Mondale ticket would have been
better off if Carter had ignored Mondale's demand for a vote reversal.
For Carter the episode was an unrelieved diplomatic disaster. Arabs
were outraged at what they viewed as a shameless withdrawal in the
face of Jewish pressure. American Jews, urged to action by Israeli
Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, doubted the honesty of the explanation
and felt betrayed. Sharon told Jews in New York, "I do not like to
interfere with internal United States affairs, but the question of Israeli
security is a question for Jews anywhere in the world." To the world,
the administration appeared out of control.

Senator Edward Kennedy was the main beneficiary of Carter's
embarrassment. Calling the U.N. vote a "betrayal" of Israel, he won
the Massachusetts primary 2-to-l over Carter and also carried New
York and Connecticut, where earlier polls had shown Carter ahead. In
New York, Jews voted 4-to-l for Kennedy. A member of the Israeli
parliament said: "The American Jewish community showed itself to
have the leverage to swing a vote over the issue of whether the presi-
dent is good to Israel."

Mondale's measures did not placate the Jewish vote. In November
Carter-Mondale became the first Democratic presidential ticket that
failed to win a majority of the Jewish votes cast, exit polls showing it
receiving, at the most, 47 percent.

After losing on the Carter ticket to Reagan-Bush, Mondale de-
voted himself full-time to campaigning for the presidency, with uncrit-
ical support of Israel becoming a principal plank in his platform. Early
in the campaign, he dismissed the idea that Saudi Arabia would "be-
come a strong assertive force for moderation" and urged the pre-
positioning of high-technology U.S. military equipment in the custody
of Israeli "technicians, an arrangement that would eliminate any possi-
bility that the equipment could be used for purposes independent of
Israeli wishes."

 

The Lobby and the Oval Office 135

Later, Mondale and his campaign team carefully avoided any rela-
tionship with Arab interests, or even Arab American interests. In June
1984, this zeal led Thomas Rosenberg, Mondale's finance director in
Illinois, to return five $1,000 checks to Chicagoans of Arab ancestry
who had presented them as campaign donations. He explained that
some of the comments they had made in a personal meeting with Mon-
dale amounted to "an anti-Israeli, anti-Semitic diatribe," but one of the
five, Albert Joseph, a lifelong Democrat and owner of Hunter Publish-
ing company, denied the accusation, recalling, "We passed 45 minutes
with [Mondale] in the utmost friendliness and respect."

Joseph said that when the checks were returned he was informed
by Joseph Gomez, at the time a member of the Mondale finance com-
mittee in Illinois, that Mondale's organization had decided to "take no
more money from Arab Americans in the future." The Chicago pub-
lisher said he felt "insulted, betrayed and shocked." He told a reporter
that Mondale was "disenfranchising a whole group of Americans."
Upset by the decision to return the funds, Gomez, a Chicago banker
and Hispanic leader, withdrew from the Mondale campaign. Gomez
said the Mondale campaign decision confirmed his view that "people of
Arab ancestry are the most persecuted group in America today."

Candidate Gary Hart's record of support for Israel was as unblem-
ished as Mondale's, and his campaign organization displayed a similar
indifference to Arab American sensibilities. Upon learning that the
First American Bank in Washington — where he had done personal
banking for years — had been purchased by a group of Middle East
investors in 1982, Hart immediately closed out a campaign loan of
$700,000 and severed all ties with the bank. His special counsel ex-
plained, "We didn't know it was an Arab bank. We got [Hart] out of it
as soon as we knew." Hart's competitor for the nomination, Jesse
Jackson, denounced the act as a "serious act of racism."

As a Senator, Hart voted for every pro-Israeli measure, opposed
every initiative intended to provide arms to Arab states, and put his
signature on every major letter and resolution helpful to the Israeli
cause. When a few colleagues, like Senator John Glenn, condemned
Israel's raid on the Iraqi nuclear installation, he deplored the condem-
nation.

Senators Ernest Hollings of South Carolina and Alan Cranston of
California and former Florida governor Reuben Askew — early drop-
outs in the Democratic competition — were similarly uncritical in their
support of Israel. So was Senator John Glenn of Ohio, who had been
expected by many observers to take a middle road position on Mideast
policy. In the past he had criticized Israeli military actions, supported
the sale of F-15 aircraft to Saudi Arabia, and even suggested talks with

 

136 They Dare to Speak Out

the PLO: "I don't think we should reject talking with the PLO. . . .
PLO terrorism is not unique in that area."

Bitten by the presidential bug, Glenn shifted ground in 1983, effec-
tively ruling out such talks and excusing his vote for F-15 sale on the
grounds that Saudi Arabia would otherwise have bought planes from
France with "no strings attached."

In a speech to the Foreign Policy Association in New York, Glenn
went much further, saying that the United States should recognize
Jerusalem as the official capital of Israel once the terms of Camp David
are completed or if negotiations break down completely. He charac-
terized the PLO as "little more than a gang of thugs" and said the
biggest obstacle to peace in the Middle East was Arab refusal to accept
the legitimacy of Israel.

Although the speech did not allay Jewish suspicion, it cost him the
support of citizens who felt the next president must respond to Arab as
well as Israeli concerns. One of Glenn's closest colleagues, an Ohio
Congressman, reacted with alarm and distress: "Glenn caved in, and
he didn't have to do it. I was so demoralized by that statement I
delayed making some calls to labor people in his behalf." The speech
caused a veteran diplomat of the Johnson administration, former Am-
bassador Lucius Battle, to refuse to serve as a Glenn foreign policy
adviser.

Only two candidates spoke up for a balanced policy in the Middle
East: black civil rights activist Jesse L. Jackson and George
McGovern, the 1972 Democratic presidential nominee. McGovera
called for the creation of an independent Palestinian state and criticized
Israeli military and settlement actions. His proposals were even more
precise than those that brought John Connally's campaign to an end
four years before.

In a speech at a Massachusetts synagogue in February, McGovern
asked, "Is it not both bad politics and bad ethics to brand as anti-Israel
an American politician who is willing to apply the same critical stan-
dards to Israeli policies that are applied to United States policies?"
McGovern said that even though during his 22 years in Congress he
had voted "100 percent" for measures providing economic and military
aid to Israel, he nevertheless opposed Israel's invasion of Lebanon: "I
don't think one sovereign nation has the right to invade another."

Neither McGovera nor Jackson had a serious prospect for nomi-
nation. In different ways, each presented himself in the role of "party
conscience." The "Super TUesday" primaries in March eliminated
McGovern, and only Jackson's conscience remained in the campaign.

Jackson became controversial with U.S. Jews four years before
his presidential bid when he carried his human rights activism abroad

 

The Lobby and the Oval Office 1 37

to Lebanon and there met PLO leader Yasser Arafat. Until then the
former disciple of the Reverend Martin Luther King had worked
mainly for black rights through his organization, People United to Save
Humanity (PUSH), a Chicago-based group that received substantial
Jewish financial support. In Lebanon, he came face-to-face with the
misery of Palestinians, describing them as "the niggers of the Middle
East."

Early in 1983, Jackson began traveling the country as a "non-
candidate" but already drumming up interest in a "rainbow coalition"
of interest groups. At a time when prospective candidates often try to
blur controversial statements made in the past, Jackson reiterated his
recommendation that the United States open a dialogue with the Pales-
tine Liberation Organization. In a statement over New York television
he said the United States can best help Israel by supporting the crea-
tion of a Palestinian homeland. Until that happens, he said, Palestin-
ians will engage in "more acts of terrorism, more acts of desperation."
He urged direct U.S. talks with the PLO to get the peace process
moving, but he said our diplomats cannot even discuss this option,
because "intimidation is so great" in the United States. These state-
ments put him at odds with most Jewish leaders.

By the time he became a candidate in October 1983, Washington
Post editorial editor Meg Greenfield called Jackson one of the nation's
two greatest political orators (sharing the honor with President
Reagan). He immediately enlivened the political scene by flying to
Syria where he negotiated the release of a U.S. Navy pilot held captive
there. He proclaimed, "The temperature has been lowered somewhat
between Syria and America. The cycle of pain has been broken."

In the critical primaries beginning in March, he received impres-
sive support in Illinois, New York and Pennsylvania, as well as south-
ern states. In televised debates with Mondale and Hart, Jackson called
for compassion in dealing with all people in the Middle East and re-
jected the "terrorist" labels so often attached to all Palestinians. While
Mondale and Hart rejected Jackson's plea for a comprehensive Middle
East peace involving a Palestinian homeland in the West Bank, the
exchange was moderate in terms and expression, the first time that
Palestinian rights had been discussed with civility in a presidential
campaign.

Jackson found himself on the defensive when a reporter disclosed
that in private conversation he had referred to Jews as "Hymies" and
New York as "Hymietown," a slip that led many to charge him with
being anti-Semitic. He was encumbered by the endorsement of contro-
versial black leader Louis Farrakhan, who called Judaism a "dirty reli-
gion" and Hitler a "wickedly great man." Inspired by attacks from

 

138 They Dare to Speak Out

Jewish leaders, the press never let up in pressing him concerning alle-
gations of anti-Semitism and his relationship with Farrakhan. Even in
his press conference in Cuba, where his endeavors brought the release
of several U.S. citizens, the anti-Semitic theme dominated the ques-
tioning. In advance of the Democratic convention, the American Jew-
ish Committee organized a campaign to keep Jackson from attaining
prominence in the campaign of the expected nominee, Walter Mon-
dale.

Despite these problems, he rallied support broadly enough to re-
main a major factor through the convention.

While no one expected Jackson to be on the presidential ticket, he
emerged a winner even before the convention. He proved that a black
man could be a credible candidate for the nation's highest office, even
while supporting positions strongly opposed by the Israeli lobby. In
doing so, he lifted the self-esteem of two ethnic groups often abused or
neglected in U.S. society: blacks and Arab Americans.

The winner of the presidential sweepstakes, Ronald Reagan, was
left to wonder if his heroic endeavors for Israel had paid off at the polls.
He received 31 percent of the Jewish vote, down from the 40 percent
he received in 1980.

 

Chapter 5

 

Penetrating the Defenses at Defense — and
State

 

The Pentagon, that enormous, sprawling building on the banks of the
Potomac, houses most of the Department of Defense's central head-
quarters. It is the top command for the forces and measures which
provide Americans with security in a troubled world. Across the
Potomac is the Department of State, a massive eight-story building on
Washington's Foggy Bottom, the nerve center of our nation's
worldwide diplomatic network. These buildings are channels through
which flow each day thousands of messages dealing with the nation's
top secrets. No one can enter either building without special
identification or advance clearance. Armed guards seem to be
everywhere, and in late 1983 concrete emplacements were added and
heavy trucks strategically parked to provide extra buffers if a fanatic
should launch an attack. These buildings are fortresses where the na-
tion's most precious secrets are carefully guarded by the most ad-
vanced technology.

But how secure are the secrets?

"The leaks to Israel are fantastic. If I have something I want the
secretary of state to know but don't want Israel to know, I must wait
till I have a chance to see him personally."

This declaration comes from an ambassador still on active duty in
a top assignment, reviewing his long career in numerous posts in the
Middle East. Although hardly a household name in the United States,
his is one of America's best-known abroad. Interviewed in the State
Department, he speaks deliberately, choosing his words carefully.

"It is a fact of life that everyone in authority is reluctant to put
anything on paper that concerns Israel if it is to be withheld from
Israel's knowledge," says the veteran. "Nor do such people even feel
free to speak in a crowded room of such things."

139

 

140 They Dare to Speak Out

The diplomat offers an example from his own experience. "I re-
ceived a call from a friend of mine in the Jewish community who
wanted to warn me, as a friend, that all details of a lengthy document
on Middle East policy that I had just dispatched overseas were 'out.' "
The document was classified "top secret," the diplomat recalls. "I
didn't believe what he said, so my friend read me every word of it over
the phone."

His comments will upset pro-Israel activists, many of whom con-
tend that both the State Department and Defense Departments are
dominated by anti-Israeli "Arabists." Such domination, if it ever existed,
occurs no longer. In the view of my diplomat source, leaks to pro-
Israeli activists are not only pervasive throughout the two departments
but "are intimidating and very harmful to our national interest." He
says that because of "the ever-present Xerox machine" diplomats pro-
ceed on the assumption that even messages they send by the most
secure means will be copied and passed on to eager hands. "We just
don't dare put sensitive items on paper." A factor making the pervasive
insecurity even greater is the knowledge that leaks of secrets to Israel,
even when noticed — which is rare — are never investigated.

Whatever intelligence the Israelis want, whether political or tech-
nical, they obtain promptly and without cost at the source. Officials
who normally would work vigilantly to protect our national interest by
identifying leaks and bringing charges against the offenders are de-
moralized. In fact, they are disinclined even to question Israel's tactics
for fear this activity will cause the Israeli lobby to mark them as
trouble-makers and take measures to nullify their efforts, or even harm
their careers.

The lobby's intelligence network, having numerous volunteer
"friendlies" to tap, reaches all parts of the executive branch where
matters concerning Israel are handled. Awareness of this seepage
keeps officials — whatever rung of the ladder they occupy — from mak-
ing or even proposing decisions that are in the U.S. interest.

If, for example, an official should state opposition to an Israeli
request during a private interdepartmental meeting — or worse still,
put it in an intraoffice memorandum — he or she must assume that this
information will soon reach the Israeli embassy, either directly or
through AIPAC. Soon after, the official should expect to be mentioned
by name critically when the Israeli ambassador visits the secretary of
state or other prominent U.S. official.

The penetration is all the more remarkable because much of it is
carried out by U.S. citizens in behalf of a foreign government. The
practical effect is to give Israel its own network of sources through
which it is able to learn almost anything it wishes about decisions or

 

Penetrating the Defenses at Defense— and State 141

resources of the U.S. government. When making procurement de-
mands, Israel can display better knowledge of Defense Department
inventories than the Pentagon itself.

 

Israel Finds the Ammunition— in Hawaii!

In its 1973 Yom Kippur war against Egypt and Syria, Israel sus-
tained heavy losses in weapons of all kinds, especially tanks. It looked
to the United States for the quickest possible resupply. Henry Kiss-
inger was their avenue. Richard Nixon was entangled in the Watergate
controversy and soon to leave the presidency, but under his authority
the government agreed to deliver substantial quantities of tanks to
Israel.

Tanks were to be taken from the inventory of U.S. military units
on active duty, reserve units, even straight off production lines. Noth-
ing was held back in the effort to bring Israeli forces back to desired
strength as quickly as possible.

Israel wanted only the latest-model tanks equipped with 105 mil-
limeter guns. But a sufficient number could not be found even by
stripping U.S. forces. The Pentagon met the problem by filling part of
the order with an earlier model fitted with 90-millimeter guns. When
these arrived, the Israelis grumbled about having to take "second-hand
junk." Then they discovered they had no ammunition of the right size
and sent an urgent appeal for a supply of 90-millimeter rounds.

The Pentagon made a search and found none. Thomas Pianka, an
officer then serving at the Pentagon with the International Security
Agency, recalls: "We made an honest effort to find the ammunition. We
checked everywhere. We checked through all the services — Army,
Navy, Marines. We couldn't find any 90-millimeter ammunition at all."
Pianka says the Pentagon sent Israel the bad news: "In so many words,
we said: 'Sorry, we don't have any of the ammunition you need. We've
combed all depots and warehouses, and we simply have none.' "

A few days later the Israelis came back with a surprising message:
"Yes, you do. There are 15,000 rounds in the Marine Corps supply
depot in Hawaii." Pianka recalls, "We looked in Hawaii and, sure
enough, there they were. The Israelis had found a U.S. supply of 90-
millimeter ammunition we couldn't find ourselves."

Richard Helms, director of the CIA during the 1967 Arab-Israel
war, recalls an occasion when an Israeli arms request had been filled
with the wrong items. Israeli officials resubmitted the request complete
with all the supposedly top-secret code numbers and a note to Helms
that said the Pentagon perhaps had not understood exactly which items
were needed "It was a way for them to show me that they knew

 

142 They Dare to Speak Out

exactly what they wanted," Helms says. Helms believes that during
this period no important secret was kept from Israel.

Not only are the Israelis adept at getting the information they
want — they are masters at the weapons procurement game. Les Janka,
a former deputy assistant secretary of defense who is a specialist in
Middle East policy, recalls Israeli persistence:

They would never take no for an answer. They never gave up. These emissaries
of a foreign government always had a shopping list of wanted military items,
some of them high technology that no other nation possessed, some of it secret
devices that gave the United States an edge over any adversary. Such items
were not for sale, not even to the nations with whom we have our closest, most
formal military alliance — like those linked to us through the North Atlantic
Treaty Organization.

Yet Janka learned that military sales to Israel were not bound by
the guidelines and limitations which govern U.S. arms supply policy
elsewhere. He says, "Sales to Israel were different. Very different."

Janka has vivid memories of a military liaison officer from the
Israeli embassy who called at the Defense Department and requested
approval to purchase a military item which was on the prohibited list
because of its highly secret advanced technology: "He came to me, and
I gave him the official Pentagon reply. I said, Tm sorry, sir, but the
answer is no. We will not release that technology.' "

The Israeli officer took pains to observe the bureaucratic cour-
tesies and not antagonize lower officials who might devise ways to
block the sale. He said, "Thank you very much, if that's your official
position. We understand that you are not in a position to do what we
want done. Please don't feel bad, but we're going over your head."
And that of course meant he was going to Janka' s superiors in the
office of the secretary of defense, or perhaps even to the White
House.

Asked if he could remember an instance in which Israel failed to
get what it wanted from the Pentagon, Janka pauses to reflect, then
answers, "No, not in the long run."

Janka has high respect for the efficiency of Israeli procurement
officers:

You have to understand that the Israelis operate in the Pentagon very profes-
sionally, and in an omnipresent way. They have enough of their people who
understand our system well, and they have made friends at all levels, from top
to bottom. They just interact with the system in a constant, continuous way
that keeps the pressure on.

The Carter White House tried to establish a policy of restraint.
Zbigniew Brzezinski, Carter's assistant for national security, remem-

 

Penetrating the Defenses at Defense— and State 143

bers in an interview Defense Secretary Harold Brown's efforts to hold
the line on technology transfer. "He was very tough with Israel on its
requests for weapons and weapons systems. He often turned them
down." But that was not the final word. For example, Brzezinski cites
as the most notable example Brown's refusal to sell Israel the contro-
versial antipersonnel weapon known as the cluster bomb. Despite
written agreements restricting the use of these bombs, Israel used them
twice against populated areas in Lebanon, causing death and injury to
civilians. Brown responded by refusing to sell the deadly replace-
ments. But even on that request, Israel eventually prevailed. President
Reagan reversed the Carter administration policy, and cluster bombs
were returned to the approved list.

Others who have occupied high positions in the executive branch
were willing to speak candidly, but, unlike Janka, they did so with the
understanding that their names would not be published. As one ex-
plains, "My career is not over. At least, I don't want it to be. Quoting
me by name would bring it to an end." With the promise of anonymity,
he and others gave details on the astounding process through which the
Israeli lobby is able to penetrate the defenses at the Defense Depart-
ment — and elsewhere.

Sometimes the act is simple theft. One official says, "Israelis were
caught in the Pentagon with unauthorized documents, sometimes
scooping up the contents of 'in boxes' on desk tops." He recalls that
because of such activity a number of Israeli officials were told to leave
the country. No formal charges of espionage have ever been filed, and
Israel covered each such exit with an excuse such as family illness or
some other personal reason: "Our government never made a public
issue of it." He adds, "There is a much higher level of espionage by
Israel against our government than has ever been publicly admitted."

The official recalls one day receiving a list of military equipment
Israel wanted to purchase. Noting that "the Pentagon is Israel's 4 stop-
and-shop,' " he took it for granted that the Israelis had obtained clear-
ances. So he followed usual procedure by circulating it to various
Pentagon offices for routine review and evaluation:

One office instantly returned the list to me with a note: 'One of these items is so
highly classified you have ho right to know that it even exists.' I was instructed
to destroy all copies of the request and all references to the particular code
numbers. I didn't know what it was. It was some kind of electronic jamming
equipment, top secret. Somehow the Israelis knew about it and acquired its
precise specifications, cost and top secret code number. This meant they had
penetrated our research and development labs, our most sensitive facilities.

Despite that somber revelation, no official effort was launched to
discover who had revealed the sensitive information.

 

144 They Dare to Speak Out
"They Always Get What They Want"

Israel's agents are close students of the U.S. system and work it to
their advantage. Besides obtaining secret information by clandestine
operations they apply open pressure on executive branch offices thor-
oughly and effectively. A weapons expert explains their technique:

If promised an answer on a weapons request in 30 days, they show up on the
31st day and announce: 'We made this request. It hasn't been approved. Why
not? We've waited 30 days.' With most foreign governments, you can finesse a
problem. You can leave it in the box on the desk. With Israel, you can't leave
anything in the box.

He says the embassy knows exactly when things are scheduled for
action:

It stays on top of things as does no other embassy in town. They know your
agenda, what was on your schedule yesterday, and what's on it today and
tomorrow. They know what you have been doing and saying. They know the
law and regulations backwards and forwards. They know when the deadlines
are.

He admires the resourcefulness of the Israelis in applying pres-
sure:

They may leak to Israeli newspapers details of their difficulty in getting an
approval. A reporter will come in to State or Defense and ask a series of
questions so detailed they could be motivated only by Israeli officials. Some-
times the pressure will come, not from reporters, but from AIPAC.

If things are really hung up, it isn't long before letters or calls start coming from
Capitol Hill. They'll ask, 'Why is the Pentagon not approving this item?' Usu-
ally, the letter is from the Congressman in whose district the item is manufac-
tured. He will argue that the requested item is essential to Israel's security. He
probably will also ask, 'Who is this bad guy in the Pentagon — or State — who is
blocking this approval? I want his name. Congress would like to know.*

The American defense expert pauses to emphasize his point: "No
bureaucrat, no military officer likes to be singled out by anybody from
Congress and required to explain his professional duty."

He recalls an episode involving President Carter's secretary of
defense, Harold Brown:

I remember once Israel requested an item on the prohibited list. Before I
answered, I checked with Secretary Brown and he said, 'No, absolutely no.
We're not going to give in to the bastards on this one.' So I said no.

Lo and behold, a few days later I got a call from Brown. He said, "The Israelis
are raising hell. I got a call from [Senator Henry] 'Scoop' Jackson, asking why
we aren't cooperating with Israel. It isn't worth it. Let it go."

 

Penetrating the Defenses at Defense— and State 145

When Jimmy Carter became president, the Israelis were trying to
get large quantities of the AIM 9-L, the most advanced U.S. air-to-air
missile. The Pentagon kept saying, "No, no, no. It isn't yet deployed to
U.S. troops. The production rate is not enough to supply even U.S.
needs. It is much too sensitive to risk being lost." Yet, early in his
administration, Carter overruled the Pentagon, and Israel got the mis-
siles.

A former administration official recalls a remarkable example of
Israeli ingenuity:

Israel requested an item of technology, a machine for producing bullets. It was
a big piece of machinery, weighed a lot, and it was exclusive. We didn't want
other countries to have it, not even Israel. We knew if we said 'no, 1 the Israelis
would go over our heads and somehow get approval. So, we kept saying we
were studying the request. Then, to our astonishment, we discovered that the
Israelis had already bought the machinery and had it in a warehouse in New
York.

The Israelis did not have a license to ship the equipment, but they
had nonetheless been able to make the purchase. When they were
confronted by the Defense official, they said, "We slipped up. We were
sure you'd say 'yes,' so we went ahead and bought it. And if you say
no, here's the bill for storage, and here's what it will cost to ship it back
to the factory." Soon after, the official recalled, someone in the State
Department called and said, "Aw, give it to them," adding an earthy
expletive.

This sense of futility sometimes reaches all the way to the top.
Unrestricted supplies to Israel were especially debilitating in the 1974-
77 period when U.S. military services were trying to recover from the
1973 Arab-Israeli war. In that conflict the United States stripped its
own army and air forces in order to supply Israel.

During this period of U.S. shortage, Israel kept bringing in its
shopping lists. The official recalls that the Pentagon would insist, "No,
we can't provide what you want now. Come back in a year or so." In
almost every one of those cases, he said, the Pentagon position was
overruled by a political decision out of the White House. This de-
moralized the professionals in the Pentagon but, still worse, handi-
capped national security: "Defense Department decisions made
according to the highest professional standards went by the board in
order to satisfy Israeli requests,"

"Exchanges" That Work Only in One Direction

The Israelis are particularly adept at exploiting sympathetic
officials, as a former Pentagon officer explains:

 

146 They Dare to Speak Out

We have people sympathizing with Israel in about every office in the Pentagon.
A lot of military personnel have been in Israel, and some served there, making
friends and, of course, a number of Israeli personnel study in U.S. military
schools.

The guts, the energy, the skill of the Israelis are much admired in the Pentagon.
Israelis are very good at passing back to us their performance records using our
equipment. Throughout our military schools are always a large number of
Israeli students. They develop great professional rapport with our people.

For years, the United States and Israel have exchanged military
personnel. On paper, it works both ways. In practice, Israel is the
major beneficiary. The process is more one of national character than
anything clandestine. Israeli officers generally speak English, so it's no
problem for them to come to America and quickly establish rapport
with U.S. officers. On the other hand, hardly any U.S. officers speak
Hebrew.

Language disparity is not the only problem. One of equal gravity is
the American laxity in enforcing its security regulations. Many Israeli
officers spend a year in a sensitive area — one of the U.S. training
commands, or a research and development laboratory. At the start they
are told they cannot enter certain restricted areas. Then, little by little,
the rules are relaxed. A former Defense Department official explains:

The young Israeli speaks good English. He is likeable. You know how Ameri-
cans are: they take him in, and he's their buddy. First thing you know, the
restrictions are forgotten, and the Israeli officers are admitted to everything in
our laboratories, our training facilities, our operational bases.

The former official quickly adds that rules are seldom relaxed at
the other end:

This means that the officer training exchange is really a one-way street. Israel
does not permit our officers, whether they speak Hebrew or not, to serve in
sensitive military facilities in Israel. Many areas are totally off limits. They are
very strict about that. Our officers cannot be present even when U.S.-suppiied
equipment and weapons are being delivered for the first time.

U.S. officers on exchange programs in Israel are, more often than not, given a
desk in an office down the hall, and assigned just enough to do to keep them
busy and prevent them from being too frustrated. Without knowledge of He-
brew, they have almost no way to know what is going on.

Camaraderie is also an element. Many employees in the executive
branch, Jewish and non- Jewish, feel that the United States and Israel
are somehow "in this together" and therefore cooperate without limit.
Many also believe that Israel is a strategic asset and that weapons and
other technology provided to Israel serve U.S. purposes. These feel-

 

Penetrating the Defenses at Defense— and State 147

ings sometimes cause official restrictions on sharing of information to
be modified or conveniently forgotten. As one Defense official puts it,
the rules get "placed deeper and deeper into the file":

A sensitive document is picked up by an Israeli officer while his friend, a
Defense Department official, deliberately looks the other way. Nothing is said.
Nothing is written. And the U.S. official probably does not feel he has done
anything wrong. Meanwhile the Israelis ask for more and more.

Despite such openhanded generosity, Israel does not hesitate to
try to get classified information by espionage, a process that the United
States years ago tried unsuccessfully to halt.

 

Moss ad's Role in the Network

On one occasion — and only one — an employee of the U.S. govern-
ment was punished for leaking classified information to Israel, and that
was thirty years ago. In 1954, Fred Waller, a career foreign service
officer in charge of the Israel- Jordan desk at the State Department,
read in a classified document that a friend on the staff of the Israeli
embassy — under suspicion for espionage — was being recommended by
the FBI for expulsion from the United States.

Waller told associates that he considered the charges "unjustified"
and, according to allegations, tipped off his friend at the Israeli em-
bassy. For this, Waller was first marked for dismissal but later per-
mitted simply to retire. "They wanted to throw him out without a
nickel," states Don Bergus, who succeeded Waller in the State Depart-
ment assignment. During those years of "McCarthyism," Bergus re-
calls, "the FBI was recommending that a lot of people be declared
persona non grata. They were so happy with themselves in doing this.
They knew damned well their recommendations wouldn't be acted
upon."

Bergus recalls that Israel got a lot of information without espio-
nage activity: "A lot of the information was volunteered. The apples
were put on the table, and I don't blame Israel for taking them."

The investigation of Waller occurred during the high point of our
government's concern over Israeli intelligence activities in the United
States. Because the Eisenhower administration was trying to withhold
weapons from Israel, as well as other states in the Middle East, a major
attempt was made to bring leaks of classified information under con-
trol. A veteran diplomat recalls the crisis: "Employees in State and
Defense were being suborned and bribed on a wide scale, and our
government went to Israel and demanded that it stop."

After high-level negotiations following the Waller affair, the

 

148 They Dare to Speak Out

United States and Israel entered into an unwritten agreement to share a
larger volume of classified information and at the same time to restrict
sharply the clandestine operations each conducted in the other's terri-
tory. The diplomat explains that it was supposed to be a two-way
street: "The deal provided that we would get more from them too, and
it was hoped the arrangement would end the thievery and payoff of
U.S. employees."

The understanding with Israel did not end the problem, however,
as the Israelis were not content to let the U.S. decide what classified
information it would receive. Israel did not live up to the terms of the
agreement and continued to engage broadly in espionage activities
throughout the United States.

This was still true more than twenty years after the Waller episode,
during the tenure of Atlanta mayor Andrew Young as U.S. ambassador
to the United Nations during the Carter administration. Young recalls,
"I operated on the assumption that the Israelis would learn just about
everything instantly. I just always assumed that everything was
monitored, and that there was a pretty formal network."

Young resigned as ambassador in August 1979 after it was revealed
that he had met with Zuhdi Terzi, the PLO's UN observer, in violation
of the U.S. pledge to Israel not to talk to the PLO. Press reports on
Young's episode said Israeli intelligence learned of the meeting and that
Israeli officials then leaked the information to the press, precipitating
the diplomatic wrangle which led to Young's resignation.

Israel denied that its agents had learned of the Young-Terzi meet-
ing. The press counselor at the Israeli embassy went so far as to tell
the Washington Star, "We do not conduct any kind of intelligence
activities in the United States." This denial must have been amusing to
U.S. intelligence experts, one of whom talked with Newsweek maga-
zine about Mossad's activities here: "They have penetrations all
through the U.S. government. They do better than the KGB," said the
expert, whom the magazine did not identify.

The Newsweek article continued:

With the help of American Jews in and out of government, Mossad looks for
any softening in U.S. support and tries to get any technical intelligence the
administration is unwilling to give to Israel.

'Mossad can go to any distinguished American Jew and ask for his help, 1 says a
former CIA agent. The appeal is a simple one: 'When the call went out and no
one heeded it, the Holocaust resulted.'

The U.S. tolerates Mossad's operations on American soil partly because of
reluctance to anger the American Jewish community.

 

Penetrating the Defenses at Defense— and State 149

Another reason cited: Mossad is often a valuable source of information
for U.S. intelligence.

Penetration by Israel continued at such a high level that a senior
State Department official who has held the highest career positions
related to the Middle East confides, "I urged several times that the U.S.
quit trying to keep secrets from Israel. Let them have everything. They
always get what they want anyway. When we try to keep secrets, it
always backfires."

An analysis prepared by the CIA in 1979, 25 years after the U.S.-
Israeli espionage agreement, gives no hint that Mossad had in any way
restricted its operations within the United States. According to the 48-
page secret document, entitled, Israel: Foreign Intelligence and Se-
curity Services, the United States continues to be a focus of Mossad
operations:

In carrying out its mission to collect positive intelligence, the principal function
of Mossad is to conduct agent operations against the Arab nations and their
official representatives and installations throughout the world, particularly in
Western Europe and the United States. . . .

Objectives in Western countries are equally important (as in the U.S.S.R. and
East Europe) to the Israeli intelligence service. Mossad collects intelligence
regarding Western, Vatican and UN policies toward the Near East; promotes
arms deals for the benefit of the IDF; and acquires data for silencing anti-Israel
factions in the West, [emphasis added]

Under "methods of operation," the CIA booklet describes the way
in which Mossad makes use of domestic pro-Israeli groups. It states
that "Mossad over the years has enjoyed some rapport with highly-
placed persons and government offices in every country of importance
to Israel." It adds, "Within Jewish communities in almost every coun-
try of the world, there are Zionists and other sympathizers, who render
strong support to the Israeli intelligence effort." It explains,

Such contacts are carefully nurtured and serve as channels for information,
deception material, propaganda and other purposes. . . . Mossad activities are
generally conducted through Israeli official and semiofficial establishments;
deep cover enterprises in the form of firms and organizations, some especially
created for, or adaptable to, a specific objective, and penetrations effected
within non-Zionist national and international Jewish organizations. . . .

Official organizations used for cover are: Israeli Purchasing Missions and Is-
raeli Government Tourist, El Al and Zim offices. Israeli construction firms,
industrial groups and international trade organizations also provide nonofficial
cover. Individuals working under deep or illegal cover are normally charged

 

150 They Dare to Speak Out

with penetrating objectives that require a long-range, more subtle approach, or
with activities in which the Israeli government can never admit complicity. . . .

The Israeli intelligence service depends heavily on the various Jewish com-
munities and organizations abroad for recruiting agents and eliciting general
information. The aggressively ideological nature of Zionism, which emphasizes
that all Jews belong to Israel and must return to Israel, had had its drawbacks
in enlisting support for intelligence operations, however, since there is con-
siderable opposition to Zionism among Jews throughout the world.

Aware of this fact, Israeli intelligence representatives usually operate dis-
creetly within Jewish communities and are under instructions to handle their
missions with utmost tact to avoid embarrassment to Israel. They also attempt
to penetrate anti-Zionist elements in order to neutralize the opposition.

The theft of scientific data is a major objective of Mossad opera-
tions, which is often attempted by trying to recruit local agents:

In addition to the large-scale acquisition of published scientific papers and
technical journals from all over the world through overt channels, the Israelis
devote a considerable portion of their covert operations to obtaining scientific
and technical intelligence. This had included attempts to penetrate certain
classified defense projects in the United States and other Western nations.

The Israeli security authorities (in Israel) also seek evidence of illicit love
affairs which can be used as leverage to enlist cooperation. In one instance,
Shin Beth (the domestic Israeli intelligence agency) tried to penetrate the U.S.
Consulate General in Jerusalem through a clerical employee who was having
an affair with a Jerusalem girl. They rigged a fake abortion case against the
employee in an unsuccessful effort to recruit him. Before this attempt at black-
mail, they had tried to get the Israeli girl to elicit information from her boy-
friend.

Israel's espionage activities, according to the CIA, even included
"crude efforts to recruit Marine guards [at the United States Embassy
at Tel Aviv] for monetary reward." It reports that a hidden microphone
"planted by the Israelis" was found in the office of the U.S. ambassador
in 1954, and two years later telephone taps were found connected to
two telephones in the residence of the United States military attache.
Retired diplomat Don Bergus recalls the episode: "Our ambassador,
Ed Lawson, reported the bug in a telegram to Washington that went
something like this: 'Department must assume that all conversations in
my office as well as texts of my telegrams over the last six months are
known to the Israelis.' Ed had dictated all telegrams to his secretary."

During the Iranian hostage crisis in 1980, columnist Jack Anderson
quoted "U.S. intelligence reports," actually supplied by the Israeli em-
bassy, by way of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, that

 

Penetrating the Defenses at Defense— and State 151

the PLO had mined the embassy to frustrate any rescue attempt by the
United States. The intelligence reports proved to be bogus.

Asked about the present activities of Mossad in the United States,
a senior official in the Department of State, is candid:

We have to assume that they have wire taps all over town. In my work I
frequently pick up highly-sensitive information coming back to me in conversa-
tions with people who have no right to have these secrets. I will ask, 4 I wonder
who has the wiretaps out to pick that up,* and usually the answer is, ( I don't
know, but it sure isn't us.'

The same official says he never gives any highly sensitive information
over his office phone. "You have to respect their ingenuity. The Mos-
sad people know how to get into a system."

 

"No One Needs Trouble Like That"

Leaks of classified information remain a major problem for policy-
makers. An official whose identity I promised to withhold says that
during the Carter administration his colleagues feared even to speak up
even in small private meetings. When Israeli requests were turned
down at interagency meetings attended at most by fifteen people — all
of whom knew the discussions were to be considered top secret —
within hours "the Israeli military attach^, the political officer, or the
ambassador— or all of them at once — were lodging protests. They
knew exactly who said what, even though nothing had been put on
paper." He adds, "No one needs trouble like that."

He says David McGiffert, assistant secretary of defense for in-
ternational security affairs, was often subjected to pressure. Fre-
quently the Israeli embassy would demand copies of documents that
were still in the draft stage and had not reached his desk.

To counteract these kinds of leaks some officials have taken their
own precautions.

Although no charges are ever brought against those suspected of
leaking information to Israel, they are sometimes bypassed when
classified documents are handed out. The word is forwarded discreetly
to drop their names from the distribution list. One such official served
during both the Carter and Reagan administrations and remains today
in a sensitive foreign policy position. When he occupied a senior posi-
tion in the Carter administration, his superiors were instructed to
"clear nothing" in the way of classified documents related to the Mid-
dle East through his office and used extreme caution when discussing
such matters in his presence. One of his colleagues says, admiringly,

 

152 They Dare to Speak Out

"He is brilliant. He belongs in government, but he has a blind spot
where Israel is concerned."

To strike back at government officials considered to be unsym-
pathetic to Israeli needs the pro-Israel lobby singles them out for per-
sonal attack and even the wrecking of their careers. In January 1977 a
broad-scale purge was attempted immediately after the inauguration of
President Carter. The perpetrator was Senator Richard Stone of
Florida, a Democrat, a passionate supporter of Israel. When he was
newly installed as chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on the Middle
East, he brought along with him a "hit list" on a call at the White
House. In his view fifteen officials were not sufficiently supportive of
Israel and its weapons needs, and he wanted them transferred to posi-
tions where their views would create no problems for Israel. Marked
for removal were William Quandt, Brzezinski's assistant for Middle
East matters, and Les Janka, who had served on the National Security
Council under Ford. The others were career military officers, most of
them colonels. Stone's demands were rejected by Brzezinski and, ac-
cording to a senior White House official, "after pressing reasonably
hard for several days," the Senator gave up. Although unsuccessful, his
demands caused a stir. One officer says, "I find it very ironic that a U.S.
Senator goes to a U.S. President's National Security Adviser and tells
him to fire Americans for insufficient loyalty to another country."

Leaks Disrupt American Foreign Policy

Four times in recent years, major leaks of information to Israel
caused serious setbacks in our relations with Israel's neighbors. The
first destroyed an arrangement with Jordan that had been serving U.S.
security interests successfully for years.

Under a long-standing secret agreement, Jordan's King Hussein
received secret financial support from the CIA. It was a carry-over of a
normal support system developed by the British. Under it, moderate
leaders like Hussein received payments in exchange for helpful ser-
vices which enabled them to maintain their political base without hav-
ing to account to anyone locally.

Early in the Carter administration, a White House review was
ordered of all covert operations, including, of course, the CIA pay-
ments in the Middle East. Nineteen people attended the review meet-
ing in early February 1977, and one of the senior officials who attended
recalls: "I feared at the time that leaks were certain to occur." A few
days later, the Washington Post headlined a story, "CIA Paid Millions
to Jordan's King Hussein." Written by Bob Woodward, the article said
that over a period of twenty years the CIA had made "secret annual

 

Penetrating the Defenses at Defense— and State 153

payments totaling millions of dollars" to Hussein. It said the payment
in 1976 was $750,000, and the disclosure provoked wide international
controversy.

When he read Woodward's Washington Post article, Senator
James G. Abourezk of South Dakota called in Harold Saunders, then an
official of the National Security Council, and received confirmation
that Israel, as well as Jordan, was receiving secret payments from the
CIA. Abourezk recalls that Saunders estimated that during the same
period that Hussein received about $10 million, over $70 million went
to Israel. The payments helped Israel support its own burgeoning
foreign aid program in Africa, payments which Abourezk believes still
continue. Hussein used the funds to maintain a strong relationship with
the Bedouin tribes of his desert kingdom.

After confirming the information, Abourezk called Woodward and
asked if he was aware of the CIA aid to Israel when he wrote about the
payments to Jordan. Abourezk recalls, "Woodward admitted knowl-
edge of the payments to Israel but said he thought the circumstances
were different and that was why he did not write about them."
Abourezk recalls being so outraged at this explanation and Wood-
ward's "selective" coverage of the news that he shouted over the
phone, "It seems to me that sort of judgment is better left up to the
readers of the Post."

Abourezk tried unsuccessfully for several months to interest
Washington journalists in the news that Israel too received CIA pay-
ments. Months later, after the furor over Jordan had died down, Jack
Anderson mentioned the payments to Israel in his syndicated column.
There was no public outcry.

The CIA arrangement with Jordan was viewed by Zbigniew
Brzezinski, Carter's National Security Adviser, as "very valuable" to
the United States. But as a result of the publicity, he recalls, the ar-
rangement had to be cancelled, Hussein was embarrassed, and the
United States suffered a setback in its relations with the Arab world.

The next leak so embarrassed U.S.-Saudi relations that a career
intelligence officer was ordered out of Saudi Arabia. After the fall of
the Shah of Iran in 1979, there was speculation that the Saudi regime
also might fall. The CIA station chief in Saudi Arabia reported this
information to Washington in a secret cable, citing it as only a rumor,
not a forecast. On the basis of this and other reports and analysis in
Washington, the CIA produced a paper given restricted circulation in
the official policy community. That paper discussed the stability of the
Saudi regime. A report was leaked to news services, which errone-
ously stated that the CIA station chief in Saudi Arabia predicted the fall
of the Saudi government within six months.

 

154 They Dare to Speak Out

John C. West, former governor of South Carolina, was the U.S.
ambassador to Saudi Arabia at the time. West recalls the CIA story:
"Of course, there was no such prediction that the Saudi government
would fall, but that's the way it was printed." The episode caused deep
resentment in the Saudi capital and the station chief was asked to
leave.

West had other problems with leaks. On another occasion, this
time in 1980, a government employee's leak of secret information de-
stroyed a sensitive mission to Saudi Arabia and, in West's opinion, led
to a costly confrontation between the president and the Senate. The
leak came from a secret White House meeting where West and a small
group of high officials decided several Saudi requests to buy military
equipment. "The arms package was of very, very great concern to the
Saudis," West recalls:

It was essential that they, as serious customers, not be embarrassed. As we
went over the items, I said, 'Whatever we do, we must not say 'no' to the
Saudis on any of these. It's very important that we avoid a flat turn down.'

The group agreed to approve four of the requests, but found the
other two highly controversial. The Saudis wanted to buy high-
technology AWACS intelligence-gathering aircraft and special bomb
racks for F-15 fighter planes they already owned. These sales would
cause an uproar in neighboring Israel, and the Carter administration
did not want to offend either government.

West worked out solutions to both problems. "Let's do this," he
advised the group:

The bomb racks haven't yet been adopted as a part of the U.S. system. There
are still some bugs that need to be worked out. Let's explain that we won't
make a decision until we decide the bomb racks are right and meet our own
requirements. Given that explanation, the Saudis will go along.

On the AWACS dilemma, West predicted the Saudis would with-
draw their request to buy the planes if the United States would resume
a practice initiated during the tense period following the fall of the Shah
of Iran. At that time, he says, "The U.S. met Saudi intelligence needs
by operating AWACS planes from Saudi bases and supplying to the
Saudi government the information accumulated on these flights." West
told the group, "I will explain to the Saudis that the U.S. can't deliver
the new planes until 1985, and by then the technology will probably be
outdated."

West's recommendations were accepted. The Saudis would be
permitted to buy the four non-controversial items, and the other two
requests would be set aside in a way that would cause no offense. West

 

Penetrating the Defenses at Defense— and State 155

says, "I was instructed to explain the decisions personally when I
returned to Saudi Arabia."

But once again, sensitive information was leaked in a twisted
form. West recalls,

The very day I left for Saudi Arabia, the New York Times published a story
headlined: 'Carter Is Said to Refuse Saudi Request for Arms.' Other news
services reported that at a high level meeting the White House decided to turn
down the Saudi request, and after debating several days how to break the
news, instructed West simply to tell them 'no.'

I knew nothing of the leak until I landed in Saudi Arabia ready to meet Saudi
officials in appointments already scheduled. The news story hit me in the face
when I got off the plane. It was terrible.

The Times story delivered the blunt negative answer that West had
warned must be avoided at all cost. "It destroyed all chance of success
in my diplomatic mission."

West does not know how the newspapers got the damaging report.
Only a few had attended the meeting in the White House, but notes
were taken, memos prepared. He speculates that the story, with delib-
erate inaccuracies, was leaked by "someone determined to worsen
relations between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia."

A few months later, the Carter administration resumed AWACS
operations based in Saudi Arabia. Nonetheless, embarrassed by the
earlier headlines, Saudi officials decided to insist on buying their own
AWACS planes and launched a public relations campaign in the United
States that culminated in a costly, bruising showdown two years later
in the U.S. Senate. Without the leak, West feels, the Saudis would have
accepted the Carter administration decision and the AWACS con-
troversy would never have surfaced. If so, the U.S. taxpayers might
have been spared an extra $1.2 billion in aid to Israel — the price Is-
rael's lobby demanded as compensation when it lost the AWACS vote
in the Senate.

West recalls that leaks to Israel were so frequent that he imposed
strict rules on communications:

I would never put anything in any cable that was critical of Israel. Still, because
of the grapevine, there was never any secret from the government of Israel.
The Israelis knew everything, usually by the time it got to Washington. I can
say that without qualification.

West adds that if he wanted to communicate any information that was
in any way critical of Israel, he felt more confident using an open
telephone line than a top-secret cable.

West's problems with the lobby did not end with his departure

 

156 They Dare to Speak Out

from diplomatic service. Before leaving his post in 1981, in an inter-
view in Jeddah, he told a reporter the "most difficult question" he
encountered during his work as ambassador was trying to explain why
talks between the U.S. and the PLO were not permitted.

This mild comment caused trouble when West returned to private
life. His appointment as distinguished professor of Middle East studies
at the University of South Carolina brought a strong protest from a
group of South Carolina Jews led by State Senator Hyman Rubin. "The
group charged bias," West recalls, "and the protest so disturbed the
university administration that public announcement of my appointment
was delayed for more than a year." When he learned of the protest,
West asked Rubin to arrange a meeting with his group. The result was a
candid two-hour discussion between twenty critics and the ambassa-
dor-turned-professor. In its wake, West says, "The controversy sub-
sided," and he assumed his post.

In 1983 the Israeli embassy itself directly arranged a news leak
which effectively blocked U.S. support for a Jordanian rapid deploy-
ment force, though it concealed its own role. The White House was
privately considering a proposal under which the U.S. would help Jor-
dan establish an airborne unit able to provide swift help if nearby Arab
states were threatened. A White House official explains,

When the Bahrainis asked for help during the Iranian crisis, Jordan wanted to
help but had no way to get there. The Jordanian force idea is sound. Arabs
need to be able to defend their own territory. Instead of having an American
rapid deployment force going to the Persian Gulf, it would be better for Arabs
to do the job themselves. Better to have Muslims defending Muslim territory
than American boys.

L. Dean Brown, former ambassador to Jordan, says the proposal
would have been a "godsend" to the small countries of the gulf. "What
Jordan needed were C-130 transport planes in order to move light
weapons by air."

At first, Israel raised no objection. Told of the plan while he was
still Israel's ambassador to the United States, Moshe Arens simply
listened. A White House official close to the project recalls, "We told
Arens that we were going to have Israeli interests in mind, but we were
going ahead. We would proceed in a way that would not harm Israel."

The non-committal Israeli reaction was mistaken as a green light,
and, after getting clearance from the intelligence committees of Con-
gress, the Reagan administration proceeded with secret negotiations.

After Arens left to become Israel's defense minister, the proposal
ran into trouble. Briefed on the progress of the project by Secretary of
State Shultz, Meir Rosenne, Israel's new ambassador, suddenly raised

 

Penetrating the Defenses at Defense— and State 157

objections. The Israeli embassy tipped off a reporter for an Israeli radio
station about the issue, suggesting he go to Congressman Clarence
Long, chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee that han-
dles aid to Israel, and "he will tell you the whole story." Long
cooperated, Israeli radio broke the story, and with controversy swirling
in Israel, AIPAC joined the fray with its own salvos*

A White House official recalls the effect. "Once this became
public," he says, "King Hussein of Jordan backed away too. He didn't
want to be seen as a tool of the Americans." The official says his
colleagues at the White House were convinced that the whole thing
was a carefully engineered leak by the Israeli embassy. It was delayed
only until Arens left Washington. "It was a carom shot, bounced
through Doc Long and Israeli radio in such a way that it would not be
traced back to the embassy." Former U.S. Ambassador Brown de-
scribes the leak by the Israelis as "purposeful."

"The State Department Leaks Like a Sieve"

A leak got Talcott Seelye, ambassador to Syria, in hot water in
1981 when he sent a classified cable from Syria to the State Department
protesting a resolution just introduced in the House of Representatives
by Stephen Solarz, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee. Solarz
represents a New York district in which Jews of Syrian origin are
numerous, and his resolution criticized Syria for not permitting more
Jews to leave that country.

In the cable Seelye warned that approval of the resolution would
make Syria less cooperative, not more. Seelye explains, "My cable
said that if Solarz is sincere and serious about getting the Jews out of
Syria, he will not go ahead with this resolution; on the other hand, if he
merely wants to make points with the voters, he should do something
else." The cable was leaked to Solarz, who called Secretary of State
Vance and demanded: "Look, you've got to get Seelye out of there."
Vance was furious over the leak.

Seelye kept his job, but the State Department did little to defeat
the resolution. When the resolution was taken up in the House, only
one no vote was heard.

The employee guilty of leaking the cable to Solarz worked under
Ed Sanders, Carter's official liaison with the Jewish community, who
then had an office in the State Department as well as the White House.
No punishment was imposed; the employee was simply transferred to a
different job.

The leak confirmed the fears of diplomats who had strongly op-
posed locating a Jewish liaison office in the State Department. One

 

158 They Dare to Speak Out

diplomat of the period describes Sanders as "a very decent human
being, and he was there to do his job at the request of the president. At
the same time, some of the stuff we were doing should not get out of
the building to anybody."

Harold Saunders, a scholarly career Middle East specialist who
occasionally got in hot water by noting Arab concerns, was then assist-
ant secretary of state and voiced his feelings to Vance: "How would
you like having somebody from U.S. Steel sitting in our Economic
Bureau's tariff office?" Vance too opposed the arrangement, but San-
ders's State Department office was not closed for months.

Seelye pinpoints a very mundane reason for the wave of leaks: the
prevalence of copying machines. He says that as ambassador to Syria
he operated on the assumption that the Israelis would learn everything
he sent to Washington. He says, "The trouble with our system of
classification is that even when we limit distribution, say, to just twenty
copies for the whole government, one of the offices on the list will
make a dozen extra copies for their own use, and so on. It's hard to
control."

Veterans in government lay the blame for much of the leaking on
political appointees holding important positions in the State Depart-
ment and not on career diplomats. In the early months of the Reagan
Administration, National Security Adviser Richard Allen was viewed
as highly sympathetic to Israeli interests and, in fact, as the de facto
clearance officer, encouraging the placement of personnel acceptable
to the state of Israel in key positions. After Allen's departure from
government, a senior officer of the State Department recalls, "No one
was needed to replace him, as people with pro-Israeli interests — we
call them mail carriers — are spotted in every important office."

A senior diplomat, now on leave, says: "The leaks are almost
never traced to professional foreign service officers. In my experience,
leaks are normally by staff members brought in by political appointees,
and every administration brings in a lot of them. They seem to be all
over the place." He says these "loose-tongued amateurs" are promi-
nent on the seventh floor, where offices of senior State Department
officials are located, and on the staff for policy planning, as well as in
the White House. This gives them ready access to sensitive material.
"Unfortunately," he adds, "they do not have the same idea of discipline
and sense of loyalty as the professionals."

Some leaks originate from a few members of Congress and their
staff. A former Defense Department official recalls,

There were individuals on Capitol Hill that the Pentagon viewed as conduits to
Israel. No question about it. A number of times we would get requests from

 

Penetrating the Defenses at Defense— and State 159

Congressmen or Senators for intelligence materials. We knew damn well that
these materials were not for their own edification. The information would be
passed to Israel.

For example, we would get a letter from a Congressman, stating he had heard
the Pentagon had done a study on the military balance between Israel and its
Arab neighbors. He would like to have a copy of it. We would respond, *We
can't give you a copy, but we can give you an oral briefing.' The usual answer
is, 4 Sorry, we are not interested in an oral briefing.'

The Case of Stephen Bryen

In the opinion of all these sources, Israeli penetration of State and
Defense has reached an all-time high during the Reagan administration.
In 1984 people known to have intimate links with Israel were employed
in offices throughout the bureaucracy and particularly in the Defense
Department, where top-secret weapons technology and other sensitive
matters are routinely handled.

The bureaucracy is headed by Fred Ikle, undersecretary of de-
fense for international security. The three personalities of greatest im-
portance in his area are Richard Perle, Ikle's assistant for international
security policy; Stephen Bryen, Perle's principal deputy, whose as-
signed speciality was technology transfer; and Noel Koch, principal
deputy to Richard Armitage, assistant secretary for international se-
curity affairs. Koch was formerly employed by the Zionist Organiza-
tion of America. Perle previously served on the staff of Democratic
Senator Henry Jackson of Washington, one of Israel's most ardent
boosters, and had the reputation of being a conduit of information to the
Israeli government. Stephen Bryen came to the administration under
the darkest cloud of all.

Bryen's office is represented on the inter-agency unit, known as the
National Disclosure Policy Commission, which approves technology
transfers related to weapons systems. The commission includes repre-
sentatives of State, National Security Council and the intelligence ser-
vices, as well as Defense. Bryen was publicly accused in 1978 of
offering a top-secret document on Saudi air bases to a group of visiting
Israeli officials.

The accusation arose from an incident reported by Michael Saba,
a journalist and former employee of the National Association of Arab
Americans. Saba, who readily agreed to a lie detector test by the FBI,
said he overheard Bryen make the offer while having breakfast in a
Washington restaurant. At the time, Bryen was on the staff of the
Senate Foreign Relations Committee. A senior career diplomat ex-
presses the problem State Department officials encountered during that

 

160 They Dare to Speak Out

period: "Whenever Bryen was in the room we always had to use ex-
treme caution." During the controversy, Bryen was suspended from
the committee staff but later reinstated. He later left the committee
position and became executive director of the Jewish Institute for Na-
tional Security Affairs (JINSA), an organization founded — according
to The Jewish Week — to "convince people that the security of Israel
and the United States is interlinked." When Bryen moved to a position
in the Defense Department, his wife, Shoshona, replaced him at
JINSA.

After nine months the investigating attorneys recommended that a
grand jury be empanelled to consider the evidence against Bryen. Ac-
cording to the Justice Department, other witnesses testified to Bryen's
Israeli contacts. Indeed, a Justice Department memorandum dated
January 26, 1979, discussed "unresolved questions thus far, which sug-
gest that Bryen is (a) gathering classified informations for the Israelis,
(b) acting as their unregistered agent and (c) lying about it. . . ." The
Justice Department studied the complaint for two years. Although it
found that Bryen had an "unusually close relationship with Israel," it
made no charges and in late 1979 closed the file. Early in 1981 Bryen
was hired as Richard Perle's chief deputy in the Pentagon. He remains
in this highly responsible position today.

Perle himself was also the subject of an Israel-related controversy.
An FBI summary of a 1970 wiretap recorded Perle discussing classified
information with someone at the Israeli embassy. He came under fire in
1983 when newspapers reported he received substantial payments to
represent the interests of an Israeli weapons company. Perle denied
conflict of interest, insisting that, although he received payment for
these services after he had assumed his position in the Defense Depart-
ment, he was between government jobs when he worked for the Israeli
firm.

Because of these controversies both Perle and Bryen were given
assignments in the Reagan administration which — it was expected —
would keep them isolated from issues relating to Israel. But, observes a
State Department official, it has not worked out that way. Sensitive
questions of technology transfer which affect Israeli interests are often
settled in the offices of Perle and Bryen.

Despite the investigation, Bryen holds one of the highest possible
security classifications at the Department of Defense. It is a top secret/
code word classification, which gives him access to documents and
data anywhere in the government, almost without limit. A high official
in the Department of State explains the significance of his access:
"With this classification, Bryen can keep up to date not only on what

 

Penetrating the Defenses at Defense— and State 161

the United States has in the way of technology, but on what we hope to
have in the future as the result of secret research and development."

 

'77/ Take Care of the Congress"

Admiral Thomas Moorer recalls a dramatic example of Israeli
lobby power from his days as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. At
the time of the 1973 Arab-Israeli war Mordecai Gur, the defense at-
tach6 at the Israeli embassy who later became commander-in-chief of
Israeli forces, came to Moorer demanding that the U.S. provide Israel
with aircraft equipped with a high technology air-to-surface anti-tank
missile called the Maverick. At the time, the U.S. had only one squad-
ron so equipped. Moorer recalls telling Gur:

I can't let you have those aircraft. We have just one squadron. Besides, we've
been testifying before the Congress convincing them we need this equipment.
If we gave you our only squadron, Congress would raise hell with us.

Moorer looks at me with a steady piercing gaze that must have
kept a generation of ensigns trembling in their boots: "And do you
know what he said? Gur told me, 'You get us the airplanes; I'll take
care of the Congress.'" Moorer pauses, then adds, "And he did."
America's only squadron equipped with Mavericks went to Israel.

Moorer, speaking in his office in Washington as a senior counselor
at the Georgetown University Center for Strategic and International
Studies, says he strongly opposed the transfer but was overruled by
"political expediency at the presidential level." He notes President
Richard Nixon was then in the throes of Watergate. "But," he adds,

I've never seen a President— I don't care who he is — stand up to them [the
Israelis]. It just boggles your mind.

They always get what they want. The Israelis know what is going on all the
time. I got to the point where I wasn't writing anything down.

If the American people understood what a grip those people have got on our
government, they would rise up in arms. Our citizens don't have any idea what
goes on.

On another occasion, fear of lobby pressure caused a fundamental
decision on further military sales to Israel to be deliberately pigeon-
holed. It involved the general consensus of professionals in the
Pentagon that Israel had enough military power for any need as of 1975.
By then it had reached a level of regional superiority that was over-
whelming. In December 1976 the Middle East Arms Transfer Panel
wrote a report to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, concluding

 

162 They Dare to Speak Out

that no additional arms sales to Israel were necessary. However, Rums-
feld did not send the report to the State Department. It was the closing
days of the Ford administration, and its transmission as an official
document and subsequent leakage would have given the Democrats a
partisan edge with the Israeli lobby.

Jewish groups in the United States are often pressed into service
to soften up the secretary of state and other officials, especially in
advance of a visit to the United States by the Israeli prime minister. A
senior Defense official explains, "Israel would always have a long
shopping list for the prime minister to take up. We would decide which
items were worth making into an issue and which were not. We would
try to work things out in advance." There was the constant threat that
the prime minister might take an arms issue straight to the president,
and the tendency was to clear the agenda of everything possible. "We
might decide that we don't want this chicken shit electronic black box
to be an issue between the president and prime minister, we would
approve it in advance."

On one such occasion, Ed Sanders, President Carter's adviser on
Jewish affairs, brought a complaint to the National Security Council
offices: "I'm getting a lot of flack from Jewish Congressmen on the
ALQ 95-J. What is this thing? And why are we being so nasty about it?
Shouldn't we let Israel have it? The president is getting a lot of abuse
because the Pentagon won't turn it loose." It was a high technology
radar jamming device, and soon it was approved for shipment to Israel.

In advance of Carter's decision to provide a high technology mis-
sile to Israel, a procession of Jewish groups came, one after another, to
say:

Please explain to us why the Pentagon is refusing to sell AIM 9-L missiles to
Israel? Don't you know what this means? This missile is necessary so the
Israelis will be able to shoot down the counterpart missile on the Mig 21 which
carries the Eight Ball 935.

A former high-ranking official in security affairs cites the in-
timidating effect of this procession on career specialists:

When you have to explain your position day after day, week after week to
American Jewish groups — firet, say, from Kansas City, then Chicago, then East
Overshoe — you see what you are up against. These are people from different
parts of the country, but they come in with the very same information, the same
set of questions, the same criticism.

They know what you have done even in private meetings. They will say, 'Mr.
Smith, we understand that in interagency meetings, you frequently take a hard
line against technology transfers to Israel. We'd like you to explain yourself.'

 

Penetrating the Defenses at Defense— and State 163

They keep you on the defensive. They treat you as if you are the long pole in
the anti-Israeli tent no matter how modest the position you have taken.

Jewish groups in turn press Capitol Hill into action:

We'll get letters from Congressmen: 4 We need an explanation. We're hearing
from constituents that Israel's security is threatened by the refusal of the
Pentagon to release the AIM 9-L missile. Please, Mr. Secretary, can you give
me your rationale for the refusal?'

The certainty of such lobby pressure can be costly to taxpayers. In
one instance it kept the U.S. from trying to recover U.S.-supplied arms
which Israel captured from Lebanon. During Israel's invasion of Leba-
non in 1982, its forces overran and captured tons of equipment of all
sorts, including weapons supplied by the United States to the govern-
ment forces in that country. Knowledge of this came to light in an
unusual way a year later.

During a visit to Lebanon, the Reverend George Crossley, of Del-
tona, Florida, was shown cases of U.S.-made M-16 rifles which Israeli
officials said were captured from Palestinian forces. Crossley noted
they carried a Saudi insignia and wrote down the serial numbers. Saudi
Arabia, of course, had no forces involved in the fighting in Lebanon,
and the clergyman jumped to the conclusion that rifles the U.S. had
sold to Saudi Arabia were turned over to PLO forces in Lebanon, then
captured by the Israelis. If true, this would have been a violation of a
U.S. law which prohibits transfer of U.S.-supplied weapons to another
country without permission.

Crossley wrote to his Congressman, Bill Chappell, Jr., who asked
the State Department to explain. A check of records showed the U.S.
had never sold M-16 rifles to the Saudis, who prefer a German make.
The rifles in question were provided directly to forces of the Lebanese
government.

The episode got public attention at a time when the U.S. govern-
ment, at great expense, was once again equipping Lebanese forces. A
White House official, reading accounts of the Crossley affair, asked the
desk officer at the Pentagon why the U.S. didn't demand that the Is-
raelis give back these rifles and all other equipment they had taken
from the Lebanese army. The Pentagon had an accurate list of what the
U.S. had supplied. Surely, he argued, the Israeli government could be
forced to cooperate, and this would ease U.S. costs substantially.

The desk officer exploded: "Are you kidding? No way in hell! Who
needs that? I answer maybe one hundred letters a month for the secre-
tary of defense in reply to Congressmen who bitch and complain about
our mistreatment of Israel. Do you think that I want to increase my

 

164 They Dare to Speak Out

work load answering more shitty letters? Do you think I am going to
recommend action that will increase the flow of problem letters to my
boss? Be serious."

Every official of prominence in the State and Defense Depart-
ments proceeds on the assumption — and certainty — that at least once a
week he will have to deal with a group from the Jewish community.
One of them summarizes,

One has to keep in mind the constant character of this pressure. The public
affairs staff of the Near East Bureau in the State Department figures it will
spend about 75 percent of its time dealing with Jewish groups. Hundreds of
such groups get appointments in the executive branch each year.

In acting to influence U.S. policy in the Middle East, the Israeli
lobby has the field virtually to itself. Other interest groups and indi-
viduals who might provide some measure of counterbalancing pres-
sure have only begun to get organized.

Americans of Arab ancestry, for example, remain divided. A dip-
lomat who formerly served in a high position in the State Department
gives this example:

When a group concerned about U.S. bias favoring Israel would come in for an
appointment, more often than not those in the group start arguing among
themselves. One person will object to a heavy focus on Palestinian problems.
Another will want Lebanon's problems to be central to the discussion. I would
just sit back and listen. They had not worked out in advance what they wanted
to say.

Les Janka had similar experiences. In a commentary at a gathering
sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute, he recalled visits by
groups sympathetic to Arab problems:

Their complaints tended to be fairly general. They would say, 'We want the
U.S. to be more even-handed, more balanced,' or 'We want you to be more
interested in the Palestinians.' Nothing specific. In contrast the Jewish groups
come in with a very specific list of demands.

On all kinds of foreign policy issues the American people just don't make their
voices heard. Jewish groups are the exceptions. They are prepared, superbly
briefed. They have their act together. It is hard for bureaucrats not to respond.

 

Chapter 6

 

The Assault on "Assault

 

99

 

Although Israel's lobby seems able at will to penetrate our nation's
strongest defenses in order to gain the secret information it wishes,
when the lobby's objective is keeping such information secret, our
defenses suddenly become impenetrable.

After seventeen years, James M. Ennes Jr., a retired officer of the
U.S. Navy, is still having difficulty prying loose documents which shed
light on the worst peacetime disaster in the history of our Navy. In this
quest, he has encountered resistance by the Department of Defense,
the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, the American Israel
Public Affairs Committee, the book publishing industry, the news
media, and the Israeli Foreign Ministry. The resistance, seemingly
coordinated on an international scale, is especially perplexing because
Ennes' goal is public awareness of an episode of heroism and tragedy
at sea which is without precedent in American history.

As the result of a program of concealment supported by succes-
sive governments in both Israel and the United States, hardly anyone
remembers the miraculous survival of the USS Liberty after a devastat-
ing assault by Israeli forces on June 8, 1967, left 34 sailors dead, 171
iiyured, and the damaged ship adrift with no power, rudder or means of
communication.

The sustained courage of Captain William L. McGonagle and his
crew in these desperate circumstances earned the Liberty a place of
honor in the annals of the U.S. Navy. But, despite energetic endeavors,
including those of Ennes, McGonagle's officer of the deck that day, the
entries remain dim and obscure. Ennes's stirring book-length account of
the attack, Assault on the Liberty, itself continues to be under heavy
assault five years after publication.

The episode and its aftermath were so incredible that Admiral
Thomas L. Moorer, who became chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff a

165

 

166 They Dare to Speak Out

month after the attack, observes, "If it was written as fiction, nobody
would believe it."

Certain facts are clear. The attack was no accident. The Liberty
was assaulted in broad daylight by Israeli forces who knew the ship's
identity. The Liberty, an intelligence-gathering ship, had no combat
capability and carried only light machine guns for defense. A steady
breeze made its U.S. flag easily visible. The assault occurred over a
period of nearly two hours — first by air, then torpedo boat. The ferocity
of the attacks left no doubt: the Israeli forces wanted the ship and its
crew destroyed.

The public, however, was kept in the dark. Even before the Ameri-
can public learned of the attack, U.S. government officials began to
promote an account satisfactory to Israel. The American Israel Public
Affairs Committee worked through Congressmen to keep the story
under control. The President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson,
ordered and led a cover-up so thorough that sixteen years after he left
office, the episode was still largely unknown to the public — and the
men who suffered and died have gone largely unhonored.

The day of the attack began in routine fashion, with the ship first
proceeding slowly in an easterly direction in the eastern Mediterra-
nean, later following the contour of the coastline westerly about fifteen
miles off the Sinai Peninsula. On the mainland, Israeli forces were
winning smashing victories in the third Arab-Israeli war in nineteen
years. Israeli Chief of Staff Yitzhak Rabin, announcing that the Israelis
had taken the entire Sinai and broken the blockade on the Strait of
Tiran, declared: "The Egyptians are defeated." On the eastern front
the Israelis had overcome Jordanian forces and captured most of the
West Bank.

At 6 a.m. an airplane, identified by the Liberty crew as an Israeli
Noratlas, circled the ship slowly and departed. This procedure was
repeated periodically over an eight-hour period. At 9 a.m. a jet ap-
peared at a distance, then left. At 10 a.m., two rocket-armed jets
circled the ship three times. They were close enough for their pilots to
be observed through binoculars. The planes were unmarked. An hour
later the Israeli Noraltas returned, flying not more than 200 feet di-
rectly above the Liberty and clearly marked with the Star of David.
The ship's crew members and the pilot waved at each other. This plane
returned every few minutes until 1 p.m. By then, the ship had changed
course and was proceeding almost due west.

At 2:00 p.m. all hell broke loose. Three Mirage fighter planes
headed straight for the Liberty, their rockets taking out the forward
machine guns and wrecking the ship's antennae. The Mirages were

 

The Assault on "Assault" 167

joined by Mystdre fighters, which dropped napalm on the bridge and
deck and repeatedly strafed the ship. The attack continued for over 20
minutes. In all, the ship sustained 821 holes in her sides and decks. Of
these, more than 100 were rocket size.

As the aircraft departed, three torpedo boats took over the attack,
firing five torpedoes, one of which tore a 40-foot hole in the hull, killing
25 sailors. The ship was in flames, dead in the water, listing precari-
ously, and taking water. The crew was ordered to prepare to abandon
ship. As life-rafts were lowered into the water, the torpedo boats
moved closer and shot them to pieces. One boat concentrated
machine-gun fire on rafts still on deck as crew members there tried to
extinguish the napalm fires. Petty Officer Charles Rowley declares,
"They didn't want anyone to live."

At 3:15 p.m. the last shot was fired, leaving the vessel a combina-
tion morgue and hospital. The ship had no engines, no power, no rud-
der. Fearing further attack, Captain McGonagle, despite severe leg
injuries, stayed at the bridge. An Israeli helicopter, its open bay door
showing troops in battle gear and a machine gun mounted in an open
doorway, passed close to the deck, then left. Other aircraft came and
went during the next hour.

Although U.S. air support never arrived, within fifteen minutes of
the first attack and more than an hour before the assault ended, fighter
planes from the USS Saratoga were in the air ready for a rescue
mission under orders "to destroy or drive off any attackers." The car-
rier was only 30 minutes away, and, with a squadron of fighter planes
on deck ready for a routine operation, it was prepared to respond
almost instantly.

But the rescue never occurred. Without approval by Washington,
the planes could not take aggressive action, even to rescue a U.S. ship
confirmed to be under attack. Admiral Donald Engen, then captain of
the America, the second U.S. carrier in the vicinity, later explained:
"President Johnson had very strict control. Even though we knew the
Liberty was under attack, I couldn't just go and order a rescue." The
planes were hardly in the air when the voice of Secretary of Defense
Robert S. McNamara was heard over Sixth Fleet radios: "Tell the Sixth
Fleet to get those aircraft back immediately." They were to have no
part in destroying or driving off the attackers.

Shortly after 3 p.m., nearly an hour after the Liberty's plea
was first heard, the White House gave momentary approval to a rescue
mission and planes from both carriers were launched. At almost pre-
cisely the same instant, the Israeli government informed the U.S. naval
attache in Tel Aviv that its forces had "erroneously attacked a U.S.

 

168 They Dare to Speak Out

ship" after mistaking it for an Egyptian vessel, and offered "abject
apologies." With apology in hand, Johnson once again ordered U.S.
aircraft back to their carriers.

When the second launch occurred, there were no Israeli forces to
"destroy or drive away." Ahead for the Liberty and its ravaged crew
were 15 hours of lonely struggle to keep the wounded alive and the
vessel afloat. Not until dawn of the next day would the Liberty see a
U.S. plane or ship. The only friendly visit was from a small Soviet
warship. Its offer of help was declined, but the Soviets said they would
stand by in case need should arise.

The next morning two U.S. destroyers arrived with medical and
repair assistance. Soon the wounded were transferred to the carrier
hospital by helicopter. The battered ship then proceeded to Malta,
where a Navy court of inquiry was to be held. The inquiry itself was
destined to be a part of an elaborate program to keep the public from
knowing what really had happened.

In fact, the cover-up began almost at the precise moment that the
Israeli assault ended. The apology from Israeli officials reached the
White House moments after the last gun fired at the Liberty. President
Johnson accepted and publicized the condolences of Israeli Prime
Minister Levi Eshkol, even though information readily available
showed the Israeli account to be false. The CIA had learned a day
before the attack that the Israelis planned to sink the ship.
Congressional comments largely echoed the president's interpretation
of the assault, and the nation was caught up in euphoria over Israel's
stunning victories over the Arabs. The casualties on the Liberty got
scant attention. Smith Hempstone, foreign correspondent for the
Washington Star, wrote from Tel Aviv, "In a week since the Israeli
attack on the USS Liberty not one single Israeli of the type which this
correspondent encounters many times daily — cab drivers, censors,
bartenders, soldiers — has bothered to express sorrow for the deaths of
these Americans."

The Pentagon staved off reporters' inquiries with the promise of a
"comprehensive statement" once the official inquiry, conducted by Ad-
miral Isaac Kidd, was finished. Kidd gave explicit orders to the crew:
"Answer no questions. If somehow you are backed into a corner, then
you may say that it was an accident and that Israel has apologized. You
may say nothing else." Crew members were assured they could talk
freely to reporters once the summary of the court of inquiry was made
public. This was later modified; they were then ordered not to provide
information beyond the precise words of the published summary.

The court was still taking testimony when a charge that the attack
had been deliberate appeared in the U.S. press. An Associated Press

 

The Assault on "Assault" 169

story filed from Malta reported that "senior crewmen" on the ship were
convinced the Israelis knew the ship was American before they at-
tacked. "We were flying the Stars and Stripes and it's absolutely im-
possible that they shouldn't know who we were," a crew member said.
The Navy disputed the story, saying the U.S. "thoroughly accepted the
Israeli apology."

Testimony completed, Admiral Kidd handcuffed himself to a huge
box of records and flew to Washington to be examined by the Chief of
Naval Operations, Admiral McDonald, as well as by Congressional
leaders before the long-awaited summary statement was issued. When
finally released, it was far from comprehensive. It made no attempt to
fix blame, focusing almost entirely on the actions of the crew.

The censored summary did not reveal that the ship had been under
close aerial surveillance by Israel for hours before the attack and that
during the preceding 24 hours Israel had repeatedly warned U.S. au-
thorities to move the Liberty. It contained nothing to dispute the notion
of mistaken identity. The Navy reported erroneously that the attack
lasted only 6 minutes instead of 70 minutes and asserted falsely that all
firing stopped when the torpedo boats came close enough to identify
the U.S. flag. The Navy made no mention of napalm or of life-rafts
being shot up. It even suppressed records of the strong breeze which
made the ship's U.S. flag plainly visible.

The report did make one painful revelation: Before the attack the
Joint Chiefs of Staff had ordered the Liberty to move further from the
coast, but the message "was misrouted, delayed and not received until
after the attack."

Several newspapers criticized the Pentagon's summary. The New
York Times said it "leaves a good many questions unanswered." The
Washington Star used the word "cover-up," called the summary an
"affront" and demanded a deeper and wider probe. Senator J. William
Fulbright, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, after a
closed briefing by Secretary of State Dean Rusk, called the episode
"very embarrassing." The Star concluded: "Whatever the meaning of
this, embarrassment is no excuse for disingenuousness."

In early July, the Associated Press quoted Micha Limor, identified
as an Israeli reservist who had served on one of the torpedo boats, as
saying that Israeli sailors noticed three numbers as they circled the
Liberty but insisted the numbers meant nothing to them.

Lieutenant James M. Ennes, Jr., a cypher officer recovering in a
hospital from shrapnel wounds, was incredulous when he read the
Limor story. He had been officer of the deck. He knew the ship's
name appeared in large letters on the stern and the hull number on the
bow. He knew also that a breeze made the Stars and Stripes easily

 

170 They Dare to Speak Out

visible during the day. He had ordered a new 5-by-8 foot flag displayed
early on the day of the attack. By the time the torpedo boats arrived,
the original flag had been shot down but an even larger 7-by-13 foot flag
was mounted in plain view from a yardarm. He knew that the attack-
ers, whether by air or surface, could not avoid knowing it was a U.S.
ship. Above all else, he knew that Liberty's intercept operators had
heard the Israeli reconnaissance pilots correctly reporting to Israeli
headquarters that the ship was American.

Disturbed by the Limor story and the exchange of public messages
concerning the assault, Ennes determined to unravel the story. During
the four months he was behidden at Portsmouth, Virginia, he
collected information from his shipmates. Later, while stationed in
Germany, he recorded the recollections of other crew members.
Transferred to Washington, D.C., he secured government reports
under the Freedom of Information Act and also obtained the full Court
of Inquiry report, which was finally, after nine years, declassified in
1976 from being top secret.

The result was Ennes's book, Assault on the Liberty, published in
1980, two years after he retired from the Navy. Ennes discovered
"shallowness" in the court's questioning, its failure to "follow up on
evidence that the attack was planned in advance" — including evidence
that radio interceptions from two stations heard an Israeli pilot identify
the ship as American. He said the court, ignoring the ship's log, which
recorded a steady breeze blowing and confirming testimony from crew-
men, concluded erroneously that attackers may not have been able to
identify the flag's nationality, because the flag, according to the court,
"hung limp at the mast on a windless day."

Concerning Israeli motives for the attack, Ennes wrote that Israeli
officials may have decided to destroy the ship because they feared its
sensitive listening devices would detect Israeli plans to invade Syria's
Golan Heights. (Israel invaded Syria the day after the Liberty attack,
despite Israel's earlier acceptance of a ceasefire with its Arab foes.)

Ennes learned that crewmen sensed a cover-up even while the
court was taking testimony at Malta. He identified George Golden, the
Liberty's engineering officer and acting commanding officer, as the
source of the Associated Press story charging that the attack was delib-
erate. Golden, who is Jewish, was so outraged at the prohibition
against talking with reporters that he ignored it — risking his future
career in the Navy to rescue a vestige of his country's honor.

The American embassy at Tel Aviv relayed to Washington the
only fully detailed Israeli account of the attack — the Israeli court of
inquiry report known as "Israeli Preliminary Inquiry 1/67." The em-

 

The Assault on "Assault" 171

bassy message also contained the recommendation that, at the request
of the Israeli government, it not be released to the American people.
Ennes believes this is probably because both governments knew the
mistaken identity excuse was too transparent to believe.

Another request for secrecy was delivered by hand to Eugene
Rostow, undersecretary of state for political affairs. It paralleled the
message from the embassy at Tel Aviv imploring the Department of
State to keep the Israeli court of inquiry secret because "the circum-
stances of the attack [if the version outlined in the file is to be believed]
strip the Israeli Navy naked." Although Ennes saw that message in an
official file in 1977, by 1984 it had vanished from all known official files.
Ennes believes Israeli officials decided to make the Israeli Navy the
scapegoat in the controversy. With the blame piled on its Navy, the
orphan service that has the least clout in Israel's military hierarchy,
Israel then asked the U.S. to keep the humiliation quiet. United States
officials agreed not to release the text of the Israeli report.

Legal Adviser's Report Becomes Top Secret

During this same period — the weeks immediately following the
assault on the Liberty, an assessment of the "Israeli Preliminary In-
quiry 1/67" was prepared by Carl F. Salans, legal adviser to the secre-
tary of state. It was prepared for the consideration of Eugene Rostow.
The report, kept top secret until 1983 and apparently given only cur-
sory examination by Secretary of State Dean Rusk, examines the
credibility of the Israeli study and reveals as has no other single docu-
ment the real attitude of the U.S. government toward the Israeli attack
on the USS Liberty. It was a document too explosive to release.

Item by item, Salans demonstrated that the Israeli excuse could
not be believed. Preparing the report immediately after the attack, he
relied mainly on the limited information in Admiral Isaac Kidd's court
of inquiry file. He never heard Ennes, Golden, nor any of the principal
witnesses. He found enough there to discredit the Israeli document
thoroughly. The items Salans examined were the speed and direction of
the Liberty, aircraft surveillance, identification by Israeli aircraft,
identification by torpedo boats, flag and identification markings, and
time sequence of attacks. In each instance, eyewitness testimony or
known facts disputed the Israeli claims of innocent error.

For example, the Israeli report contended that the Liberty was
traveling at a speed of 28 to 30 knots, hence behaving suspiciously. Its
actual speed was five knots. Israeli reconnaissance aircraft claimed to
have carried out only two overflight missions, at 6:00 and 9:00 a.m.

 

172 They Dare to Speak Out

Aircraft actually overflew the Liberty eight times, the first at 5:15 a.m.
and the last at 12:45 p.m.

The Israeli report charged that the Liberty, after refusing to iden-
tify itself, opened fire. Captain McGonagle testified that the only sig-
nals by the torpedo boats came from a distance of 2,000 yards when the
attack run was already launched and torpedoes on their way. The
blinker signals could not be read because of intermittent smoke and
flames. Not seeing them, the Liberty could not reply. Immediately
thereafter it was hit by a torpedo and 25 sailors died instantly.

The Israeli report contended that the Liberty did not display a flag
or identifying marks. Five crewmen testified that they saw the naval
ensign flying the entire morning and until the attack. When the flag was
shot away during the air attack, another larger flag was hoisted before
the torpedo onslaught began. Hull markings were clear and freshly
painted. The Israelis tried to shift responsibility by asserting that the
attack originated through reports that the coastal area was being
shelled from the sea. Salans said it should be clear to any trained
observer that the small guns aboard the Liberty were incapable of
shore bombardment.

The Salans report was forwarded September 21, 1967, to Under
Secretary of State Rostow. This means that high officials of the admin-
istration knew the falsity of Israeli claims about the Liberty soon after
the assault itself.

With a document in hand so thoroughly refuting the Israeli claims,
the next logical step obviously would be its presentation to the Israeli
government for comment, followed by publication of the findings.

Instead, it was stamped "top secret" and hidden from public view,
as well as the attention of other officials of our government and its
military services, along with the still-hidden Israeli report. Dean Rusk,
secretary of state at the time, says that he has "no current recollection"
of seeing the Salans report. He adds, however, that he "was never
satisfied with the Israeli purported explanation of the USS Liberty
affair."

The cover-up of the Salans report and other aspects of the episode
soon had agonizing implications for United States security.

If the Navy had been candid about the Liberty episode even within
its own ranks, the nation might have been spared the subsequent
humiliation of an ordeal that began five months later when North Ko-
rean forces killed a U.S. sailor and captured the USS Pueblo and its
entire crew. The agony ended when the crew was released after experi-
encing a year of captivity under brutal conditions.

Pueblo commander Lloyd M. Bucher later concluded that if he

 

The Assault on "Assault" 173

had been armed with facts of the disaster in the Mediterranean, he
might have prevented the Pueblo episode.

In the late summer of 1967, still ashore but preparing to take
command of the ill-fated ship, Bucher learned of the Liberty's misfor-
tune. Headed for hostile waters near North Korea, he believed his
mission would profit from the experience and asked for details. Bucher
recalls how his request was brushed aside: "I asked my superiors about
the disaster and was told it was all just a big mistake, that there was
nothing we could learn from it." When he later read the Ennes book,
Bucher discovered that the Liberty crew had encountered many of the
same problems his ship faced just before its capture. Both ships had
inadequate means for destroying secret documents and equipment,
and, in a crisis, even the ship itself. Both had serious shortcomings in
control procedures. Bucher blames "incompetency at the top" and
"lack of response to desperate calls for assistance during the attack."
He speaks bitterly of the Pueblo's ordeal:

We had a man killed and 14 wounded. Then a year of pretty damned severe
brutality which could have been prevented had I been told what happened to
the Liberty. It's only because that damned incident was covered up as thoroughly
as it was.

The cover-up of the attack on the Liberty had other, more personal
consequences. On recommendation of the Navy Department, Wil-
liam L. McGonagle, captain of the Liberty, was approved by President
Johnson for the nation's highest award, the Congressional Medal of
Honor. According to Ennes, the captain "defied bullets, shrapnel and
napalm" during the attack and, despite injuries, stayed on the bridge
throughout the night. Under his leadership, the 82 crewmen who had
survived death and injury had kept the ship afloat despite a 40-foot hole
in the side and managed to bring the crippled vessel to safe harbor.

McGonagle was an authentic hero, but he was not to get the award
with the customary style, honor, ceremony and publicity. It would not
be presented personally by the president, nor would the event be at the
White House. The Navy Department got instructions to arrange the
ceremony elsewhere. The president would not take part. It was up to
the Navy to find a suitable place. Admiral Thomas L. Moorer, who had
become chief of naval operations shortly before the order arrived,
was upset. It was the only Congressional Medal in his experience not
presented at the White House. He protested to the Secretary of De-
fense Robert S. McNamara, but the order stood. From the two houses
of the legislature for which the medal is named came not a voice of
protest.

 

174 They Dare to Speak Out

The admiral would have been even more upset had he known at
the time that the White House delayed approving the medal until it was
cleared by Israel. Ennes quoted a naval officer as saying: "The govern-
ment is pretty jumpy about Israel. The State Department even asked
the Israeli ambassador if his government had any objection to
McGonagle getting the medal. 'Certainly not,' Israel said." The text of
the accompanying citation gave no offense: it did not mention Israel.

The secretary of the Navy presented the medal in a small, quiet
ceremony at the Navy Yard in Washington. Admiral Moorer said later
he was not surprised at the extraordinary arrangements. "They had
been trying to hush it up all the way through." Moorer added, "The
way they did things I'm surprised they didn't just hand it to him under
the 14th Street Bridge."

Even tombstone inscriptions at the Arlington National Cemetery
perpetuated the cover-up. As with McGonagle's citation, Israel was
not mentioned. For fifteen years the marker over the graves of six
Liberty crewmen read simply, "died in the Eastern Mediterranean." No
mention of the ship, the circumstances, or Israel. Visitors might con-
clude they died of natural causes. Finally, survivors of the ship banded
together into the USS Liberty Veterans Association and launched a
protest that produced a modest improvement. The cover-up was lifted
ever so slightly in 1982 when the cemetery marker was changed to
read, "Killed USS Liberty." The dedication event at gravesite was as
quiet as the McGonagle ceremony years before. The only civilian
official of the U.S. government attending, Senator Larry Pressler,
promised further investigation of the Liberty episode but two years
later had done nothing.

The national cover-up even dictated the phrasing of letters of con-
dolence to the survivors of those killed in the assault. In such circum-
stances, next of kin normally receive a letter from the president setting
forth the facts of the tragedy and expressing profound feelings over the
hardship, sacrifice and bravery involved in the death. In fact, letters by
the hundreds were then being sent to next of kin as the toll in Vietnam
mounted.

To senior White House officials, however, death by Israeli fire was
different from death at the hands of the Vietcong. A few days after the
assault on the Liberty, the senior official in charge of President John-
son's liaison with the Jewish community, Harry McPherson, received
this message from White House aide James Cross:

Thirty-one [sic] Navy personnel were killed aboard the USS Liberty as the
result of the accidental [sic] attack by Israeli forces. The attached condolence
letters, which have been prepared using basic formats approved for Vietnam
war casualties, strike me as inappropriate in this case.

Due to the very sensitive nature of the whole Arab-Israeli situation and the

 

The Assault on "Assault" 175

circumstances under which these people died, I would ask that you review
these drafts and provide me with nine or ten different responses which will
adequately deal with this special situation.

The "special situation" led McPherson to agree that many of the
usual paragraphs of condolence were "inappropriate." He suggested
phrases that de-emphasized combat, ignored the Israeli role and even
the sacrifice involved.

Responding to the "very sensitive nature" of relations with Israel,
the president's staff set aside time-honored traditions in recognizing
those killed in combat. McPherson suggested that the letters express
the president's gratitude for the "contribution to the cause of peace"
made by the victims and state that Johnson had tried to avert the
Israeli- Arab war.

While Washington engaged in this strange program of coverup,
Liberty crewmen could remember with satisfaction a moment of per-
sonal pride, however brief. On the afternoon of June 10, 1967, as the
battered ship and its crew prepared to part company with the USS
America for their journey to Malta and the court of inquiry, carrier
Captain Donald Engen ordered a memorial service for those who had
died during the assault. Held on the deck of the America where more
than 2,000 sailors were gathered, the service was an emotional mo-
ment. Afterwards, as the ships parted, Engen called for three cheers
for the Liberty crew. Petty Officer Jeffery Carpenter, weakened from
loss of blood, occupied a stretcher on the Liberty's main deck. Crew-
man Stan White lifted one end of the stretcher so Carpenter could see
as well as hear the tribute being paid by the carrier. "Such cheers!"
Engen told me. "Boy, you could hear the cheers echo back and forth
across the water. It was a very moving thing."

It was the only "moving thing" that would be officially bestowed in
tribute to the heroic crew.

"This Is Pure Murder"

Books have perpetuated myths about the Liberty. Yitzhak Rabin,
military commander of Israeli forces at the time, declared in his
memoirs published in 1979 that the Liberty was mistaken for an Egyp-
tian ship: "I must admit I had mixed feelings about the news [that it was
actually a U.S. ship] — profound regret at having attacked our friends
and a tremendous sense of relief [that the ship was not Soviet]." He
wrote that Israel, while compensating victims of the assault, refused to
pay for the damage to the ship "since we did not consider ourselves
responsible for the train of errors."

Lyndon Johnson's own memoirs, Vantage Point, continued the
fiction that the ship had been "attacked in error." Although his signa-

 

176 They Dare to Speak Out

ture had appeared on letters of condolence to 34 next of kin, his
memoirs reported the death toll at only ten. He cited 100 wounded; the
actual count was 171. He added, "This heartbreaking episode grieved
the Israelis deeply, as it did us."

Johnson wrote of the message he had sent on the hotline to Mos-
cow in which he assured the Soviets that carrier aircraft were on their
way to the scene and that "investigation was the sole purpose of these
flights." He did not pretend that protection and rescue of the ship and
its crew were among his objectives, nor did he record that the carrier
aircraft were never permitted to proceed to the Liberty even for "inves-
tigation." The commander-in-chief devoted only sixteen lines to one of
the worst peacetime naval disasters in history.

Moshe Dayan, identified in a CIA report as the officer who person-
ally ordered the attack, made no mention of the Liberty in his lengthy
autobiography. According to the CIA document, Dayan had issued the
order over the protests of another Israeli general who said, "This is
pure murder."

The cover-up also dogged Ennes in the marketing of his book.
Despite high praise in reviews, book orders routinely got "lost,"
wholesale listings disappeared mysteriously, and the Israeli lobby
launched a far-flung campaign to discredit the text. The naval base in
San Diego returned a supply of books when a chaplain filed a com-
plaint. Military writer George Wilson told Ennes that when the Wash-
ington Post printed a review, "It seemed that every phone in the
building had someone calling to complain about our mention of the
book."

The Atlanta Journal called Ennes's Assault on the Liberty a "dis-
quieting story of Navy bungling, government cover-up and Israeli du-
plicity that is well worth reading." The Columbus Dispatch called it
"an inquest of cover-up in the area of international political intrigue."
Journalist Seymour Hersh praised it as "an insider's book by an honest
participant," and the prestigious Naval Institute at Annapolis called it
"probably the most important naval book of the year."

Israel took swift measures to warn U.S. readers to ignore the
reviews. The Israeli Foreign Office charged, "Ennes allows his very
evident rancor and subjectivity to override objective analysis," and
that his "conclusions fly in the face of logic and military facts." These
charges, Ennes later said, were "adopted by the Anti-Defamation
League of B'nai B'rith for distribution to Israeli supporters throughout
the United States." A caller to the American Israel Public Affairs Com-
mittee was told that the book was "a put-up job, all lies and financed by
the National Association of Arab Americans." Ennes said the "emo-
tional rhetoric" caused "serious damage to sales and a marked reluc-
tance of media executives to allow discussion of this story."

 

The Assault on "Assault" 111

As the result of radio talk shows and lecture platforms on which
Ennes appeared, he heard from people "all over the country" who had
been frustrated in efforts to buy his book. Several retail book stores,
seeking to order the book from the publisher, Random House, were
given false information — they were told the book did not exist, or that
it had not been published, or that it was out of print, or that it was
withdrawn to avoid a law suit.

Talk show host Ray Taliaferro caused a stir one Sunday night in
1980 when he announced over San Francisco radio station KGO that he
would interview Ennes the following Sunday. Over 500 protest letters
poured into the station, but the program went on as scheduled. Public
response was overwhelming, as listener calls continued to stream in for
a full hour after the two-hour show with Ennes had ended. Two phone
calls arrived threatening Taliaferro's life — one on a supposedly private
line.

At the invitation of Paul Backus, editor of the Journal of Elec-
tronic Defense, Ennes wrote a guest editorial in 1981 on the implica-
tions of the Liberty incident, stating that friendly nations sometimes
feel compelled to take hostile actions. In the case of the Liberty, he
added,

Because the friendly nation ... is the nation of Israel, and because the nation
of Israel is widely, passionately and expensively supported in the United
States, and perhaps also because a proper inquiry would reveal a humiliating
failure of command, control and communications, an adequate investigation
... has yet to be politically palatable.

Backus was stunned when the owners of the magazine, an organi-
zation of military and defense-related executives known as the Associ-
ation of Old Crows, ordered him not to publish the Ennes editorial.
Association spokesman Gus Slayton wrote to Backus that the article
was "excellent" but said "it would not be appropriate to publish it now
in view of the heightened tension in the Middle East." Backus, a retired
Navy officer, resigned: "I want nothing more to do with organizations
which would further suppress the information." The Ennes piece was
later given prominent play in a rival magazine, Defense Electronics,
which later found it a popular reprint at $3 a copy.

As Ennes lectured at universities in the midwest and west in 1981
and 1982, he encountered protests in different form. Although most
reaction was highly favorable, hecklers called him a liar and an anti-
Semite and protested to administrators against his appearance on cam-
pus. Posters announcing his lectures were routinely ripped down.
Wording identical with that used by the Israeli Foreign Office and B'nai
B'rith in attacks on the book appeared in flyers distributed by local
"Jewish Student Unions" as Ennes spoke to college audiences.

 

178 They Dare to Speak Out

Criticism of the Ennes book seemed to be coordinated on a na-
tional—even international— scale. After National Public Radio read
the full text of the book over its book-reading network, alert local
Anti-Defamation League spokesmen demanded and received the
opportunity for a 10-minute rebuttal at the end of the series. The rebut-
tal in Seattle was almost identical with a document attacking the book
issued by the Israeli Foreign Office in Jerusalem. Both rebuttals
matched verbatim a letter criticizing Ennes that had appeared in the
Jacksonville (Florida) Times-Union.

Ennes's misfortunes took an ironic turn in June 1982 when ABC's
Nightline cancelled the broadcast of a segment it had prepared on the
15-year reunion of the Liberty crew. The show was pre-empted by
crisis coverage of Israel's invasion of Lebanon, which had begun the
day before. In early 1983, Nightline rescheduled the segment, but
once again Israel intruded; this time an interview with its new U.S.
ambassador, Moshe Arens, took the allotted time. Meanwhile, the
edited tape and 15 reels of unedited film had disappeared from the
studio library. (Ennes's book may have cost the former captain of the ill-
fated Pueblo an appearance on ABC's "Good Morning America" tele-
vision show in 1980. Bucher had been invited to New York for a post-
captivity interview. Suddenly the interview was withdrawn. A studio
official told Bucher only that he had heard there were problems "up-
stairs," but then he asked Bucher, "Did you have a book review pub-
lished recently in the Washington Post?" He had indeed, a review
which heaped praise on the Ennes book).

Later in 1983, the Jewish War Veterans organization protested
when the Veterans of Foreign Wars quoted Ennes to support its call for
"proper honors" for those killed on the Liberty and again when
James R. Currieo, national commander of the Veterans of Foreign
Wars, referred to the "murderous Israeli attack." Currieo excited Jew-
ish wrath even more when he published in the VFW magazine a letter
to President Reagan inviting the White House to send a representative
to the cemetery to help honor the men who died. There was no reply.

Four years after publication of Assault on the Liberty, Ennes is
still receiving a steady flow of mail and telephone calls about the
episode. Elected by his shipmates as their official historian, he became
editor of The USS Liberty Newsletter. Meanwhile, not wishing to be
fettered to an endless struggle of conscience, he is writing another
book on an unrelated subject and trying to leave the Liberty matter
behind. He finds it cannot be left behind. The book continues to gener-
ate a swirl of controversy that will not go away.

Another retired officer, Admiral Thomas L. Moorer, applauds En-
nes's activities and still wants an investigation. He scoffs at the mis-

 

The Assault on "Assault" 179

taken identity theory, and says he hopes Congress will investigate and
if it does not, he favors reopening the Navy's court of inquiry. He adds,
"I would like to see it done, but I doubt seriously that it will be al-
lowed."

Asked why the Johnson administration ordered the cover-up,
Moorer is blunt: "The clampdown was not actually for security reasons
but for domestic political reasons. I don't think there is any question
about it. What other reasons could there have been? President Johnson
was worried about the reaction of Jewish voters."

Moorer says the attack was "absolutely deliberate" and adds,
"The American people would be goddam mad if they knew what goes
on."

 

"Like Sending a Weather Report"

The publication in September 1990 of Victor Ostrovsky's By Way of
Deception is certain to broaden awareness of what goes on in the realm of
Israeli perfidy.

The shocking exposfi, written by a former Israeli spy, reports that the
Mossad, Israel's intelligence agency, failed to relay to the United States early
data about the 1983 suicide bombing that killed 241 U.S. marines asleep in a
barracks at the Beirut airport

An informant had told the Mossad that a large truck was being fitted by
Shi'ite Muslims with spaces that could hold bombs of exceptional size. Local
agents concluded that the marine barracks was among the most likely targets,
but, according to Ostrovsky, the Mossad chief in Tel Aviv made a conscious
decision not to warn the U.S. government, declaring: "We're not there to
protect Americans." Accordingly, only a routine notice went to the CIA,
which, Ostrovsky writes, "was like sending a weather report."

In equally foolish acts, the government of Israel requested and a New York
judge ordered that the book be banned in the United States. The New York Post
headlined: "Israelis muzzle spy author." The New York Times summed up the
book's allegation: the Mossad failed to warn the CIA because it wanted "to
poison American relations with Arab countries."

When the ban was overturned by a higher court the next day, the book
enjoyed a second round of nationwide publicity. Overnight it was a bestseller.

 

Chapter 7

 

Challenges to Academic Freedom

 

The Israeli lobby pays special attention to the crucial role played by
American colleges and universities in disseminating information and
molding opinion on the Middle East. Lobby organizations are con-
cerned not only with academic programs dealing with the Middle East
but also with the editorial policies of student newspapers and with the
appearance on campus of speakers critical of Israel. In all three of
these areas of legitimate lobby interest and activity, as in its dealings on
Capitol Hill, pro-Israeli organizations and activists frequently employ
smear tactics, harassment and intimidation to inhibit the free exchange
of ideas and views.

As government, academic and public awareness of the Middle
East increased following the 1973 OPEC oil price hike, such organiza-
tions as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and the Ameri-
can Jewish Committee developed specific programs and policies for
countering criticism of Israel on college campuses.

Making It "Hot Enough" on Campus

In 1979 AIPAC established its Political Leadership Development
Program, which trains student activists on how to increase pro-Israeli
influence on campus. Coordinator Jonathan Kessler recently reported
that in just four years "AIPAC's program has affiliated over 5,000 stu-
dents on 350 campuses in all 50 states":

They are systematically monitoring and comprehensively responding to anti-
Israeli groups on campus. They are involved in pro-Israel legislative efforts, in
electoral campaign politics as well.

However self-serving and perhaps exaggerated such statements
may be, AIPAC works closely with the B'nai B'rith Hillel Foundation

180

 

Challenges to Academic Freedom 181

on campuses. When Kessler is introduced to campus audiences, it is as
one who has "trained literally thousands of students." His campus
contacts send him tapes or notes from talks that are considered to be
"pro-Palestinian" or "anti-Israeli" and alert him to upcoming speaking
engagements. Kessler keeps the notes on file and when he hears that a
particular speaker is coming to a campus, he sends summaries of the
speaker's usual points and arguments, his question-answer style, and
potentially damaging quotes — or purported quotes — from other talks.
Kessler specializes in concocting questions with which the speaker will
have difficulty and in warning the campus organizers away from ques-
tions the speaker answers well.

If the student union or academic senate controls what groups may
be allowed to reserve halls, Kessler works to get friends of Israel into
those bodies. If the control is with the administration, speakers are
accused of advocating violence, either by "quoting" earlier speeches or
by characterizing them as pro-PLO. AIPAC students also argue that
certain forums, such as memorial lectures should not be "politicized."
While this may not always bar the speaker, Kessler advises that "if you
make it hot enough" for the administrators, future events will be dis-
couraged and even turned down rather than scheduled.

Kessler's students receive training— through role-playing and
"propaganda response exercises" — in how to counter anti-Israel argu-
ments. These exercises simulate confrontations at pro- and anti-Israel
information tables and public forums.

Once a solid AIPAC contingent is formed, it takes part in student
conferences and tries to forge coalitions with other student groups.
AIPAC then has pro-Israeli resolutions passed in these bodies and can
run pro-Israel advertisements signed by the (liberal) Americans for
Democratic Action and (conservative) Young Americans for Freedom,
for example, rather than just by AIPAC. The workshop handout says:
"Use coalitions effectively, Tty finding non-Jewish individuals and
groups to sign letters to the editor, for it is far more effective and
credible."

In 1983 AIPAC distributed to students and faculty around the
country a ten-page questionnaire on political activism on their cam-
puses. Its instructions include: "Please name any individual faculty
who assist anti-Israel groups. How is this assistance offered? What are
the propaganda themes . . . ?" The survey results form the body of the
AIPAC College Guide: Exposing the Anti-Israel Campaign on Campus,
published in April 1984.

While AIPAC claims to respect the right of all to free speech,
number eight on its list of 10 suggested "modes of response" to pro-
Palestinian events or speakers on campus reads: "Attempt to prevent."

 

182 They Dare to Speak Out

Number 10 on the same list reads "Creative packaging." Edward Said,
a professor of comparative literature at Columbia University who fre-
quently speaks on campuses in support of the Palestinian cause, de-
scribed a case of "creative packaging" at the University of Washington
where he spoke in early 1983:

They stood at the door of the auditorium and distributed a blue leaflet which
seemed like a program but it was in fact a denunciation of me as a 'terrorist.*
There were quotations from the PLO, and things that I had said were mixed in
with things they claimed the PLO had said about murdering Jews. The idea was
to intimidate me and to intimidate the audience from attending.

Said reports another experience at the University of Florida,
where the group protesting Said's talk was led by a professor of phi-
losophy:

They tried to disrupt the meeting and [the professor] finally had to be taken out
by the police. It was one of the ugliest things, not just heckling but interrupting
and standing up and shouting. It's pure fascism, outright hooliganism.

Another episode involving Said occurred at THnity College in
Hartford, Connecticut. In the fall of 1982 Said spoke, at the invitation
of the college's Department of Religion, on the subject of Palestine and
its significance to Christians and Muslims as well as Jews. As the day
of the talk approached, the department began to get letters of protest
from prominent members of the Hartford Jewish community and from
Jewish faculty members. Said, said the protesters, was pro-Palestinian
and had made "anti-Israel" statements. One writer asked the orga-
nizers of the talk: "How could you do this, given the fact that there are
two Holocaust survivors on the faculty?"

After Said spoke, more letters of protest arrived at the religion
department, and a move was made to deny the department a new $1
million chair in Jewish Studies. The uproar died down after several
months, but the protests had their effect. Asked whether the depart-
ment would feel free, given the reaction of the Jewish community, to
invite Edward Said again, a department spokesperson responded, "No,
I don't think we would."

The AIPAC College Guide also includes profiles of 100 U.S. cam-
puses and the anti-Israel campaign "unprecedented in scope and mag-
nitude" which supposedly pervades them. Anti-Semitism is also cited
as a major influence on some campuses. For example, Colorado State
University's campus newspaper, the Collegian, is said to have printed
anti-Semitic letters to the editor; but only a letter which "sought to
draw attention to the * Jewish lobby and the true extent of its influence
over the U.S. media' " is cited as evidence.

 

Challenges to Academic Freedom 1 83

An example of how the lobby works on campus came in the spring
of 1982 when the American Indian Law Students Association (AILSA)
at Harvard Law School hosted a conference on the rights of indigenous
peoples in domestic and international law. They invited Deena Abu
Lughod, an American of Palestinian origin who worked as a researcher
at the PLO mission to the United Nations, to participate in the confer-
ence. The Harvard Jewish Law Students Association (HJLSA), which
according to one source has an active membership of only about
twenty, first asked AILSA to remove Abu-Lughod from the program.

When this failed, the Jewish group protested vehemently to the
dean of the law school and also asked the dean of students to consider
withdrawing all funding for the conference. The latter refused, saying
she was "not in the business of censoring student conferences." But
the dean of the law school, who was slated to give the opening address
at the conference, backed out. Several members of the Indian Law
Students Association and the director of the Harvard Foundation
(which co-sponsored the conference), received telephoned death
threats. One came from callers who identified themselves as Jewish
Harvard students. Told of these, a member of the HJLSA said, "We
were contacted by the JDL [Jewish Defense League], but we didn't
want to have anything to do with any disruption of the conference."

The conference took place as scheduled, but one organizer recalls:

The atmosphere was incredibly tense. We were really very concerned about
Deena' s physical safety and about our own physical safety. We had seven
policemen there. We had many, many marshals and very elaborate security. We
had searches at the door, and we confiscated weapons, knives — not pocket
knives — but butcher knives. We also had dogs sniff the room for explosives.
The point is that the event did occur, but in a very threatening atmosphere.

The following spring, a group of Third World student organiza-
tions at Harvard invited the director of the PLO Information Office in
Washington, Hassan Abdul-Rahman, to speak on the theme "Palestine:
Road to Peace in the Middle East." Again the Harvard Jewish Law
Students Association organized a demonstration, but this time the pro-
testers packed the hall and actively disrupted the meeting. "It was just
an absolute madhouse inside," recalls one student who was present.
"Abdul-Rahman spoke for probably an hour and a half to virtually
constant taunting, jeering, insults, screams, shouts, cursing."

According to the Harvard Law Record, a representative of the
Harvard Arab Students Society "struggled" simply to relate a bio-
graphical sketch of the speaker and to provide an introduction to his
talk. "It was an extremely intimidating atmosphere," recalls the stu-
dent:

 

184 They Dare to Speak Out

We just barely kept the lid on things. I think the fact that these events occurred
is a testimony to our perseverence, not to the lack of intimidation. Because the
intimidation is really very overt and very strong.

In both cases the protesters used material provided by the Anti-
Defamation League of B'nai B'rith.

In still another incident at Harvard, a member of the Harvard law
faculty who had visited the Israeli-occupied West Bank on a tour orga-
nized by North American Friends of Palestinian Universities gave a
talk on campus after his return. Prior to the talk, a group of students
from the Harvard Jewish Law Students Association came to the pro-
fessor's office. They told him that they just wanted to make sure that
he knew "all the facts" before giving his talk, and if he wasn't going to
give a "balanced" picture, they intended to picket his address.

Recently asked if he altered his talk in any way as a response to
the visit by the students, the professor said, "No, but that's because I
knew what was going on whether or not they came to my office. I knew
they were going to be there and I knew what the situation was." He
added that "the presence of a highly charged group of Jewish law
students" changed the nature of his talk "from one that was more
directed at what was actually going on for the Palestinians into one that
was more abstract and about the relationship between power and
knowledge here and there and in a lot of other places." After the talk,
the representatives of the HJLSA sent the professor a letter saying
they were "very satisfied with the balanced nature" of his presentation.
"Which made me think," he said, "it had been a little too balanced."

He said the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was "an issue about which
we've never had a successful, open discussion at this school." The
professor said that, while he didn't feel intimidated, "I felt that I was
operating in a place in which there were limits on what I could say."

AIPAC is not the only pro-Israel organization to keep files on
speakers. The Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith keeps its own
files. Noam Chomsky, world renowned professor of linguistics at MIT
and author of two books on the Middle East, was leaked a copy of his
ADL file, containing about a hundred pages of material. Says
Chomsky: "Virtually every talk I give is monitored and reports of their
alleged contents (sometimes ludicrously, even comically distorted) are
sent on to the [Anti-Defamation] League, to be incorporated in my
file."

Says Chomsky:

When I give a talk at a university or elsewhere, it is common for a group to
distribute literature, invariably unsigned, containing a collection of attacks on
me spiced with "quotes" (generally fabricated) from what I am alleged to have
said here and there.

 

Challenges to Academic Freedom 1 85

I have no doubt that the source is the ADL, and often the people distributing
the unsigned literature acknowledge the fact. These practices are vicious and
serve to intimidate many people. They are of course not illegal. If the ADL
chooses to behave in this fashion, it has a right to do so; but this should also be
exposed.

Student publications are also monitored. When the monthly
Berkeley Graduate, a magazine of news and opinion intended for
graduate students at the University of California at Berkeley, published
in its April 1982 issue several articles critical of Israeli Prime Minister
Menachem Begin and his government's policies, the office of the maga-
zine began to receive anonymous phone calls, generally expressing in
crude terms the callers' opinion of the magazine. One caller suggested
that the editor, James Schamus, "take the next train to Auschwitz."
According to Schamus, these calls continued for several weeks.

The campus Jewish Student Board circulated a petition protesting
the content of the April issue and characterized the Graduate as anti-
Semitic — until it discovered that editor James Schamus was himself
Jewish. Schamus met with Jewish Student Board members and agreed
to furnish space in the following issue of the magazine for a 4,000-word
rebuttal, but they were not satisfied.

The following week, members of the Jewish Student Board in-
troduced a bill in the Graduate Assembly expressing "regret" at the
content of the April issue and stipulating that if an oversight committee
were not formed "to review each issue's content before it goes to
press," steps would be taken to eliminate the Graduate. The assembly
voted down the resolution but agreed to revive a moribund editorial
oversight committee to set editorial policy. Opponents of the bill, in-
cluding editors of several campus publications, defended the right of
the Graduate to print "without prior censorship."

The next day, the Student Senate narrowly defeated a bill that
would have expressed "dissatisfaction" with the Graduate magazine.
An earlier draft of the bill, amended by the Senate, would have asked
the Senate to "condemn" the publication. An editorial in The Daily
Californian, the university's main student newspaper, said that such
"meaningless censures" came not out of intelligent consideration of an
issue, but out of "irrational urgings to punish the progenitor of an idea
with which one disagrees."

The May issue of the Graduate did contain a response to
Schamus's original article. The author concluded his piece by calling
the April issue of the Graduate "simple, unvarnished anti-Semitism in
both meaning and intent."

Later in May, Schamus left for a two-month vacation. While he
was gone, the Graduate Assembly leadership decided by administra-

 

186 They Dare to Speak Out

tive fiat to cut the amount of student funds allocated to the Graduate by
55 percent and to change the accounting rules in such a way that the
magazine could no longer survive. Schamus resigned, along with his
editorial and advertising staffs. In an interview with the San Francisco
Examiner, Schamus said that the series on Begin "directly precipitated
our silencing." He told the Daily Calif ornian: "This whole situation
was a plan by student government censors to get rid of the magazine
and create a new one in its own image next year." The chairman of the
Graduate Assembly denied any conspiracy. "The Israel issue had abso-
lutely nothing to do with it," he said. He acknowledged, however, that
the controversy over the issue "brought up the question of content in
the Graduate" The Graduate is today little more them a calendar of
events that comes out four or five times a yean

Student Editor Under Fire

Another student newspaper editor who learned to think twice be-
fore criticizing Israel is John D'Anna, editor of the Arizona Daily Wild-
cat at the University of Arizona in TUcson during the 1982-83 academic
year. In February of 1983, 22-year-old D'Anna wrote an editorial en-
titled "Butcher of Beirut Is Also a War Criminal," in which he decried
the fact that former Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon was per-
mitted to remain a member of the Israeli Cabinet after being found
"indirectly responsible" for the massacre of Palestinian civilians at the
Sabra and Shatila camps in Lebanon. If Nazi war criminal Klaus Bar-
bie, the infamous "butcher of Lyon" was to be tried for his crimes
against humanity, asked D'Anna, "shouldn't those responsible for the
Beirut massacre be tried for theirs?"

D'Anna was shocked at the reaction to his editorial:

My grandparents were the only John D' Annas listed in the phone book, and
they were harassed with late night phone calls. I personally got a couple of the

type 'If we ever catch you alone ' There were threats on my life. I also got

hate mail. Some of the letters were so vitriolic it makes me shudder.

There followed a series of letters to the newspaper accusing
D'Anna of "irresponsible polemic," "fanning hatred" and "inciting vio-
lence." The director of the local B'nai B'rith Hillel Foundation wrote
that D' Anna's editorial "merely inflames passions, draws conclusions
on half-truths and misleads."

The uproar prompted D'Anna to write an apology in a subsequent
issue. He said that while he stood by his beliefs, "I just wish I had
expressed those beliefs differently." He agreed with some of his critics
that it was a bad editorial and that he could have made the same points
"without arousing passions and without polemic."

 

Challenges to Academic Freedom 187

Nevertheless, the day after D' Anna's apology appeared, members
of twenty local Jewish groups wrote to the university president de-
manding that the Wildcat editor resign or be fired for his "anti-Semitic"
and "anti-Israel" editorial. If he was not fired by noon the following
Monday, said the letter, the group would tell Wildcat advertisers that
the newspaper was "spreading hatred," in the hope that the advertisers
would cancel their ads. The group's spokesman was Edward Tennen,
head of the local Jewish Defense League, a group founded by Meir
Kahane, who advocates the forcible expulsion of Arabs from Israel.
The JDL is shunned by AIPAC and other Jewish groups.

When the deadline passed without D'Anna' s removal, the group
calling for a boycott, having dubbed itself "United Zionist Institu-
tions," distributed a letter to local businesses and ad agencies urging
them to stop supporting the Wildcat's "anti-Semitic editor" and his
"consciously orchestrated bigotry." Calling D'Anna "an accomplice to
PLO aims," the letter asked the advertisers to "search your con-
sciences and do what you know must be done." D'Anna noted that the
group's acronym was UZI, the name of the standard issue Israeli ma-
chine gun.

Meanwhile, about twenty-five members of local Jewish groups,
mostly from the campus Hillel organization, attended a meeting of the
university's Board of Publications during which they confronted
D'Anna with their complaints. As the former editor recalls it:

I was on the hot seat for about two hours. And I tried to deal with all their
questions and they kept demanding that steps be taken. I asked them what
steps, and they said they wanted a review board. And I said That's fine, you
can review anything you want after it comes out in the paper/ and they said
'No, we want to review it before it comes out in the paper,' and I said that was
totally unacceptable.

In the end the boycott effort was ineffective, as only two busi-
nesses cancelled their advertising. Moreover, D'Anna received firm
support from the newspaper staff and from the head of the university's
journalism department, himself Jewish. Yet the former editor recalls
that the campaign against him had an impact: "It was effective to a
certain extent. I was gun-shy and it was quite a while before I touched
any international issue."

 

"It Seemed to Be Politics"

The Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut, has the oldest
Islamic studies program in the United States. Beginning in the early
1970s, the president of the seminary began to receive complaints from
members of the Hartford Jewish community that the program was anti-

 

188 They Dare to Speak Out

Jewish. One person said the program was in fact an "al-Fatah support
group." More recently, Willem A. Bijlefeld, director of the seminary's
Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, was
asked by the local daily Hartford Courant to write a piece about PLO
leader Yasser Arafat. On New Year's Eve, 1983, the day following
publication of his article, Bijelfeld received a phone call from a man
who identified himself only as Jewish. The caller said that the seminary
had a long tradition of "anti- Jewish propaganda" and accused Bijlefeld
of supporting "the killing of Jews and the destruction of Israel." He
then expressed his joy at the "extremely painful death" of NBC news
anchorwoman Jessica Savitch, killed in an automobile accident, which
he said was a "manifestation of divine justice" since she had "lied"
about the number of Lebanese forced out of their homes during the
1982 Israeli invasion. The caller said that he was fully confident that
this kind of punishment awaited "any enemy of Israel." Said Bijlefeld,
"The implications for me were clear."

Ostracism is another weapon of the lobby. Eqbal Ahmad is an
American scholar of Pakistani origin who holds two Ph.D. degrees
from Princeton University, one in political science and one in Islamic
studies. He is also a fellow at Washington's Institute for Policy Studies.
Ahmad has written widely on the Middle East and has had a number of
articles published on the op-ed page of the New York Times. Ahmad
says that as a critic of Israeli policies and a supporter of the rights of
the Palestinians, he has been ostracized by the academic community:

It is not only the material punishments that people encounter, but the extraordi-
nary environment of conformity that is imposed upon you and the price in
isolation that individuals have to pay for not conforming on this issue.

Ahmad joined the faculty of Cornell University in 1965. "I was a
young assistant professor, generally liked by my colleagues," recalls
Ahmad. "And they continued to be very warm and civil to me despite
the fact that many of them were conservative people and I had already
become fairly prominent in the anti- Vietnam war movement."

After the Arab-Israeli war of June 1967, Ahmad made a speech at
Cornell criticizing Israel's conquest and retention of Arab territory and
also signed petitions supporting the right of the Palestinians to self-
determination. Throughout his two remaining years at Cornell, says
Ahmad, no more than four of the entire faculty spoke to him. "I would
often sit at the lunch table in the faculty lounge, which is generally very
crowded, and I would have a table for six to myself." Ahmad says that
of the four who remained his friends, three were Jewish:

The issue is not one of Jew versus gentile. There is a silent covenant within the
academic community concerning Israel. The interesting thing is that the num-

 

Challenges to Academic Freedom 1 89

ber of prominent Jews who have broken the covenant is much larger than the
number of gentiles.

In 1983, Ahmad's name appeared in the B'nai B'rith publication
Pro-Arab Propaganda in America: Vehicles and Voices. "This they are
doing to somebody who has not to date received any form of support
from an Arab government or an Arab organization," says Ahmad.
Ahmad says that about a quarter of his income comes from speaking
engagements, mainly university endowed lectures. Since the publica-
tion of the B'nai B'rith "enemies list," his speaking invitations have
dropped by about 50 percent. "These invitations come from my reputa-
tion as an objective, independent scholar," says Ahmad. "By putting
me under the rubric of propagandist they have put into question my
position as an objective scholar."

Since Ahmad left Cornell in 1969 he has not been able to obtain a
regular teaching appointment. He has been a visiting professor at one
college or another every year. Towards the end of his 1982-83 term at
Rutgers University College in Newark, New Jersey, he was considered
for a regular appointment, but at the last minute it fell through. Says
Ahmad,

I have been told privately that it was because Zionist professors objected to my
appointment. The dean was told that I would not get the vote of the faculty
because accusations had been made that I was anti-Semitic and had created an
anti-Semitic atmosphere on the campus while I was teaching there. All this was
told to me in private; I have nothing in writing. . . .

S. C. Whittaker, former chairman of the Political Science Depart-
ment at Rutgers University College and the man who originally hired
Ahmad as a visiting professor, was away when the question of a full
professorship for Ahmad came up. "When I got back," said Whittaker,
"I was told that he'd been a great smash as a teacher and that his
enrollments were terrific. But when the proposal to have him stay on
permanently came up, it was shot down, and it seemed to be politics."

 

Arab Funding Too Hot to Handle

In 1977, three of America's most prestigious small colleges,
Swarthmore, Haverford and Bryn Mawr, proposed to seek funds from
a private Arab foundation for a joint Middle East studies program. The
three "sister schools," located in the affluent "mainline" suburbs of
Philadelphia, already shared a Russian studies program.

The idea for the joint program originated in conversations between
college officials and Swarthmore alumnus Willis Armstrong, a former
assistant secretary of state who had recently become secretary-

 

190 They Dare to Speak Out

treasurer of the Triad Foundation. The Washington-based foundation
had been established by wealthy Saudi entrepreneur Adnan Khashoggi
to finance, in his words, "programs with long-range goals for building
bridges of understanding between countries." Khashoggi is a flamboy-
ant multimillionaire who made his fortune by serving as a middleman
to foreign companies, including several major defense contractors,
seeking business in Saudi Arabia.

The three-year $590,000 program worked out by Armstrong and
the colleges was exemplary by everyone's account. The plan would
provide foreign student scholarships to needy Arab students, expand
the colleges' collections of books and periodicals dealing with the Mid-
dle East and strengthen existing Middle East-related courses. In addi-
tion, about one-fourth of the grant would be used to finance a rotating
professorship. The visiting professors would teach courses on the Mid-
dle East and its relation to disciplines including anthropology, art his-
tory, economics, history, political science and religion.

"It was as innocuous and rich as a proposal could be," recalled
Swarthmore Vice-President Kendall Landis five years later. Haverford
President Stephen Cary had described it at the time as "promising in
terms of academic enrichment." The program would serve to "raise the
consciousness of students about the Middle East situation," com-
mented Haverford' s associate director of development, John Gilbert.

Perhaps the most enthusiastic supporter of the plan was Bryn
Mawr President Harris Wofford. A former Peace Corps director, Wof-
ford was known for his long interest in promoting international under-
standing. He called the Middle East studies proposal "a good prospect
for something we badly want."

The grant proposal included a guarantee of absolute academic
freedom. "This was to be done in accordance with the highest
academic standards," explained Armstrong. "The colleges would
choose the visiting professors, they'd buy the books and they'd pick
out the students to whom to give scholarships."

Moreover, the rotating professorship meant that no one professor
would be around long enough to develop roots. "We really bent over
backwards to be completely fair," said Landis. "Jewish professors
would be employed as well as others."

"There was never any pressure from Triad in any discussions we
had with them," said Haverford's Cary, "nor any indication from them
that it couldn't be a study that would include Israel. So I never had any
criticism of the Triad Foundation people at all."

The agreement with Triad was all but concluded by the three col-
leges. All that remained was to present the grant proposal formally to

 

Challenges to Academic Freedom 1 9 1

the IHad Foundation which, Armstrong assured the college officials,
would accept it and write out the check.

Some, however, like Ira Silverman of the American Jewish Com-
mittee, saw dangers in the plan. Silverman had received a telephone
call from Swarthmore political science professor James Kurth alerting
the AJC to the grant proposal. In a confidential memorandum he pre-
pared for the AJC's National Committee on Arab Influence in the
United States, Silverman wrote:

Professor Kurth, who is not Jewish, believed that the proposed program should
be of concern to the AJC inasmuch as it would not only expand study of the
contemporary Arab world but would explicitly seek to bring the Arab political
message to those campuses.

Professor Kurth brought these facts to our attention and asked for AJC help in
blocking the implementation of the program. We discussed the matter and
agreed that it would make most sense to try to kill the program through quiet,
behind-the-scenes talks with college officials, before 'going public'; and that
protests against the program need not be based solely or particularly on Jewish
opposition to Arab influence. Instead, we thought it should be possible to
generate concern about the program based on its sponsorship by Khashoggi
and its evident public relations aims, not appropriate for colleges of the stature
of these three schools.

Silverman went right to work orchestrating a campaign to discredit
Khashoggi and Triad:

I immediately sent Professor Kurth a folder of information on Khashoggi, the
THad Corporation and Thad Foundation which was compiled by the AJC
TVends Analysis Division.

I also notified the AJC Philadelphia chapter of these developments so that they
could be in touch with Professor Kurth to assist in getting some local Philadel-
phia Jewish community leaders, alumni of the schools or otherwise associated
with them, to raise questions about the proposed grant."

The effect of the AJC's efforts to "kill the program" was stunning.
Using material provided by Silverman, the Swarthmore student news-
paper, The Phoenix, published an article which falsely stated that
Khashoggi was "under indictment by a federal grand jury" in connec-
tion with certain payments to Lockheed. Asked later about the role this
article played in the controversy, James Piatt, who had edited the
student newspaper, said: "The Phoenix got things out there publicly, at
least for students and certain alums who probably hadn't heard about it
beforehand, to make their phone calls and be upset and so forth."
Where had he gotten his information? He refused to say. "I'd prefer to

 

192 They Dare to Speak Out

talk to the people first just to make sure they have no problem with
that. At the time, it was to remain confidential."

Before the Phoenix article appeared, Swarthmore President Theo-
dore Friend called a meeting of department representatives to obtain
the concurrence of faculty on the tentative grant proposal. Some of the
faculty were reported to have objected to the plan. On the evening after
the Phoenix article appeared, a petition was circulated in the college
dining hall calling Khashoggi a "munitions monger" and referring to
"kickbacks" in the Middle East. The petition, which called on the
administration to drop the proposal, was signed by 230 students and
faculty. Almost at the same time, the Philadelphia Jewish Federation
had a letter on the president's desk.

"Speaking from memory," says one observer close to the Swarth-
more scene, "it all happened in about eighteen and a half minutes. It
was like the Great Fear sweeping across France during the French
Revolution."

On November 3, 1977, articles appeared in The Philadelphia In-
quirer and in another Philadelphia paper, The Evening Bulletin. The
latter was headlined: "Colleges Hesitate in Scandal." By November
4, the student newspaper published jointly by Bryn Mawr and Haver-
ford had also published an article detailing both the grant proposal and
Khashoggi's background. The same issue included an editorial entitled
"SayNotoTHad."

The Jewish Community Relations Council, the American Jewish
Committee and the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith also issued
a joint statement: "It is altogether appropriate that the schools should
seriously question the wisdom of accepting any grant from such a
tainted source and one which is dominated by a figure like Adnan
Khashoggi."

Finally, the Washington office of the AJC put Professor Kurth in
touch with Congressman James Scheuer, who is Jewish and a Swarth-
more alumnus. According to Armstrong, Scheuer called President
Friend and requested the telephone numbers of the members of the
college's Board of Managers "so he could call them at once and get
them to put a stop to this outrageous thing."

Various groups tried to enlist faculty intervention. Harrison
Wright, a professor of history at Swarthmore, recalled later that there
were "memos to the whole faculty and to the department chairmen by
different groups. It was a fairly short but quite sharp exchange of
different points of view."

The first of the three colleges to publicly withdraw from the joint
effort was Haverford. In a prepared statement, Haverford President
Cary said the college was "grateful to TKad for its willingness to con-

 

Challenges to Academic Freedom 1 93

sider an application," but "because of Haverford's Quaker background
it has decided it shouldn't apply for funds derived so directly from arms
traffic which it deplores."

Swarthmore's withdrawal followed immediately. President Friend
announced the college's decision in these words:

At a time of rigorous financial planning and examination of curriculum, our
lack of a significant existing base in Middle Eastern studies at Swarthmore does
not in our view warrant what at present could only be a temporary experiment.

Peter Cohan, a leader of student protest against the Triad grant,
complained later to a Phoenix reporter that the statement "did not
establish principles, but spoke only to the immediate situation." In the
same Phoenix article, Swarthmore Vice-President Landis pointed out
that the decision on the Triad grant was made "amid a whirlwind of
protest which arose from 'more than just Khashoggi.'" According to
Landis, "There were other concerns within the protest."

In a letter to the Phoenix, Ben Rockefeller, another student,
agreed with Landis:

Jewish students are not disturbed about the Rockefellers' business conduct
because they aren't truly contesting anybody's business conduct: the alleged
concern about Mr. Khashoggi's professional character is a ruse to conceal an
anti-Arab prejudice.

Only Bryn Mawr continued to pursue the grant. "I think the ques-
tion of judging the source of money is not a simplistic one," said Presi-
dent Wofford. Wofford defended the college's decision in an article
published in the Bryn Mawr/Haverford student newspaper, The News,
which was on record as opposing the grant:

No one at Bryn Mawr has suggested that Mr. Khashoggi's record is irrelevant
or that we don't care about it. We explored that record in the three-college
discussions last summer and circulated information we found. If there is new
information we should consider it carefully. But instead of simply saying 'No'
to Triad, as The News proposes, I think we should examine all the facts and
together think about the issues raised.

In deciding our next steps, we need to guard against prejudice, against misin-
formation, and against the politics of purely personal psychic satisfaction.
Wouldn't it be prejudice to accept a donation from Lockheed, for example,
which was found guilty of improper practices, while refusing it from Triad,
whose donor (contrary to the Swarthmore Phoenix's allegation) has not been
indicted let alone convicted of anything?

The Philadelphia Inquirer supported Bryn Mawr's position. In an
editorial entitled ". . . But Money Has No Smell," the newspaper said it
did not believe it necessary that Haverford, Swarthmore and Bryn

 

194 They Dare to Speak Out

Mawr "look with revulsion" at the source of the $590,000 grant. "We
believe they would do well to follow the counsel of the celebrated
American philosopher, Woody Allen, and take the money and run."
Like Wofford, the newspaper pointed out that "quite a few sources of
donations to higher education would not bear close scrutiny."

The American Jewish Committee memo notes with satisfaction
that, though Bryn Mawr pursued the grant proposal, it did so "on a
substantially reduced scale."

In fact, Bryn Mawr's request for funds ultimately went unan-
swered. Khashoggi had been badly burned. He gave up the foundation
and with it the offer to the three colleges.

Reflecting on the controversy and on Bryn Mawr's decision to
stay with the proposal, Wofford said: "We were in a relatively strong
position because that same year we had started a program of inviting
people who wanted to contribute to Bryn Mawr's Judaic Studies pro-
gram to donate Israel bonds." The Jewish community was pleased by
this. "In fact," said Wofford, "I was awarded the Eleanor Roosevelt
award of the Israel Bonds Organization." Asked how he felt about the
withdrawal of the other colleges, Wofford said,

We felt sort of run out on by both of them. In the first place they publicly
withdrew without any real consultation. And secondly, it was something we
had thought through and it seemed an unfair flap at a potential donor.

In a letter to President Friend, Willis Armstrong said:

Swarthmore seems to me to have taken leave of its principles and to have
yielded all too quickly to partisan and xenophobic pressure from a group
skilled in the manipulation of public opinion. I am at a loss to think how the
United States can promote peace in the Middle East unless we can gain Arab
confidence in our understanding and objectivity. For a Quaker institution to
turn its back on an opportunity to contribute to this understanding is pro-
foundly depressing.

Haverford President Cary, like Swarthmore's President Friend,
denies that his decision to withdraw from the grant proposal was in-
fluenced by pressures from the Jewish community. Said Cary:

I did have some letters from some of our Jewish alumnae who thought that we
should have no part of such a thing. But that had nothing to do with my
decision.

Haverford's provost at the time, Tom D' Andrea, assesses the impor-
tance of Jewish opposition differently:

One of the big issues, of course, had to do with very strong opposition from
Jewish organizations. I think a lot of it had to do with Arab influence and the

 

Challenges to Academic Freedom 195

whole Middle East situation. But then, of course, you get into really serious
questions about academic freedom. The freedom of expression. Well, one way
you can avoid that is to find another peg to hang the protest on and the arms
one is a little cleaner given the Quaker factor.

In concluding his memo describing the success of the American
Jewish Committee's efforts to foil the Middle East studies program at
the three colleges, Ira Silverman wrote:

Our participation was not widely known on the campuses and not reported in
the public press, as we wished. This is a good case history of how we can be
effective in working with colleges to limit Arab influence on campuses —
although in view of the schools' Quaker background and Khashoggi's cloudy
reputation as an arms merchant, its happy ending is not likely to be replicated
easily in other cases.

Swarthmore, Haverford and Bryn Mawr have done little since the
1977-78 events to improve their offerings in a field that has become too
hot for many colleges to handle.

Another college about a hundred miles away showed more cour-
age, although it too nearly faltered.

 

Returning Solicited Gifts

Georgetown University's Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
(CCAS) was the first academic program in the United States devoted
exclusively to the study of the modern Arab world. Established in
1975, the center is a functional part of the Georgetown University
School of Foreign Service. As such, CCAS not only offers an academic
program leading to a master's degree in Arab studies but also provides
opportunities for students with other international interests to learn
about the 22 political systems and 170 million people in North Africa,
the Nile valley, the Fertile Crescent, and the Arabian Peninsula.

Since federal funding for a traditional Middle East center at
Georgetown had twice been sought and denied, the directors of the
new center decided early on to seek support from private sources.
They hoped to obtain about half the needed funds from Arab govern-
ments. The dean of Georgetown's School of Foreign Service, Peter F.
Krogh, explained the original plan: "It was our view that we should not
play favorites among the Arab states and seek support from some but
not from others. This would then suggest that the academic program
would also play favorites."

After obtaining approval for the plan from the university's de-
velopment office and from Georgetown's president at the time, the
Reverend R. J. Henle, Dean Krogh visited all the Arab embassies and

 

196 They Dare to Speak Out

missions in Washington. He told them about the center's plans and
asked for their assistance. "I went to all of them," says Krogh,
"whether they had diplomatic relations with the United States or not,
whether they were moderate or radical, whatever their stripe." John
Ruedy, chairman of the center's program of studies, recalls the fund
raising philosophy in similar terms: "We were going to be sure that we
weren't labeled as being in anybody's pocket."

The first country to contribute was Oman, soon followed by grants
from United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. Then, in May
1977, Libya committed $750,000, payable over five years, to endow a
professorial chair in Arab culture.

The Libyan gift aroused controversy. According to one faculty
member, there was "considerable consternation" among faculty, stu-
dents and some administrators and trustees. The protest included a
letter to the student newspaper, the Georgetown Voice, from columnist
Art Buchwald. Buchwald calling the gift "blood money from one of the
most notorious regimes in the world today." But Georgetown's execu-
tive vice-president for academic affairs, the Reverend Aloysius R Kel-
ley, told the Washington Post at the time that the Libyan gift
"contributes to the fulfillment of the main purpose of the center . . .
which is to increase knowledge of the Arab world in the United
States." Says Dean Krogh, "Libya was responding to the blanket re-
quest to all Arab countries to take an interest in our work and to help us
where they could. It was an endowment. They sent the check; we
deposited it. They never inquired, never asked for an accounting. They
didn't even ask for a stewardship report." Center Director Michael
Hudson stressed in press interviews that no conditions were attached
to the gift regarding who could occupy the chair or what the chosen
professor could teach. "We don't mix politics and education," Hudson
told the Washington Post.

The next governmental contributors were Jordan, Qatar and Iraq.
The Iraqi gift of $50,000 came in the spring of 1978. It was an unre-
stricted contribution which the center subsequently decided to use to
hire a specialist in Islamic ethics.

In the meantime, Henle had been replaced as president of
Georgetown by the Reverend Timothy S. Healy. In July of 1978, Healy
took the unusual step of returning Iraq's $50,000 gift without advising
the center of his intentions. The official reason given for the action was
that another donor had come forward to provide funds for the same
purpose. In his letter to the director general of Iraq's Center for Re-
search and Information, Healy wrote:

I feel obliged in conscience to return to Your Excellency the generous check
which you have sent us. I hope that in doing this, we can continue our conver-

 

Challenges to Academic Freedom 197

sations and that it will be possible for the university to return to the generosity
of the Iraqi government in the future and ask for a gift for which full credit can
be given to the government which gave it. I am sure you will understand the
delicacy of the university's position in this matter.

But faculty members at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
said they did not understand "the delicacy of the university's position."
Arab Studies Director John Ruedy commented at the time: "Acting as
agents of the university, we solicited money from Iraq. The president
of this university returned it without ever seeking our approval. His
intervention into this is really extraordinary." Dean Krogh told the
press: "This is the first time we've given back a grant as long as I've
been here," adding that the issue had been "taken out of my hands."

According to the Washington Stan both supporters and opponents
of the Iraqi grant agreed that "the decision was politically motivated."
Ruedy told the Star: "I don't know what other basis there would be for
refusing the money." CCAS faculty members charged that Father
Healy's own support for Israel, combined with pressure from pro-
Israeli members of the university's community and from influential
Jewish leaders, led him to return the gift.

John Ruedy recalls the incident:

The timing was appalling. We were just shocked. We had been arguing with
[Healy] over that for a couple of months. He said he didn't like it. We knew he
was distressed about it. But we thought that we had convinced him that he
must quietly accept the gift because we had asked for it under the mandate
given to us by his predecessor.

According to one member of the CCAS faculty, the center's prob-
lems really began with the arrival of Healy:

His whole political socialization regarding the Middle East took place within
the context of New York City [where Healy grew up]. He told us early on that
if he had been here in our formative days, we wouldn't exist. He was a vulner-
able instrument for these people and they kept pushing and pushing and push-
ing. He was under enormous pressure.

Father Healy refused to comment to the press on his decision to
return the gift, saying that to do so "would only harm the institution."
The university's executive vice-president for academic affairs and pro-
vost, the Reverend Aloysius R Kelley, declined to comment directly on
whether the university had considered any other use for the general
purpose grant.

Despite Healy's return of the Iraqi gift, Georgetown's new Arab
studies center came under attack. In June 1979 The New Republic, a
liberal weekly that has become a staunchly pro-Israeli magazine under

 

198 They Dare to Speak Out

owner Martin Peretz, ran an article by Nicholas Lemann on
Georgetown's Center for Contemporary Arab Studies insinuating that
the center was "nothing but a propagandist for the Arabs." Wrote
Lemann, "Unlike the older Middle Eastern studies centers at other
universities, the Georgetown center makes no attempt to achieve bal-
ance by studying Israel along with the Arab nations or by hiring Israeli
scholars." Center Director Michael Hudson and Dean Peter Krogh
answered this charge in a reply which was prepared but never pub-
lished:

Since when was it required, for example, that a center for Chinese studies
study the Soviet Union and employ Soviet scholars?. . . . The center studies
the Arabs and it employs scholars recruited through normal University Depart-
mental and School procedures which provide for appointments without dis-
crimination of any kind. If this country is not allowed by particular interest
groups to pursue the study of the Arabs by the same standards applied to the
study of other major peoples and cultures, this country's knowledge of, and
international relations with, a significant group of countries is going to be
deeply, perhaps tragically, flawed.

The New Republic article added that the Georgetown Center "is
constantly charged with violating standards of scholarly objectivity"
but did not say by whom. Author Lemann referred to the center's
critics, "who, in the cloak-and-dagger spirit, like to remain anony-
mous."

Hudson and Krogh, in their unpublished reply, wrote:

Detective Lemann, to his credit, discovers "an informal network of people"
operating in the "cloak and dagger spirit" who are busy trying to embarrass the
center in some way. To his discredit, he associates himself with this undercover
group by borrowing upon these anonymous accusations in criticizing an open,
legitimately constituted academic program. A more worthy approach would
have been to investigate and reveal the composition, operations, and motiva-
tions of this "informal network." We think the public should be deeply con-
cerned about an underground group which seeks to undermine the imparting of
knowledge and understanding about the Arab world; certainly we would be
interested in any findings Mr. Lemann (or his publisher, Mr. Martin Peretz)
could provide on this question.

Despite the return of the Iraqi grant, Georgetown continued to
receive Arab funds, including grants of $1 million each from Kuwait
and Oman in the fall of 1980. An article in the Washington Post report-
ing the Kuwaiti gift quoted Ira Silverman of the American Jewish Com-
mittee as saying that Georgetown's Arab studies center "has a clearly
marked pro-Arab, anti-Israel bias in its selection of curriculum mate-

 

Challenges to Academic Freedom 199

rial, its faculty appointments, and speakers." By accepting money from
"political sponsors of one point of view," said Silverman, Georgetown
might be "selling something very precious to Americans — the integrity
of its universities."

Georgetown officials rejected criticism of the Arab gifts, pointing
out that if it had pro- Arab scholars in the Arab studies center, it had
pro-Israel scholars elsewhere on its faculty, particularly in its Center
for Strategic and International Studies.

Then, in February 1981 President Healy again returned an Arab
donation which had been solicited and received by the Arab studies
center. This time it was the grant from Libya received four years ear-
lier. Of the $750,000 pledged over five years, $600,000 had been re-
ceived. Healy personally took a check for that amount, plus about
$42,000 in interest earned, to the Libyan embassy. Healy said Libya's
"accent on violence as a normal method of international policy and its
growing support of terrorism made [keeping the money] . . . incompat-
ible with everything Georgetown stands for."

Once again, many doubted the official reason given. As one pro-
fessor in the Arab studies program put it: "If it was strictly an ethical
judgment, it certainly was a long time in coming." John Ruedy added:

If you ask around here, you'll probably find nobody in our center who ap-
proves of the policies of [Iraqi President] Saddam Hussein. But we have tried
to maintain cooperative relationships with the government and, to the extent
that we can, with the Iraqi people. We think that this is our mission. And I feel
the same way about Libya. I find [Libyan President] Kaddafi very objection-
able in most instances. This was a gift, as far as I'm concerned, from the
Libyan people.

"This whole thing is something out of the blue," Professor Hisham
Sharabi told the Washington Post. "It's very strange."

Dean Peter Krogh opposed returning the money but did not make
an issue of it. He declined to comment to the press, except to say, "We
never felt any pressure from the Libyan government" on how the
money was to be spent. But, he observes: "Deans are deans and presi-
dents are presidents. Presidents do pretty much what they please."

Ira Silverman of the American Jewish Committee was "delighted
that Georgetown has made this decision." Moreover, the day after the
return of the Libyan money, the New York City investment banking
firm, Bear, Stearns & Co., donated $100,000 to Georgetown. Said
senior managing partner Alan Greenberg, "We admire them, and this is
our little way of saying thank you."

Healy told the Post that in returning the money to Libya, "I was

 

200 They Dare to Speak Out

under absolutely no heat and pressure, but it worried me, I guess Vm
just kind of slow to move, but I came to a growing realization that what
Libya is up to is incompatible with Georgetown."

In an interview with the Washingtonian magazine, however, he
was more candid. Originally, he had approved the Libyan gift despite
some misgivings. He told the magazine the Libyan money "had been a
huge nuisance and had kept him entangled in a verbal version of the
Arab-Israeli war." Reported the Washingtonian:

His Jewish friends screamed at him privately, and the American Jewish Com-
mittee issued a statement publicly condemning the university. Even his ges-
tures of appeasement and balance — a goodwill trip to Israel, an honorary
degree for the Israeli ambassador to the United States, refusal of a gift from
Iraq, wearing a yarmulke at a Jewish service on campus — did little to offset
Jewish anger over the Libyan money.

In fact, pressure on Healy had been intense before his return of the
Libyan grant. One expression of Jewish anger took the form of a visit
to Healy's office by a delegation of rabbis. Max Kampelman, an in-
fluential Jewish member of Georgetown University's Board of
Thistees, also interceded with Healy directly. As a former ambassador
to the Helsinski Accords, Kampelman was "a major factor," observes
Dean Krogh. Former ambassador to the United Nations Arthur Gold-
berg reportedly added his weight to the combined pressure. In addi-
tion, Healy received, according to John Ruedy, "loads of letters."
Another Georgetown professor called it "hate mail."

Indeed, controversy over the Arab studies program largely sub-
sided after the return of the Libyan grant. As one professor at the
center put it, "If returning the Libyan money has brought us some
breathing space and gotten the monkey off our backs, maybe it was
worth it." But since then Arab governments have been less forthcom-
ing with contributions. Says Ruedy, "We know that in some cases it has
specifically to do with a sense of affront. Returning a gift in one donor's
face is seen as an attack on all of them."

On the other hand, Georgetown University has now committed
itself and its own financial resources to Arab studies. In the spring of
1983, Arab studies was one of nine graduate programs which the uni-
versity "designated for excellence." "I feel that this may mean we have
crossed the Rubicon," said Ruedy.

One reason Georgetown's Arab studies center has been able to
survive, and even prosper despite the controversy, is that it is affiliated
with a private university. Says Ruedy,

You could probably not have an Arab studies program in a public institution.
You can have a Jewish studies program, of course. In fact, that is politically

 

Challenges to Academic Freedom 201

very advantageous. . . . Georgetown and the Jesuits are as far from depen-
dency on Jewish support as you could be.

 

"That Was the Buzzword, 'Arab' n

The second U.S. university to create an Arab studies program,
Villanova University in Pennsylvania, is also Catholic. In 1983, Vil-
lanova set up the Institute for Contemporary Arab and Islamic Studies.
The director, Father Kail Ellis, is an Augustinian priest of Lebanese
origin. Villanova's is a modest program, involving as yet no outside
funds, which offers certificates in Arab studies to undergraduates ma-
joring in other fields. The institution also sponsors conferences, lec-
tures and cultural events. Says Father Ellis: "Our goal is to familiarize
the students with the history, language, politics and culture of the Arab
Islamic world."

Despite the program's modest scope and the absence of Arab
funding, there was considerable opposition to it from within the univer-
sity, mainly from the political science department. "The pressure
wasn't really overt as such," says Ellis. "It was always behind the
scenes. There are a couple of faculty people who were the most vocal
against it and they organized the opposition."

The political science department was originally asked to comment
on the proposal for establishing the institute. In a minority report at-
tached to the department's comments, one professor warned about the
effect of such a program on the Jewish community:

Villanova exists in a larger community on which it depends for both financial
and political support. This larger community is made up of Protestants, Catho-
lics and Jews and very few Muslims. If Villanova creates an Islamic Studies
Institute, it will have no effect, positive or negative, on its Catholic and Protes-
tant constituencies. But because this issue has high emotional content, it will in
my view have strong negative effects on the Jewish community in the Vil-
lanova area who though relatively few in number are financially and politically
influential.

Such an institute might reflect on Villanova University's president in such a
way as to affect his ability to function on the Holocaust Committee where his
efforts have provided great credibility for Villanova among the Jewish Commit-
tee. It is my opinion that the existence of such an institute might dry up
possible Jewish financial and political support.

Another professor commented:

Israel is the single most important United States ally in the Middle East politi-
cally, it has extensive and close economic and business ties with the U.S., it is
the cultural and religious homeland of millions of Americans. To exclude the

 

202 They Dare to Speak Out

study of Israel from the proposed program is a mistake and may affect potential
enrollment.

Ellis explains: "The idea was to broaden the program from Arab
studies. That was the buzzword, 'Arab.' "

Georgetown's John Ruedy was invited to Villanova as a consul-
tant to participate in the preparations for the Arab studies proposal.
"The opposition was very interesting," said Ruedy:

It was the Zionist issue but nobody said it. I could just tell, because I'd been
there before. The first line of opposition is on academic grounds. But when you
get around all these and answer all the questions, then they bare their fangs and
say, 'This is anti-Israel, this is anti-Semitic, and it will be against the interests of
the university. And we have to relate to Jewish donors and so on." This is
precisely what happened at Villanova.

After the institute opened, Father Ellis received a letter from
American Professors for Peace in the Middle East, a national pro-
Israeli organization. The executive director, George Cohen, took issue
with a map that appeared in the brochure. The map, clearly labeled
"The Arab and Islamic World," shows only the Arab countries of the
Middle East and Africa in dark green and the non-Arab Islamic coun-
tries, namely, TUrkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan in light green. Cohen
noted that the map did not identify Israel. "Is this an error," he asked,
"or is it intended to make a political statement, excluding Israel?"

Ellis wrote back that the purpose of the map was to identify the
Arab and Islamic countries with which the program dealt:

It was not our intention to make a political statement about Israel or any other
country, such as Ethiopia, Cyprus, Mali, Chad or even the TUrkmen, Uzbek
and Tajik Republics of the Soviet Union, all of which are located in the area and
have substantial Moslem populations but which were excluded from the map.

Cohen was not satisfied and wrote another letter, saying he did not
accept Ellis's response and asking him to "present this issue to your
department before I take it further."

Cohen did not specify what measures he might employ in "taking it
further," and Ellis did not respond to his second letter. Meanwhile the
Institute for Contemporary Arab and Islamic Studies has continued to
gain acceptance within the Villanova scholarly community.

Meanwhile, the attacks against the academic community in Middle
East studies are, in the view of a leading scholar, continuing and "per-
haps getting even stronger." He adds, "They are not directed just at
one or two institutions but appear to have a nationwide basis."

 

Challenges to Academic Freedom 203

Think Tank Under Pressure

Of the many "think tanks" that have sprung up around the country
in the last two decades, Georgetown University's Center for Strategic
and International Studies is one of the most prestigious. Established in
1965, CSIS has grown to comprise a staff of 150, with a budget of $6
million and a publications list of nearly 200 titles. Among the eminent
names on the Center's roster are Henry Kissinger, Howard K. Smith,
Lane Kirkland and John Glenn. CSIS is a non-profit, tax-exempt or-
ganization which, though known to be conservative in outlook, in-
cludes both Democrats and Republicans on its advisory board.

Based in Washington, the center views the provision of expert
research and analysis to government leaders as one of its most vital
functions. As part of Georgetown University, CSIS considers itself an
"integral part of the academic community." Scholarly participation in
all center activities "insures that the widest and most rigorous thinking
is brought to bear on issues."

The center, says its brochure, is "well-equipped to function in a
true interdisciplinary, nonpartisan fashion." Yet, a report completed in
1981 by the director of the center's Oil Field Security Studies Project
was suppressed on the eve of Congressional action on the sale of
AWACS planes to Saudi Arabia. Supporters of Israel from outside the
center were opposed to the sale and did not want the contents of the
report known because they feared it could be used effectively in win-
ning Congressional approval. Six months later, the author of the of-
fending study was fired by the center and urged to leave town.

The victim was Mazher Hameed — a native of Saudi Arabia, a
graduate of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a specialist
on international security affairs. Former U.S. ambassador to Saudi
Arabia James Akins wrote of Hameed in 1983, "I know of no one else
in this country with his insight, his honesty, his analytical ability and
his profound knowledge of the Middle East, particularly the Arabian
Peninsula." Hameed was hired by the center in November of 1980 as a
research fellow "with responsibilities for research on a project on
Saudi oil field security." In the letter of appointment, CSIS Executive
Director Amos Jordan wrote: "This letter also constitutes a formal
approval of the oil field security project."

The scope of the project was outlined in a memorandum to Jordan
prepared a month earlier by Wayne Berman, responsible to Jordan for
fund raising. That memo stated that the project would focus on the
political and military analysis of oil field vulnerabilities in the Middle
East, the likelihood of attacks from various sources, an examination of
security planning, and technical defense profiles.

 

204 They Dare to Speak Out

Amos Jordan himself brought up with Hameed the need to evalu-
ate the AWACS/F-15 enhancement package before it became an issue
on Capitol Hill.

For the next nine months, Hameed carried out his research and
wrote a series of drafts of a report on his results. These drafts were
shown to Amos Jordan, who had become vice chairman of the center,
and to David Abshire, the chairman, as well as to several experts
outside the center. The final report was to be published by CSIS.

Jordan told Hameed after reading one of the earlier drafts that his
work was "brilliant" and that he wanted to see more work of that
caliber emerging from the center. Abshire concurred with this view.
Jordan personally gave copies of one of the earlier drafts to William
Clark, at that time deputy secretary of state and subsequently Presi-
dent Reagan's national security advisor. Other Middle East experts
who praised the report were Anthony Cordesman, international editor
of the Armed Forces Journal, and William Quandt, director of the
Energy and National Security Project of the Brookings Institution.

In August 1981, Abshire and Jordan left together for a trip to
Tokyo. They took Hameed's final draft with them. Jordan sent back a
telex praising the study: "On plane I read Hameed's Saudi security
paper," read the telex, "which is informative and beautifully written."
The telex went on to suggest that the report should be edited to tone
down its strong advocacy of the AWACS/F-15 package. "Paper makes
strong case without overkill," wrote Jordan. "Careful edit to meet
above point needed before CSIS publishes in house by about 10 or IS
September. Suggest 300 copies."

In accordance with these instructions, Hameed met with Jean
Newsom, a senior editor at the center, and William Taylor, director of
political and military studies, and the three of them set to work on the
final editing. At the same time, Newsom initiated talks with McGraw-
Hill concerning publication of the report.

Jean Newsom, when asked to confirm that the center had
negotiated publication of the report with McGraw-Hill, demurred. She
said in a telephone interview: "We were not negotiating with McGraw-
Hill, just seeing whether they were interested." But THsh Wilson, a
research assistant for Hameed at the time, said, "They were talking
about what the price was. They gave McGraw-Hill an estimate of how
much they could sell the book for."

The editing proceeded simultaneously with the negotiations
through September and into October when, without warning, the cen-
ter's comptroller, David Wendt, told Hameed that David Abshire had
called from California where he was vacationing on his way back from

 

Challenges to Academic Freedom 205

Japan. The message from Abshire was that the report was not to be
released.

Upset, Hameed pursued the matter with Jordan and others at the
center: "They told me that many very large contributors to the center
would be upset if they saw a report that was, as they described it,
"lacking in objectivity. 1 " Research assistant Paul Sutphin recalls:

I remember that it came as quite a surprise that suddenly there was going to be
a problem with the center's putting out the report. Everything fell apart at the
last moment. Hameed said that suddenly the "powers on high" had decided to
nix the center's support of the publication.

Trish Wilson also remembers the incident: "They didn't want him to
publish it at all, even privately."

Another of Hameed's research assistants, George Smalley, who
had been hired at the beginning of October on a salary basis was told
before the month was out that his status would be changed. "Due to
budget problems," he was to work on a fee basis and would no longer
be granted any of the benefits initially agreed upon. These included
social security, a paid vacation, sick leave, and free tuition at
Georgetown University after one year. Smalley is convinced there was
a direct link between the fate of Hameed' s report and the fate of his
own position with the center.

At that stage Hameed decided to take the initiative:

I wanted the report out before the AWACS issue came up in Congress. Because
this was a document that was relevant to what was being discussed on the Hill
and I want my work to be looked at.

Hameed sent copies of the 85-page report to major corporations that
contributed to the center. He told them: "I understand you people
would be upset if you saw this report coming out of the center." Until
that time, says Hameed, he had no relationship with these companies.
The center had asked him specifically not to go to any of these corpora-
tions for funding because it had long-standing relationships with most
of them and didn't want these disturbed.

"These people," says Hameed, "for the first time heard about me,
saw the report, got excited and started calling the center to ask what
was going on. They said that not only was the document interesting,
not only did it have a unique point of view, but it had something very
timely to say." Some of these companies, acknowledged Hameed,
were engaged in the lobbying effort on behalf of the AWACS sale.
"They found something that they liked very much," he recalls, "and
they wanted to use it. So I used some influence of that sort to get a

 

206 They Dare to Speak Out

compromise." The compromise was that the center permitted Hameed
to release the report as a private document. "But they didn't want me
to indicate my designation at the center. I could just say I was a re-
search fellow and program director without mentioning the name of the
project." Naming the project would have given the report additional
credibility. "They didn't want him to say that it was under the research
auspices of the center," confirms Paul Sutphin.

Hameed complied with the request. "For me the primary interest
was to get the document out and to get it read. What the document had
to say was more important than these other matters." So Hameed had
the report printed at his own expense and released it himself.

The response to the report in government circles was immediate.
Recalls Hameed: "People at the State Department asked for copies,
people on the Hill asked for copies, NSC [the National Security Coun-
cil] asked for copies." After Egyptian President Anwar Sadat was as-
sassinated the following month, William Clark gave copies of
Hameed' s report to former Presidents Nixon, Ford and Carter to help
update themselves on the Middle East while en route to Cairo for
Sadat's funeral. Clark called CSIS Vice-Chairman Amos Jordan
specifically to tell him about it. Jordan conveyed this information to
Hameed and assured him that the center's chairman, David Abshire,
concurred in praising the report.

On October 28, the U.S. Senate voted 52 to 48 against a resolu-
tion that would have blocked the AWACS sale to Saudi Arabia. Al-
though the House had passed such a resolution two weeks earlier, a
majority in both chambers was required to prevent the sale from going
through. The Senate vote represented a rare defeat for the pro-Israeli
lobby and one it was not about to forget.

In November Amos Jordan received a visit from Steve Emerson,
an aide in former Senator Frank Church's law firm, who had earlier
assisted Church on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Emerson
asked Jordan probing questions about the center's activities, some of
them concerning Hameed's project. He told Jordan he was writing an
article for The New Republic about the influence of "petro-dollars."
Emerson said he was interested in Hameed's report and wanted to
know who had funded it. After the interview, Jordan called Hameed,
cautioned him that there might be some "turbulence" and advised him
to "fasten your seatbelt." To Jordan, the interview was "something
threatening." He later told Hameed: "It was clear that Emerson's ques-
tions were hostile, and we were concerned that we would be subject to
some unwarranted charges."

In early December, Emerson and his associates returned to the
center and brought with them the draft of the Emerson article for The

 

Challenges to Academic Freedom 207

New Republic. It was part of a series Emerson was writing for the
magazine on alleged Arab attempts to manipulate U.S. public opinion.
The suggestion was that policy "think tanks" receiving money from oil
corporations with Arab business were under obligation to serve the
political interests of those companies. But the draft fell short of singling
out CSIS, and center officials continued to feel they could safely
weather the storm caused by Hameed's report.

Hameed, exhausted physically and emotionally, left in December
for a vacation, but only, he said, after receiving assurance from Jordan
that there was "nothing to worry about."

"I came back in January," said Hameed, "to learn that these gen-
tlemen had returned once more to the center with another draft of the
New Republic article. This time the draft appeared to compromise the
center in a more specific way."

Nevertheless, another member of the center's senior staff, Jon
Vondracek, had been in touch with the publisher of The New Republic,
Martin Peretz. He told Hameed that he thought the center had enough
clout to prevent the magazine from doing any harm.

During the same period, Emerson phoned Hameed's office, asking
questions about the report and, more specifically, about how Hameed's
project was funded. When Hameed declined to reveal his sources of
funding, Emerson threatened to expose an alleged "petro-dollar" con-
nection at CSIS. Hameed wished him luck. In addition to calling
Hameed and his staff, Emerson had also contacted several corpora-
tions trying to find out who had funded the research.

"What was funny," says Hameed, "was that my project had some
funding but not from any of the companies you would expect. I felt I
shouldn't go to companies that had an obvious interest in influencing
my work. What I had to say didn't need influence from other groups,
particularly those that were funding it. But beyond that I didn't want
the appearance of such influence. Having been meticulous about all
this, I was especially irked to have this problem at the end."

On February 17, 1982, the first of Steve Emerson's promised
series of articles appeared in The New Republic. Entitled "The Petro-
dollar Connection," the article was to be followed, according to the
magazine, by future articles dealing with "strings-attached donations to
policy think tanks, universities, and research institutions."

The very next day, the center found itself under the spotlight from
another sources. Piatt's Oilgram News, a respected newsletter owned by
McGraw-Hill, published an article on February 18 about Hameed's
report, saying the document had been "kept under wraps" by CSIS.
Entitled "Georgetown Study: Israel Could 'Create' a Saudi Oil Em-
bargo to Pressure U.S.," the article quoted from the section of the

 

208 They Dare to Speak Out

report which discussed threats to Saudi Arabia from its neighbors. This
was one of the sections that the CSIS directors were most nervous
about, because it made the point that since Israel considered Saudi
Arabia a "confrontation state" in the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Israelis
might make pre-emptive strikes against Saudi military and economic
assets.

"The study notes," said the Oilgram article, "that Israel already
occupies Saudi territory (the islands of Tiran and Sanafir) and that
since 1976, Israeli aircraft have been making practice bombing runs
over the Saudi airbase of Tabuk, dropping empty fuel tanks on several
occasions. In addition, Israel has pointed out that its air force has the
capability to create an 'oil embargo' of its own by destroying Saudi oil
installations."

The editor of Piatt's Oilgram News, Onnik Maraschian, did not
know who had written the report or that it had been released privately
months earlier. "All we knew was that there was a report," says
Maraschian. "It was distributed as a draft, as a CSIS report, and then it
got pulled back, but we ran it nevertheless because it started as a
project of CSIS."

After the Piatt's article appeared, CSIS began to receive phone
calls from people wanting copies of the study. This created an embar-
rassing situation for the center. Should they admit that they had sup-
pressed the report? How could they explain the fact that they had never
published it? Vice-Chairman Amos Jordan attempted a solution in the
form of a memorandum to "Concerned Staff" that deserves a prize for
obfuscation. The memo called the staff's attention to the publication of
the Piatt's article and suggested they use the following paragraph to
answer all inquiries:

The center has not "completed last fair a study entitled 'Saudi Security and the
Evolving Threat to U.S. Interests.' We have had underway for over a year a
project on oil field security and research and that study continues. The project
has produced several research fragments, including a partial draft with the title
cited, but that does not represent a center study — rather it is only a small piece
of the problem; and that at an early stage. When the study is completed later
this year and becomes a CSIS report, it will be made public.

"They were quite taken aback when they saw that we used the
story," recalls Maraschian. "Obviously when they commissioned the
man to do this study they knew what his qualifications were. So why
did they go with it for a year and then pull it back?" Maraschian had an
idea: "You see, what they got mad at was the possibility of a pre-
emptive strike by Israel."

Interestingly, Hameed was not the only one who thought that Is-

 

Challenges to Academic Freedom 209

rael might make a pre-emptive strike against Saudi Arabia. In the se-
cret version of a government report entitled "U.S. Assistance to the
State of Israel," and leaked to the press in June 1983, the CIA is cited
as warning that in reaction to the modernization of Arab armies, Israel
might launch "pre-emptive attacks in future crises." In fact, over the
years Israeli military officials have talked openly about such strikes
against Saudi Arabia.

Embarrassed by the Piatt's article and worried about efforts by
the Israeli lobby to discredit the center, Jordan and Abshire — despite
their own inclination to support the sale of AWACS to Saudi Arabia —
apparently finally decided that Hameed was too great a liability. A
week later, the center's comptroller, David Wendt, told Hameed he
would have to pay an additional surcharge on his office space amount-
ing to $1 ,570 a month. As project director, Hameed was already paying
24 percent of his project funds to cover office overhead costs and
another 20 percent to help cover the center's general operations. The
new charge would come on top of what he was already paying.

"I grumbled a bit but finally agreed," recalls Hameed. "Then came
the bombshell. They made it retroactive back 18 months!" Wendt told
Hameed that, with the new charges, his project was $40,000 in deficit.
Wendt said he would have to report the deficit and that it was likely that
Hameed' s project would be terminated.

The stunned Hameed called John Shaw, a member of the senior
staff. Shaw confided to Hameed that David Abshire was furious,
though Shaw wouldn't say why. Committee meetings were held
throughout that day in order, Hameed believes, to discuss how to deal
with the "problem." The answer reached, says Hameed, was to offer
up his head.

In April Hameed met with Jordan, whom he found uncharacterist-
ically cold and distant. Jordan said he was concerned about the
"deficit" and warned that Hameed' s project was in an unsustainable
financial position.

A few days later, Jordan sent Hameed a letter stating that the
project would have to be terminated by the end of the following month.
Jordan added that he would be happy to review his decision and that
Hameed might be hired back if he could raise "especially large amounts
of money."

After receiving the letter, Hameed met again with Jordan. He still
hoped there was something he could do to prevent the imminent col-
lapse of his project. He still saw Jordan as a friend, a man who had
supported him personally and professionally. He thought that Jordan
had been given a distorted picture of his project's finances. But Jordan
was unmoved. He responded to Hameed that the new surcharge had

 

210 They Dare to Speak Out

been decided formally and that the matter was beyond his control.
Hameed pleaded with Jordan to give him at least three or fou*- ntionths
in which to wind things up, but to no avail.

Hameed spoke to other prominent people at the center in a desper-
ate attempt to save his project. One told him, "Just lie low and once
this thing blows over, we can probably arrange to have you come
back." But, recalls Hameed with some bitterness, "Basically, no one
stood up for me. They all looked the other way. They let it happen. The
knives were out."

Then, on March 5, shortly after learning that his job was to be
terminated, Hameed arrived at his office to find that it had been burgled
during the night. Someone had managed to penetrate three locked
doors and had then pried open the file cabinet next to Hameed's desk.
The burglar had first to enter the office building, which was equipped
with an electronic surveillance system using card readers. Then he had
to enter the locked door to the office suite and finally the locked door to
Hameed's office. There were no signs of forced entry. But the file
cabinet was bent and the drawer had been wrenched open. Adds Paul
Sutphin: "This bore no signs of a common burglary. There were other
valuable things that were not taken." In fact, nothing was taken at all.
"It was such a lousy job, so obvious," says Trish Wilson, "that we
concluded it was there to scare us."

The next day Hameed found that the post office box he used for
some of his correspondence had been broken open. A few days later,
the mailbox at his home was broken open. "Other weird things started
to happen as well," recalls Hameed. "For example, I'd leave for the
weekend and come back and find things in my house that didn't belong
there . . . like contact lenses."

These incidents were particularly frightening to Hameed — and the
contact lens prank needlessly cruel — because he is blind.

Hameed left the center at the end of March. In May and June, The
New Republic published the second and third parts of its series on
petrodollar influence in the United States. The promised expos6 of
"strings-attached donations to policy think tanks" was missing from
the series.

The last episode in Hameed's relations with CSIS occurred in May
1982, some weeks after he had left the center. Officers of the center
contacted a number of Hameed's friends as well as corporate execu-
tives in an effort to discredit him. In one case, a senior administration
official's help was sought to encourage Hameed to "leave town."

Several corporations, after learning that Hameed had been fired,
cut back their contributions to Georgetown University and made it
clear that the reason was the treatment accorded Mazher Hameed.

 

Challenges to Academic Freedom 2 1 1

Amos Jordan, asked to comment on Hameed's charges, insisted
that these various circumstances were coincidental and that Hameed's
departure related only to his performance. He denied that the center
responded to lobby pressure: "I went out of my way to protect and
sponsor Hameed despite the deficits. I am concerned that the center
not have a reputation for being a Zionist foil. 19

It was an unsettling, traumatic time for the scholar. In a short
space of weeks, people from the pro-Israel magazine descended on the
center — threatening an expose of petrodollar influence, warning about
the center's tax status under IRS regulations, questioning the funding
of Hameed's project. Preceding and following these events were the
center's suppression of the report, the personal harassment of
Hameed, his associates and his friends — and his dismissal. If the coin-
cidence of these events was pure happenstance, it was a remarkable
coming together.

Recalling what he knew of Hameed's tenure at CSIS, William
Quandt, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a personal friend
of Hameed's said: "The way they terminated his whole relationship
there was rather strange. He was very shabbily treated, to say the
least." Les Janka, former special assistant in the White House for
Middle East affairs, said: "CSIS did not have the courage to put out
under its own name a paper that made a significant contribution to
public debate."

 

Chapter 8

 

Tucson: Case Study in Intimidation

 

In November 1980, Sheila Scoville, outreach coordinator at the Uni-
versity of Arizona's Near Eastern Center, was visited in her office by a
short, balding man in his late forties. His immediate purpose was to
borrow a book, but as he left he remarked: "I understand you are
running a pro- Arab propaganda network."

The man was Boris Kozolchyk, a law professor at the University
of Arizona and vice-chair of the Community Relations Committee of
the TUcson Jewish Community Council. Kozolchyk's remark signalled
the beginning of a three-year attack against the Near Eastern Center
that would culminate in the barring of outreach materials from local
public schools and the resignation of the center's director. The attack,
orchestrated by local Jewish community leaders, succeeded despite
the finding of a panel of nationally known Middle East scholars that
charges of anti-Israel bias in the program were groundless.

The details of TUcson's long ordeal constitute a noteworthy case
study of the unrelenting commitment and resourcefulness of pro-Israel
activists at the community level.

The Near Eastern Center, devoted to increasing knowledge and
understanding of the Middle East, is one of only eleven such facilities
in the United States which receive federal funding. To qualify for fed-
eral support, each of these centers must devote a portion of its re-
sources to "outreach" and educational programs for the local
community. These may take the form of films, public lectures, informa-
tion and consultation services, seminars for businessmen, or cur-
riculum development for the public schools.

Sheila Scoville had been coordinating these outreach activities for
the University of Arizona for four years when the TUcson Jewish Com^
munity Council began making its complaints. With a Ph.D. in Middle

212

 

Tucson: Case Study in Intimidation 2 1 3

East history from UCLA, she was well qualified for the job and had
made the Tucson outreach program one of the most active programs in
the country. Scoville, a petite blond in her late thirties, had also co-
founded the Middle East Outreach Council, the coordinating body for
the eleven Middle East outreach programs in the United States.

In February 1981, Kozolchyk and three other representatives of
the Tlicson Jewish Community Council (TJCC) contacted William De-
ver, chairman of the Oriental Studies Department of which the Near
Eastern Center is a part. They told Dever that in their opinion both
Scoville and Near Eastern Center Director Ludwig Adamec had an
"anti-Israeli bias which called into question their objectivity about the
Middle East." Dever said that the authority for the outreach program
rested with the federal government, which provided most of the funds.
He suggested that the group form an official committee and gave them,
in his own words, "carte blanche" to check out any of the Near Eastern
Center's outreach materials. He even said that he would "personally
remove" from the library shelves any materials which the Tlicson Jew-
ish Community Council found offensive. In a later meeting which
Adamec attended, the director of the Near Eastern Center responded:
"We do not have anything inflammatory or propagandistic. You tell me
which books you find that way. I'll look at them, and if I agree I'll tell
Sheila to throw them in the wastepaper basket." But Kozolchyk and
the others rejected this offer. Their aims were more ambitious.

Following Dever' s advice, the TJCC formed a committee of four
women who called themselves "concerned teachers." (Only two of
them were actually teachers, both at the private Tlicson Hebrew
Academy.) Dever then introduced the group to Sheila Scoville and told
her to provide them whatever help they required in conducting their
investigation.

Among the four women were Carol Karsch, co-chair of the TJCC
Community Relations Committee and wife of the president of Tlicson's
largest conservative synagogue. Karsch was to join Kozolchyk as a
major figure in the attack against the outreach program. The group first
met with Scoville and "grilled" her, as she recalls it, about her ac-
tivities. They asked for a copy of her mailing list and for the names of
teachers who had checked out materials from the library. Then the
group, permitted to enter the Near Eastern Center after hours, set to
work collecting and reviewing library materials. By May, the four
women had prepared a "preliminary report."

Instead of returning to Dever with their findings, the TJCC com-
mittee complained directly to the U.S. Department of Education. Carol
Karsch wrote the letter to Washington, attaching to it the group's

 

214 They Dare to Speak Out

report. The report questioned the use of federal funds to promote
outreach "in an area so inherently complex and conflictive [sic] as
Middle East studies."

The report strongly suggested that the ultimate aim of the TJCC
was to shut down the outreach program altogether:

Even if numerous materials were added objectively portraying Israel and her
interests, coupled with the removal of objectionable and propagandistic mate-
rial regarding the Arab viewpoint, the problem would still exist.

It is the outreach function per se (and not the implementation by any specific
institution) which ought to be addressed.

The Department of Education replied to the TJCC that it was not
responsible for the content or scholarly quality of the outreach mate-
rial, which was the responsibility of the university.

Accordingly, the TJCC again focused on the university. A delega-
tion from the council visited the office of university president John
Schaefer and complained to him of the anti-Israeli bias they perceived
in the outreach materials. After assuring the group that all such mate-
rials must conform to university standards, Schaefer referred the mat-
ter to Dean Paul Rosenblatt of the Liberal Arts College. Rosenblatt
arranged a meeting on October 5, 1981, between representatives of the
TJCC and members of the Oriental Studies Department faculty. Sheila
Scoville was not invited. At that meeting the new head of the Oriental
Studies Department, Robert Gimello, suggested that the TJCC "docu-
ment more specifically" its concerns so that his department could pro-
vide a response. At the same time, Gimello agreed to set up an ad hoc
committee within the Oriental Studies Department to review the out-
reach program.

The TJCC seized this opportunity and, armed with additional li-
brary materials, set to work on its report. None of those who reviewed
the materials had any academic credentials in the Middle East field. On
March 19, 1982, it presented a document of nearly one hundred pages
to the university. It included reviews of fifteen Near Eastern Center
publications, eight books, five pamphlets and bibliographies, and two
teachers' guides. The report objected to one book's reference to Pales-
tine as "the traditional homeland of the Arabs" and another description
of the Palestine Liberation Organization as "the only legitimate repre-
sentative of the Palestinian people." It faulted a map for failing to
designate Jerusalem as the capital of Israel — even though, of course,
not even the United States recognizes it as such — and cited "the perva-
sive theme throughout most materials that Jews are interlopers in an
area that rightfully belongs to the Arabs."

Among the twelve appendices to the report was a "memorandum

 

Tucson: Case Study in Intimidation 215

of law" prepared by a Tlicson attorney, Paul Bartlett. He contended
that the outreach center violated the First Amendment to the Constitu-
tion as well as eligibility guidelines for federal funds by trying to "elimi-
nate the Israeli point of view from the spectrum of views presented to
the public schools and the press regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict."
The memorandum contended further that the program violated the
constitutional separation of church and state by showing "a religious
preference with respect to the Middle East" since it "advances the
religion of Islam and consciously belittles the connection between the
Jewish religion and the Middle East."

The report was co-authored by Boris Kozolchyk and Carol
Karsch, with the help of four volunteers: a rabbi, an agricultural econo-
mist who had studied in Israel, and a non-Jewish couple (the husband a
lawyer and the wife an elementary school teacher).

Gimello welcomed the report as a "thoughtful, well-intentioned
community response." The ad hoc committee within Gimello's Orien-
tal Studies Department was itself ill-equipped to make a scholarly re-
view of the outreach program, as its five members included a Japanese
linguist, an Indian rural anthropologist and Gimello himself, an expert
on Buddhism. Of the five committee members, only two had a Middle
East background: one a specialist in Arabic literature, and one in Jew-
ish history. Adamec did not participate in the committee's work be-
cause he had gone on a six-month sabbatical to Pakistan in January.
Sheila Scoville was not consulted.

After receiving the TJCC report in March, the ad hoc committee
met regularly for two months to review the materials it criticized and to
try to decide what to do about it. In May, 1982, as the academic year
drew to a close with the work still unfinished and several members of
the committee due to leave for the summer, the committee adopted an
interim response that shocked many: "Pending, and without prejudice
to, the final resolution of our deliberations, the Near East Center's
outreach program will suspend its distribution of materials to elemen-
tary and secondary schools."

The suspension of the outreach program was an unexpected vic-
tory for the TJCC, which named Kozolchyk and Karsch "Man and
Woman of the Year" at its annual awards dinner in June. The four
volunteers who had helped them were also presented with "Special
Recognition" awards for their "scholarly and objective analyses."

But the victory celebration proved to be premature. When Near
East Center Director Ludwig Adamec returned from Pakistan in mid-
August, he was incensed at the action of the Oriental Studies Depart-
ment. He dispatched a memo to all department faculty drawing their
attention to the TJCC campaign against the outreach program and to

 

216 They Dare to Speak Out

the ad hoc committee's action. The TJCC report, he said, was not
scholarly and was replete with ad hominem attacks, false issues and
innuendo. Adamec said the closing of the outreach program was ill-
advised, premature and done without the committee's consulting ex-
pert opinion: "It is utterly inappropriate that a committee of scholars
without expertise in the field" judge the matter.

Adamec's annoyance increased when he saw the headlines in an
early September issue of the student newspaper: "Interim Report: De-
partment Drops Anti-Israel Materials." In a statement to the editor of
the student newspaper, Adamec wrote:

Our center does not contain any "anti-Israeli" materials; it contains books and
other items which discuss the Middle East, including Israel. . . . Our books
have been selected on the basis of expert recommendation and it would not be
feasible to proceed in a manner different from, let's say, the university library,
which does not endorse the material contained on its shelves.

Naturally, we want to enjoy the friendship and support of all segments of the
community in Arizona and therefore we give serious consideration to the con-
cerns of all. I do not think there is any need to make sensational copy about an
issue which has now been resolved.

But the issue was far from resolved. With strong encouragement
from Adamec, Gimello prepared a memo reversing the suspension of
the Outreach Center and containing the ad hoc committee's "Final
Response" to the TJCC report. After acknowledging the right of com-
munity groups to comment on and criticize the university's outreach
program, the memo stated that the members of the Department of
Oriental Studies reserved to themselves the final authority to evaluate
the academic merit of any of their programs. The memo took "strong
exception" to TJCC personal criticism of Sheila Scoville and Ludwig
Adamec and, in particular, "the attribution to them of certain political
biases":

It happens that both scholars deny the accusations in question, but more im-
portant than the truth or falsity of the accusations is the fact that they are
irrelevant and out of order. Members of our department are entitled to what-
ever political views they may choose to hold. . . . The university in any free and
open society is by design an arena of dispute and contention, and it does not
cease to be such an arena when it engages in community outreach. • . . For all
of these reasons, we have resolved not to close our outreach program. Neither
will we discard any of the books we use in that program, or keep them under
lock and key, or burn them.

The memo stressed the need to offer the community a variety of
opinions on the Middle East, "a variety with which any citizen must be
familiar before he can responsibly, intelligently and freely formulate his

 

Tucson: Case Study in Intimidation 217

own opinions," The ad hoc committee found, however, "in the whole
array of the program's holdings, no general pattern of political dis-
crimination and no evidence that political palatability, to any group,
has ever been used as a criterion in the selection of materials/ 9

The TJCC had contended that the materials used in the outreach
program, while suitable for use within the university, were inappropri-
ate for use in elementary and secondary schools because younger stu-
dents lacked the sophistication to understand them. Gimello's memo
pointed out that the immediate clientele of the Outreach Center was
not the students but their teachers and that the final decisions as to
which materials were suitable for their younger charges should be left
up to the teachers.

Carol Karsch then launched a personal attack on William Dever,
Gimello's predecessor as head of the Oriental Studies Department.
Dever was an archaeologist who had done much digging in Israel. He
had returned in August from a year's sabbatical in Israel and was
dependent on Israeli goodwill for much of his archaeological research.
In late October, three weeks after receiving the department's "Final
Response," Karsch told Shalom Paul, a visiting Israeli professor about
to return to Tel Aviv, that Dever was no longer a friend of Israel.
Karsch told Paul to go back and spread the word so that Dever would
"never again dig in Israel." Karsch did not realize that Professor Paul
was a close friend of Dever' s and had no intention of carrying such a
message back to Israel. Instead, he got word back to Dever of his
conversation with Karsch before leaving TUcson.

With this information, Dever sent Mrs. Karsch an angry letter
saying, in part:

I have reason to believe that you (and perhaps others) have attempted to
implicate me in charges of: (1) obstructing the Jewish Community Council's
"investigation" of this department's outreach program while I was Head;
(2) threatening to undermine the Judaic Studies Program if you pursued your
investigation; (3) instigating the reopening of the outreach program when I
returned from Israel last August; and (4) participating in a deliberate arrange-
ment to keep Jewish faculty from serving on the department's newly-appointed
committee to oversee the Near East Center and its outreach program. I have
also learned from more than one recent, direct source that I have now been
labeled publicly in the Jewish Community as 'anti-Zionist' and even 'anti-
Semitic'

Dever denied all of the charges and said that "far from obstructing
your investigation, the record will show that I was both candid and
cooperative — which neither you nor other members of your group
have been." Noting that his research, professional standing and liveli-
hood had been jeopardized, Dever told Karsch that he considered the

 

218 They Dare to Speak Out

attack grounds for legal action and signed his letter: "Awaiting your
response, William Dever."

There was no response. Instead, Carol Karsch and Boris Kozol-
chyk sent to the university a scathing "Reply to the Department of
Oriental Studies' Final Response," calling that document a "smoke-
screen" and demanding that the department rebut the TJCC charges
point by point. Once again, the department agreed to accommodate
the TJCC. From December 10 to December 29, 1982, Middle East area
faculty drafted a 330-page "Extended and Detailed Response to the
TUcson Jewish Community Council's Report on Middle East Outreach
at the University of Arizona." The document was presented to the new
university president, Henry Koffler, who had succeeded Schaefer in
September.

Outside Experts Get Sidetracked

President Koffler was new to TUcson and was desirous of integrat-
ing himself with the community. He had addressed a meeting of Had-
dasah, the women's Zionist organization, within a few months of his
arrival. Instead of endorsing the Oriental Studies Department's report,
he decided to bring to Tbscon a panel of Middle East scholars from
around the country who would investigate the TJCC charges, review
the outreach materials, and serve as arbiters of the dispute.

Koffler asked the TJCC and the Oriental Studies Department each
to present a list of eight scholars. Each side could then veto half of the
other side's choices. From the final list of eight scholars Koffler
selected four: Richard Frye of Harvard, Carl Brown of Princeton, Wil-
liam Brinner of Berkeley and Nahum Glatzer of Boston University. It
was agreed that the four scholars would meet in TUcson from July 29 to
August 1, 1983 to examine the charges against the outreach program
and to decide whether each item of material contested by the TJCC
was "essentially scholarly or essentially propagandists. "

In the meantime, Koffler ordered the faculty and staff of the De-
partment of Oriental Studies not to speak to the press or to take the
matter outside the university. The TJCC, not content to await the
decision of the scholars, observed no such discretion.

First, with the help of the National Jewish Community Relations
Advisory Council in New York, the TJCC again brought the matter to
the attention of the U.S. Department of Education in Washington. The
associate director of the New York organization sent a letter to Edward
Elmendorf, assistant secretary for post secondary education, repeating
the TJCC's objections to the outreach program. The TJCC sent a copy
of its report attacking the program to Elmendorf and to U.S. Represen-

 

Tucson: Case Study in Intimidation 219

tative James McNulty and U.S. Senator Dennis DeConcini, both of
Arizona. In a letter to the DOE, DeConcini said that if the TJCC's
charges were correct, "then the federal funding from the Department
of Education for this type of project should be terminated im-
mediately." The Senator from Arizona asked in his letter for a complete
federal investigation of the charges.

Responding to the two Congressmen, the Department of Educa-
tion pointed out that it was federal policy to leave the evaluation of
publications and other academic materials to "normal academic chan-
nels" and that the impending meeting of the panel of experts "should
lead to a mutually satisfactory resolution of this matter."

When Adamec learned of the steps the TJCC had taken, he sent a
letter to President Koffler in which he suggested that Koffler ask the
TJCC why it carried its complaint outside the university after agreeing
to Koffler' s arbitration efforts. Adamec also questioned the motivation
for the TJCC action "at a time when our application for [renewal of
federal] funding in national competition is being decided." He sug-
gested that "our accusers want to hurt our chances of being selected."

When, despite these efforts, the center received its federal fund-
ing for the following academic year, Senator DeConcini and Represen-
tative McNulty wrote jointly to U.S. Secretary of Education Terrence
Bell complaining that the "funding cycle had been completed" without
the peer review group's being provided with the TJCC report docu-
menting "possible propagandizing through the outreach program."
They appealed to Bell, "as the only official who can temporarily halt
the funding," to do so and to order the complete investigation that
DeConcini had earlier requested.

Secretary Bell responded to the two Congressmen with a letter
stating that "Federal interference would be unwarranted and illegal."
Wrote Bell: "Questions of academic freedom as well as of state and
local control of education also enter in here." Despite his generally firm
position on the matter, Bell did seek to appease the indignant Congress-
men by informing them that he would "encourage the university to
suspend its dissemination of the contested materials pending the out-
come of the local committee proceedings."

While the TJCC was enlisting the aid of Congress, Ludwig
Adamec learned that he was being attacked by Boris Kozolchyk. In a
letter to university President Koffler, Adamec charged that Kozolchyk
had made "untrue statements about my background and personal life."
In particular, he wrote, Kozolchyk had told members of the univer-
sity's Department of Judaic Studies that Adamec was "a member of the
German Wehrmacht during World War II." He had also told Professor
Dever that Adamec had been "arrested as a Nazi." Finally, Kozolchyk

 

220 They Dare to Speak Out

claimed that Adamec had, at a public gathering, characterized Israel as
a "pirate state." Adamec had in fact been arrested as a teenager by the
Nazis for trying to escape into Switzerland from his native Austria.
After a year and a half in jail, he was sent to a concentration camp
where he remained until the end of the war. In his letter, he simply said
that all of the charges were ridiculous and wrote:

I do not know Dr. Kozolchyk and cannot imagine what is the purpose of these
slanderous remarks other than to make me appear unfit to carry out my duties
as a professor of Middle East studies and as director of the Near East Center,
which I have founded and managed since 1975.

He asked that the university's grievance committee reprimand
Kozolchyk and require him to desist from his defamatory campaign.

But Kozolchyk and the TJCC were not to be deterred. Having
failed to get satisfaction from Washington, they turned their attention
to the local community and, in particular, the local school district. In
May 1983, the TJCC delivered a copy of its attack on the outreach
program to Jack Murrieta, assistant superintendent of the Tlicson
Unified School District. In addition, the TJCC made fresh allegations
to Murrieta about a new course that Sheila Scoville had taught during
the spring semester called "Survey of the Middle East." Without giving
the university a chance to respond to the charges, Murrieta sent out a
memorandum to the eight high school teachers and librarians who had
taken Scoville's course. The memorandum notified the teachers that
the school district would not offer salary increase credits for the course
"pending investigation" and would not allow textbooks or teaching aids
from the course in district classrooms without approval from each
teacher's supervisor.

One of those who received a copy of Murrieta' s memorandum was
Robert Gimello. The head of the Oriental Studies Department was
angered that the school district should take such an action without
consulting his department. First of all, the course was new, and had not
been included in the original TJCC attack of 1982. Moreover, in a
deliberate attempt not to exacerbate the ongoing controversy, Sheila
Scoville had avoided the modern period of Middle East history al-
together, ending her course with the establishment of Israel in 1948. In
a letter to Murrieta, Gimello defended Scoville and refuted the new
TJCC allegations:

There has, in fact, been no discrimination in enrollment; neither the materials
used in the course nor the manner of their presentation has been propagandistic
in nature; and we are confident that the course violates no federal guidelines.
Claims to the contrary are profoundly offensive to us not only because they are
untrue but also because they would appear to be part of a concerted attempt to

 

Tucson: Case Study in Intimidation 221

interfere with the free dissemination of information and legitimate scholarly
opinion.

But Murrieta maintained his "lock-out" of the outreach program.
The teachers, who had received his memorandum the day after com-
pleting the final exam for the course, were enraged and a group of them
took the matter to the Arizona Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU
agreed with the teachers that the school district action represented "a
potential violation of academic freedom rights" and consented to repre-
sent them. ACLU Associate Director Helen Mautner met with
Murietta and another school district official to discuss the issue. In a
letter sent later to the president and other members of the school
board, she said she had had the distinct impression that much of her
conversation with the school district officials was "full of either delib-
erate obfuscation on their part or evasiveness." Mautner wrote that she
was "dismayed" that the district had taken such action after the em-
ployees had finished the course and with what appeared to be "very
little attempt to ascertain some facts" or to discuss the matter "with
both sides of the controversy." The ACLU decided, nevertheless, to
await the judgment of the blue ribbon panel concerning the charges of
bias before pressing suit against the district.

Meanwhile, arrangements for the blue ribbon panel proceeded,
growing more complex with each letter exchanged between President
Koffler and the TJCC. The list of items which the TJCC wanted the
panel to cover incuded: the outreach materials themselves and their
"networking" among outreach coordinators, the choice of emphasis in
their presentation and distribution, their effect on children, foreign
government and oil company sponsorship, the perception of univer-
sity endorsement, Scoville's workshop for teachers and her new sur-
vey course, the funding, administration and supervision of the
outreach program, and the Department of Oriental Studies' defense of
the program.

Koffler decided, with the agreement of the TJCC, that the panel
would deal only with some of the items. The university would then
carry out a separate investigation of the others.

On July 15, the University of Arizona controversy finally broke
into the public domain. Once again, breaking its word of keeping the
matter private, the TJCC had given copies of its report to the local
press. Articles appeared simultaneously in the two major TUcson
dailies, while a local television program carried interviews with Carol
Karsch of the TJCC, Sylvia Campoy of the TUcson Unified School
District, and ACLU official Helen Mautner. Meanwhile, the depart-
ment's response to the now public charges against it remained, as ever,
under virtual lock and key. Moreover, under orders from President

 

222 They Dare to Speak Out

Koffler not to speak to the press, Gimello, Adamec and Scoville could
neither answer reporters' questions nor appear on television programs.

The newspapers quoted liberally from the TJCC report, including
its contention that "a national effort linking corporate and Arab inter-
ests was promoting the dissemination of [outreach] materials" and that
"the vast majority of materials evinced, to varying degrees, an unmis-
takable bias and inaccuracy." Carol Karsch informed television view-
ers of the program's "systematic exclusion of materials on Israel" and
said that the outreach program and Department of Oriental Studies
were "in the position of being an advocate for one side of a difficult,
complex political issue."

The morning the story hit the press, Sheila Scoville received a
number of phone calls from newspaper and television reporters, all
wanting the department's side of the controversy. "But I couldn't say
anything," recalled Scoville later, lamenting the gag rule imposed by
President Koffler. Robert Gimello felt similarly frustrated and finally
wrote a long letter to Koffler. He said that one of the several reporters
whom he had dodged throughout the day had finally managed to reach
him late at night. "It was clear from what the reporter told me — as it is
from the article in this morning's Star—that he had in his possession
documents of TJCC authorship," wrote Gimello. The chairman of the
Oriental Studies Department had fended off the reporter's questions
"even to the point of not answering when he asked about whether or
not we had ever formally replied to the TJCC's report." Wrote
Gimello:

I did feel it necessary, however, to make the one brief and entirely unelaborated
observation that the Department of Oriental Studies does not believe that its
Middle East Outreach Program reflects the anti-Israeli, pro-Arab bias that has
been alleged . . . particularly in view of the fact that the reporter had at his
disposal the whole array of TJCC charges and arguments.

Gimello said that his department had sought to abide by the
ground rules relating to the adjudication panel and had refrained from
public argument with the TJCC. "The TJCC, however, has not done
the same," he wrote. ". . . This latest press flap seems to me to be only
the most recent in a series of bad-faith actions."

Gimello said the situation was developing to the considerable dis-
advantage of his department. "The charges against us have been made
public in all their detail and in all their scurrilousness. As a result, I
suspect that it will be henceforth very difficult for my colleagues and
myself to refrain from making statements in our own defense." The
fairness and success of the adjudication process, said Gimello, de-
pended on "both sides playing by the rules." Gimello then stated that

 

Tucson: Case Study in Intimidation 223

the TJCC's charges were not only "untrue and profoundly offensive"
but that "they threaten to do us real harm/ 9 He ended his anguished
letter by suggesting that the mere announcement of the panel proce-
dure was not enough and that something had to be said in the depart-
ment's behalf. Gimello told the university president: "I now think we
stand in need of your support."

While the "gag order" prevented representatives of the Oriental
Studies Department from providing some balance to the press cover-
age, TUcson's two daily papers did find teachers who had taken Sco-
ville's course and were willing to speak in her defense. One teacher
said the TJCC charges "smacked of almost an open insult." Another
said that the suggestion that the teachers were being given propaganda
that later would be distributed to students "sort of made us out to be a
bunch of dummies." She said she was "mystified" by the charges. "I
keep thinking maybe we're talking about completely different pro-
grams. I haven't seen anything like what they're talking about." De-
scribing herself as "pro-Israeli," the teacher said that Scoville's course
had concluded with a short video presentation about the forming of
Israel which was "very fair, very balanced."

One of the TJCC's complaints was that maps handed out during
the course did not include Israel. Said the teacher: "Of course the map
didn't have Israel on it, because the map was of the Ottoman Empire
and Israel was not part of the Ottoman Empire." A librarian who had
been enrolled in the Middle East course commented: "If somebody can
get to the district and get them to do this without even asking a ques-
tion, that's what I find frightening."

With the exception of the article reflecting these comments, how-
ever, the press coverage of the controversy just two weeks before the
panel of experts was to meet presented the Near Eastern Center in a
damaging light. Moreover, the interviews with Carol Karsch made it
clear that the TJCC had now totally gone back on its promise to abide
by the decision of the blue ribbon panel. In a statement published in the
Arizona Star, Karsch said of the committee of scholars: "We absolutely
have not agreed to a committee, period."

Gimello was stunned by Karsch's statement. He told reporters: "I
thought we had the agreement with the president of the council some
months ago, and if they say there has been no agreement, that comes as
something of a surprise to me." In fact, Karsch's statement con-
tradicted assurances given earlier to President Koffler and documented
in a letter Koffler wrote to Representative McNulty on April 18: "I
persuaded both the department and the council to agree to the rulings
of an outside panel of experts," said the letter.

By July 19, it was clear that the TJCC had managed to persuade

 

224 They Dare to Speak Out

Koffler to redefine the panel's mandate. In a joint statement with TJCC
President Sol Tobin, Koffler said that the panel was simply one "part of
a thorough fact-finding process," and would not make a binding deci-
sion but would merely "advise the university concerning the work of
the outreach program."

The four scholars finally met in closed-door sessions from July 29
to August 1. The panel members heard representatives of the TJCC
present their charges and then, in a separate hearing, members of the
Near Eastern Center defended the outreach program. The scholars
drafted their report and transmitted it to President Koffler. They were
not allowed to keep copies of it themselves, nor were any copies dis-
tributed.

Then came the bombshell: President Koffler refused to release the
panel's report. Instead he appointed, with the approval of the Tbcson
Jewish Community Council, a University of Arizona law professor
named Charles Ares to conduct the "second phase" of the university's
investigation. The panel's report would not be released, said the presi-
dent, until the second phase of the review was completed.

Scoville, Adamec and Gimello, prevented from seeing the panel's
report which they expected would vindicate them, were now asked to
cooperate in Ares's wide-ranging investigation of all the TJCC charges
not covered by the panel. These included the funding, administration
and supervision of the outreach program; allegations of bias and enroll-
ment irregularities surrounding Sheila Scoville's Middle East survey
course; and the question of whether the "Extended Response" of the
Department of Oriental Studies had been fully endorsed by all depart-
ment faculty.

According to Scoville, Ares asked her for copies of her correspon-
dence as outreach coordinator and for copies of financial reports, in-
cluding the accounts of the national Middle East Outreach Council of
which she was treasurer. "He also probed into my personal life and
moral character," she said, not wishing to elaborate. From Gimello,
Ares attempted to discover which professors had written each section
of the Oriental Studies Department's written defense. Gimello refused
to give Ares the names. But the last straw for Gimello came when Ares
began asking questions about the Middle East Studies Association, an
international association of Middle East scholars which has been head-
quartered at the University of Arizona since 1981. Ares's probings into
MESA's financing prompted Gimello to set down in a letter his strong
reservations about the scope of Ares's investigation. Gimello wrote to
Ares that he could not in good conscience respond to his questions
about MESA and wished to explain his reasons, since "I suspect that,

 

TUcson: Case Study in Intimidation 225

through no fault of your own, you do not fully appreciate what it is you
are asking." The letter went on:

Since the inception of this controversy my colleagues and I have been con-
vinced that our critics* charges against the outreach program were a pretext,
merely an opening move in an elaborate effort to control and/or stifle other
aspects of our Department's and this University's work in Middle East
Studies. Kozolchyk and company have repeatedly denied this, but, frankly, we
have not believed them.

Your questions today about MESA serve only to confirm our disbelief. . . .
Questions regarding the presence of MESA at the University of Arizona, in-
cluding questions about its finances, are entirely outside the legitimate scope of
your investigation and even further afield of the proper interests of the TJCC I
really cannot participate in or abet any effort by our critics to expand their
calumny beyond what even they themselves had said were its limits.

Gimello said that he considered the TJCC request for the inclusion of
MESA in the investigation to constitute "an absolutely unjustifiable
attempt both to interfere in university affairs and to abridge academic
freedom."

After learning that an attempt had been made to investigate
MESA, the organization's executive secretary, Michael Bonine, wrote
a letter to President Koffler which contained even stronger language:

I am very disturbed at the mere fact that Professor Ares has asked about
MESA. ... I can only surmise that Professor Ares is asking about MESA due
to the urging and pressure of his colleague, Dr. Kozolchyk. Certainly, the TJCC
would not mind damaging the reputation of MESA and its position at the
University of Arizona. . . .

The charges of the TJCC are irresponsible and its tactics reprehensible: secret
tape recordings; vicious slander and innuendos against the director and out-
reach coordinator; leaks to the press when it serves its purpose; planting of
"spies" in classes; . . . slander against the previous head of the Department of
Oriental Studies; . . . and agreeing to an arbitration panel, but then . . . putting
sufficient pressure on the administration to extend the scope of the inquiry. . . .

What is most disturbing about the last point is the fact that the TJCC evidently
has sufficient influence and power not only to dictate the agenda but to change
the 'rules' as well.

Adamec cooperated with Ares at first, but balked when the inves-
tigation was extended to MESA and to Sheila Scoville's private life.
He wrote to Ares, "It has now become nationally known that the TJCC
demanded that Dr. Scoville be fired and the Near Eastern Center be
closed because of its purported anti-Israel bias." He said that having

 

226 They Dare to Speak Out

failed to make the anti-Israel accusations stick, the TJCC was now
resorting to a "fishing expedition":

It seems not to have occurred to you or to the administration of this university
that workshops, classes, conferences, seminars and similar academic en-
deavors are not subject to political scrutiny. . . . The blue ribbon panel has met,
and we know we are vindicated. A continuation of this investigation is harass-
ment and political persecution.

Meanwhile, the TUcson Unified School District had launched its
own investigation of the University of Arizona outreach program.
TUSD Compliance Officer Sylvia Campoy, who had been assigned the
task, explained to the press: "We have to adhere to Title VI [of the
Civil Rights Act] — that we will not allow bias or discrimination on the
basis of race, creed or color." Not waiting for the release of the panel's
report, the TUSD came out on September 13 with its own findings. Its
11-page report, backed up by appendices taken verbatim from the
original TJCC attack, stated: "There appears to be a significant bias in
the operation of the Near East Center Outreach Program of a deci-
sively anti-Israel and pro- Arab character." The report charged Sheila
Scoville with deliberately avoiding the Arab-Israeli conflict by ending
her Middle East survey course with the year 1948: "The choice of dates
and texts are [sic] indicative of the tendency of the outreach program's
intent to exclude information about Israel as compared to the Arab
countries."

The report claimed that

In general, the outreach program appears to constitute unauthorized activities

within the district which are of a highly political nature The danger posed

to otherwise harmonious religious or racial relations among teachers, students,
and even parents is serious and altogether unnecessary. . . . TUSD does not
tolerate the presentation of biased materials promoting defamation of a culture,
race, sex or religion in order to rectify the image of another culture, race, sex
or religion.

While the panel's findings remained a closely-guarded secret, the
TUSD report, like the TJCC report which inspired it, was widely
quoted in the press. The Arizona Daily Star, ran the headline "Teaching
Tools from UA Near Eastern Center 'Pro-Arab,' TUSD says." The
article quoted the report's author, Sylvia Campoy, as saying that Sco-
ville's Middle East survey course was "blatant pro-Arab, subtle anti-
Israel," and that "the Israeli government apparently was not contacted
for materials!' (on the period 600 to 1948, before Israel existed). The
Daily Star reporter did not contact the Oriental Studies Department for
comment on the TUSD report, mentioning in the 700-word article only

 

Tucson: Case Study in Intimidation 227

that "officials in the Oriental Studies Department have denied charges
of bias and propaganda."

Adamec again wrote an angry letter, this time to the editor of the
Daily Star. "I am astonished that you would print these charges without
trying to get the 'other side' of the story," he wrote. He asked how a
course which dealt with a period prior to the foundation of Israel could
be "biased against Israel." He said the texts used in the course were
not "oil company or Arab government sources, as implied in your
article" and that there was nothing "improper" in reimbursing the
teacher's tuition, a common practice at the university's College of
Education. Adamec ended his letter with this:

We realize that at present Middle Eastern studies is a controversial field, and
that people with emotional attachment to one or another faction in Israel may
try to influence our activities. As an educational institution we cannot allow
this to happen.

These last lines were edited out of the printed version which appeared
nine days later.

The Tucson Citizen wrote a more balanced article a few days later
entitled "Charges of Bias in UA Class Called Groundless." The article
quoted Gimello as saying he was "astounded" by the TUSD report,
while former Oriental Studies Department head William Dever pointed
out that Campoy was not qualified to evaluate the program for any sort
of bias. Noting the similarities between the TUSD and TJCC reports,
Dever said: "It is the same groundless charges repeated word for word
with no hard evidence."

 

"No Systematic Pattern of Bias"

On September 23, after nearly two months of suspense, Koffler
released the blue ribbon panel's report. The scholars completely vin-
dicated the outreach program.

The report found "no systematic pattern of bias" in the outreach
materials and "no overt policy bias" in their selection, presentation or
distribution. On the contrary, "the selection of the material generally
showed skill and good will on the part of the coordinator." The scholars
said they were convinced that "the outreach activity at the University
of Arizona does not attempt to advance the interests of any political
group, state, or states. Nor do we see in the Outreach Library evidence
of any effort to detract from any political group, state or states."

As for the use of some foreign government publications and corpo-
ration-sponsored material in the outreach program, the panel found

 

228 They Dare to Speak Out

that "these materials are appropriate for use with accompanying expla-
nations" of their nature. In reference to the TJCC's claim that the
program improperly attempted to rectify the image of Arabs, the panel
found that "there is nothing intrinsically wrong with this approach or
activity, nor does the panel find anything sinister in efforts to eliminate
stereotyping." Charges that books used or statements made in the
outreach program were "related to the effort . . . of certain Arab states
to delegitimize Israel in the family of nations" were, in the panel's
view, "completely groundless."

The panel refuted virtually every charge that the TJCC had made
against the outreach program, conceding only that the materials used in
the workshop "struck us as being generally superficial and uninspired."
They added, "This was because the outreach library from which the
selection was made is unfortunately quite limited." The panel, which
had been asked to look into the supervision and structure of the out-
reach program, also said that "better supervision of the selection and
presentation of the outreach materials would enhance the program.
Responsibility for the program would better rest on a committee than
on one individual." The panel's report contained specific recommenda-
tions as to how the outreach program might be restructured so as to
become a more interdisciplinary program involving more of the faculty.

Having responded to the issues put before them, the four scholars
then turned to the general matter of academic freedom. This section of
the report, some five and a half pages long, was a diplomatically-
worded denunciation of the tactics of the TJCC. It reads in part:

The TJCC has exercised its right to question the university and the university
has responded fully and adequately. The TJCC is entitled to disagree with the
university position and to make that disagreement known. To insist, however,
that the case can be closed only after the university takes action in line with the
TJCC demands is to cross a clearly demarcated line. It is to go beyond the
legitimate right to question and to be informed, moving into the illegitimate
demand to control and to censor.

The TJCC has now reached this line. Pressing its demands further can only be
seen as an effort to erode university autonomy, as an attack on academic
freedom.

We accept that members of the TJCC do not wish to attack academic freedom,
but in our judgment new challenges will be viewed by the public as harassment.
And, alas, for all of us — university and community— the public image will be
correct.

The panel report then defended outreach coordinator Sheila Sco-
ville. In another implicit condemnation of the TJCC, the report said
that Scoville had been allowed to become "the issue."

 

Tucson: Case Study in Intimidation 229

This should not have been permitted to happen, and the damage cannot now be
easily repaired. An individual possessing the requisite academic credentials
and acting as an acknowledged member of the university community has had
her integrity called into question. Not her competence but her integrity. We
trust all the parties concerned — even if they cannot agree on anything else —
will accept that this unfortunate situation must be redressed. Academic free-
dom is meaningless unless it protects the individual whose ideas or whose
chosen field of activity may be unpopular in certain quarters.

Ares's report, to the surprise of those who believed that Ares sided
with the TJCC, supported the findings of the blue ribbon panel. It was
released the same day as the panel report. First, in Sheila Scoville's
Middle East survey course, Ares could find "no evidence that a specific
point of view was advocated or that the instructor sought to shape the
participants' lesson plans to fit such a point of view." Ares found noth-
ing wrong with reimbursing teachers for the course and no evidence of
discrimination in enrollment. Nor did Scoville, as the TJCC had
charged, seek to "replace the curricular processes of a School Dis-
trict." Wrote Ares: "On all the evidence available there is no ground to
believe that there were any irregularities in the way the course was
arranged or taught."

Nor did Ares find any irregularities in the funding or sponsorship
of the outreach program. While some of the center's funding came
from oil corporations such as Mobil and Exxon, Ares found nothing
untoward in these general purpose grants. As for the question of
whether the extended response had been endorsed by all members of
the Oriental Studies Department, this aspect of Ares's investigation had
been thwarted by Gimello's refusal to release the names of the authors
of individual sections of the response. Ares appears to have realized
himself the impropriety involved. He wrote:

There seems no room for doubt that the response has the full support of the
Department Faculty. It has been urged that individual members of the faculty
be interviewed, presumably to determine whether they agree with every state-
ment of every book review in it. This seems unreasonable. These are mature
scholars of natural independence. Without some evidence that the response is
not approved at least by a substantial majority of the Department, an effort to
cross question them now would be quite destructive.

Ares then turned his attention to tapes of Scoville'e classroom
remarks that had been surreptitiously made by a TJCC "plant" who
attended her 1982 teachers' workshop. The TJCC had made a partial
transcript of the tapes which they claimed showed evidence of Sco-
ville's bias. They were made available to Ares but not to the panel.
Ares wrote:

 

230 They Dare to Speak Out

I discuss these [cassette tapes] for several reasons. (1) The partial transcript
has been circulated but was not considered by the panel. (2) A partial transcript
is necessarily selective and would not permit an impression of the overall tone
of the proceedings. (3) The tapes were made without the prior consent or
knowledge of the teacher of the workshop and this implicates academic free-
dom even in its most minimal dimension. . . . Despite grave misgivings about
listening to tapes made under such circumstances, I ultimately concluded that
the harm that would be done to the credibility of the fact-finding process by
refusing to listen, would be greater than the increased harm to academic free-
dom, much of which had already been inflicted in any event.

Therefore, I listened to the tapes and read the partial transcript after advising
Dr. Scoville that she would also have the opportunity to do the same. She has
not done so.

Ares then pronounced his finding: "Listening to the tapes and
reading the partial transcript does not undermine the panel's finding
that there was no discernible policy bias."

Despite the refutation of the TJCC's claims in two separate re-
ports, President Koffler's cover letter summarizing their findings
seemed calculated to present the TJCC defeat in the best possible light.
In the section of his summary entitled "Findings," Koffler leads off as
follows: "The TUcson Jewish Community Council was justified in its
concern that the outreach program had not had appropriate supervi-
sion." In the next sentence, Koffler actually manages to subordinate
the major and critical finding of the investigations to what was in effect
a crumb thrown out to the TJCC: "Further, while the selection of the
material has not been biased, the panel notes that the printed materials
are generally superficial and uninspired." Koffler ended his cover letter
with a muffled criticism of the TJCC's attack on Scoville:

Considerable concern by the [T\icson Jewish Community] Council has been
expressed about the integrity of the outreach coordinator. The professional
reputation of individuals who work in sensitive areas is always subject to an
increased risk of criticism. Hence it is incumbent on any critic to take extra
care to ensure fairness in rendering judgments which could be both profession-
ally and personally destructive. I therefore believe it is important that I draw
special attention to the fact that the panel concluded that no overt policy bias is
discernible in the selection and distribution of the materials by the Coordinator.

The panel's report and Ares's findings together represented a clear
vindication of the Near Eastern center and its outreach program. Of all
the many and various changes made by the TJCC, only one was sus-
tained. The program would benefit from restructuring and greater
supervision. In fact, the Department of Oriental Studies had already
reached that conclusion in the spring of 1983 and was only awaiting the

 

Tucson: Case Study in Intimidation 23 1

panel's recommendations before implementing its own reforms. Be-
yond these reforms, Koffler wrote, the university proposed to take no
further action.

Interviewed on television after the release of the two reports,
Gimello and Adamec expressed their belief that they had been vin-
dicated and that the affair had now been resolved. Carol Karsch also
claimed victory in her appearance before the cameras:

Oh, the report far from vindicates the Near Eastern Center. As a matter of fact,
if you read it carefully, it confirms our concern that it was not managed
properly. . . . The presentation of the Middle East, including Israel, must be
accurate; it must be fair; and it must be consistent with our American ideals.
This has not been the case. It would remain to be seen how the university
would prepare to deal with this.

Another spokesman for the TJCC, Mark Kobernic, was quoted on
a radio news report as saying: "We certainly don't believe that there's
been any sort of vindication of the program in that it should go on in its
present form."

Carol Karsch also wrote a self-congratulatory "analysis" piece for
the Jewish weekly Arizona Post. Asserting that "a grave issue has
faced the Tlicson Jewish community for the past two years, she argued
that

Our research and that of the Anti-Defamation League and American Jewish
Committee evaluated the materials on Arab-Israeli conflict as biased, propa-
gandist^ and having a strong pro-Arab anti-Israel slant. The panel found that
the materials were not scholarly and characterized them as "superficial and
uninspired," "lacking in depth," and most importantly, often containing a
"point of view."

This was apparently Karsch's interpretation of the panel's statement
which said: "Although certain passages in the works reviewed might be
seen as expressing particular points of view, we find no systematic
pattern of bias in the works." Karsch continued:

We must not let ourselves get bogged down in a battle of semantics. Whether to
call pro-Arab materials 'biased' or to say that they demonstrate a "point of
view," the effect remains the same.

Then came this startling claim: "The m^jor thrust of Dr. Koffler's re-
port was the admission of an overriding need for radical changes in the
program." Karsch concluded by again raising the spectre of a national
anti-Israel conspiracy:

Our responsibility in Tlicson is part of a national challenge to counter a power-
ful, well-financed effort to promote the Arab cause while attempting to under-

 

232 They Dare to Speak Out

mine the legitimacy of Israel. The price of Jewish security has always been
vigilance.

Obviously, the battle wasn't over, although by now it had gone on
for two years.

 

"It Came as a Terrible Surprise"

Despite the findings of Ares and the blue ribbon panel, the admin-
istration of the TUcson Unified School District met on October 14, 1983,
and officially adopted the recommendations contained in Sylvia Cam-
poy's anti-outreach report. Interviewed by telephone after the meet-
ing, Campoy said: "We have totally disassociated ourselves from the
outreach program/ 9 She said that teachers would be denied salary
increment credit not only for Scoville's Middle East survey course but
also for any future course offered by the outreach program. No mate-
rials from the outreach program would be permitted in the classrooms.

At a TUSD school board meeting a few days later, both Robert
Gimello and William Dever criticized Campoy's report, calling it
"shoddy, hasty and one-sided." Gimello told the board: "I hope that
district policies are not decided on because of uncritical submission to
pressure-group tactics." The school board voted to reinstate salary
increment credits to the teachers who had taken Sheila Scoville's Mid-
dle East survey course on the grounds that taking the credits away
retroactively had been unfair. There was no discussion of future policy,
however, or of the TUSD administrative decision to ban the outreach
materials from classrooms. Merrill Grant, district superintendent,
stood behind the decision and so did the school board.

Nor were the program's continuing headaches confined to the
school district. At a faculty senate meeting, also in early October,
President Koffler said that while no bias had been found in the out-
reach program, the panel did find cause for the TJCC allegation that the
program had not been properly supervised. In particular, the panel
found that the quality of the program had not benefitted from faculty
participation. For this reason it had been decided to create a board of
governors to oversee the center's operations. Koffler repeated the
panel's finding that materials used in the outreach program were
"superficial and uninspired" and said: "A report which points to defects
in the quality of the work is scarcely a vindication of the center."

Adamec was enraged. In a letter to all members of the faculty
senate, he said he found the accusation that the outreach program had
not been properly supervised "insulting":

I am an expert in Middle East studies with fifteen books to my name and thirty

years of experience in the field Dr. Scoville's outreach activities have been

praised by officials of the Department of Education as being a "model program 9

 

Tucson: Case Study in Intimidation 233

and it is in good part due to the excellent evaluation of our outreach program
that we have won funding for ten years in spite of keen national competition.

Do we need to be supervised, directed, and governed by a board? As long as
the board is a consultative body I welcome its creation, even though the Near
Eastern Center is the only center at this University for which such 'guidance' is
deemed necessary.

But it soon became clear that the board was to be more than
"advisory." In a memo from the university's acting dean, it was
specified that the board would give approval for funding requests and
expenditures, select and review personnel in the center, "including the
director," review the quality of the center's programs and, in particular,
the quality of the outreach materials. It would review and even initiate
future plans for the center and "oversee and be involved in all policy
matters affecting the center."

The board of governors set up to supervise the center had only one
faculty member from the Middle East area core. Meanwhile, the roster
of "center faculty" was augmented, in order to increase faculty in-
volvement, to include professors from the South Asia, Near Eastern
archaeology, arid lands, anthropology and Judaic studies depart-
ments — and all were given equal voting power.

In Adamec's view, these measures deprived the Near Eastern
Center of the autonomy it had previously enjoyed and were indicative
of an attempt to nudge him out of his position. On December 5, 1983,
Adamec sent to the university's acting dean his letter of resignation.
Announcing that he would leave his position at the end of the fall 1984
semester, he wrote: "After almost three years of political attacks from
which we were eventually vindicated, the most urgent task you have
assigned to your board of governors is yet another review of center
'personnel,' namely the director and the outreach coordinator." After
summing up the measures that had been taken, Adamec said,

There is no need to further detail instances of what may or may not have been
intentional harassment and discrimination against the center and its personnel.
My work as center director was a labor of love for which I did not receive any
compensation; those who want to see someone else in my position will not
have long to wait.

Sheila Scoville stated that under the changed circumstances she
would not work for a new director and so would resign as outreach
coordinator when Adamec left. It was doubtful whether, with the de-
parture of Adamec and Scoville, the Near Eastern Center would con-
tinue to obtain federal funds. Adamec himself predicted its ultimate
demise: "I have a pretty good idea that a year from now there may not
be any money for the center," he said.

And so, the TUcson Jewish community was to have its way. Not

 

234 They Dare to Speak Out

only had it effectively crippled the outreach program by getting its
materials banned from the classrooms of Arizona's largest school dis-
trict; it had, with the help of President Koffler, brought about the
resignation of the two individuals it had targeted from the outset.

In an interview, William Dever said that when he heard about the
TUSD decision,

I realized we'd been had. [The TJCC] has endless time and devotion and
resources and we don't. We're just a few individuals, acting on our own, taking

time from our real work to fight this hopeless battle What bothers us is we

know that is not an isolated case in this community. The local people have been
forced into admitting this is part of a much larger national campaign and we
know that other Near Eastern centers have been under pressure. They can say
4 We did it in TUcson; we can do it to you, too.'

Robert Gimello commented: "This has been an education in disil-
lusionment for me. I had been very suspicious of claims that there was
interference by a pro-Isareli lobby in many areas of our public life. But
having gone through the last two years, I'm now less suspicious. It
came as a terrible surprise to me."

It was no surprise, however, when the TUcson Jewish community
singled out for recognition several of the people prominent in the
school district's decision. Six months after Sylvia Campoy issued the
directive dissociating the school district from the program, she and two
members of the board, Eva Bacal and Raul Grijalva, were honored by
the Jewish Community Relations Committees. Bacal, like Superintend-
ent Merrill Grant, is prominent in the Jewish community. At the dinner
Campoy was recognized for "leadership in ensuring compliance and
equal opportunity." Chairing the event was Carol Karsch, who the
previous year had been cited as TUcson's Jewish "woman of the year"
for her attack on the same program.

For Campoy the best was yet to come. A month later, the Jewish
weekly announced that she would be the guest of the Jewish commu-
nity in a week-long, expense-paid tour of Israel organized by Karsch
with the support of the American Jewish Committee and the local
Jewish Community Foundation.

It is interesting to note that Karsch and others in the TUcson Jew-
ish community became "vigilant" only in 1981, six years after the Near
East Center was founded. That was the same year in which the Ameri-
can Jewish Committee, whose assistance to the TJCC Karsch ac-
knowledges, came out with its report entitled "Middle East Centers at
Selected American Universities." Written by Gary Schiff, project di-
rector for the "Academy for Educational Development," the report
asserts that funding by Arab governments or "pro- Arab corporations"
exercises "at least a subliminal influence" on students and faculty in

 

Tucson: Case Study in Intimidation 235

Middle East centers "as well as on the nature, content, and outcome of
the programs."

The Schiff report recommends that universities should exercise
"close oversight" of outreach programs. For its part, the American
Jewish Committee stated in a press release that it intended to follow up
the Schiff report by "continuing to monitor the Middle East centers"
around the country, by "collecting and evaluating outreach materials in
cooperation with local community groups, teachers, professors, etc.,"
and by "meeting with university officials to discuss oversight mecha-
nisms and review procedures in case problems arise." The Schiff re-
port refers ominously to the "overall attempt to delegitimize the state
[of Israel] ... as prelude to its destruction."

Observers of events in Tbcson saw the TJCC campaign as a test
case in preparation for similar attacks on other Middle East centers in
the United States. The Schiff report and the cooperation between the
TJCC and such national organizations as the American Jewish Com-
mittee and the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith lend credence
to this hypothesis. Other federally-funded Middle East area studies
centers are at Harvard, Columbia, UCLA, Berkeley, Princeton and
New York University (the latter two share a joint program), and at the
Universities of Texas, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Utah and Washington.

The success of the Tbcson attack soon served to encourage moves
against another outreach program. During the summer of 1982, Char-
lotte Albright, Middle East outreach coordinator at the University of
Washington in Seattle, was visited by Arthur Abramson of the Ameri-
can Jewish Committee. Abramson asked Albright for a report on the
activities of the center over the preceding five years. When she re-
fused, he said that similar reports had been requested from the Middle
East Outreach Centers in Tbcson and Los Angeles and reminded Al-
bright that the Tbcson center had been closed down (this was during
the four months of the program's suspension). Abramson further
claimed that Jonathan Friedlander, the coordinator of the center at
UCLA, had provided him with a requested report. When Albright
called Friedlander about this, however, he said that no such report had
been either requested or provided. Confronted with this information,
Abramson said he had Friedlander' s report in his files and would show
it to Albright. He never did so.

After attending a 1984 conference for outreach coordinators,
Sheila Scoville, her own future clouded by the controversy that had
swirled around her, was pessimistic: "The other coordinators think
they can work with these pressure groups. My experience is you sim-
ply cannot. I fear that in the future outreach programs inevitably will
take on a political bias and cease to serve educational purposes."

One striking aspect of the Tbcson controversy was the absence of

 

236 They Dare to Speak Out

public opposition to the TJCC campaign within the Jewish community.
The comments of one Jewish professor at the university throw some
light on the reason for the general reluctance of Jews to speak out.

This professor told Richard Frye, one of the four scholars brought
to Tlicson to review the TJCC charges, that Karsch and Kozolchyk had
the Jewish community "almost in a stranglehold" and "anyone who
speaks against them is speaking against the national organization, the
policy." The professor said the pressures on him were "terrible." "After
all," he told Frye, "we get our funds, our grants, from various Jewish
communities. . . . What I am telling you is branding me a quisling."

Another Jewish professor at the university, Jerrold Levy, was in-
terviewed shortly after the school board meeting and asked about the
lack of protest from the more liberal elements within Hicson's Jewish
community. He said, "I think everybody's a little frightened." Levy
had himself sent letters deploring the TJCC attacks to the editors of
three newspapers, but none was printed. He explained his daring:

I don't depend on Jewish funds for my academic work or for my livelihood. It's
the people in the professional classes, doctors, lawyers, who feel intimidated.
The friends I have within the [Reform] congregation are very, very close to the
chest on political matters. I know a professional man who is very liberal, but
now that he's got a well-established business, he's not coming out against the
TJCC. There are some concerned people who are not saying anything. We're
up against a very well-organized group of co-religionists here. There's some
fairly good blackballing going on.

While Levy said that a lot of people privately disagreed with the
TJCC, he also gave another reason for the lack of Jewish voices raised
in protest: misinformation.

I called two older members of the Jewish community whom I really respect and
I said, 'What do we do?' And their answer was pretty generally: 'Where there's
smoke there's fire. They [the TJCC] wouldn't have started this attack if there
hadn't been something going on.' I asked them what they had read. Well,
they'd only read the editorials in the [Jewish] Arizona Post. Nothing else.
There's a lack of awareness, a lack of facts. The Arizona Post has published
some pretty slanted things.

Levy said he had tried to reason with both Kozolchyk and Karsch.
They responded by inviting him to an "educational series" they were
holding on why Jews should support Israeli Prime Minister Begin.

It was a series of evening lectures which were strictly brainwashing. And at the
second one I got up during the discussion and told them the facts that they'd
got wrong. They had manipulated maps and all kinds of funny things. And they
disinvited me from the group. It's that simple. This is not a group that's open to
discussion.

 

Tucson: Case Study in Intimidation 237
Levy describes the general atmosphere of T\icson in similar terms:

It's an awful lot like the McCarthy period. And I include not only the Near
Eastern Center [controversy] but the whole line taken on Israel. It's an awful
lot like Germany in the thirties, too. It's a lot like what we Jews have been
yelling about, that we want to be free from. And then who starts doing it again?
It's a very scary business.

 

Chapter 9

 

Church and State

 

Dwight Campbell, the youthful clerk of Shelby County, Illinois, sat
quietly through the meeting in a Shelbyville restaurant. It was fall 1982,
the campaign season in Illinois, and during the session I discussed
foreign policy issues with a group of constituents. Only when the
gathering had begun to break up did Campbell call me aside to voice his
deep concern over remarks I had made criticizing Israeli policy in
Lebanon.

He identified himself as a Christian and, speaking very personally
and without hostility, warned me that my approach to the Middle East
was both wrong from a political standpoint and, more importantly, in
conflict with God's plan. He concluded with a heartfelt injunction: "I
would not advocate anything to interfere with the destiny of Israel as
set forth in the Bible."

The urgency in his voice was striking. It seemed clear that this
public official, well-respected in his community, was not compelled to
support Israel by external pressure. Nor was he motivated by a desire
for professional or social advancement. As with many evangelical
Christians, his support came from deep conviction.

Americans like Dwight Campbell comprise a natural constituency
for Israel and add enormous strength to the manipulations of the Israeli
lobby. Democratic Congressman Lee H. Hamilton, chairman of the
Middle East Subcommittee, hears similar comments when he visits his
district in rural Indiana. At "town meetings" which Hamilton conducts,
constituents frequently speak up, beginning by identifying themselves
as Christians, and then urge that he support Israel's needs completely
and without reservation.

Many U.S. Christians, both conservative and mainline, support
Israel due to shared cultural and political values and in response to the
horror of the Holocaust. Many convervatives feel, as did the young

238

 

Church and State 239

official in Shelby ville, that the creation of Israel in 1948 came in
fulfillment of biblical prophecy, and that the Jewish state will continue
to play a central role in the divine plan.

Religious affiliation also tends to influence members of the main-
stream denominations, particularly Protestant, toward a pro-Israeli
stance. An exclusive focus on biblical tradition causes many Christians
to see the Middle East as a reflection of events portrayed in the Bible:
twentieth century Israelis become biblical Israelites, Palestinians be-
come Philistines, and so on in a dangerous, though most often uncon-
scious, chain of historical misassociation. The distinction between
Jewish settlers on the occupied West Bank and the Hebrew nation
which conquered the land of Canaan under Moses and Joshua becomes
obscured.

Virtually all Christians approach the Middle East with at least a
subtle affinity to Israel and an inclination to oppose or mistrust any
suggestion that questions Israeli policy. The lobby has drawn widely
upon this support in pressing its national programs. More important,
fresh perspectives which challenge shibboleths and established preju-
dices regarding the Middle East are often denounced by both the lobby
and many of its Christian allies as politically extremist, anti-Semitic, or
even anti-Christian.

The religious convictions of many Americans have made them
susceptible to the appeals of the Israeli lobby, with the result that free
speech concerning the Middle East and U.S. policy in the region is
frequently restricted before it begins. The combination of religious
tradition and overt lobby activity tends to confine legitimate discussion
within artificially narrow bounds.

Conservative Christians Rally to the Cause

Fundamentalist and evangelical groups have been active in this
campaign to narrow the bounds of free speech. Jerry Falwell and Pat
Robertson proselytize tirelessly for ever-increasing U.S. backing of
Israel, citing scriptural passages as the basis for their arguments. As
the membership of conservative Protestant churches and organizations
has expanded over the last decade, this "Christian Zionist" approach to
the Middle East has been espoused from an increasing variety of "pul-
pits": local churches, the broadcast media and even the halls of Con-
gress.

Senator Roger W. Jepsen, a first-term legislator from Iowa, told
the 1981 annual policy conference of AIPAC that one of the reasons for
his "spirited and unfailing support" for Israel was his Christian faith.
He declared that "Christians, particularly Evangelical Christians, have

 

240 They Dare to Speak Out

been among Israel's best friends since its rebirth in 1948." His views
are hardly unique, even among members of Congress, but his state-
ment on this occasion aptly expressed the nearly mystical identification
some Christians feel toward Israel:

I believe one of the reasons America has been blessed over the years is because
we have been hospitable to those Jews who have sought a home in this country.
We have been blessed because we have come to Israel's defense regularly, and
we have been blessed because we have recognized Israel's right to the
Land. . . .

Jepsen cited his fundamentalist views in explaining his early oppo-
sition to the sale of AWACS to Saudi Arabia but then credited divine
intervention as the reason he switched position the day before the
Senate voted on the proposal. On election day, November 6, 1984,
Iowans — spurred by the Israeli lobby — did their own switching, reject-
ing Jepson's bid for a second term.

Jerry Falwell, leader of the Moral Majority and a personal friend of
Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir, has been described by The
Economist of London as "the silk- voiced ayatollah of Christian revival-
ism." Acclaimed in a Conservative Digest annual poll as the most-
admired conservative outside of Congress (with President Reagan the
runner-up), Falwell embodies the growing Christian-Zionist connec-
tion. He has declared: "I don't think America could turn its back on the
people of Israel and survive. God deals with nations in relation to how
those nations deal with the Jew." He has testified before Congressional
committees in favor of moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to
Jerusalem. Falwell is perhaps the best known of the pro-Israel fun-
damentalist spokesmen, but he is by no means the only one.

In the summer of 1983, Mike Evans Ministries of Bedford, Texas,
broadcast an hour-long television special called "Israel, America's Key
to Survival." Evangelist Evans used the program to describe the "cru-
cial" role played by Israel in the political — and spiritual — fate of the
United States. Since the show was presented as "religious pro-
gramming," it was given free broadcast time on local television stations
in at least 25 states, in addition to the Christian Broadcasting Network
cable system. Yet the message of the program was by no means entirely
spiritual.

Interspersing scripture quotations with interviews of public and
military figures and other evangelists, including Pat Robertson, Oral
Roberts and Jimmy Swaggart, Evans made a number of political asser-
tions about Israel. These included the wild contention that if Israel
gave up control of the West Bank and other territories occupied after
the 1967 war, the destruction of Israel and the United States would

 

Church and State 241

follow; and the implication that Israel is a special victim of Soviet
pressure in the form of "international terrorism," which would other-
wise be brought to bear directly against the United States and Latin
America.

Evans concluded the broadcast with a climactic appeal for Chris-
tians to come to the support of "America's best friend in that part of the
world" by signing a "Proclamation of Blessing for Israel." Stating that
"God distinctly told me to produce this television special pertaining to
the nation of Israel," Evans argued that the proclamation was particu-
larly important since "war is coming, and we must let our President and
Prime Minister Begin know how we, as Americans, feel about Israel."
He has since presented the proclamation to both Prime Minister
Shamir and President Reagan, and in a recent publication he con-
gratulated his supporters: "You never thought you would be having
such an effect upon the two most powerful leaders in the entire world!
But, yes, you are!"

Still, Evans was dissatisfied with Reagan's response. In an August
1984 fund-raising appeal, Evans blamed the U.S. for Israel's economic
woes: "Because of America's encouraging Israel to give up the Sinai
and its oil [they lost, he said, $1.7 billion] and because of Israel's
assistance to America through defense of the Middle East, Israel is on
the verge of economic collapse." He said Reagan was "hesitant" to
"alleviate Israel's great pressures."

The Evans theme linking America's survival to Israel was echoed
in a full-page ad for the National Political Action Committee, a pro-
Israel fund-raising organization, in the December 18, 1983, New York
Times. It proclaimed that "Israel's survival is vital to our own," and
"Faith in Israel strengthens America."

Radio and television broadcasts by Jim Bakker, Kenneth Cope-
land, Roberts, Swaggart and others routinely proclaim the sanctity of
Israel through scriptural quotation, usually from the Old Testament,
and then reinforce it with political and strategic arguments supplied by
the broadcaster.

The arguments find a considerable audience. Most estimates place
the number of evangelical Christians in the United States in the neigh-
borhood of 30 million. Jerry FalwelFs "Old Time Gospel Hour" is aired
on 392 television stations and nearly 500 radio stations each week.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin describes Falwell as
"the man who represents twenty million American Christians."

Nor is the American style of evangelistic programming confined to
U.S. shores. Its pro-Israeli message is now broadcast from the Middle
East itself. The High Adventure Holyland Broadcasting Network of
George Otis has maintained the Voice of Hope radio station in southern

 

242 They Dare to Speak Out

Lebanon since the first Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1978. He de-
scribes it as an effort "to bring the Word of God to an area that has not
had the Word of God in many centuries." Otis named his broadcast
ministry after his personal conviction that "Jesus [is] high adventure";
but over the last several years the station has been actively involved in
adventure of a more secular sort.

The late Major Saad Haddad, before his death the Lebanese com-
mander of the Israeli-backed militia which controlled southern Leba-
non prior to the Israeli invasion in 1982, frequently used the Voice of
Hope to broadcast his military objectives, including threats against
civilians. Evangelist Otis, overlooking grim aspects of Haddad's rule,
described Haddad as a "born-again" Christian who was a "good spiri-
tual leader" to the people of southern Lebanon. The U.S. State Depart-
ment confirms that Haddad often carried out threats to shell civilian
areas, including the city of Sidon, "without previous warning." Haddad
rationalized these attacks as reprisals against the Lebanese govern-
ment for not meeting his demands for salary payment. (The Lebanese
government ceased paying the salaries of Haddad's forces after he was
dishonorably discharged from the Lebanese army).

In the spring of 1980, Haddad forces used five U.S.-built Sherman
tanks in an attack on a Boy Scout Jamboree near the city of Tyre,
killing 16 boys. Haddad's gunners also shot down a Norwegian
medivac helicopter which arrived to help the wounded. The scout
gathering, which was sponsored by the Christian Maronite Church,
was just beyond the limits of the "Free Lebanon," or "Haddadland,"
the area controlled by Haddad's Israeli-backed army. Haddad an-
nounced at the time that such attacks would continue until the Leba-
nese government provided more electricity to this area and recognized
Haddad schools.

With the support of both Israel and the remaining Christian forces
in the south, High Adventure Ministries is going ahead with plans to
establish the Star of Hope television station in southern Lebanon. Otis
himself describes the Israeli support as "a miracle": "Did you ever
think we would see the day when the Jews would push us for a Chris-
tian station?" Yet since a television station will assure more effective
communication with the public— for military and other purposes —
Israeli approval seems more the product of sound strategic thinking
than of divine intervention. Like the Voice of Hope before it, the new
Star of Hope will be financed through tax-deductible contributions of
money and equipment from donors in North America.

Through such endeavors, American evangelical broadcasting sup-
ports the Israeli government indirectly by emphasizing the moral and
religious commitment to the Jewish state which many Americans al-

 

Church and State 243

ready feel and, directly, by broadcasting in the Middle East messages
which promote the military objectives of Israel and its Lebanese allies.

Jerry Falwell periodically conducts tours of Israel for "born again"
Christians. Although Falwell is careful to avoid the appearance of
money flowing from Israel to Moral Majority, former Israeli Prime
Minister Menachem Begin demonstrated his commitment by arranging
for a jet plane to be sold to FalwelFs organization at a substantial
discount.

Besides Falwell, there are many other Christian groups offering
Israel their support. In eastern Colorado, more than ten churches coor-
dinate an annual "Israel Recognition Day" involving films, lectures,
cultural exhibits and sermons reaching more than 25,000 parishioners.
The National Christian Leadership Conference for Israel (NCLCI)
holds an annual conference in Washington attended by more than 200
delegates representing Christian groups from all over the United
States. As Dr. Franklin H. Littell, president of NCLCI, has noted,
"Concern for Israel's survival and well-being [is] the only issue that
some of the organizations ever cooperated on."

Other publicized events have included a "Solidarity for Israel Sab-
bath" at Washington's Beth Shalom Orthodox Synagogue in October
1982 — in which evangelical leaders and local rabbis joined to "build
bridges" and coordinate their efforts in behalf of Israel — and the "Na-
tional Prayer Breakfast in Honor of Israel," which has become an
annual event in the nation's capital.

The third such breakfast conference, given February 1, 1984, at-
tracted over 500 ardent supporters of Israel, most of them Christians.
The setting was brightly decorated with Israeli flags and symbols, in-
cluding apples bearing Star of David stickers. The printed program for
the affair carried an impressive list of political and evangelical leaders,
including Edwin Meese III (unable to attend, it was announced, be-
cause of his just-announced nomination as attorney-general), Meir
Rosenne, Israeli ambassador to the United States, and representatives
from the National Religious Broadcasters and other conservative Prot-
estant groups. Congressman Mark Siljander of Michigan, a member of
the Middle East Subcommittee, delivered a stirring reaffirmation of
evangelical solidarity with Israel: "It's not that we are anti-Arab. We
seek peace in God's plan."

The breakfasts are coordinated by The Religious Roundtable, a
group which describes itself as "a national organization dedicated to
religious revival and moral purpose in America," yet one of its primary
purposes is advancement of the Israeli cause. Edward E. McAteer,
president of the group, is known in the Washington area as a partisan
speaker and editorial writer on behalf of Israel. He uses the religious

 

244 They Dare to Speak Out

format of his organization to back such political stands as closer U.S.-
Israeli strategic cooperation, restriction of U.S. arms sales to Arab
states, and transfer of the United States embassy in Israel from Tel
Aviv to Jerusalem. In 1984 McAteer was an unsuccessful candidate in
Tennessee for the Senate.

Writing in the Washington Post on January 2, 1984, McAteer sup-
ported the Israeli intervention in Lebanon, likening opponents of the
invasion to "the pre-med student who proposed removing only half a
cancerous growth [the PLO] because of the blood generated by
surgery." Considering the fact that the invasion led to staggering civil-
ian casualties, this crusading knight of The Religious Roundtable cer-
tainly cannot be accused of fear of blood.

Perhaps inspired by Mike Evans Ministries, the prayer breakfast
committee created its own Proclamation of Blessing for Israel. Issued
in the name of "America's 50-million-plus Bible-believing Christians,"
it included a curious mixture of religious and political/military points:

A call for "Strategic Cooperation" with Israel is followed by an appeal to "the
God of Israel, Who through the Jewish people, gave to the world of Scriptures,
our Savior, Salvation and Spiritual blessings";

Scriptural selections affirming the divine right of the Jews to the Land follow
language rejecting of "dual loyalty" charges against American Jewish support-
ers of Israel;

A call for the transfer of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem is accompanied by an
exhortation that "the Scripturally-delineated boundaries of the Holy Land
never be compromised by the shifting sands of political and economic expe-
diency."

Cooperation between Jewish and conservative Protestant groups
has an important impact in the political sphere. At a recent address in
Israel, Jerry Falwell declared that "The day is coming when no candi-
date will be elected in the United States who is not pro-Israel." Al-
though the Moral Majority has not had 100 percent success in putting
its favorites in power, candidates for high office, regardless of their
own religious inclinations, now often feel compelled to address the
issues on the evangelical political agenda. Israel ranks high among
these.

Falwell's Moral Majority broadens its power base through voter
registration drives in every state, the result that many members of the
House and Senate — such as Siljander and Jepsen — welcome in order to
emphasize the religious foundation of their political support for Israel.

Many conservative Christians see a theological basis for this sup-
port, as they ascribe to Israel a prominent role in the interpretation of
Christian doctrine. On the one hand, it is maintained that Israel de-

 

Church and State 245

serves Christian support because it exists as the fulfillment of biblical
prophecy. Old Testament passages are most often quoted in defense of
this view. On the other hand, many Christians back Israel because they
believe the Jewish people remain, as they were in biblical times, the
chosen nation of God. The same advocate will often cite both argu-
ments. The prophecy argument is held by the most conservative fun-
damentalist groups, such as the Moral Majority, and has received more
public attention, but the covenantal view is probably held by a larger
segment of America's 40 million conservative Christians.

Dr. Dewey Beegle of Wesley Theological Seminary commented on
the differing views of Israel held by American Christians in his 1978
book, Prophecy and Prediction: "All Christian groups claim to have the
truth, but obviously some of these views cannot be true because they
contradict other intepretations which can be verified."

Like many biblical scholars, Beegle has concluded that the scrip-
tural basis which pro-Zionist Christians often cite for the establishment
of modern Israel does not withstand close scrutiny. His conclusions
can be broadly summarized in two basic propositions:

First, the prophesied return of the nation of Israel to Palestine was
fulfilled by the biblical return from Babylon, and has nothing to do with
twentieth-century Israel.

Second, the covenant through which God promised Israel "the
land" was not permanent but conditional; it was abrogated in biblical
times when Israel failed to be obedient to God's commandments and
thereby forfeited the promise.

But the issue is not whether the scholarship of Beegle or the Moral
Majority is the more sound, but the importance of open debate of such
difficult issues. Here again the experience of Beegle is revealing. Be-
cause his book treated the controversial issue of modern Israel and its
relations to biblical tradition, many publishers, even those who had
handled previous works by this scholar, declined to publish it. One of
these told him bluntly: "Your early chapters on the biblical matters of
prophecy and prediction are well done. The only chapter that seriously
disturbs us is number 15 on 'Modern Israel Past and Present.' " Beegle
was informed that his views on Israel, which accept the legitimacy of
the modern Jewish state though not on biblical grounds, would be
"bound to infuriate" many readers.

Yet the fact that a book or a point of view is controversial is not, at
least in the United States, usually grounds for rejection. Dr. Beegle
views Christians and Jews who disagree with him in this way: "We
know that these people think alike and feel alike and are going to help
each other. It's perfectly natural. All I'm saying is we ought to have
just as much right on the other side to speak out openly and put the

 

246 They Dare to Speak Out

information out there." His book finally was published by Pryor Petten-
gill, a small firm in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Many Christians who are neither fundamentalist nor evangelical
are also inclined to accept the supposed counsel of prophecy as
justification for Israel's dominant role in the Middle East. The presi-
dent of the United States appears to be among their number.

President Reagan, in his October 1983 telephone conversation
with AIPAC executive director Thomas A. Dine, turned a discussion of
Lebanon's present-day problems into a discourse on biblical prophecy:

I turn back to your ancient prophets in the Old Testament and the signs foretell-
ing Armageddon and I find myself wondering if ... if we're the generation
that's going to see that come about. I don't know if you've noted any of those
prophecies lately but, believe me, they certainly describe the times we're going
through.

Reagan's views are not unprecedented, even in the Oval Office.
His views reflect the wide credence given to biblical prophecy — and its
use to justify Israel's existence.

 

A Puzzling Paradox

Yet, recognizing Israel as the fulfillment of biblical prophecy impli-
cates the Christian — and even more so the Jew — in several paradoxes.
First, conservative and "premillennial" Protestants have traditionally
sought to convert Jews to Christianity, and relations between the two
groups have often been less than cordial. Jews instinctively mistrusted
Southern Baptist Jimmy Carter in 1976 because, as Jewish author
Roberta Feuerlicht writes, "In Jewish history, when fundamentalists
came, Cossacks were not far behind."

Ironically, the Christian groups most likely to accept a biblical
basis for supporting Israel are also those most likely to feel the neces-
sity of Jewish conversion to Christianity, an extremely sensitive issue
to Israelis. Dan Rossing, director of the Department for Christian Com-
munities in the Israeli Ministry of Religious Affairs, states the problem
succinctly: the evangelical "theological scheme clearly implies that
Jews have to become Christians — clearly not today, but some day."

Many evangelical organizations carry on missionary activities in
the Middle East, particularly in Israel, which are strongly opposed by
many Israelis. The evangelists openly proselytize, seeing conversion of
the Jews as another precursor of the times which the "recreation" of
Israel in 1948 is said to foretell.

The International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem, an organiza-
tion which works to foster support for Israel in twenty nations, is one

 

Church and State 247

of a number of evangelical organizations which have come under fire
recently for missionary activities inside Israel. The "embassy" was
opened in Jerusalem in October 1980 as a gesture of "international
Christian" support for the controversial transfer of the Israeli capital to
that city from Tel Aviv.

Despite expressing political support for the state of Israel, the
International Christian Embassy has devoted some of its efforts to the
conversion of Jews to Christianity, becoming controversial in the eyes
of many Israelis.

In Israel, Orthodox Jews have been active in pressing for legisla-
tion banning foreign missionaries and organizing opposition against
them. Despite the monetary support and goodwill brought to Israel by
these organizations, they are widely regarded as Trojan horses. There
have even been physical attacks on their members.

The dilemma faced by the Israeli government in dealing with
Christian groups like the International Christian Embassy is essentially
the same as that faced by American Jewish groups in forming their
relations with conservative Christian groups in the United States.
While spokesmen within Israel, such as Rabbi Moshe Berliner, decry
the inherent threat to Judaism posed by proselytizing fundamental-
ists — "Are we so gullible as to take any hand extended to us in friend-
ship?" — the Israeli government under both Begin and Shamir has
offered an emphatic reply: "Israel will not turn aside a hand stretched
out in support of Israel's just cause."

In November 1980, Jerry Falwell was awarded a medal in recogni-
tion of his steadfast support of Israel. The award came at a New York
dinner marking the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Zionist leader
Vladimir Jabotinsky and was made at the behest of Prime Minister
Begin. Opposition to the presentation was intense. Henry Siegman,
executive director of the American Jewish Congress objected to "the
way [Falwell] conducts his activities and the manner in which he uses
religion." In Israel, the Jerusalem Post quoted Alexander M. Schind-
ler, former chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major Ameri-
can Jewish Organizations, as saying that it was "madness and suicide if
Jews honor for their support of Israel right-wing evangelists who con-
stitute a danger to the Jews of the United States."

What Schindler meant was illustrated by a remark Falwell had
made at a Sunday service in his own Liberty Baptist Church in Lynch-
burg, Virginia. He declared that God did not "hear Jewish prayers." He
later expressed regret over this remark, but for many Jews it confirmed
their suspicion that Falwell was more interested in their conversion
than the security of Israel. His protestation that "the Jewish people in
America and Israel and all over the world have no dearer friend than

 

248 They Dare to Speak Out

Jerry Falwell" has not made Jewish leaders forget his fundamentalist
religious bias against Judaism, yet they openly continue to cultivate the
support of American evangelicals in backing Israel. The paradox is
striking.

New View from Mainline Churches

The pro-Israel alliance between American Jews and conservative
Protestants comes at a time of friction between the Jewish community
and the mainstream American Christian community. The friction has
increased recently with the widespread objection among Christians to
the Israeli invasion of Lebanon.

In September 1981, United Methodist Bishop James Armstrong
issued a letter to Indiana United Methodist ministers in which he
sharply criticized the "Falwell gospel" and the "Moral Majority mental-
ity." He pointedly observed that

Israel was seen as God's "chosen people" in a servant sense. Israel was not
given license to exploit other people. God plays no favorites.

Christian concern over events in the Middle East, particularly the
suffering of Palestinian refugees, has been a source of tension between
Jewish and Christian groups for some time. Though traditional efforts
toward ecumenical cooperation between American Judaism and the
mainline churches continue — as reflected in the recent announcement
by the American Jewish Congress that a new Institute for Jewish-
Christian Relations was being established to study the common Judeo-
Christian scriptural heritage — the larger denominations have in recent
years begun to view the Middle East in a new light.

The mainline churches focus more and more on the need to re-
spect the human rights of the Palestinian refugees, as reflected in a
series of church policy statements which show more sympathy for the
plight of these refugees than many Jewish groups And acceptable. The
United States Catholic Conference, United Presbyterian Church,
United Methodist Church, American Baptist Churches, United Church
of Christ, and others have called for mutual recognition of the Israeli
and Palestinian right to self-determination, Palestinian participation in
peace negotiations and Israeli withdrawal from lands occupied in the
1967 war. Several of the churches have identified the PLO as the legiti-
mate representative of the Palestinian people.

As Father Charles Angell, S.A., associate director of Graymoor
Ecumenical Institute, has observed, for the American churches to
commit themselves to such an "evident clash between their position
and that of the state of Israel abroad and the majority of the American

 

Church and State 249

Jewish organizations at home" represents a break with the past. He
feels that the "fundamental shift" occurred after the 1973 war, when
Christians responded sympathetically to appeals for a peaceful settle-
ment from the Arab side.

Members of the Jewish community have largely received the state-
ments of the mainline churches as threats to their religious rights.
Despite more than forty official statements by Protestant and Catholic
organizations in the past two decades condemning anti-Semitism as un-
christian, Christian officials who assert the right of all peoples — not
just Israelis — to territorial security and a decent standard of living are
accused by the Israeli lobby of anti-Semitism.

Christian churches have been accused of "self-delusion" in oppos-
ing both anti-Semitism and at the same time Israeli government policies
which restrict or violate the human rights of Palestinian refugees. Even
confirmed humanitarian and pacifist groups like the Quakers have been
branded anti-Semitic for urging greater restraint and mutual under-
standing upon all of the contending parties of the Middle East. Journal-
ist Ernest Volkmann even sought to pin the anti-Semite label on the
Reverend William Howard, president of the National Council of
Churches, for his criticism of the June 1981 Israeli air strike against the
Osirak nuclear reactor in Iraq.

The paradox thus becomes compounded: mainline Christians who
accept the legitimacy of the Jewish faith but question some policies of
the Jewish state are branded anti-Semitic, while evangelical Christians
who back Israel but doubt the theological validity of Judaism are wel-
come as allies.

The experience of the National Council of Churches is instructive.
An NCC insider describes the relationship between the council and the
American Jewish community as "the longest case record of Jewish
influence, even more than in government." For many years no one in
the Jewish community had serious complaints about the council.
Whenever disagreement arose, the Jewish leadership demanded — and
usually received — prompt action. As a former NCC official described
it, Jewish leaders would come "en masse with the heads of depart-
ments of about half a dozen different Jewish agencies and then really
lay it out. They felt that they had a special right to get direct input to
the council leadership."

A Committee on Christian-Jewish Relations, long a part of the
council hierarchy, gives special attention to fostering cooperation and
understanding between Christians and Jews in the United States. In
addition, Inter-Faith, a division of the NCC devoted to humanitarian
programs, was, despite its ecumenical title, until recently composed
solely of Jewish and Christian groups.

 

250 They Dare to Speak Out

The Committee on Christian-Jewish Relations has traditionally
been known to share whatever information or new council materials it
considered important with the American Jewish Committee. This prac-
tice was troubling to some council officials, as the American Jewish
Committeee is not a religious body. Although it maintains a religious
affairs department, it is mainly a lobbying organization. Jewish organi-
zations of a primarily religious nature, such as the Synagogue Council
of America, are not so closely involved in the workings of the council.
But because top-level administrators at the NCC are understandably
sensitive about the charge of being anti-Israel or insensitive to Jewish
concerns in any council actions or publications, the oversight of NCC
activities and literature — up to the point of accepting long critiques of
proposed materials from the American Jewish Committee — has been
accepted as standard procedure.

A representative of one of the largest Protestant denominations
observes that the American Jewish Committee had "much more effect"
on the content of National Council study materials than his office, even
though his denomination accounted for the purchase and distribution
of three-quarters of these publications.

After several years of mounting Jewish criticism — during which
the council had debated but failed to adopt a number of resolutions on
the suffering of Palestinian refugees — the NCC decided in December
1979 to issue a Middle East policy statement. As Allan Solomonow
puts it, "because of strong Jewish criticism it became apparent that the
NCC, which up to that point did not have a clear stand on the Middle
East, had to have one." The consensus was that "the only way to limit
criticism was to say exactly what you feel about these issues." But the
Middle East policy statement which ultimately appeared was never-
theless unacceptable to many American Jewish groups.

Declaring that "the role of the National Council of the Churches of
Christ in the U.S.A. is to seek with others peace, justice and reconcilia-
tion throughout the Middle East," the controversial final section in-
cluded a call for control of arms transfers to the Middle East and an
appeal for "reciprocal recognition of the right of self-determination" by
the government of Israel and the PLO.

The Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, which had not pre-
sented its views in open forum, quickly denounced the statement as "a
naive misreading of the contending forces and issues in the Arab-Israeli
conflict which can have mischievous consequences."

Pro-Israel writers and commentators seized upon the policy state-
ment as an example of growing anti-Semitism within the NCC — despite
the clear emphasis of the text on secure peace for all peoples and

 

Church and State 25 1

denunciation of violent acts on every side. Journalist Ernest Volkman,
in his book A Legacy of Hate: Anti-Semitism in America, somehow
manages to cite the policy statement as the prime example of "an
indifference to American Jews that has occasionally strayed into out-
right anti-Semitism." The Campaign to Discredit Israel, the "enemies
list" assembled by AIPAC, goes to the length of claiming that "some
segments of the National Council of Churches" are tools of a "sys-
tematic effort" to attack Israel's image in the United States.

A high-ranking NCC official at the time summed up the matter this
way: "For years no one in the Jewish community had any serious
complaints about the National Council; and then when they started to
have political decisions that ran afoul of conventional pro-Israeli opin-
ion, all of a sudden it became anti-Semitic and suspect."

Critics do not like to note, however, that the policy statement
recognized the right of Israel to exist as a "sovereign Jewish state"
rather than a "sovereign state" as some on the panel preferred. Butler
identified this as "one of the most hotly debated phrases in the policy
statement," because some members of the drafting committee refused
to vote for the completed document unless it specified the Jewish iden-
tity of Israel.

The document also explicitly reaffirms the long and continuing
close relationship between the Jewish community and the National
Council of Churches.

 

God's Empire Striking Back?

As interest in the Middle East and humanitarian concern for the
Palestinian refugees becomes more widespread among Americans of all
religious persuasions, many Jewish groups and their pro-Israel allies
are more adamant in rejecting open discussion as a means to broader
public understanding. Under such pressures, even activist religious
groups which are involved in campaigning for social justice and world
peace often grow timid when the Middle East becomes a topic of
discussion.

The Sacramento Religious Community for Peace (SRCP), a group
which works to foster ecumenical cooperation in support of peace and
social issues, in October 1983 organized a major symposium on "Faith,
War and Peace in the Nuclear Age" at the Sacramento Convention
Center. A large number of religious organizations, including the Sac-
ramento Jewish Relations Council, co-sponsored the symposium under
the auspices of the SRCP.

In early September, as publicity for the symposium was being

 

252 They Dare to Speak Out

arranged, the Sacramento Peace Center (SPC), another well-
established local activist group, asked that a flier publicizing its memo-
rial service for victims of the refugee camp massacres in Lebanon be
included in the SRCP mailings for the symposium. Since it is routine
for peace organizations in the area to cooperate in this way, Peggy
Briggs, co-director of the peace center, was shocked to be informed
that the flier could not be included in the promotional mailing.

The SRCP told Briggs that the Jewish Community Relations Coun-
cil — the strongest local Jewish group and a major participant in SRCP
activities — had made it known that if the flier appeared in the mailing,
Jewish participation in the symposium would be withdrawn. This
would have meant not only diminished support from the large local
Jewish community, but also the loss of a rabbi scheduled as one of the
keynote speakers.

Helen Feeley, co-director of the SRCP, further informed the Peace
Center that no literature prepared by the SPC Middle East task force
could be displayed during the proceedings. In discussing the matter
later, Feeley was emphatic: "The Middle East task force has absolutely
inflamed the Jewish community here, because they do not uphold the
right of Israel to exist. That material is just inflammatory."

Greg Degiere, head of the SPC Middle East task force, protested
that his group does recognize Israel's right to exist. He pointed out that
the SPC calls for an end to war in the Middle East, respect for the
human rights of all persons in the region and mutual recognition be-
tween Israel and the PLO.

The prohibition on discussion of the Middle East, along with the
restriction on the Peace Center's right to distribute information, was
accepted as the cost of Jewish participation in the symposium. Lester
Frazen, the rabbi who served as a keynote speaker and thus helped
provoke the issue, had unusual credentials for a showdown over free
speech. He had boldly asserted his own First Amendment right at the
outset of the 1982 Israeli march into Lebanon. He was among the
leaders of a Sacramento march consisting mainly of fundamentalist
Christians who expressed their joyous support for the invasion with a
banner proclaiming: "God's empire is striking back!" Yet Frazen and
his backers denied the Sacramento Peace Center the right to
memorialize the victims of that invasion or to call for a negotiated end
to killing on both sides.

In light of this background, it is not surprising that although the
official title of the gathering was "Faith, War and Peace in the Nuclear
Age," the agenda failed to address conflicts in the Middle East — in the
region many observers believe to be the most likely center of nuclear

 

Church and State 253

confrontation. As Joseph Gerson, peace secretary for the American
Friends Service Committee in New England observes, "The Middle
East has been the most consistently dangerous nuclear trigger. Presi-
dents Truman, Eisenhower, Johnson and Nixon all threatened to use
nuclear weapons there. . . ."

The Uproar over Palm Sunday

Despite Jewish-fundamentalist cooperation and the pressures
brought to bear against those who publicly advocate negotiation and
reconciliation in the Middle East, a few religious leaders have had the
courage to speak out. Foremost among them is the Very Reverend
Francis B. Sayre, who took the occasion of Palm Sunday, 1972, to raise
a number of questions to which American Christians are still debating
the answers.

Throughout his twenty-seven years as dean of National Cathedral
in Washington, the hearty and dramatic Dean Sayre took controversial
stands on a wide variety of public policy issues. In the early fifties he
fired some of the first salvos in the campaign to discredit McCarthyism.
Declaring the Wisconsin senator's followers "the frightened and
credulous collaborators of a servile brand of patriotism" brought Sayre
a torrent of hate mail, but the possibility of criticism never caused him
to shy away from speaking out on issues that stirred his conscience. He
worked as an early advocate of civil rights for blacks, and in the sixties
and seventies he stood in the forefront of opposition to the Vietnam
War.

Dean Sayre is the grandson of Woodrow Wilson, and his father
had been a diplomat, law professor and eminent Episcopalian layman.
Sayre continued the family tradition of leadership, relishing his posi-
tion as leader of the cathedral's influential congregation. Offered a
government post by the newly installed Kennedy administration in
1960, his reply was swift: "No thanks. I already have the best job in
Washington."

He once described his role as dean of the cathedral as a "liaison
between church and state" and as a platform for "moral guidance" for
government leaders. He explained his activism with characteristic can-
dor: "Whoever is appointed dean of a cathedral has in his hand a
marvelous instrument, and he's a coward if he doesn't use it."

On Palm Sunday 1972, Dean Sayre used his prestigious pulpit to
deliver a sermon which was perhaps the most powerful — and certainly
one of the most controversial — of his career. He spoke on Jerusalem,
identifying the ancient city as a symbol of both the purest yearnings

 

254 They Dare to Speak Out

and darkest anger of the human heart. Historically, he proclaimed,
both extremes were embodied in events of the single week between
Jesus's triumphal entry into the city and His crucifixion.

Amidst the pageantry and exultation of Palm Sunday, Jerusalem was the em-
blem of all man's dreams: a king that will someday come to loose us from every
bondage; dream of peace that shall conquer every violence; holiness of heaven
driving out the dross of earth.

But just as Jerusalem symbolized "man's yearning for the tran-
scendently good," so did it demonstrate his capacity for "hateful evil":

Her golden domes are also known as 'the Place of the Skull/ . . . Jerusalem, in
all the pain of her history, remains the sign of our utmost reproach: the zenith
of our hope undone by the wanton meanness of men who will not share it with
their fellows but choose to kill rather than be overruled by God.

Having recognized Jerusalem as a portrayal of "the terrible am-
bivalence of the human race about truth, about himself, about God,"
Sayre spoke compassionately about the meaning of Jerusalem for the
people now living in Israel:

Surely one can sympathize with the loving hope of that little state, which
aspires to be the symbol, nay more: the embodiment of a holy peoplehood. For
her, Jerusalem is the ancient capital; the city of the Temple that housed the
sacred Ark of the Covenant. To achieve a government there is . . . the
fulfillment of a cherished prayer tempered in suffering, newly answered upon
the prowess of her young men and the skill of her generals. Around the world
Hosannah has echoed as Jewish armies surged across the open scar that used
to divide Arab Jerusalem from the Israeli sector.

Yet Dean Sayre's sermon was fired by a troubled sense that since
the military victory of 1967, five years before, something had gone
terribly wrong.

By 1972 Jerusalem was completely under Israeli control. But, to
Dean Sayre, mankind's moral tragedy had been reenacted in Israeli
treatment of the city's Arab population. As he saw it, the dream had
been tarnished:

Now oppressed become oppressors. Arabs are deported; Arabs are imprisoned
without charge; Arabs are deprived of the patrimony of their lands and homes;
their relatives may not come to settle in Jerusalem; they have neither voice nor
happiness in the city that after all is the capital of their religious devotion too!

Addressing the moral consequences of the Israeli annexation of
Jerusalem, Dean Sayre quoted Dr. Israel Shahak — a Jewish survivor of
the Nazi concentration camp at Belsen, a professor at Hebrew Univer-
sity, and a dissenter from Israeli policy — who branded the annexation

 

Church and State 255

"an immoral and unjust act," and called for recognition that "the pre-
sent situation of one community oppressing the other will poison us all,
and us Jews first of all."

Sayre explained that Israel's treatment of the Arabs mirrored "that
fatal flaw in the human breast that forever leaps to the acclaim of God,
only to turn the next instant to the suborning of His will for us."

He was not the only Washington clergyman to express a theme
critical of Israel that day. Dr. Edward Elson, pastor of the National
Presbyterian Church and chaplain of the U.S. Senate, chided "those
Christians who justify Israel's actions in Jerusalem on the basis that
they are the fulfillment of prophecy." And the Armenian Orthodox
legate to Washington, Bishop Papken, called on Israel to recognize that
"Jerusalem belongs to all men."

But because of his reputation and eminent position in American
religion, Sayre was singled out to bear the brunt of the criticism. Rabbi
Joshua O. Haberman of the Washington Hebrew Congregation re-
ported to Sayre that the sermon was "so distressing to the Israel gov-
ernment that there had even been a cabinet meeting on the subject —
what to do about this minister who had been friendly always to the
Jews but who was so misguided." The response was not long in com-
ing. Two leaders of the Washington Jewish Community Council issued
a statement denouncing all three sermons and taking particular excep-
tion to the address of Dean Sayre. Drs. Harvey H. Ammerman and
Isaac Frank said Jews, Christians and Moslems "freely mingle in the
reunited city and live and carry on their work in peace." They charac-
terized the Sayre sermon as "an outrageous slander."

Their position received support in a Washington Post editorial
which called Sayre's sermon "an intemperate denunciation of current
Israeli policy in Jerusalem." The Washington Post editors objected to
Sayre's assertion that "even as [Israelis] praise their God for the smile
of fortune, they begin almost simultaneously to put Him to death."
They found the statement "painfully close to a very old, very familiar
line of the worst bigotry."

An angry editorial letter in the Washington Post dismissed Sayre's
sermon as "non-factual garbage":

This churchman illustrates well the typical liberal gentile bleeding-heart at-
titude to the Jews — we'll commiserate with you as long as you're dependent on
our goodwill for your survival, and we'll weep for you when you are slaugh-
tered every few years by our coreligionists — but Lordy, don't you start winning
and controlling your own destiny! The hell with them, I say.

Several such letters appeared in the Washington press in the weeks
after Palm Sunday, yet few challenged Sayre's central contention that

 

256 They Dare to Speak Out

Israeli policy did not grant equal treatment to Arabs and Jews living in
Jerusalem. The situation in Jerusalem was a matter of fact, subject to
relatively easy refutation — or confirmation — through inquiry. Yet Say-
re's critics, in the manner of the Post editors, largely confined their
attacks to the tone and lack of "temperance" in his sermon. Sayre
received widespread criticism, not for being wrong, but for being a
forthright critic of uryust Israeli policies and therefore, in the eyes of
some critics, anti-Semitic. Despite his long career of humanitarian ac-
tivism, partisans of Israel sought to discredit Sayre himself since they
could not discredit his arguments. Writer Ernest Volkman charged that
Sayre demonstrated "mindless pro-Arabism [which] had undone many
years of patient effort to improve relations between Christians and
Jews. 1 '

David A. Clarke of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference
wrote to defend Sayre: "I do view with some distrust the emotional
rebuttals which follow any question of the propriety of Israeli con-
duct." He likened such emotionalism to the initial reaction against
those who first challenged long-established concepts of racial superior-
ity. Referring to U.S. policy in the Middle East, he expressed gratitude
"that one of such intellectual integrity as Dean Sayre has given a differ-
ing view so that our perspective will not be one-dimensional."

But influential Christians remained divided in their reaction to the
speech. Some shared Sayre's troubled disapproval of Israeli policy in
the Holy City. Others continued to invoke the spectre of anti-Semitism.

The Reverend Carl Mclntire, an outspoken Protestant fundamen-
talist, took exception to Sayre's sermon in a letter published in the
Washington Star. He and Sayre had clashed previously, when Mclntire
had sought to disrupt a rally against the Vietnam War at the Washing-
ton Cathedral and Sayre had personally ushered him away from the
gathering. "The liberals represented by the dean have long since de-
parted from the historic Christian view concerning Israel and
Jerusalem," proclaimed Mclntire. Describing the 1967 war as "a thrill-
ing example of how to deal with aggressors and the forces backed by
Communism," he invoked scriptural justification for Israeli possession
of conquered territory:

It is for those of us who believe the Bible to be the Word of God [to] come now
to the assistance of our Jewish neighbors. What God has given them they are
entitled to possess, and none of the land which they have won should be
bartered away.

Some mainline clergymen joined in the fundamentalist outcry over
the Palm Sunday sermon. Two leaders of the Council of Churches of
Greater Washington issued a public statement declaring it "distressing

 

Church and State 257

and perplexing that men of goodwill should choose the start of this holy
week for both Christians and Jews to make pronouncements which
would inevitably be construed as anti- Judaic."

Two Catholic clergymen — an official of the Secretariat for Catho-
lic-Jewish Relations and a director of the United States Catholic Con-
ference—joined in an attempt to discredit Say re. First they questioned
the propriety of Sayre's quoting Israel Shahak, a dissident, to substan-
tiate his charges of Israeli injustice in Jerusalem: "Is it not too close to
the old anti-Semitic stratagem of using passages from the Hebrew
prophets in order to scold Jews?" More significantly, they asserted that
they had "failed to find any evidence of Israeli oppression" during a
recent trip to Jerusalem.

Yet an article at the same time in Christianity Today reported a
quite different reaction from the editor of the United Church Observer,
an official publication of the United Church of Canada. The Reverend
A. C. Forrest praised Dean Say re for "the courage, knowledge and
insight to speak prophetically about one of the most disturbing situa-
tions in the world today." Citing United Nations reports on Jerusalem,
he said Sayre's charges "are kind of old stuff to anyone who's done his
homework or traveled enough in the Middle East."

Support for Sayre was voiced by Jesuit educator Joseph L. Ryan
of Georgetown University. Explaining that he spoke in response to the
injunction of Pope Paul — "If you wish peace, work for justice" — Father
Ryan cited statements by the Pope and by Catholic leaders in several
Middle Eastern countries expressing concern about Israeli actions in
Jerusalem and about the misery of Palestinian refugees. He pointed out
that Israeli oppression of Christians and Muslims in Jerusalem was
documented by publications of the Israeli League for Human Rights
and the United Nations. "There is no dearth of evidence," he wrote. "If
the public raising of these cases of oppression is shocking, the reality is
incomparably more shocking."

Father Ryan reserved his strongest language for criticizing unques-
tioning Christian supporters of Israeli policies:

Further, a few Catholics and Protestants propagate the insinuation that to be
anti-Zionist (that is, critical of Israel) is to be anti-Semitic. In their anxiety to
wipe out racism, these spokesmen go to extremes. This insinuation which they
try to make widespread hinders, instead of helps, the development of proper
relations between Christians and Jews, and inhibits the free and open discus-
sion of fundamental differences for Americans as citizens of their country and
of the world community is essential in the search for justice and peace.

Dean Sayre remained largely detached from the tempest he had
stirred on Palm Sunday. His only public action was to state through an

 

258 They Dare to Speak Out

aide that he would not retract any of his comments. Years later he
acknowledged that, while he had given previous sermons on the plight
of the Palestinian refugees, the 1972 Palm Sunday address was his first
direct criticism of Israel. "Of course I realized that it would make a big
splash," he said. "But if you put it more mildly, as I had [previously], it
made no dent at all. So what are you going to do?"

Prior to the controversial sermon, Sayre had enjoyed high stand-
ing with the American Jewish community. A local Jewish congregation,
at Sayre's invitation, held services in the cathedral until its synagogue
was built. Jews respected him for the work he had done as president of
the United States Committee for Refugees. In this capacity he had
worked to resettle Jews from Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. As an Epis-
copal minister in Cleveland after World War II, he had been head of the
diocese's committee to settle refugees, many of them Jews, from East-
ern Europe.

The sermon had personal implications. Sayre and his family expe-
rienced a campaign of "very unpleasant direct intimidation" through
letters and telephone calls. On a number of occasions, when his chil-
dren answered the phone they were shouted at and verbally abused.
The phone would ring in the middle of the night, only to be hung up as
soon as a member of the Sayre family answered. "Even when I went
out, I would be accosted rudely by somebody or other who would
condemn me in a loud voice." Such harassment continued for about six
months, Sayre said, "even to the point where my life was threatened
over the phone; so much so that I had the cathedral guards around the
house for a while."

The ecumenical spirit between Sayre and community rabbis was
strained again six months after the sermon. When eleven Israeli ath-
letes were killed at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, while being
held capture by the radical "Black September" guerrillas, Dean Sayre
shared the shock and revulsion felt around the world. Together with
rabbis and other Jewish leaders in Washington, he immediately began
to plan a memorial service in the cathedral.

Three days after the tragedy Israeli warplanes attacked Palestinian
camps in Syria and Lebanon, killing 40 people. Sayre then told the
rabbis of his intention to "make this a more general service than just for
victims of Arab killing," memorializing the dead Palestinians as well.

Confronted with this prospect, the rabbis did not participate after
all. There were, however, a number of Jews among the approximately
500 persons who attended the broadened memorial service. They heard
Dean Sayre describe the Arab guerillas as "misguided and desperately
misled" victims "of all the bitterness their lives had been surrounded

 

Church and State 259

with since birth, bitterness bora of issues left callously unresolved by
any international conscience/ 9

He condemned the Israeli retaliation: "An eye for an eye, tooth for
tooth is the rationale of that violence, by which I am desolate to think
the government of Israel has sacrificed any moral position of injured
innocence." The Dean invoked the broader historical and humanitarian
view which had marked his Palm Sunday sermon in words which might
well be repeated for every victim of Middle East violence:

I perceive that the victim of the violence which we mourn today is not only a
latter-day Jew upon the blood-stained soil of Germany, nor yet the Arab pris-
oner of an equally violent heritage. The victim is all of us, the whole human
race upon this earth.

Despite these words, unexceptional in their Christian message,
Sayre was treated as though he somehow was a preacher of extremism.
His career never had quite the shine it had before his forthright words
on the Middle East.

Now in semiretirement on Martha's Vineyard, an island off Cape
Cod, Sayre serves as chaplain at the local hospital but has no regular
church responsibilities. One morning in 1983, 1 delayed his project for
the morning — digging clams — to ask if the controversial Palm Sunday
message had had any effect on his career. Still robust in voice and
spirit, Sayre answered without hesitation: "Yes, very definitely. I knew
it would. It's not popular to speak out. I don't like to speculate about it,
because no one knows what would have happened. But I think I was a
dangerous commodity from then on, not to be considered for bishop or
anything else."

 

"I Felt I Had to Do Something"

The American religious community has seen few figures with the
stature of Dean Sayre willing to speak out forcefully for peace and
justice for all Middle East peoples. At the time of the Palm Sunday
sermon in 1972, he was one of the most prominent spokesman of
American Christianity: a powerful and intellectually gifted man wield-
ing the authority of Washington Cathedral's prestigious pulpit. Despite
the price Sayre paid for his courageous stand, younger voices are
emerging which express similar resolve and depth of commitment.

The Reverend Don Wagner, a Presbyterian from Chicago, has
risen quickly to the forefront of those within the religious community
who seek to educate the public on realities in the Middle East and to
counter the religious bias which often obscures awareness of those

 

260 They Dare to Speak Out

realities. His experiences have also brought him firsthand acquaintance
with the intimidation which such efforts call forth.

Wagner first became involved in public debate over the Middle
East while serving as associate pastor of a large Presbyterian church in
Evanston, Illinois. He was at the time, in his own words, "very pro-
Israel." In the wake of the first oil crisis, in 1974 the young pastor
helped organize a series of speakers within the church, alternating
between pro-Israeli and pro-Arab points of view. He felt the series
would aid his parishioners to understand better this unprecedented
event. Wagner was quite surprised when, halfway through, he began
receiving pressure to stop the series. A barrage of anonymous tele-
phone calls threatened picketing outside the church and more severe,
unspecified reprisals if the series continued.

Wagner did not stop. In the end, however, the series was marred
by the refusal of two Jewish members of the final panel to take
part. They announced a half-hour before the scheduled discussion
that the presence of an Arab academic on the panel rendered the event
anti-Semitic and that they consequently refused to dignify it with their
presence. They implied that Wagner had deceived them about the
make-up of the panel and the nature of the discussion, although the
topic of the discussion and the list of participants had been publicized
well in advance.

Wagner suspected that these men had been pressured to quit the
conference by their rabbis. This suspicion was reinforced later when he
learned that many of the earlier telephone calls had also been from
members of the local Jewish community. One of the callers even told
him directly: "I am a Jew, and this kind of activity is very anti-Semitic.
For a Christian to be doing this is unconscionable." This was an eye-
opening experience for Wagner. He discovered, as have others who
have dared to speak out and become involved, that one need not actu-
ally criticize the Jewish people or the state of Israel to be labelled anti-
Semitic. Simply raising questions about Middle East issues and
assuming that the answers may not all be obvious is enough to evoke
the charge.

Wagner first traveled to the Middle East in 1977. He paid his own
way but traveled with representatives of the Palestine Human Rights
Campaign (PHRC), an organization concerned with the protection of
Palestinian rights. After spending time with refugees and other resi-
dents in Beirut, the West Bank and Jerusalem, Wagner felt his long-
standing sympathy for the displaced Palestinian refugees growing into a
strong personal imperative. "I felt I had to do something," he recently
recalled.

After his return to United States, he learned how difficult it could

 

Church and State 261

be to "do something." Shortly before his departure for the Middle East,
Wagner had arranged a church speaking engagement for Dr. Israel
Shahak, a prominent Israeli critic of government policy. He returned to
discover that the senior minister of his church had acceded to pressure
from local rabbis to cancel the Shahak engagement without informing
either him or Shahak. The senior minister explained that the local
rabbis had convinced him that it would be "in the best interests of the
church and Jewish relations" if the appearance of such a well-known
critic of Israeli policy were cancelled.

Undeterred, Wagner became increasingly active in speaking up
about the Palestinian plight, offering Sunday morning prayers for the
refugees, promoting more educational activities, and even bringing Pal-
estinian Christians to his pulpit to speak. His activities led not only to a
continuation of public criticism and pressure but also to problems
within the staff of his own church as well. One associate frequently
referred to him as "the PLO pastor," and staff friction grew as Wagner
proceeded with plans for the First LaGrange Conference, (La-
Grange I), named for the Illinois town in which it was held in the spring
of 1979.

This conference, like LaGrange II which followed in May 1981,
was aimed at raising awareness of the Palestinian refugee situation
among American church groups and leaders. Both meetings were at-
tended by a broad ecumenical body of Christians, including Evangel-
ical, mainline Protestant, Roman Catholic and Orthodox. The first
conference was jointly sponsored by PHRC and the Middle East task
force of the Chicago Presbytery. The second was sponsored by PHRC
and the Christian peace groups Pax Christi and Sojourners. The theme
of these conferences was summed up in the title of LaGrange II: "To-
ward Biblical Foundations for a Just Peace in the Holy Land."

After a series of speakers and panels, each conference issued a
statement. These two documents have become a topic of debate within
the American religious community. The statements stress the common
humanity of Arabs, Jews, and Christians and call upon the American
Christian churches to be more active in spreading information and
promoting reconciliation and peace. Specifically, the churches are en-
joined to "encourage dialogue with other Christians as well as Jews and
others concerning the priorities of peace in the Holy Land" and to
"inform and educate their people of the historical roots of the Israeli
Palestinian conflict."

The participants in LaGrange I and II made a significant step in
ecumenical cooperation for greater public understanding of the Middle
East. Unfortunately, the opponents of cooperation and understanding
were also in attendance.

 

262 They Dare to Speak Out

Prior to the convening of LaGrange I, the Chicago Presbytery
received pressure from the local chapter of the Anti-Defamation
League, led by associate director Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, to withdraw
Presbyterian sponsorship of the conference. There were telephone
calls, an extensive letter-writing campaign, and finally meetings be-
tween Jewish leaders and members of the church hierarchy.

The elders of the church stood by Wagner, but the Jewish commu-
nity promptly passed judgment on the conference. The day before the
conference convened, the ADL issued a press release condemning its
"anti-Semitic bias."

Efforts to discredit the conference did not end there. The slate of
speakers had been planned to include Father John Polakowski, a noted
writer on the Holocaust and active Zionist. The morning of the confer-
ence Father Polakowski sent a registered letter to Wagner announcing
his withdrawal from the conference. He had been fully informed as to
the nature of the conference and the identity of many of the other
speakers, but he denounced the conference as unfairly biased against
the Israeli perspective. He fulfilled his own prophecy. His decision to
deprive the conference of his own perspective caused the Zionist view
to be underrepresented at LaGrange I.

LaGrange II witnessed a virtual repeat of the same tactic. Rabbi
Arnold Kaiman had agreed to address a section of the conference
entitled "Religious People Talking from Their Perspectives." He had
been invited to speak partly because of his long-standing personal
friendship with Ayoub Talhami, co-convenor of the conference.
Talhami had discussed the planned conference with Rabbi Kaiman in
detail, even sending him a draft copy of the conference flier, and, of
course, the rabbi was aware of the previous conference. The day of the
conference Kaiman sent a special delivery letter to Wagner, Talhami
and others announcing his withdrawal from the conference. The letter
denounced Talhami and the convenors of the conference for having
"misled" and "deceived" him. Talhami felt that the letter was intended
mainly for Kaiman' s congregational board, both because the chairman
of that board was a co-addressee of the letter and because the accusa-
tions of deceit were so preposterous.

Whatever his reasons, Kaiman went beyond a personal refusal to
speak and repudiation of the conference. He provided copies of his
letter to reporters, so that the withdrawal of a pro-Zionist could be
publicized before the conference could issue its statement.

To Wagner, the last-minute withdrawals of Polakowski and Kaiman
after it was too late to schedule other pro-Israel speakers suggested
that these supporters of Israel were more concerned with discrediting
opposing points of view than with stating their own in an atmosphere of

 

Church and State 263

free and open debate. These withdrawals added color to subsequent
ADL charges that the LaGrange Conferences were "anti-Israel confer-
ences" or "PLO gatherings," despite the balanced character of the
statements which emerged from the conferences.

However, the most disturbing incident to emerge from LaGrange I
and II did not involve attempts to discredit the conferences them-
selves, but false charges made against one of the participants.

Sister Miriam Ward, a professor of humanities at Trinity College in
Vermont and a Catholic nun, has a long record of humanitarian con-
cern for Palestinian refugees. By her own description, her role in La-
Grange II was modest. "I had doubts about whether I could justify the
expense of going," she recently recalled. Sister Miriam moderated a
panel discussion and received an award for her humanitarian endeavors.
Like Mr. Wagner, she knew from experience the price of speaking out
on Palestinian questions. Her activities had also attracted hate mail and
personal innuendoes. Still, she was not prepared for the smear which
resulted from her participation at LaGrange.

Sister Miriam was singled out for a personal attack in The Jewish
Week-American Examiner, a prominent New York City Jewish publica-
tion. The June 21, 1981, issue gave prominent coverage to a scheme to
disrupt Israeli policy on the occupied West Bank which Sister Miriam
had supposedly advanced at the conference. The article claimed that
she had urged that "churches finance a project with staff in the U.S.
and fieldworkers in Israel and the West Bank for the purpose of 'spying
on the Israelis.'" She was reported saying, "By the time the Israelis
caught on to what was going on and expelled a fieldworker, they
[presumably Sister Miriam and her co-conspirators] would have a re-
placement ready." The Jewish Week article added that "the proposal
was accepted without dissent, and ways of obtaining church funds for
it were discussed."

The report was a complete fabrication. No one at the LaGrange
Conference had suggested such a plan, least of all Sister Miriam, and
she was stunned when Wagner telephoned from Chicago informing her
of the printed allegations. She had always shunned publicity for her
humanitarian activities, and felt intimidated and intensely alone at be-
ing singled out for attack. "1 was physically ill for some time," she
recalls, "and could not even discuss the matter with other members of
my religious community."

After pondering how — and whether — to respond, she finally
sought the advice of a prominent biblical scholar then guest-lecturing at
TVinity College. He advised her to see an attorney about the possibility
of legal action. The attorney was sympathetic and agreed to take at
least preliminary action free of charge. After several letters from the

 

264 They Dare to Speak Out

attorney elicited no response from the newspaper, the same scholar—
himself a prominent member of the New York Jewish community —
personally telephoned the editor. Sister Miriam feels that it was his call
that impelled the editor to act.

In January 1982 — more than six months after the original
charges — a retraction was finally printed in The Jewish Week-American
Examiner. The editors admitted that, "on checking, we find that there is
no basis for the quotations attributed to" Sister Miriam. They ex-
plained that the story had been "furnished by a service" and "was not
covered by any staff member of the Jewish Week." In their retraction,
the editors added that they were "happy to withdraw any reflection
upon" Sister Miriam.

Yet, as Sister Miriam discovered, the published apology could not
erase the original charge from the minds of all readers. Later the same
year, a Jewish physician from New York was visiting Burlington as part
of a campus program at THnity College. In a conversation between this
woman and another member of Sister Miriam's religious order, the
name of the biblical scholar involved in Sister Miriam's case came up.
The nun mentioned that he had recently visited THnity at the invitation
of Sister Miriam.

Recognizing the name from the original Jewish Week article, the
physician repeated with indignation the accusations made against Sis-
ter Miriam. She had not seen the retraction. The visitor was quickly
informed that the charges were false. Sister Miriam cited this as an
example of why she is convinced that the damage to her reputation can
never really be undone. "It's the original thing that does the harm. I
just don't want it to happen to anybody else."

 

Chapter 10

 

Not All Jews Toe the Line

 

In its efforts to quell criticism of Israel, the pro-Israel community's first
goal is to still Jewish critics. In this quest it receives strong support
from the Israeli government.

Every government of Israel gives high priority to maintaining
unity among U.S. Jews. This unity is regarded as a main line of Israel's
defense — second in importance only to the Israeli army — and essential
to retaining the support Israel must have from the United States gov-
ernment.

American Jews are made to feel guilty about enjoying safety and
the good life in the United States while their fellow Jews in Israel hold
the ramparts, pay high taxes, and fight wars. As Rabbi Balfour Brick-
ner states: "We hide behind the argument that it is not for us to speak
our minds because the Israelis have to pay the price. 9 '

For most Jews, open criticism of Israeli policy is unthinkable. The
theme is survival — survival of the Zionist dream, of Judaism, of Jews
themselves. The fact that the Jewish community in the United States
has produced little debate in recent years on Middle East questions
even within its own ranks does not mean that all its members agree.

In private, many American Jews hold positions in sharp dis-
agreement with official Israeli policies. The differences are startling. A
1983 survey by the American Jewish Committee revealed that about
half of U.S. Jews favor a homeland for the Palestinians on the West
Bank and Gaza and recommend that Israel stop the expansion of settle-
ments in order to encourage peace negotiations. Three-fourths want
Israel to talk to the Palestine Liberation Organization if it recognizes
Israel and renounces terrorism. Only 21 percent want Israel to main-
tain permanent control over the West Bank. On each of these proposi-
tions, the plurality of American Jews takes issue with the policies and
declarations of the Israeli government.

265

 

266 They Dare to Speak Out

A plurality also holds that American Jews individually, as well as
in organized groups, should feel free to criticize Israeli policy publicly.
Of those surveyed, 70 percent say U.S. Jewish organizations should
feel free to criticize. On this question, even Jewish leaders say they
welcome criticism: 40 percent say organizations should feel free to
criticize; 37 percent disagree. This means that only one-third of the
leaders say they want to stifle organizational criticism of Israel. The
vote by individual Jews for free and open debate is even stronger. Only
31 percent declare that American Jews individually should not criticize
Israeli policy publicly; 57 percent disagree. On this question, leaders
and non-leaders vote exactly alike.

The results of the survey are not easily reconciled with the facts
about public dissent. While American Jews say they strongly oppose
some Israeli policies and believe that organizations and individuals
should feel free to criticize these policies openly, the simple fact is that
public criticism is almost non-existent. The views expressed in the
survey must be regarded more as a "wish list" than a statement of
principles which the people surveyed actually try to carry out.

In public, Jewish organizations in the United States support Israeli
policies with a unanimity that is broken only in rare circumstances.
They either give open support or remain silent. The leaders of B'nai
B'rith and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) ex-
pressed guarded support for President Reagan's Middle East peace
plan immediately after it was announced in September 1982, but these
expressions occurred before the Israeli government had stated its posi-
tion. Once Israeli opposition was known, these organizations dropped
the subject.

"Trampled to Death"

Of the more than 200 principal Jewish organizations functioning on
a national scale, only the New Jewish Agenda and its predecessor,
Breira, have challenged any stated policy of the Israeli government.

In return for their occasional criticism of Israel's policies, the two
organizations were ostracized and kept out of the organized Jewish
community. Breira lasted only five years. Organized in 1973, its peak
national membership was about 1,000. Named for the Hebrew word
meaning "alternative," it called on Jewish institutions to be "open to
serious debate," and proposed "a comprehensive peace between Is-
rael, the Arab states, and a Palestinian homeland that is ready to live in
peace alongside Israel." Prominent in its leadership were Rabbis Ar-
nold Jacob Wolf, David Wolf Silverman, Max Ticktin, David Saper-
stein, and Balfour Brickner.

The counterattack was harsh. The National Journal reports that

 

Not All Jews Toe the Line 267

Briera was "bitterly attacked by many leaders of the Jewish establish-
ment" and that a Breira meeting was "invaded and ransacked" by
members of the militant Jewish Defense League. Some members of
Breira came under intense pressure to quit either the organization or
their jobs. Jewish leaders were warned to avoid Breira or fund raising
would be hurt.

Israeli officials joined rabbis in denouncing the organization. Caro-
lyn Toll, a reporter for the Chicago Tribune and formerly on the board
of directors of Breira, quotes a rabbi: "My bridges are burned. Once
you take a position like this [challenging Israeli positions], the orga-
nized Jewish community closes you out." Officials from the Israeli
consulates in Boston and Philadelphia warned Jews against attending a
Breira conference.

Breira came under attack from both right and left within the Jew-
ish community. A pamphlet branding some of its members as "radi-
cals" was quoted by Jewish publications and later distributed by
AIPAC. Breira was accused of being allied with the radical U.S. Labor
Party. An unsigned "fact sheet" suggested that it really was a group of
Jewish radicals supporting the PLO. The Seattle Jewish Transcript said
it was run by a "coterie of leftist revolutionaries" who opposed Israel.

Irving Howe, speaking at the final national conference of Breira in
1977, said the tactics used to smear the organization were an "outrage
such as we have not known for a long time in the Jewish community."
At the same meeting, retired Israeli General Mattityahu Peled, who was
often boycotted by Jewish groups while on U.S. lecture tours, said,
"The pressure applied on those who hold dissenting views here [in the
U.S.] is far greater than the pressure on us in Israel. I would say that
probably we in Israel enjoy a larger degree of tolerance than you do
here within the Jewish community." Breira disbanded shortly
afterward.

In December 1980, 700 American Jews gathered in Washington,
D.C., to found another organization of dissenters, the New Jewish
Agenda. Composed mainly of young liberals, it called for "compromise
through negotiations with the Palestinian people and Israel's Arab
neighbors" and opposed Israeli policies in the West Bank and Leba-
non.

It was soon barred from associating with other Jewish groups. In
June 1983, its Washington, D.C., chapter was refused membership in
the Jewish Community Council, a group which included 260 religious,
educational, fraternal and social service organizations. The council
members voted 98 to 70 to overturn the recommendation of the group's
executive board, which had voted 22 to five for admission. Irwin Stein,
president of the Washington chapter of the Zionist Organization of

 

268 They Dare to Speak Out

America charged that the group was "far out" and "pro-Arab rather
than pro-Israel." Moe Rodenstein, representing the Agenda, said the
group would like to be a part of "the debate" and added, "We're proud
of what we're doing."

"It Is a Form of McCarthyism"

Like the Jewish organizations, individual Jews rarely express
public disagreement with Israel policies, despite the broad and funda-
mental differences they seem to hold. The handful who have spoken up
have had few followers and even fewer defenders. To Carolyn Toll, the
taboo against criticism is powerful and extensive:

I believe even Jews outside the Jewish community are affected by internal
taboos on discussion — for if one is discouraged from bringing up certain sub-
jects within the Jewish community, think how much more disloyal it could be to
raise them outside!

Toll laments the "suppression of free speech in American Jewish
institutions — the pressures that prevent dovish or dissident Jews from
organizing in synagogues, Jewish community centers, and meetings of
major national Jewish organizations" and denunciations of American
Friends Service Committee representatives as "anti-Semitics" and
"dupes of the Palestine Liberation Organization" for insisting that "any
true peace must include a viable state for the Palestinians."

A successful Jewish author suffered a different type of "excom-
munication" when she wrote a book critical of Israel. In The Fate of the
Jews, a candid and anguished history of U.S. Jewry and its present-day
dilemma, Roberta Strauss Feuerlicht explains that Zionism has become
the "religion" for many Jews. This is why, she writes, that "opposition
to Zionism or criticism of Israel is now heresy and cause for excom-
munication," adding that the idealism attributed to Israel by most sup-
porters has been marred by years of "patriotism, nationalism,
chauvinism and expansionism." She declares, "Israel shields itself
from legitimate criticism by calling her critics anti-Semitic; it is a form
of McCarthyism and fatally effective."

A year after its publication in 1983 by Times Books, the book was
still largely ignored. The Los Angeles Times was the only major news-
paper to review it. The publisher undertook no advertising, nor even a
minimal promotional tour. Feuerlicht, the author of fifteen successful
books, was subjected to what Mark A. Bruzonsky, another Jewish
journalist, described as a "combination of slander and neglect." When
copies sent to prominent "liberal Jews, Christians, civil libertarians
and blacks" brought no response, Feuerlicht concluded, "It would

 

Not All Jews Toe the Line 269

seem that with universal assent, the book is being stoned to death with
silence."

Other Jews who dare voice guarded criticism of Israel encounter
threats which are far from silent. Threatening phone calls have become
a part of life for Gail Pressberg of Philadelphia, a Jewish member of the
professional staff of the American Friends Service Committee. In her
work she is active in projects supporting the Palestinian cause. She
reports that abuse calls are so frequent that "I don't pay any attention
anymore." One evening, after receiving several calls on her unlisted
telephone in which her life was threatened for "deserting Israel," in
desperation she left the receiver off the hook. A few minutes later the
same voice called on her roommate's phone, also unlisted, resuming
the threats.

In my 22 years in Congress, I can recall no entry in Congressional
Record disclosing a speech critical of Israeli policy by a Jewish mem-
ber of the House or Senate. Jewish members may voice discontent in
private conversation but never on the public record. Only a few Jewish
academicians, like Noam Chomsky, a distinguished linguist, have spo-
ken out. Most, like Chomsky, are protected in their careers by tenure
and thus are able to become controversial without jeopardizing their
positions.

"Dissent Becomes Treason"

Journalism is the occupation in which Jews most often and most
consistently voice criticism of Israel. Richard Cohen of the Washington
Post is a notable example.

During Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon, Cohen warned: "...
The administration can send Begin a message that he does not have an
infinite line of credit in America — that we will not, for instance, ap-
prove the bombing of innocent civilians."

In a later column, Cohen summarized the reaction to his criticism
of Israeli policy: "My phone these days is an instrument of torture.
Merely to answer it runs the risk of being insulted. The mail is equally
bad. The letters are vicious, some of them quite personal." He noted
that U.S. Jews are held to a different standard than Israelis when they
question Israel's policies.

Here dissent becomes treason — and treason not to a state or even an ideal
(Zionism), but to a people. There is tremendous pressure for conformity, to
show a united front and to adopt the view that what is best for Israel is
something only the government there can know.

In a world in which there are plenty of people who hate Jews, it is ridiculous to

 

270 They Dare to Speak Out

manufacture a whole new category out of nothing more than criticism of the
Begin government. Nothing could be worse for Israel in the long run than for
its friends not to distinguish between when it is right and when it is wrong.

Mark Bruzonsky, a persistent journalistic critic of these Israeli
excesses, concludes, "There's no way in the world that a Jew can
avoid a savage and personal vendetta if his intent is to write a truthful
and meaningful account of what he has experienced."

Being Jewish did not spare the foreign news editor of Hearst news-
papers from similar problems. In early 1981 John Wallach produced a
television documentary, "Israel and Palestinians: Will Reason Pre-
vail?" funded by the Foundation for Middle East Peace, a nonprofit
institute established by Washington lawyer Merle Thorpe, Jr. His goal
was a fair, balanced presentation of the problems confronting Israel in
dealing with the Palestinians on the West Bank and Gaza. Public televi-
sion broadcast the program without incident in Washington, D.C., New
York and other major cities, but Jewish leaders in Los Angeles de-
manded an advance showing and upon seeing the film put up such a
strong protest that station KCT inserted a statement disclaiming any
responsibility for the content of the documentary.

Wallach received many complaints about the presentation, the
most common being that it portrayed Palestinian children in a favorable
light — some were blond and blue-eyed, and all attractive — a departure
from the frequently negative stereotype of Palestinians. Before the film
was produced, Israeli Ambassador Simcha Dinitz called Wallach, urg-
ing him to drop the project. When Wallach persisted, invitations to
receptions and dinners at the Israeli embassy suddenly stopped. For a
time he was not even notified of press briefings,

Wallach found himself in hot water again in 1982 when con-
troversy erupted after a formal dinner he had organized to recognize
Ambassador Philip Habib's diplomatic endeavors in Lebanon. Several
cabinet officers, Congressmen and members of the diplomatic commu-
nity attended the dinner. During the program, messages from several
heads of government were read. Wallach asked Senator Charles Percy,
chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, to read the one from
Israel's Prime Minister Menachem Begin to the audience. On Wal-
Iach's recommendation, Percy did not read these two sentences:

In the wake of the Operation Peace in Galilee, Phil Habib made great efforts to
bring about the evacuation of the bulk of the terrorists from Beirut and Leba-
non. He worked hard to achieve this goal and, with the victory of the Israel
Defense Forces, his diplomatic endeavors contributed to the dismantling of that
center of international terrorism which had been a danger to all free nations.

Moshe Arens, the Israeli ambassador, was furious. He sent an

 

Not All Jews Toe the Line 27 1

angry letter to Percy expressing his shock and stating, "Although I
realize that you may not have agreed with its contents, . . . this glaring
omission seems to me to be without precedent." He also wrote to
Wallach, complaining of "unprecedented discourtesy" and calling the
omission an attempt to "cater to the ostrich-like attitude of some of the
ambassadors from Arab countries." Arens also wrote protest letters to
the management of Hearst Corporation, which had picked up the tab
for the dinner.

Wallach told another journalist the next day why he had recom-
mended the omission: "I thought it was insulting to the Arabs [who
were present] to have a message about war and terrorism at an evening
that was a tribute to Phil Habib and peace."

Wallach said, "The irony was that, while I got lots of harsh, critical
mail from those supporting Begin, I got no words of support or com-
mendation from the other side. It makes one wonder — when there is no
support, only criticism, when one risks his career."

Similar questions are raised by Nat Hentoff, a Jewish columnist
who frequently criticizes Israel and challenges the conscience of his
fellow Jews in his column for the Village Voice. During the Israeli
invasion of Lebanon in 1982 he lamented:

At no time during his visit here [in the United States] was [Prime Minister]
Begin given any indication that there are some of us who fear that he and Ariel
Sharon are destroying Israel from within. Forget the Conference of Presidents
of Major American Jewish Organizations and the groups they represent. They
have long since decided to say nothing in public that is critical of Israel.

Hentoff deplored the intimidation that silences most Jewish
critics:

I know staff workers for the American Jewish Congress and the American
Jewish Committee who agonize about their failure to speak out, even on their
own time, against Israeli injustice. They don't, because they figure they'll get
fired if they do.

The threat of being fired was forcefully put to a group of em-
ployees of Jewish organizations in the United States during a 1982 tour
of Lebanon. Israel's invasion was at its peak, and a number of em-
ployees of the Jewish National Fund — a nationwide organization which
raises money for the purchase and development of Israeli land — were
touring Lebanese battlefield areas. Suddenly, while the group was
traveling on the bus, Dr. Sam Cohen of New York, the executive vice-
president of the JNF, stood up and made a surprising announcement. A
member of the tour, Charles Fishbein, at the time executive for the
Washington office, recalls, "He told us that when we get back to the

 

272 They Dare to Speak Out

United States, we must defend what Israel is doing in Lebanon. He
said that if we criticize Israel, we will be terminated immediately."

Fishbein said the group was on one of several hastily arranged
tours designed to quell rising Jewish criticism of the invasion. In all,
over 1,500 prominent American Jews were flown to Israel for tours of
hospitals and battlefields. The tours ranged in length from four to seven
days. The more prestigious the group of visitors, the shorter, more
compressed the schedule. Disclosing only Israeli hardship, the tours
were successful in quieting criticism within the ranks of Jewish leader-
ship and also inspired many actively to defend Israeli war policies.

 

"The Time May Not Be Far Off"

Peer pressure does not always muffle Jewish voices. A man who
pioneered in establishing the state of Israel and helped to organize its
crucial underpinnings of support in the United States later became a
frequent critic of Israeli policy.

Nahum Goldmann is a towering figure in the history of Zionism.
He played a crucial role in the founding of Israel, meeting its early
financial problems, influencing its leaders, and organizing a powerful
constituency for it in the United States. His service to Zionism
spanned nearly fifty years. During World I, when Palestine was still
part of the Ottoman Empire, Goldmann tried to persuade Turkish au-
thorities to allow Jewish immigration. In the 1930s he advocated the
Zionist cause at the League of Nations. During the Truman administra-
tion, he lobbied for the United Nations resolution calling for partition
of Palestine and the establishment of Israel.

After the 1947 U.N. vote for the partition, unlike most Jews who
were eager to proclaim the state of Israel, Goldmann urged delay. He
hoped that the Jews would first reach an understanding with the Arab
states and thereby avoid war.

He lamented the bitter legacy of the war that ensued. He wrote,
"The unexpected defeat was a shock and a terrible blow to Arab pride.
Deeply injured, they turned all their endeavors to the healing of their
psychological wound: to victory and revenge." To the Israelis,

The victory offered such a glorious contrast to the centuries of persecution and
humiliation, of adaptation and compromise, that it seemed to indicate the only
direction that could possibly be taken from then on. To brook nothing, to
tolerate no attack, cut through Gordian knots, and shape history by creating
facts seemed so simple, so compelling, so satisfying that it became Israel's
policy in its conflict with the Arab world.

When the fledgling nation was struggling to build its economy,

 

Not AllJews Toe the Line 111

Goldmann negotiated with West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer
the agreement under which the Germans paid over $30 billion in com-
pensation and restitution to Israel and individual Jews.

Yet he was bitterly condemned by some Israelis for his efforts.
Philip Klutznick of Chicago, Goldmann's close colleague in endeavors
for Israel, recalls the tremendous opposition, particularly from such
extreme nationalists as Menachem Begin, to accepting anything from
Germany. "At that time many Jews felt that any act that would tend to
bring the Germans back into the civilized world was an act against the
Jewish people. Feelings ran deep."

Goldmann's disagreement with Israeli policy toward the Arabs
was his central concern. To those who criticized his advocacy of a
Palestinian state, he responded,

If they do not believe that Arab hostility can some day be alleviated, then we
might just as well liquidate Israel at once, so as to save the millions of Jews
who live there. . . . There is no hope for a Jewish state which has to face
another 50 years of struggle against Arab enemies.

Goldmann respected the deep commitment to the Jewish people of
Israel's first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, but he regretted that
Ben Gurion was "organically incapable of compromise" and that his
"dominant force" was "his will for power." Goldmann's essential opti-
mism and his instinctive striving to temper hatreds and seek compro-
mise were qualities that distinguished him from so many of his
contemporaries — on both the Arab and Israeli sides of the conflict.

"Goldmann might have been prime minister of Israel," Stanley
Karnow wrote in 1980, "but he chose instead to live in Europe and act
as diplomatic broker, frequently infuriating Israeli officials with his
initiatives." Seeking an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict, he attempted to
visit Cairo at the invitation of Egyptian President Nasser in 1970. But
the Israeli government headed by Golda Meir resented his maverick
ways and blocked the mission.

Goldmann was sharply critical of the Israeli government of
Menachem Begin. He decried what he saw as Israel's denial of the
original Zionist vision. He rejected the claim of some Israelis that they
must occupy "Greater Israel" because it was promised to them by God.
He called this thesis "a profanation."

Goldmann understood the need for U.S. support. He lived in the
United States for more than 20 years and knew American Jewry well.
In 1969 he wrote approvingly of Zionist political action in the United
States: "It is not fair to single out Zionist pressure for censure. Democ-
racy consists of a mutiplicity of pressure-exerting forces, each of which
is trying to make itself felt."

 

274 They Dare to Speak Out

Near the end of his life, however, Goldmann's views of the pro-
Israel lobby changed. In 1980 he warned:

Blind support of the Begin government may be more menacing for Israel than
any danger of Arab attack. American Jewry is more generous than any other
group in American life and is doing great things. . . . But by misusing its
political influence, by exaggerating the aggressiveness of the Jewish lobby in
Washington, by giving the Begin regime the impression that the Jews are strong
enough to force the American administration and Congress to follow every
Israeli desire, they lead Israel on a ruinous path which, if continued, may lead
to dire consequences.

He blamed the Israeli lobby for U.S. failures to bring about a
comprehensive settlement in the Middle East. "It was to a very large
degree because of electoral considerations, fear of the pro-Israel lobby,
and of the Jewish vote."

He warned of trouble ahead if the lobby continued its present
course. "It is now slowly becoming something of a negative factor. Not
only does it distort the expectations and political calculations of Israel,
but the time may not be far off when American public opinion will be
sick and tired of the demands of Israel and the aggressiveness of
American Jewry."

In 1978, two years before he wrote his alarmed evaluation of the
Israeli lobby, New York magazine reported that Goldmann had pri-
vately urged officials of the Carter administration "to break the back"
of the lobby: "Goldmann pleaded with the administration to stand firm
and not back off from confrontations with the organized Jewish com-
munity as other administrations had done." Unless this was done, he
argued, "President Carter's plans for a Middle East settlement would
die in stillbirth."

His words were prophetic. The comprehensive settlement Carter
sought was frustrated by the intransigence of Israel and its U.S. lobby.

President Ronald Reagan revived the idea of a comprehensive
Middle East peace just four days before Goldmann's death in Septem-
ber 1982. A state funeral was conducted in Israel. As Klutznick, Israeli
Labor Party leaders Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Rabin and others stood on
Israel's Mount Herzl awaiting the great Zionist leader's burial along-
side the five other former presidents of the World Zionist Organization,
the conversation centered on the Reagan plan, which Prime Minister
Begin had already rejected.

Symbolic of organized Jewry's reaction to Goldmann's life was
the response of the Israeli government to his death. Begin gave permis-
sion for the burial but did not attend. In a strikingly empty commentary
on the life of a man who had done so much to bring Israel into being

 

Not All Jews Toe the Line 275

and give it strength, Acting Prime Minister Simcha Ehrlich said only,
"We regret that a man of so many virtues and abilities went the wrong
way." It was a callous epitaph for one of Israel's great pioneers.

 

"You Must Listen When We Speak III"

At 7:45 a.m. the towering John Hancock Building in Chicago's
downtown loop area was just beginning to come to life. On the fortieth
floor were the offices of Philip Klutznick — attorney, developer, former
U.S. secretary of commerce, president emeritus of B'nai B'rith, orga-
nizer and former chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major
Jewish Organizations, president emeritus of the World Jewish Con-
gress. At that hour only Philip Klutznick was at work.

He was on the phone, seated on a sofa at one end of his spacious
office, his back to a panoramic view of the building across the street
where he and his wife make their home. On the walls were autographed
photographs of the seven presidents of the United States under whom
he has served.

This morning, in the fall of 1983, he was talking with Ashraf Ghor-
bal, Egypt's ambassador to the United States and a friend of many
years. Ghorbal was preparing for a visit to the United States by his
leader, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. He wanted to make sure the
right people would be available to meet with him. The right people
included Klutznick.

Klutznick's vigorous appearance and unrelenting pace belie his
seventy-six years. His deep, rich voice echoes around the near-empty
offices. His eyes smile through heavy glasses, and his firm, confident
manner is that of a man in the prime of life.

But his apparent confidence about the flexibility of U.S. Jews be-
lies his own experience working within — and outside — the establish-
ment for sixty years. A visitor sharing coffee and conversation would
never guess that this short, handsome, optimistic man — whose persist-
ence and spirit helped to create Israel, pay its bills and provide its
arms — had become, in the eyes of many Jews, a virtual castaway.

Measured by offices held and services rendered, his credentials in
the Jewish establishment are impeccable. But in the eyes of most
Jewish leaders, he is guilty of a cardinal sin: daring publicly to chal-
lenge Israeli government policy. This puts him at odds with the very
Jewish organizations he did so much to bring into being.

He speaks from a base of confidence that includes business suc-
cess, public office in both Democratic and Republican administrations,
and high honors in the Jewish community. After seeing his savings

 

276 They Dare to Speak Out

wiped out by the Great Depression, he recovered, became a successful
community developer, a millionaire, a leader of the Jewish community,
and a diplomat.

In early years he worked to bring strength and unity to the Jewish
community, a quest that took on urgency in 1942 when word arrived of
Adolf Hitler's barbaric program to annihilate European Jews. Henry
Monsky, an Omaha lawyer and president of B'nai B'rith, convened a
meeting in Pittsburgh, inviting the membership of 41 major Jewish
organizations. This gathering, identified as the American Jewish Con-
ference, marked the first serious effort to unite U.S. Jews against the
Holocaust.

"You know, we are an unusual group of people," Klutznick chuck-
les. "We fight over anything." This time the fight was over whether
Jews would back the establishment of a national homeland. Monsky,
the first committed Zionist to head B'nai B'rith, pulled the organization
from its neutral stance into advocacy. When the conference met in
early 1943 and cast its lot with Zionism, two of the largest Jewish
organizations — the American Jewish Committee and the Jewish Labor
Committee — walked out in protest.

"Anyway," Klutznick continues, "that meeting started a move-
ment that stayed alive for four years." It also brought him for the first
time in close association with Nahum Goldmann.

Klutznick and Goldmann wanted the American Jewish Confer-
ence to be permanent. In this effort, Klutznick battled to win the
support of B'nai B'rith. "It was an enormous fight, and we lost," Klutz-
nick recalls.

The bruises were still felt ten years later when Klutznick became
president of B'nai B'rith. His first decision put him at odds with Gold-
mann, who wanted him to help re-create the American Jewish Confer-
ence. Despite his earlier effort, Klutznick now felt it would be divisive.
"I looked him square in the eye and said, Tm not going to do it. If I
tried it now it would split B'nai B'rith right down the middle. At this
moment B'nai B'rith is too weak. I need these people together.' "

Klutznick told him he would "go all the way" on a program for a
Jewish homeland, but he had what he believed to be a better plan for
coordination of American Jews, an organization consisting of just the
presidents of the major organizations. For one thing, the leaders
needed to get acquainted with each other. "Believe it or not," Klutz-
nick recalls, "many had attained these high positions without even
meeting the presidents of other major organizations." Klutznick told
Goldmann: "If we really want to do something, the presidents are the
powerhouses." Goldmann agreed to the plan.

Klutznick's recalls changes: "The fact is during the 1950s people

 

Not All Jews Toe the Line 277

weren't as intense as they are now." As an example, he cites the Jewish
response to the Eisenhower Doctrine, which pledged U.S. help to any
nation in the Middle East threatened by international Communism.
Israeli Prime Minister David Ben Gurion opposed a commitment that
sweeping, arguing that it could lead to U.S. support for nations hostile
to Israel. The Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations
decided to support the U.S. position.

Klutznick recalls the confrontation. "I presided at that meeting,
and we took the position that we should not oppose the president of the
United States, and we didn't. In those days," he said after a long
pause, "we could have those arguments. There was mutual tolerance.'*

Dealing with Israeli officials sometimes tested Klutznick' s toler-
ance. In 1955 the U.S. was horrified at the Israeli massacre of Arab
civilians in the Gaza raid, and Klutznick, as president of B'nai B'rith,
reported the reaction to Jerusalem. He told Israeli Prime Minister
Moshe Sharett: "Moshe, it was terrible. It wasn't the fact Israeli forces
were defending Israel. It was the overwhelming response. It looked
like a disregard for the value of human life."

After a pause, the prime minister answered quietly, "You know,
Phil, I did not even know this was taking place. He [Defense Minister
David Ben Gurion] did this on his own. I hope you will tell him what
you told me." Klutznick met Ben Gurion the next day. "It wasn't long
before he said, 'Phil, what was the reaction to the Gaza raid?' It was
exactly the same question Sharett had asked, and I gave exactly the
same answer."

Klutznick was astonished at Ben Gurion's response :

He stood up. He looked like an angry prophet out of the Bible and got red in the
face. He shouted, 'I am not going to let anybody, American Jews or anybody
else, tell me what I have to do to provide for the security of my people.'

When the prime minister stood up, Klutznick stood up too. Ben
Gurion asked, "Why are are you standing up?" Klutznick answered,
"Well, obviously I have offended you, and I assume that our discussion
is over." Ben Gurion said, "Sit down. Let's talk about something else."
Klutznick recalls, "That's the way it happened. So help me God.
That's just the way it happened, and we had a wonderful talk." Klutz-
nick says Ben Gurion could be as "tough or tougher than Begin," but
when he had made his point he could go back to "being friends."

Klutznick had a similar experience years later with Prime Minister
Begin. In the wake of the Camp David Accords, President Carter
called in Klutznick and seven other Jewish leaders. The president said,
"Look, I need some help. I think I can handle [Egyptian President]
Sadat. We have an understanding, but I am not sure that I can convince

 

278 They Dare to Speak Out

the Prime Minister [Begin]." One of the group interrupted and changed
the subject: "Mr. President, Israel is upset because there will be arms
sent to Arab countries. There is already a bill pending, as you know."
Then the next man said, "Can't you do something to make it more
comfortable for Israel?" Several men in a row spoke in a similar vein.
Klutznick noted Carter's irritation and undertook the role of
peacemaker:

Mr. President, I don't think we've quite got your message. There are all of
these requests for arms. I think what my colleagues are trying to say, if I may
interpret them, is whether there is some way to defer these requests until the
negotiations are over. I don't think it is for us with our limited knowledge to tell
you who should get arms and who should not.

He recalls, "I said that if the questions of arms sales had to be
answered during the Camp David negotiations, whichever way the
president answered them would be difficult." Klutznick says he added,
"And I am not here representing anybody except you, Mr. President.
Our country has to back you as fairly as it can."

Klutznick's remarks got the discussion back on the track Carter
wanted, but they were badly twisted in a news report published the
next day in Israel, where Klutznick was quoted as having told Carter
that he was at the White House meeting representing Egypt, not Israel.
He had, of course, said nothing of the kind and sent a cable to Begin
denying the story. The next day when reporters asked about the inci-
dent, Begin said simply, "I have received a cable from President Klutz-
nick of the World Jewish Congress. He denies any such statement was
made, and that's the end of it."

But that was not the end of it. Klutznick flew to Israel in a few
days for previously scheduled meetings, including an appointment with
Begin. Klutznick recalls the frosty scene. It was the first time Begin did
not stand up and greet him with an embrace. Klutznick spoke first:

Look, Menachem, I know you are angry, but I'm the one that's angry and
entitled to be. When you told the press you got a cable from Klutznick and he
denies it and that's the end of it — is that the right thing to say? I say no. If
someone had said that about you to me, I would have said, i had a cable from
the Prime Minister, and the Prime Minister denies it. And I've known the Prime
Minister for a long time, and his word is good enough for me.'

Begin turned to his assistant and said, "Get that cable." He read a
cable from his ambassador to the United States which gave an inaccu-
rate account of what Klutznick had told Carter, and asked, "What
would you have done?" Klutznick responded, "I would have fired the
ambassador. In his cable he wasn't writing about Phil Klutznick. He

 

Not All Jews Toe the Line 279

was writing about the president of the World Jewish Congress. If he
had any such information his first duty was to call me, not you. He
never called me." Overcome with emotion, Begin stood and embraced
his visitor.

Despite such shows of affection, Klutznick did not pull punches in
his criticism of Begin's later policies and his recommendations on what
the U.S. government should do. In 1981 he deplored the Israeli air
attacks, first on the Iraqi nuclear installation and then in Lebanon.
Later that year he traveled to the Middle East with Harold Saunders, a
former career specialist on the Middle East who served as assistant
secretary of state for Near Eastern and South Asian affairs under Presi-
dent Carter, former diplomat Joseph H. Greene, Jr., and Merle Thorpe,
Jr., president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace. On returning,
Klutznick joined in the group's conclusion that the Camp David peace
process was not enough and that the Palestine Liberation Organization
should be brought into negotiations.

Later in the year, when Saudi Arabia announced its "eight-point
peace plan," Klutznick called it "useful" and argued that Israel at least
"should listen to it."

All of these positions, of course, were violently opposed by Israel
and its U.S. lobby. But Klutznick was not deterred. In mid- 1982 in the
Los Angeles Times and other major newspapers Klutznick wrote:

It is up to the Reagan Administration to face the realities of the Middle East as
boldly as did the Carter Administration. The first step is to halt the conflict in
Lebanon immediately and have Israel's forces withdrawn. This must be fol-
lowed by an enlarged peace process that includes all parties to the conflict —
including Palestinians. Only by doing so without apology and with
determination can America pursue its own best interests, promote Israel's
long-term well-being and protect world peace.

Despite public condemnation for these statements from the Jewish
leadership in the United States, Klutznick privately received praise:
"When I opposed the Iraqi raid, my mail from Jews was about four to
one supportive, and about three to one when I proposed dealing di-
rectly with the PLO," he recalls. "But, you know, some of that support
has to be discounted. There are people in the Jewish community who
will assure me of their support even when they think I'm wrong."

Many more believed him wrong and said so. Abbot Rosen, Mid-
west director of the Anti-Defamation League in Chicago, rejected
Klutznick' s proposal to bring the PLO into the peace process and to
establish a state for the Palestinians as "pie in the sky." He reported to
the Chicago Sun-Times one of the lobby's tired cliches, "Under the

 

280 They Dare to Speak Out

present political circumstances, another Palestinian state, adjacent to
Israel and Jordan, would provide an additional Soviet foothold in the
region."

Robert Schrayer, chairman of the Public Affairs Committee of the
Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago, joined the protest with
another shibboleth: "Since no sovereign nation can be expected to
negotiate its own destruction, Israel should not be pressured to
negotiate with the PLO."

The Near East Report, a weekly newsletter published by the
American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, editorialized against Klutz-
nick's views, and accused him of promoting a "sinister canard" in
calling the Palestinians "a special people in the Arab world, in some
ways like the Jews were in the West following World War II."

The next year Klutznick took his crusade to P&ris, where he joined
forces with his old, ailing compatriot, Nahum Goldmann, and Pierre
Mendfcs-France, a Jew and a former prime minister of France, in a plea
to end Israel's war in Lebanon.

Klutznick' s reason for going to Paris was to attend a meeting of the
World Jewish Congress, but as soon as he landed, Goldmann, then
living in Paris and critically ill, told him, "We've got to get fifty of the
most distinguished Jews of the world to sign a statement to bring this
war in Lebanon to an end." Klutznick responded, "But, first, let's see
if we can write a statement."

Goldmann agreed and took up the subject at lunch the next day
with Mendfcs-France, Le Monde correspondent Eric Rouleau, and
Klutznick, agreeing to consider a draft statement the next day.

That night Klutznick, with the help of his aide, Mark Bruzonsky,
wrote a brief statement which became the basis for the next day's
discussion.

Klutznick recalls the scene, "Mendfes-France is one of the best
editors I've seen in my life. He would look at a word in typical French
fashion in several languages, turning it around every which way. Four
hours later, after sitting there fighting over every word, we had a state-
ment."

Its conclusion was forceful:

The real issue is not whether the Palestinians are entitled to their rights, but
how to bring this about while ensuring Israel's security and regional stability.
Ambiguous concepts such as 'autonomy' are no longer sufficient, for they too
often are used to confuse rather than to clarify. Needed now is the determina-
tion to reach a political accommodation between Israel and Palestinian
nationalism.

The war in Lebanon must stop. Israel must lift its seige of Beirut in order to
facilitate negotiations with the PLO, leading to a political settlement. Mutual

 

Not All Jews Toe the Line 28 1

recognition must be vigorously pursued. And there should be negotiations with
the aim of achieving co-existence between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples
based on self-determination.

When it was finished, Klutznick asked, "What do we do with the
damned thing?" Goldmann said, "We've got to get those other fellows.
Branch out and find them." Klutznick protested that there was not
enough time and suggested that Goldmann and Mendds-France issue it
in their own names. The former prime minister said, "I've never done
anything like that. I don't sign statements with other people." Gold-
mann and Rouleau added their encouragement, and, finally, Mend&s-
France said, "I'll sign provided you can get an immediate answer from
Yasser Arafat."

Isam Sartawi, a close associate of Arafat, was in Paris at the time
and arranged this response by the PLO leader:

Coming at this precise moment from three Jewish personalities of great worth,
worldwide reputation, and definite influence at all levels, both on the interna-
tional scene and within their own community, that statement takes on a
significant importance.

Klutznick took the podium at the meeting of the World Jewish
Congress, then underway in Paris, to explain the declaration. The at-
mosphere, he recalls, was anything but cordial:

Heated is not the right word. If it had been heated it would have been better. It
was sullen, solemn and bitter. I tried to have the delegates understand why we
spoke up as we did. I told them it was the first such statement Mend&s-France
had ever made. And I said they also should know that Nahum Goldmann does
what he thinks is right. And he's not been condemned just once. He's been
condemned many times in the past by those who later chose to follow him.

The declaration brought headlines around the world, wide discus-
sion, and some editorial praise. But it received little support among
leading Jews and was largely rejected by Jewish organizations as "un-
representative and unhelpful." It was Goldmann's last public state-
ment. He died within a month, and a month later Mend&s-France also
died.

A few Jews helped Klutznick defend the statement. Newton N.
Minow, a prominent Chicagoan who served in the Kennedy administra-
tion, praised Klutznick's "exemplary lifetime of leadership to Jewish
causes and Israel" and "his independence and thoughtful criticism" in a
column published in the Chicago Sun-Times. "As an American Jew
pondering past mistakes, I believe that the American Jewish commu-
nity has made some serious blunders in the past few years by choosing
to remain silent when we disagreed with Israeli government policy."

 

282 They Dare to Speak Out

Shortly after the Paris declaration, the world was horrified by the
massacre of hundreds of civilians in the Sabra and Shatila Palestinian
camps at Beirut. After four months of silence, Klutznick spoke at a
luncheon in New York in February 1983. He launched a new crusade,
pleading for the right of Jews to dissent:

We cannot be one in our need for each other, and be separated in our ability to
speak or write the truth as each of us sees it. The real strength of Jewish life has
been its sense of commitment and willingness to fight for the right [to dissent]
even among ourselves.

In November, Klutznick took his crusade to Jerusalem, attending,
along with forty other Jews from the United States and fifteen other
countries, a four-day meeting of the International Center for Peace in
the Middle East. Klutznick drew applause when he told his audience,
which included several Israelis: "If you listen to us when we speak
good of Israel, then you must listen to us when we speak ill. Otherwise
we will lose our credibility, and the American government will not
listen to us at all."

Despite his proven commitment to Israel, his leadership in the
Jewish community and his unquestioned integrity, Philip Klutznick
today is rejected or scorned by many of his establishment contem-
poraries. Two professionals in the Jewish lobby community, for exam-
ple, say simply that Klutznick is not listened to any longer. One of them
adds sadly, "I admire Phil Klutznick but he is virtually a non-person in
the Jewish community." The other is harsh and bitter, linking Klutznick
with other critics of the Israeli government as "an enemy of the Jewish
people."

Charles Fishbein, for 1 1 years a fundraiser and executive of the
Jewish National Fund, provides a partial explanation for the treatment
Klutznick has received:

When you speak up in the Jewish community without a proper forum, you are
shunted aside. You are dismissed as one who has been 'gotten to.' It's non-
sense, but it is effective. The Jewish leaders you hear about tend to be very
very wealthy givers. Some give to Jewish causes primarily as an investment, to
establish a good business and social relationship. Such people will not speak up
for a non-conformist like Klutznick for fear of jeopardizing their investment.

These thoughts echo that of Klutznick himself: "Tty to under-
stand. See it from their standpoint. Why should they go public? They
don't want any trouble. They are a part of the community. They have
neighbors. They help out. They contribute." He pauses, purses his lips
a bit, then adds, "They have standing. And they want to keep it."

Klutznick smiles. "They say to me, 'You are absolutely right in
what you say and do, but I can't. I can't speak up as you do.' " Another

 

Not All Jews Toe the Line 283

pause. "Maybe I would be the same if I hadn't gotten all the honors the
Jewish community can give me."

He sees Washington policy as a major obstacle to reforming the
lobby's tactics: "Let's not underestimate the damage that our own
government does. Our government has been writing blank checks to
Israel for a long time. As a result Begin would come over here for a
tour, then go back home and say, 'What are you complaining about? I
go to the United States, where the government supports me and all the
leaders of the Jewish community applaud and support me.' "

 

"A Growing Gap in Our Liberal Tradition"

"Jews never had it so good as they've had in the United States,"
muses I. F. Stone, one of America's most respected Jewish journalists
who calls himself a radical. Famous for his periodical, /. E Stone's
Weekly, which he issued for 19 years, and for his independent views, he
discontinued the weekly because, as he says with typical self-mockery,
he became "tired of solving the problems of the entire world every
week."

Seventy-six years old and with eyesight so weak he has difficulty
reading even large type, he is anything but retired. He is still a hero on
campuses across the country and in liberal circles for his views on non-
Middle East topics. Indeed, on those themes his following is en-
thusiastic. A recent lecture series on the trial of Socrates was a sell-
out.

"Israel is on the wrong course," he says sadly, peering through the
thick lenses of his eyeglasses. "This period is the blackest in the history
of the Jewish people. Arabs need to be dealt with as human beings."

"I am gloomy about the future," he says. He can name no one with
the promise to lead Israel out of its disastrous policies.

The conversation drifts to American Jews who dissent, and Stone
recalls the day a publisher invited him to lunch and asked him to delete
from a book he had written a passage recommending major changes in
Israeli policy. The book, Underground to Palestine, deals mainly with
Stone's experiences traveling with Jews from Nazi camps as they made
their way through the British blockade to what is now Israel. The
offending part was Stone's recommendation of a "binational solution, a
state whose constitution would recognize the presence of two peoples,
two nations, Arab and Jewish," to encompass all of Palestine. Stone
refused to delete it, and as he wrote in the New York Review of Books,
"that ended the luncheon, and in a way, the book. It was in effect
proscribed."

According to Jewish journalist Carolyn Toll,

 

284 They Dare to Speak Out

From then on, Stone, who might have been a hero on the synagogue lecture
circuit as the first American newsman to travel with Holocaust survivors, was
banned in any Jewish arena by leaders determined to close the debate on
binationalism and statehood.

In Israel, where Jews establish their identity by birth rather than membership
in an organization, Stone would be a full-fledged dissident. But in the American
climate of insecurity about non-Jewish majority views, such arbitrary loyalty
tests have not been challenged by the same Jews who vehemently champion
others 1 rights to speak freely.

Two years later, Stone's book was published in Hebrew— in Is-
rael — with the offending passage intact and read widely in the Middle
East.

While he objects to the "excesses'* of the lobby, Stone understands
the motivations:

The Jewish people are apprehensive, fearful. They are afraid about the future.
They feel they are at war, and many of them feel they have to fight and keep
fighting.

He adds, after a pause, "When people are at war it is normal for civil
liberties to suffer."

Stone sees a dangerous gap growing in this liberal tradition:

I find myself— like many fellow American intellectuals, Jewish and non-
Jewish — ostracized whenever I try to speak up on the Middle East, [while]
dissidents, Jewish and non-Jewish, in the Soviet Union are, deservedly,
heroes.

But in the United States they are anything but heroes:

It is only rarely that we dissidents on the Middle East can enjoy a fleeting voice
in the American press. Finding an American publishing house willing to publish
a book which departs from the standard Israeli line is about as easy as selling a
thoughtful exposition of atheism to the Osservatore Romano in Vatican City.

Those who speak up pay a price, says Stone, noting that journal-
ists with long records of championing Israeli causes are flooded with
"Jewish hate mail, accusing them of anti-Semitism" if they dare ex-
press "one word of sympathy for Palestinian Arab refugees."

In an essay in the Washington Post on August 19, 1977, Stone
voiced his concern over "Bible diplomacy," particularly the effort to
cite the Bible as the justification for Israel's continued control over the
West Bank:

In the Middle Ages, as everyone knows, the Bible was under lock and key. The
clergy kept it away from the masses, lest it confuse them and lead to schism

and sedition Maybe it's time to lock the Holy Book up again, at least until

the Israeli- Arab dispute is settled.

 

Not All Jews Toe the Line 285

 

"Anti-Zionist Jews"

 

Two American Jews, Elmer Berger and Alfred M. Lilienthal, Jn,
have much in common. From the very beginning they warned against
Zionism, forecasting grave danger to Judaism in the establishment of a
Jewish state. Without apparent trepidation they separated themselves
from what has become the mainstream of Jewish thinking and devoted
their lives to a lonely, frustrating and controversial crusade to alter the
policies of the state of Israel. Long after Israel was established,
broadly recognized and supported by the world community, they con-
tinued to make a case against the Jewish states. Both are often scorned
as "self-hating Jews."

Both Lilienthal and Berger persist in their crusades despite at-
tacks. The two are constantly on lecture tours, write extensively and
appear at forums. They are as well known in the Arab world as in the
United States, and more honored there than here.

In personality, the two have little in common. Lilienthal began as a
lawyer, Berger as a rabbi. Lilienthal is a hard-hitting advocate in man-
ner and speech. His mood shifts rapidly. Thoughtful and subdued one
moment, he can be challenging the next. Berger, by contrast, is calm
and unruffled, a patient listener. Even when his words thunder, his
delivery is that of the soothing cleric.

Each has his audience, but neither has many outspoken disciples.
The people who read the Lilienthal newsletter, "Middle East Perspec-
tive," and follow his activities may not be numerous, but his books are
found in public and personal libraries throughout the country and are
frequently cited in speeches and articles.

Rabbi Elmer Berger' s circle may be smaller still — international
audiences are hard to measure — but it appears loyal. When he spon-
sored a two-day seminar in May 1983 at the Madison Hotel in Washing-
ton, D.C., the gathering attracted over 200 people, principally
journalists, scholars, clergy, public officials and diplomats. All had at
least two things in common: an interest in the Arab-Israeli dispute and
affection for Elmer Berger.

Lilienthal began his crusade against Israel soon after the govern-
ment came into being in 1948 and at the age of seventy had not let up
when I interviewed him in 1984. His 1949 Readers Digest article, "Is-
rael's Flag Is Not Mine," warned of the consequences of Zionism. His
first book, What Price Israel? in 1953 was followed by There Goes the
Middle East in 1957 and The Other Side of the Coin eight years later.

In 1978 Lilienthal published his largest and most comprehensive
work, The Zionist Connection, which focuses on the development and
activities of the Zionist movement within the United States. An im-
pressive 872-page volume studded with facts, quotations, anecdotes

 

286 They Dare to Speak Out

and, here and there, colorful opinions and interpretations, it was de-
scribed by Foreign Affairs quarterly as the "culminating masterwork"
of Lilienthal's anti-Zionist career.

By 1984, his crusade had taken Lilienthal to the Middle East
twenty-two times and across the United States twenty-six times.

For all his longstanding and vigorous endeavors for the peaceful
reconciliation of Jews and Arabs, Lilienthal remains a lonely figure,
often shunned in the United States, even by those whose banner he
carries the highest.

Lilienthal says some people kid him as being the "Man from
LaMancha." And true to the characterization, he frequently brings
audiences to their feet by quoting from the song which had Quixote
"reaching for the unreachable stars."

His greatest accomplishment, he says, is getting "some Christians
to have the guts to speak up on this issue." Formally excommunicated
from the Jewish faith by a group of rabbis in New York in 1982, Lilien-
thal scorns the action: "Only God can do that. I still feel very much a
Jew."

 

Chapter 1 1

 

Beyond the Banks of the Potomac

 

Efforts by the pro-Israel lobby to influence American opinion and pol-
icy most often focus on national institutions, particularly the federal
government. Yet the lobby in its various forms branches out widely
into American life beyond the seat of government on the banks of the
Potomac River. Local political leaders, businesses, organizations and
private individuals in many fields experience unfair criticism and in-
timidation for becoming involved in the debate over Middle East is-
sues. Many on "Main Street" have paid a price for speaking out.
Particularly distressing are instances of discrimination against Ameri-
cans of Arab ancestry.

The Stigma of Arab Ancestry

Pro-Israeli PACs contributed nearly a million dollars to Senate
races alone in 1982, and many members of Congress place a value on
AIPAC support which is beyond accounting in dollars. The political
activism of such groups is legitimate and accepted as part of the Ameri-
can political system; yet when Arab Americans attempt to become
involved in the electoral process, they find doors closed to them.

On October 14, 1983, W. Wilson Goode was in the midst of a hard-
fought campaign to become the first black Mayor of Philadelphia. The
widely respected front-runner, popular with virtually every segment of
the city's electorate, attended a fund-raising gathering one evening in
the home of Nairn Ayoub, a local businessman who had invited a
number of friends — prominent academics, scientists, medical profes-
sionals and business leaders — to meet Goode and contribute to his
campaign.

After a short social interlude, during which he was told of the
discrimination often suffered by people of Arab ancestry, Goode ex-

287

 

288 They Dare to Speak Out

pressed concern and declared, with feeling, "I renew my pledge to be
mayor of all the people." Ayoub and his guests wrote checks to the
Goode campaign. The candidate offered his thanks and departed. The
total amount of the checks was $2,725, a small portion of the Goode
campaign budget; yet it was enough to spark a heated controversy over
Arab influence and the role of Israel in the campaign.

In the increasingly bitter final weeks of the campaign, Goode's
main opponent tried to inflate the contribution into a scandal by dis-
closing that Ayoub was regional coordinator for the American- Arab
Anti-Discrimination Committee — a nationwide organization dedicated
to opposing discrimination against people of Arab ancestry. Goode,
who had been courting the large Jewish vote in the crucial northeast
wards by constantly reaffirming his support for Israel, responded by
announcing that the checks from Ayoub and his friends were being
returned. He explained: "I want to make certain that no one is able to
question my support for the state of Israel."

Jewish voters were apparently satisfied with Goode's explanation
of his "mistake," as he went on to win the election with overwhelming
Jewish support. Yet as one Jewish Philadelphian later observed,

One need not support the entire program of the Anti-Discrimination Committee
to share the shock and pain of many of its members and friends over such a
highly publicized affront to one of its leaders acting in his private capacity. Rill
participation in the political process should never be restricted to those who
espouse only that which is currently popular.

The Wilson Goode episode was the precursor of similar incidents
involving Senator Gary Hart and former Vice-President Walter Mon-
dale in their campaigns for the highest office in the land (see chapter
four).

Arab Americans who have tried to maintain contact with their
heritage have found unexpected difficulties. Anisa Mehdi, a news di-
rector with TV station WBZ in Boston, observes that it can be "a
frightening thing" to be an Arab in America:

I grew up in New York City with a very politically active father. If there would
be a commemoration of the anniversary of the Deir Yassin massacre, usually
that date would coincide with the Israeli anniversary parade. Jews would be on
Fifth Avenue and we would be on Madison Avenue.

There would be hundreds of thousands of people on Fifth Avenue and maybe
ten of us on Madison Avenue. The point is there were at least 100,000 Arab
Americans in New York City. Where were they? They were afraid to come out.

Arab ancestry can also be a liability outside politics, as Dr. George
Faddoul, a specialist in veterinary medicine at the University of Mas-

 

Beyond the Banks of the Potomac 289

sachusetts, can attest. Faddoul's origins are Lebanese, but he was born
in Maine and has never had any interest in politics or international
affairs. In 1974, Faddoul was working at the Suburban Experiment
Station at Waltham, Massachusetts, a facility established by the uni-
versity to service the farming community in the state. When the direc-
torship came open, he decided to apply for it. After a distinguished
career of more than 25 years, Faddoul felt that he deserved it and that
such an administrative post would add an interesting new dimension to
his work at the station.

Only one other applicant came forward, and a faculty committee
voted 7 to 6 in Faddoul's favor. The rules of the university stipulate that
only a simple majority is necessary, but the dean failed to appoint him.
Faddoul's own investigation into the reasons revealed that there had
been a number of slurs against him in the committee deliberations
because of his Arab background. In the discussions Arabs were de-
scribed as "worthless." Faddoul's assistant, who possessed only a
bachelor's degree, was named acting administrative director of the
station. Only after pressing his case for seven years did Faddoul re-
ceive the position.

Another person of Arab ancestry, Mahmoud A. Naji, has lived in
the United States for 19 years. His wife and three children are all U.S.
citizens. He owns his own home in the Chicago area and has an impres-
sive record of gainful employment and civic involvement. He has never
been arrested or charged with any wrongdoing. Still, for reasons which
the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service will not disclose, he
faces deportation from the United States.

Naji, a native of Jordan, was living in the Dominican Republic as a
permanent resident at the time of the American intervention there in
1965. He was evacuated to the United States along with the other
foreign residents of the island nation and at that time began his efforts
to gain permanent residency status under U.S. immigration laws. Like
many immigrants, Naji met with a number of administrative road-
blocks and adverse rulings, but his persistence appeared to pay off as
each was in turn overcome. His right to adjust his residence status was
recognized by the INS district director late in 1980.

But in February 1981 his petition was again rejected by the INS
regional commissioner for a previously unmentioned reason: he had
been declared a threat to U.S. security and ordered to leave the United
States.

Naji has been unable to learn the nature of the charges against
him, except that the adverse ruling was based on "classified informa-
tion which is relevant and material, and requires protection from unau-
thorized disclosure in the interest of national security." Inquiries by

 

290 They Dare to Speak Out

Senators Charles Percy and James Abdnor and several House mem-
bers have been unavailing.

Naji speculates that misunderstanding of his participation in sev-
eral Arab American organizations has given rise to the undisclosed
charges, although neither he nor any of these groups has ever been
accused of any illegal or subversive activity.

 

"80 to 85 Percent . . .Are Terrorists"

Arab Americans in the Detroit area have learned about discrimina-
tion firsthand. In a June 1983 meeting at Detroit between U.S. Customs
officials and airline officials concerning the processing of luggage, a
senior Customs official declared that "80 to 85 percent of Arabs in the
Detroit metropolitan area are terrorists and the rest are terrorist sym-
pathizers."

This harsh accusation came after the arrest in 1983 of a 29-year-old
Arab Canadian who tried to bring heroin in a false-bottomed suitcase
through the Detroit- Windsor tunnel, and a vendetta in which Customs
officials began to single out motorists who "looked Arab" for interroga-
tion and automobile searches. In one case, an 18-year-old girl was
strip-searched.

Though the Customs Service later apologized for the remark
charging Arabs with terrorism — the offending official received only a
reprimand — a local publication joined in the racial stereotyping. After
the arrest of a military officer from the Yemen Arab Republic (North
Yemen) for attempting to smuggle guns out of the United States,
Monthly Detroit magazine carried a story entitled "The Mideast Con-
nection: How the Arab Wars Came to Detroit." Though it cited no
examples of Arab Americans being arrested for gun or drug-smuggling,
the article portrayed the city's nearly 250,000 Arab Americans as a
lawless and violent community.

"We Will Destroy You Economically"

Bias and intimidation assume many forms and know no geo-
graphical boundaries. Mediterranean House restaurant became an in-
stant success after it opened in Skokie, a predominantly Jewish suburb
of Chicago, in 1973. With an Arab cuisine and a mainly Jewish clien-
tele, owner Abdel-Hamid El-Barbarawi — a Palestinian-born natu-
ralized American citizen — held his staff to a strict "no politics" policy.
He fired two employees for becoming involved in political discussions
with clients.

At the peak of its success, Mediterranean House was recom-

 

Beyond the Banks of the Potomac 29 1

mended in all major Chicago dining guides and was frequently praised
in newspaper articles. A growing business led Barbarawi to expand,
opening several other restaurants under the same name in other areas.

On a summer night in 1975 a 6-foot pipe bomb was thrown through
the window of the one in Morton Grove. No one was injured because
the attack came late at night, but the restaurant was destroyed. Fire
experts said the bomb was meant to "level the building."

TVouble returned a year later when Barbarawi and members of his
staff emerged from his restaurant in Skokie about 3 a.m., discovering
that one side of the building had been covered with posters proclaiming
that "Mediterranean House food in your stomach is like Jewish blood
on your hands," and "Money Spent Here Supports PLO Terrorism."
The graphic impact of the posters' message was enhanced by red paint
and raw liver thrown on the walls. Though the vandals were nowhere
in sight, Barbarawi found the editor of the Chicago Jewish Post and
Opinion taking pictures of the display. The editor said he just happened
to be passing.

The next month, under the headline "Skokie Jews Unknowingly
Funding Arab Propaganda," the periodical published an article which
urged local Jews to boycott the restaurant, basing its recommendation
on the fact that the Mediterranean House advertised on a weekly one-
hour radio program called "The Voice of Palestine." Ted Cohen, author
of the article, described the program as a source of "anti-Jewish propa-
ganda."

Barbarawi points out that he advertised on six radio stations and
also had commercials on several Jewish programs and an India-related
program. "I was an advertiser, not a sponsor," he says. "I had never
listened to the Voice of Palestine and was not interested in their edito-
rial policy."

Publication of the Cohen article marked the beginning of the end
for Barbarawi. A propaganda campaign was mounted against the res-
taurant. Leaflets urging local Jews to "Stop Paying for Arab Propa-
ganda" were distributed door to door in Skokie. Large numbers of
abusive calls and false orders forced Barbarawi to stop accepting or-
ders by phone. One call threatened his life. In exasperation, Barbarawi
interrupted a caller's invective with an anguished question: "Why
don't you bomb the place like you did before?" The answer was chill-
ing: "We wouldn't give you that satisfaction. We will destroy you eco-
nomically. You will die while you are still living."

In a Chicago Sun-Times commentary, columnist Roger Simon
conceded that Voice of Palestine broadcasts were not anti-Semitic, as
Cohen had charged, but concluded oddly by agreeing that Jews should
hold Barbarawi "responsible for where his money goes" and backed

 

292 They Dare to Speak Out

the Jewish Post and Opinion in calling for a boycott. Barbarawi feels
that this commentary damaged business more than any other single
factor.

Barbarawi appealed, to no avail, to local citizens of Arab ancestry,
as well as to the local chapter of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai
B'rith to intercede with the Jewish community. He was told that ADL
had nothing against him. Director Abbot Rosen stated personal sym-
pathy — "It's terrible; you should sue" — but did not counter the hate
campaign mounted by the Jewish Post and Opinion and the unseen
callers.

Meanwhile Barbarawi saw his revenues drop from $40,000 a
month to less than $7,000. As regular Jewish customers stopped com-
ing, a number of non-Jews told Barbarawi that their neighbors were
refusing to speak to them because they patronized his restaurant.

Facing financial ruin, Barbarawi in desperation turned to legal
action, but high costs and repeated court delays finally forced him to
abandon this last hope. In the end, the hate campaign of unseen
enemies put him out of the restaurant business completely. After losing
$3 million dollars, Barbarawi had $3 in his pocket when the local sheriff
came to close down his restaurant.

Dick Kay, a reporter for Chicago television station WMAQ,
summed up the fate of the Mediterranean House and its owner: "They
really did a job on him, and it was the militant part of the Jewish
community that did it."

An official of a Jewish organization faced still another form of
pressure. In mid-1983, the Seattle chapter of the American-Arab Anti-
Discrimination Committee (ADC) initiated a formal dialogue with the
Jewish Federation of Seattle under the sponsorship of the American
Friends Service Committee. Anson Laytner, head of the Jewish Feder-
ation, suddenly withdrew from the series, explaining to the Seattle
ADC leader that his superior threatened his dismissal if he continued.
He even asked that the ADC retract the report on the Seattle talks
which had appeared in its national newsletter.

Such intolerance can also damage longstanding personal friend-
ships. In mid-1983, author Stephen Green took the bound page proofs
of his new book, Taking Sides: America's Secret Relations with a
Militant Israel, to Edgar Bronfman, president of the World Jewish
Congress and a close friend of the Green family for many years. To-
gether the two men had scattered the ashes of Green's father after his
death five years before. The young writer wanted to explain his reasons
for writing the book, which discloses intimate U.S.-Israeli military rela-
tionships. Bronfman declined to see Green. He directed his secretary,
whom Green has also known for years, to respond. Green recalls her

 

Beyond the Banks of the Potomac 293

words: "Mr. Edgar does not want to discuss this book with you, Steve.
You've written it. It's your affair, and he doesn't feel he needs to
discuss it with you." Green was devastated that the man he had known
and respected for so long would refuse even to speak with him. He
recalled with irony that years earlier Edgar's father had frequently
upbraided his son for "not doing enough" for Israel.

Vanessa Redgrave: An Activist Playing for Time

The Middle East conflict has affected the career of Vanessa Red-
grave, a British actress who is widely hailed as one of the foremost
stage and screen talents of her generation. Yet her success in the
United States has been limited by her long history of political activism.
While many performers shy away from controversial issues for fear of
damaging their careers, Redgrave has structured her life largely around
her political passions. Her career has suffered accordingly.

Redgrave's apprehension was apparent on Labor Day, 1983 when
I interviewed her in a backyard studio in a residential area of Boston.
She had just cut a tape for a program directed to Arab Americans and
was ill at ease. She spoke quietly of threats against her life, while
glancing nervously through an open door. "I don't feel safe here," she
said. "I've had so many threats."

Always controversial, Redgrave's opposition to the Vietnam war
and sympathy for leftist causes led the U.S. government to refuse her a
visa in 1971 when she wanted to come to the United States to discuss
writing her autobiography and a possible motion picture. The refusal
occurred despite the pleas of her publisher and the intervention of
numerous public figures. Undeterred, she directed her activism in-
creasingly toward support for the Palestinian people.

In 1978, the Jewish Defense League picketed the academy awards
ceremony in which Redgrave received an Oscar for her supporting role
in the movie Julia. The JDL was protesting her narration and financial
backing of a documentary called The Palestinians, which included an
interview with PLO chief Yasser Arafat. In her acceptance speech,
Redgrave described the JDL picketers as "a small bunch of Zionist
hoodlums whose behavior is an insult to Jews all over the world" and
thanked the Academy for standing up to their intimidation. Many in the
audience hissed and booed.

Another controversy arose in the summer of 1979 when it was
announced that Redgrave would play the lead in a CBS-TV drama
about Holocaust survivor Fania Fenelon, a member of the Auschwitz
concentration camp orchestra who was spared death only to play
music for other prisoners as well as camp officials. Many Jews were

 

294 They Dare to Speak Out

outraged that Redgrave was chosen for the part Fenelon herself de-
clared, "Vanessa Redgrave playing me is like a member of the Ku Klux
Klan playing Martin Luther King." The network was criticized for
keeping "an unusually tight lid on the names of sponsors" for the
broadcast, in an attempt to avoid expected pressures on them to with-
draw.

The two people most responsible for what one columnist called
"the Vanessa thing" were Bernie Sofronsky, the CBS executive in
charge, and Linda Yellen, the producer. CBS explained that it could not
bow to pressure. Yellen responded to the criticism more directly:

I had always adored her as an actress, and I turned to her as the best person for
the part. Basically, I was unaware of her politically. I never considered firing
her for her political beliefs. That would have been anathema to me, given what
I know about blacklisting and the McCarthy era. I believe her performance is
extraordinary, and speaks for itself.

The critics were nearly unanimous in acclaiming Redgrave's per-
formance. One asserted that it "may be the finest ever seen on televi-
sion." But the excellence of the program did not quiet her detractors.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies in Los Angeles
urged a nationwide boycott of the film, entitled Playing for Time, and
some Zionist groups went even further by urging a boycott of products
sold by its sponsors.

Obviously Redgrave's talents as an actress were not the real issue.
As the Los Angeles Times cogently observed,

Her dazzling portrayal of a Holocaust survivor has no bearing on the con-
troversy. . . . The principle involved is the simple one of keeping separate
things separate — in this instance, separating the artist on the screen from the
eccentric and grating political activist off the screen.

The difficulty in keeping this distinction clear was demonstrated
again in 1982, when Vanessa Redgrave was designated to narrate
Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex in a series of April concerts by the Boston
Symphony Orchestra. In the face of a vociferous outcry by the local
Jewish community, the orchestra cancelled the concerts without expla-
nation. The announcement did not mention Redgrave by name, but as
columnist Nat Hentoff pointed out, "There was no mystery. Wishing to
offend as few people as possible — particularly during the spring fund-
raising season — BSO made its craven decision" not to do the perform-
ances with Redgrave.

Alan Dershowitz, a professor at Harvard Law School noted both
as a Zionist and as a defender of civil liberties, defended Redgrave's

 

Beyond the Banks of the Potomac 295

statement that, "No one should have the right to take away the work of
an artist because of political views."

Redgrave, who was awarded $100,000 damages, represents a com-
plicated case, in that her political views are disagreeable to more than
just partisans of Israel. Nat Hentoff quite properly invoked the wisdom
of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes to suggest how Americans should
react:

If there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for
attachment than any other, it is the principle of free thought — not free only for
those who agree with us, but freedom for the thought we hate.

 

n A Consistent Pattern"

Efforts to stifle public debate on the Middle East focus to a great
extent on the centerpiece of free speech in our country: the press. Over
the years, support for Israel has become a requisite for respectability in
journalism, just as it has in politics and other professions.

Edmund Ghareeb, a scholar who has written widely on the Middle
East and the American media, observes that the media present "a rosy
picture of Israel as the democracy in a sea of barbarians in the Middle
East. . . ." On the other hand, the Palestinians are often referred to as
"Arab terrorists," the Arab is portrayed as a camel driver, somebody
who is a murderer, or something of this sort." Journalist Lawrence
Mosher agrees: "They have stereotyped the Arab as an unsavory
character with dark tendencies, and they have ennobled the Israeli as a
hero."

Even Time magazine is guilty of perpetuating such stereotypes. In
1982 the magazine ran a four-color house ad with a photo of a sheik
under a single-word headline: "Power." Columnist Richard Broderick
described the sheik as "all you could want from an evil Arab —
dyspeptic, garbed in traditional Saudi dress, he stares out at the camera
with palpable malevolence."

Such stereotyping of Arabs is common in editorial cartoons. As
Craig Macintosh, editorial cartoonist for The Minneapolis Star, points
out, "The Arabs are always in robes, the Palestinians always in 'terror-
ist' garb, with an AK 47." Robert Englehart, editorial cartoonist for the
Journal Herald (Dayton, Ohio), agrees: "I could depict Arabs as mur-
derers, liars and thieves. No one would object. But I couldn't use
Jewish stereotypes. I've always had the feeling that I'm treading on
eggs when I try to do something on the Middle East. . . ."

The Israeli lobby works diligently to keep journalists from rowing

 

296 They Dare to Speak Out

against the tide of pro-Israel orthodoxy. This mission is accomplished
in part through carefully arranged, "spontaneous" public outcries de-
signed to intimidate. Columnist Rowland Evans writes: "When we
write what is perceived to be an anti-Israeli column, we get mail from
all over the country with the same points and phrasing. There's a
consistent pattern."

The ubiquitous cry of "anti-Semitism" is brought to bear on short
notice, and it is this charge which has been most responsible for com-
pelling journalists to give Israel better than equal treatment in coverage
of Middle East events. Even former Defense Department official An-
thony Cordesman was not immune from this charge when he wrote in
1977 an article for Armed Forces Journal International examining the
Middle East military balance. Observing, for example, that the number
of medium tanks requested by Israel for the decade 1976 to 1986 would
approach the number to be deployed by the United States within the
North Atlantic Tteaty Organization, Cordesman questioned the need
for ever-increasing U.S. military aid to Israel. For this straightforward
assertion, the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith denounced the
article as "anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish."

 

"Too Controversial and Fanatical*

Journalist Harold R. Piety observes that "the ugly cry of anti-
Semitism is the bludgeon used by the Zionists to bully non-Jews into
accepting the Zionist view of world events, or to keep silent." In late
1978 Piety, withholding his identity in order not to irritate his employer,
wrote an article on "Zionism and the American Press" for Middle East
International in which he decried "the inaccuracies, distortions and —
perhaps worst — inexcusable omission of significant news and back-
ground material by the American media in its treatment of the Arab-
Israeli conflict."

Piety traces the deficiency of U.S. media in reporting on the Mid-
dle East to largely successful efforts by the pro-Israel lobby to "over-
whelm the American media with a highly professional public relations
campaign, to intimidate the media through various means and, finally,
to impose censorship when the media are compliant and craven." He
lists threats to editors and advertising departments, orchestrated boy-
cotts, slanders, campaigns of character assassination, and personal
vendettas among the weapons employed against balanced journalism.

Despite this impressive list of tools for media manipulation, Piety
draws from his own experience and blames the prevailing media bias
more on editors and journalists who submit to the pressure than on the
lobby which applies it.

 

Beyond the Banks of the Potomac 297

Pressure began to build against Piety's employer, the Journal
Herald of Dayton, Ohio, in the late sixties as his growing interest in the
Middle East led him to write editorial pieces critical of Israeli policy.
His editor received a long letter, hand-delivered, from the president of
the local Jewish Community Council, along with a lecture on Middle
East politics. A column asserting that American Jews "were being
herded, and willingly so, into the Zionist camp" brought a lengthy
response from the Zionist Organization of America and a delegation of
six Jewish leaders to the paper for a meeting with the editorial board. A
1976 column on West Bank riots led Piety's editors to order him to
write no more on the theme.

Upon writing another column in April 1977 on the anniversary of
the Deir Yassin massacres in which Jewish terrorists under Menachem
Begin murdered more than 200 Palestinian villagers, he was sharply
rebuked by his editors. Editor Dennis Shere informed Piety that he had
received orders — presumably from the corporate management — to
"shut you up or fire you." Piety was subsequently told that he was "too
controversial and too fanatical" and that he would not receive a prom-
ised promotion to editor of the Journal Herald editorial page. Under
this pressure Piety left his position.

Mediawatch Blinks Out

During the summer of 1982, Minneapolis columnist Richard
Broderick devoted several installments of his "Mediawatch" column —
a weekly feature on media coverage — to exposing such inequities in
American media coverage of the Israeli invasion. Among his findings:

Tapes purportedly of [Yasser] Arafat's 'bunker' and 'PLO military headquar-
ters' being bombed aired over and over again while tape of civilian casualties
wound up on the edit room floor. . . .

As Israeli ground forces swept through Southern Lebanon, the American press
continued to employ the euphemism 'incursion' to describe what was clearly
an invasion.

In local newspaper coverage, Broderick found:

While Palestinian and Lebanese civilians were being killed by the thousands,
the Minneapolis Star and Tribune ran a front-page photo of an Israeli mother
mourning her dead son.

Later that same day, another photo showed a group of men bound and squat-
ting in a barbed-wire enclosure guarded by Israeli soldiers. The caption de-
scribed the scene as a group of 'suspected Palestinians' captured by Israeli
forces. Simply being Palestinian, the caption implied, was sufficient cause to be
rounded up.

298 They Dare to Speak Out

Broderick also used his column to relate scenes of horror wit-
nessed by the Reverend Don Wagner, who had been in Beirut inspect-
ing Palestinian refugee camps when the Israeli bombing began. Wagner
saw a wing of the Gaza Hospital knocked down by the bombing and
was in Akka Hospital while hundreds of civilian casualties were
brought in. Wagner described his experiences to the Beirut network
bureaus for NBC, ABC and CBS, but their reports beamed back to the
United States were never aired.

While such examples of bias are disturbing, still more so are the
consequences suffered by the journalist who publicized them. Soon
after the "Mediawatch" columns on Israel ran in the Twin Cities
Reader, movie distributors of Minneapolis — who collectively represent
the largest single source of advertising for the paper — began telephon-
ing editor Deb Hopp with threats of permanently removing their adver-
tising as a result of the Broderick column. Hopp mollified them by
agreeing to print, unedited, the thousand-word reply to the offending
column. Contrary to usual policy, Broderick was not allowed to re-
spond to this rebuttal.

Later in the summer, Broderick reported an attempt, as he saw it,
by Minnesota Senator Rudy Boschwitz to manipulate public opinion
through the local media. Boschwitz coordinated and appeared in a
press conference with members of the American Lebanese League
(ALL), an organization which endorsed the Israeli invasion. Boschwitz
cited the testimony of league members in arguing that the people of
Lebanon welcomed the Israelis.

Broderick quoted in his column a report by the nationwide Ameri-
can-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee which described the league
as "the unregistered foreign agent of the Phalange Party and the Leba-
nese Front. They work in close consultation with AIPAC, which
creates for them their political openings." Senator Boschwitz, upset at
seeing this information made public, castigated Hopp and Broderick in
a lengthy telephone call. Three weeks later, Broderick was informed
that his services would no longer be needed at the Twin Cities Reader.

"Frau Geyer" Under Fire

Concern over appearances and external pressure also led the
Chicago Sun-Times to drop the regular column of veteran foreign cor-
respondent and syndicated columnist Georgie Anne Geyer for several
months during the 1982 war in Lebanon. The decision followed an
outpouring of reader protest over Geyer' s columns criticizing the war
and Israeli policy. Letters assailed Geyer as "a well-known Jew hater,"
"an anti-Semite par excellence," and "an apologist for the PLO" — the

 

Beyond the Banks of the Potomac 299

sort of innuendos to which Geyer has grown accustomed during many
years of covering both sides of the Arab-Israel dispute. She is fre-
quently denounced in print and harrassed at lectures with similar
charges. Geyer, whose worldwide journalistic cdups have made head-
lines for years, told me that receiving "this endless, vicious campaign
of calumny and insults because you write what you know to be impec-
cably true" is the most distressing aspect of her life as a journalist.

Editor Howard Kleinberg of the Miami News also suffered criti-
cism for carrying Geyer' s columns. He wrote in a 1982 editorial that

I cannot remember receiving more outside pressure on anything than I have
about Georgie Anne Geyer's columns on Israel. . . . Geyer' s antagonists have
portrayed her not only as anti-Israel but anti-Semitic as well; 'Frau Geyer*
some of them call her.

Aware of the violent response, Geyer suggested that Kleinberg too
not publish her Middle East column for a while, but he was adamant: "I
steadfastly have refused to bow to the pressure." He added: "We carry
syndicated columns of contrasting viewpoints because it is the role of
newspapers to provide a vehicle for the exercise of free speech."

Though the Sun-Times later resumed publication of her column
and the criticism abated, Geyer finds that calling Middle East issues as
she sees them exacts a personal price, noting sadly that her commen-
taries seem to have damaged permanently valued relationships with
Jewish friends.

 

On and Off the "Enemies List"

Branding critics and thoughtful analysts as "enemies" is another
familiar tactic of the Israeli lobby. Those singled out for inclusion on
enemies lists — particularly The Campaign to Discredit Israel, pub-
lished by AIPAC, and the ADL's Pro-Arab Propaganda in America:
Vehicles and Voices — rarely take issue with lobby criticism, probably
in the belief that a direct response would only give undeserved credibil-
ity to their detractors. But in December, 1983, a selective challenge to
these enemies lists was offered by Anthony Lewis, a Jewish columnist
who writes for the New York Times.

In two installments of his regular column, Lewis took issue with
the inclusion on the 1983 lists of Professor Walid Khalidi, a professor at
the American University, Beirut, and a research fellow at Harvard.
Klalidi, recognized as a leading Palestinian intellectual, has long argued
for a Palestinian state living in peace and mutual recognition with Is-
rael. He had outlined his position in a 1978 Foreign Affairs article,

 

300 They Dare to Speak Out

subsequently receiving sharp criticism from extremist groups in the
Middle East and elsewhere. Hence Lewis was "astonished to find Pro-
fessor Khalidi's name on lists of supposed anti-Israel activists."

Lewis exposed the techniques used to implicate Khalidi in a puta-
tive campaign to discredit Israel. First AIPAC quotes him as saying in
the 1978 article that Israel's existence is "both 'a violation of the princi-
ples of the unity and integrity of Arab soil and an affront to the dignity
of the [Arab] nation. 9 " Khalidi in fact referred to this as an old view
which has been discarded.

The book identifies Khalidi as a member of the Palestine National
Council, a body which serves as a PLO parliament and claims that on
one occasion he "narrowly escaped expulsion" from the PNC for sup-
porting George Habash's radical Popular Front. Khalidi responds that
he has never attended a PNC meeting "because of [his] lifelong com-
mitment to complete independence from all political organizations."
Lewis adds that Khalidi's views are the antithesis of George Habash's.

Lewis concludes: "Some people see his very moderation as
dangerous. He is a Palestinian nationalist, after all, and one must not
allow that idea to have any legitimacy." The Times published letters
from both the ADL and AIPAC protesting the Lewis columns, and the
ADL assigned a team of researchers to review previous Lewis columns
in search of anti-Israeli bias. Lewis was also sharply criticized in the
January 1984 issue of Near East Report, the AIPAC newsletter.

The Perils of Non-Orthodoxy

A New York businessman almost made an "enemies list," thanks
to media coverage of his views. Jack Sunderland, businessman and
chairman of Americans for Middle East Understanding, a national or-
ganization which issues scholarly reviews, made statements supporting
Palestinian self-rule and an end to Israeli West Bank settlement con-
struction during a trip to the Middle East several years ago. His re-
marks were widely reported in the U.S. and foreign media, and shortly
after returning to his New York home, Sunderland learned that a man
had visited several of his neighbors asking personal questions about his
family, including his children's schedule and routes to and from school.
Concerned for his family's safety, Sunderland engaged a private detec-
tive.

Working with FBI cooperation, the detective soon located a
graduate student who admitted to the obtrusive questioning and also to
illegally gaining access to computer information about Sunderland's
finances and credit record. The student said he was an employee of
B'nai B'rith and that Sunderland was being investigated as a prospect

 

Beyond the Banks of the Potomac 301

for inclusion on the organization's "enemies list/* Faced with the stu-
dent's confession, B'nai B'rith officials refused to meet with Sunder-
land personally but agreed not to mention his name in future
publications. When the "enemies list" appeared in 1983, under the
sponsorship of B'nai B'rith's affiliate, the Anti-Defamation League,
the organization Sunderland heads was listed as a "vehicle" of "Arab
propaganda." Several officers were mentioned by name but not Sun-
derland.

On a Saturday morning in 1977 producer Debbie Gage encoun-
tered peril of a different sort when she put on a one-hour program of
interviews with local people of Palestinian origin on Minneapolis Public
Radio. The station's switchboard was promptly swamped with calls
demanding equal time for the Israeli viewpoint. Gage demurred, re-
sponding that she had decided to do her program because of the heavy
coverage being given to the Israeli view in the local press. She saw her
broadcast as "simply a small attempt to redress that imbalance/'

The following Monday news director Gary Eichten informed Gage
that her job would be terminated in three weeks and that a program
devoted to pro-Israeli views would be aired the following Saturday.
Eichten denied that he was pressured into doing the follow-up pro-
gram, but, as station intern Yvonne Pearson observes, "If dozens of
angry phone calls aren't pressure, I don't know what is."

Even when the media make an effort to ignore the dangers and
resist pressure and bias, the price can still be high for those who speak
out. James Batal, a man of Lebanese ancestry, was interviewed on
Miami TV during the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. He was 72 years old at the
time. Batal sought to explain the little-understood Arab view of the
conflict. Following the broadcast of his interview, he received an abu-
sive — and anonymous — phone call warning that his house would be
burned down or bombed in retaliation for his remarks on television.
Batal appealed to local police and the FBI, but was told that they were
unable to provide protection. In desperation, he and his ailing wife
closed their home and moved into a small apartment with her sister.

Grace Halsell, a noted writer on the Middle East, tells of a similar
incident which took place in late 1983. While in Jerusalem, she visited
Amal, a young Palestinian woman with whom she had become friends
while living in Jerusalem some years before. An American TV journal-
ist had asked to interview Amal while she was employed as assistant to
the U.S. vice-consul in East Jerusalem, and her American boss had
agreed to her being interviewed. But when the interview was shown,
she was fired. She explains, "I was thought to be too pro-Palestinian. I
had merely said, in answer to a question, that my family lived in a
house where Israelis now live."

 

302 They Dare to Speak Out

The consequences of publishing reports which do not convey such
a congenial message can be even more drastic than loss of employment
or public pressure from lobby groups. John Law, a veteran journalist
who founded and edited the Washington Report on Middle East Af-
fairs, a nonpartisan newsletter published by the American Educational
Trust, once described the aim of the publication in these words:

It would like to see Middle East issues approached in a way that will benefit the
interests of the people of the United States, while being consistent with their
standards of justice and fair play.

On May 6, 1982, Law received a telephone call which threatened
his physical safety and warned that he should "watch out." The follow-
ing day John Duke Anthony, then an official of the American Educa-
tional Trust, was assaulted by two men near his home. One subdued
Anthony by striking him on the head with a brick. The "muggers" took
neither his money nor his credit cards — only his personal address
book.

An editorial in the next issue of the Washington Report responded:

The man who threatened Mr. Law and the two men who assaulted [Mr. An-
thony] were presumably hoping to deter them from doing their work. This is
not going to happen.

"Conviction Under False Pretenses"

Opinions which depart from the pro-Israeli line cost a New York
journalist his job in early 1984. For ten years Alexander Cockburn
contributed the popular "Press Clips" feature to the Village Voice in
New York. Though his topics and views were often controversial, his
candor and originality were widely respected. One reader hailed him as
"Guinness Stout in a world of Lite journalism."

In August 1982 Cockburn applied for and received a grant from the
Institute of Arab Studies, located in Belmont, Massachusetts, to
underwrite travel and research expenses for a book on the war in
Lebanon. The grant was not secret. It was recorded in the IAS public
report, but in January 1984 the Boston Phoenix published a long article
exposing Cockburn's "$10,000 Arab connection." The article provoked
a storm in the editorial offices of the Voice.

Editor David Schneiderman decided that Cockburn should receive
an indefinite suspension without pay, but permitted him to reply in
print. Cockburn defended the grant, contending that the IAS is a legiti-
mate non-profit organization, founded "to afford writers, scholars, art-
ists, poets and professionals an opportunity to pursue the full
exploration of the Arab dimension of world history through their spe-

 

Beyond the Banks of the Potomac 303

cial field of interest." He argued that the bottom line of the matter was
that he "didn't properly evaluate the climate of anti-Arab racism." The
book grant, he felt, constituted an ethnically dubious "connection"
because it was "Arab money."

Readers were outraged by Schneiderman's treatment of Cock-
burn, and many wrote to protest his "conviction under false
pretenses."

It is sad that even in the United States, with its traditions of free speech, there
are still people who, when it comes to Middle East issues, will use force and
threats of force to try to prevent the dissemination of ideas they do not like.

Dow Jones Stands Firm

Major national media have not escaped these pressures. Orga-
nized letter campaigns are a favored tactic of pro-Israel groups. Law-
rence Mosher, a staff correspondent for the National Journal, observes
that such groups have

a seemingly indefatigable army of workers who will generate hundreds or
thousands of letters to Congressmen, to newspaper editors, etc., whenever the
occasion seems to warrant it.

. . . Editors are sometimes weighed down by it in advance and inhibited from
doing things they would normally do if they didn't know that an onslaught of
letters, cables and telephone calls would follow if they write or show such and
such.

Mosher has himself experienced the pressures which speaking out
bring. The National Observer of May 18, 1970, printed an article by
Mosher on a hitherto little noticed court case then pending in Washing-
ton, D.C. The case involved Saul E. Joftes, a former high official of
B'nai B'rith, who was bringing suit against the organization and its
officers. The charge:

That the Zionists have used B'nai B'rith, a charitable, religious, tax-exempt
American membership organization, to pursue international political activities
contrary to the B'nai B'rith constitution and in violation of federal foreign-
agent registration and tax laws.

Joftes had been especially disturbed at the "employment" by B'nai
B'rith of a woman whose post was funded and controlled by the Israeli
consulate in New York City. She was given the job of providing "sat-
uration briefings" for Jews visiting the Soviet Union, but her main duty
was to "channel information back to the Israeli government on who
went to the Soviet Union and what Russians visited the United States."
The woman, Mrs. Avis Shulman, observed that "Jewish organizations,

 

304 They Dare to Speak Out

particularly B'nai