Friday, July 7, 2017

Tip of the hat to The Goldwater - Where did AIPAC come from?

Past few weeks my friend of many years Major James Burdock has joined us on The Story Behind The Story from Manila as he has also assisted in the simulcast of the show via YouTube Live at courtesy of Jim Cherney who also runs the 8chan channel network.  So far the conversations have been lively and I also have joined in several broadcasts of The Goldwater Show which broadcasts several times per week.  Looking forward to more.

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Where Did AIPAC Come From?
[Grant Smith: Israeli Lobby Impact on America]

Grant F. Smith:
AIPAC was founded by Isaiah L. "Si" Kenen, springing from the American Zionist Committee for Public Affairs. Kenen registered twice with the U.S. Department of Justice under the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) as a foreign agent for Israel. On April 21, 1947 he registered as an agent of the American Section of the Jewish Agency for Israel. Si Kenen also registered at FARA as an agent for the "Israel Information Services" on October 12, 1948 through May 13, 1951. Kenen changed the committee's name from the American Zionist Committee for Public Affairs to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in 1959, to better reflect that it, according to him, "raised its funds from both Zionists and non-Zionists." Kenen's emphasis on a low-key, uncontroversial, and even non-descriptive organization name continued after his departure when AIPAC spawned a network of obliquely named political action committees (PACs) across the United States designed to sway the results of key elections. From a historical perspective, all of the lessons Kenen learned running the American Zionist Council with funds and guidance from the Israeli government are part of AIPAC's "institutional DNA." It is impossible to understand AIPAC without understanding its precursor, the American Zionist Council.

Kenen served as AIPAC's executive director and also owned and edited the influential newsletter, the Near East Report. The Near East Report is now housed under a separate nonprofit corporate affiliate structure, for reasons explored later. Kenen was an Ohio newspaperman until 1943, when he left to become the secretary of the American Jewish Conference; he remained there until 1948. He was also the Jewish Agency's information director between 1947 and 1948 at the United Nations. This was Israel's first UN delegation after its formation as a state in 1948. In 1951, Kenen went to Washington to lobby Congress for aid to Israel, founding the American Zionist Committee, which later spun off AIPAC. Between 1951 and March 15, 1954, Kenen directed legislative activity in Washington on behalf of the American Zionist Council. The American Zionist Council restructured its lobbying activities beginning in early 1954, when the organization's leaders became uncomfortable using internationally sourced tax-exempt donations for lobbying on Capitol Hill. Fred Scribner, a friendly U.S. Undersecretary of Treasury, confidentially recommended during a 1959 meeting with key Zionist organizations operating in the U.S. that they needed to restructure themselves in order to avoid problems with the Eisenhower administration, the IRS, and the U.S. Department of Justice. According to UCLA scholar Steven Spiegel, opposition from the president was intense:

"The tension between the Eisenhower administration and Israeli supporters was so acute that there were rumors (unfounded as it turned out) that the administration would investigate the American Zionist Council. Therefore, an independent lobbying group was formed within the auspices of the American Zionist Committee."

AIPAC's original internal codename in the American Zionist Committee was "the Kenen Committee." Its results have been unparalleled in the history of foreign lobbying. An AIPAC obituary declared that the State Department strenuously opposed Kenen's earliest lobbying efforts. The indefatigable Kenen worked members of Congress and obtained initial approval of $15 million in aid to Israel, despite robust State Department opposition. This early success set AIPAC's strategy of seeking aid to Israel not on the basis of merit, presidential administration prerogative as the maker of foreign policy, or broad State Department initiatives, but through fake grassroots efforts financed by foreign funds from Israel to "prime the American pump." The Israel lobbying campaign for favorable public relations and media coverage included strategically directed gifts and grants to U.S. colleges and universities for new Israel-centric "Middle East Studies" departments and unfettered lobbying with tax-exempt funds recycled from overseas into the U.S. political system. Activity reports from this intensive campaign are documented in the first chapter.

By 1973, Kenen was able to claim that he had boosted U.S. aid to Israel to $1 billion per year. When Kenen retired in 1974, he still retained his "editor emeritus" title at the Near East Report. The spirit of AIPAC's hardball and often illegal tactics would continue long after Kenen left the scene, and the results are staggering. At the time of Kenen's death in 1988, U.S. aid to Israel exceeded $3 billion a year, the highest amount of U.S. aid given to any country.

It is popularly believed that the immense power of the Israel lobby sprang from broad grassroots commitment by concerned individuals across America. However, evidence from internal American Zionist Council and AIPAC documents reveals a different history. Many groups, including Christian religious organizations now highly active in AIPAC-directed affairs, were initially indifferent to or even suspicious of Israeli initiatives. It took millions of dollars of Israeli government and overseas funds and decades of effort to create the public relations, lobbying, and political juggernaut that now dominates in America. However, not all Americans welcomed the formation of Israel's lobby.

Founder Si Kenen's startup activities proved to be so brazen that they were put under the microscope of a U.S. Senate committee investigating the activities of non-diplomatic foreign agents in the United States. The investigation was originally focused on Latin America, but was compelled to investigate the Israel lobby being assembled on U.S. soil. The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations dove headlong into questions about whether the American Zionist Council, AIPAC, the Jewish Agency and Si Kenen were avoiding Foreign Agents Registration Act declarations or filing false ones, acting as unlawful conduits to launder tax-exempt funds, and illegally disseminating Israeli government propaganda in the United States. This investigation, conducted by Senator James William Fulbright, provides the first outside glimpse into the American Zionist Committee, Si Kenen and AIPAC.

1963: Senator Fulbright Investigates AIPAC

Arkansas Senator James William Fulbright was an internationalist thought leader in the United States Senate. Fulbright's record as a Southern Democrat encompassed staunch multilateralist support for the creation of the United Nations and opposition to Joseph McCarthy's communist witch hunt. Senator McCarthy repeatedly slandered Fulbright with the moniker "Senator Half-bright." Though eminently qualified, Fulbright was ultimately denied consideration for the position of U.S. Secretary of State because of his uncompromising approach to dealing with Israel.

In 1962, Senator Fulbright became concerned about the activities of unregistered foreign agents working to influence public opinion and policy in the United States. His interest was piqued by a pair of articles authored by journalist Walter Pincus and Douglass Cater. Their reporting detailed U.S. -backed Dominican Republic dictator Rafael Trujillo's attempts to use U.S. media for public relations. They also uncovered the Guatemalan regime's covert purchase of friendly coverage in the American Mercury, a magazine founded by H.L. Mencken in 1924.

Fulbright offered Walter Pincus a temporary research assignment investigating the scope and breadth of the U.S. activities of unregistered foreign agents. Pincus worked as staff director of the two-member investigatory subcommittee, bringing on staff counsel Charles P. Sifton (now a senior federal judge in Brooklyn). Pincus duly documented Trujillo's efforts to influence Kennedy administration sugar policies and other Latin American foreign agency issues through a series of overseas fact-finding trips. However, the Fulbright hearings were not at all limited to Latin America. They investigated ten lobbying groups suggested by Pincus that paralleled his news reports including China, West Germany, and Ghana. The investigators also subpoenaed documents, developed evidence, and called witnesses from important and highly active Zionist organizations in the United States that were established and given seed money by Israeli-government-related entities. Fulbright focused on the central funding role of the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem and New York, Israeli government propaganda and ownership of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, and funding for publications including the Near East Report and Israel Digest. The investigation also studied the conduits and internal financial operations of the American Zionist Council, Si Kenen, and AIPAC.

Fulbright held these 1963 Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings on foreign agents in a series of closed sessions. The May 23 and August 1 sessions focused entirely on Israel-related operations. Although subsequent news accounts and books would summarize or reference the outcome of the hearings, often with errors or omissions, few ever captured the lengthy, penetrating, and captivating verbal interchanges between Senator Fulbright and witnesses from the organizations subpoenaed to testify. A typical reference to the commission, published in 1970 by a now-defunct Dow Jones weekly newspaper, the National Observer, neatly summarized the investigation's outcome:

In 1963 the Senate Foreign Relations Committee investigated the Jewish Agency and uncovered a "conduit operation run by an organization called the American Zionist Council. Over an eight-year period, this council received more than $5,000,000 from the Jewish Agency to create a favorable public opinion in this country for Israeli government policies. The Senate investigation closed down the conduit, but the extensive propaganda activities still go on.

Contemporary readers delving into the source material for that article may be astounded by the frank, businesslike proceedings in the transcripts, now released from their dank captivity in federal government archives. Wonderment, confusion, and angst shine through the brilliant exchanges as Fulbright presents subpoenaed evidence, analyzes data, and calls for further information, all while grilling evasive witnesses. Modern-day members of Congress unfamiliar with Fulbright's dialectic will be astonished to see how government oversight and subpoena power functioned in an era when the House and Senate still accommodated leadership capable of challenging issues as sensitive as the U.S. -Israel relationship. Fulbright and the Foreign Relations Committee were ready, willing, and able to compel high-ranking figures within the Israel lobby elite to appear and explain their foreign lobbying and public relations activities.

Senator Fulbright strove to uncover details about myriad indirect payments made by the quasi-governmental Jewish Agency to AIPAC founder Si Kenen and the American Zionist Council. The Jewish Agency was required to file periodic Foreign Agents Registration Act declarations with the U.S. Department of Justice. Fulbright uncovered major covert initiatives designed to influence U.S. policy through media campaigns, indirectly subsidizing lobbyists such as Si Kenen and promoting Israeli government initiatives that were not being disclosed in FARA filings as required by law.

The Jewish Agency: Seed Money From Abroad

The central role of the quasi-governmental Jewish Agency in establishing and funding initiatives through "conduits" resurfaces repeatedly in testimony to Fulbright and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Witnesses described the Jewish Agency as an independent organization with national affiliates similar to the International Red Cross. One unknowing conduit of Jewish Agency funds, the Rabinowitz Foundation described it simply as an agency of the Israeli government, only to later retract the statement under pressure from the Jewish Agency's New York legal counsel. In the following select passages from the May 23, 1960 hearing, witnesses Isadore Hamlin, the executive director of the Jewish Agency-American Section, and the Jewish Agency's legal counsel Maurice M. Boukstein of the New York firm Guzik and Boukstein grapple with Senator Fulbright over the de facto status of the Jewish Agency. They also attempt to define the relationship between the Jewish Agency's American subsidiary incorporated in New York under a broad reorganization in 1960 and the executive headquarters in Jerusalem. The Jewish Agency established its first representative office in New York in 1944. Boukstein, in later testimony, would take credit for being one of the legal "architects" of the system of interlocking nonprofit corporations doing end-runs around the clear intent of the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Testimony would also reveal a direct connection between the nascent lobby and a little-known Israeli false-flag terror attack against the United States in Egypt. One board member of the Jewish Agency responsible for "colonization" in Israel and financing the startup of Israel's lobby in America was instrumental in engineering a cover-up of the terror bombing campaign codenamed "Operation Susannah."
[Operation Susannah]

[exchange from hearings in link]

Boukstein's efforts to shield "ungermane" offshore operations from Senate scrutiny were purposeful. Even with limited sworn testimony, Fulbright established a direct line of funding flowing from a key government official and an Israeli-government-founded, quasi-governmental entity – the Jewish Agency in Israel – to AIPAC's precursor within several minutes. Fulbright also raised several issues relevant to the Foreign Agents Registration Act. As the recipient of U.S. donations as well as funds from other donor countries, the Jewish Agency passed funds through the American Section to entities across the United States through the American Zionist Council. Later testimony and subpoenaed documents reveal that the American Zionist Council was washing away the appearance of foreign control in order to finance "policy research" and other public relations activities, as well as fortifying the position and financial muscle of the nascent U.S. -based Israel lobby groups so they could some day take over with no need for further foreign seed or startup funding. Fulbright was right to be concerned about these Jewish Agency operations, for which he did not see "precedent of anything like it in any other instance," as we detail in the final chapter. Decades after Fulbright's investigation, the Jewish Agency and its U.S. partners would be found by Israeli prosecutor Talia Sason to have engaged in laundering $50 billion toward numerous illegal overseas activities.

Although it didn't seem relevant at the time, the Jewish Agency Executive board member who was also minister of finance in the Israeli government serves as the most powerful example of why it was never in America's best interest to have a foreign principal establishing and empowering a stealth lobby in the United States. The minister referred to only by last name with "competence in one area of work, the area of colonization" was Levi Eshkol. At the time of Fulbright's inquiry, Eshkol was ending his 12-year stint as minister of finance and would soon become the ruling Mapai Party leader. When Prime Minister Ben-Gurion resigned in June 1963, Eshkol was elected Mapai party chairman. He was then appointed Prime Minister of Israel. His previously close relationship with Ben-Gurion soon turned hostile over a single matter of burning importance to the United States.

In the summer of 1954, Israel conducted a covert false-flag operation in Egypt known as "Operation Susannah." Israeli agents launched terrorist bombing attacks against U.S. -, British-, and Egyptian-owned targets in Egypt. Since 1950, it had been U.S. policy to pressure the British to withdraw from the Suez Canal and abandon two treaties: the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936, which made the canal a neutral zone under British control, and the Convention of Constantinople. Israel feared that a British withdrawal would remove a check on Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser's military ambitions. After Israel's diplomatic efforts failed to convince the British to stay, Israel unleashed a false-flag terrorist operation designed to convince the British to stay while framing the Egyptians. Israeli Defense Minister Pinhas Lavon was forced to resign because of the incident, and the scandal came to bear his name. The break between Ben-Gurion and Eshkol occurred over Ben-Gurion's insistence on fully investigating and learning lessons from the sordid Lavon Affair. Eshkol was insistent that investigating the affair was a waste of time, and wished to bury it as soon as possible. On December 13, 1964, he addressed the issue to the Mapai Central Committee.

"If I vote in favor of an inquiry into the Lavon Affair…We would be opening a Pandora's box of troubles. It will not end with this affair or with this investigation. We'll be spending the next fifteen years dealing with investigations into various unsolved matters."

Levi Eshkol, the Jewish Agency executive overseeing funding for the establishment of the Israel lobby in the United States, successfully quashed Ben-Gurion's demand to appoint a judicial inquiry into Israel's false-flag attack on America when he became prime minister of Israel.

American Zionist Council
American Zionist Council for Public Affairs
American Israel Public Affairs Committee

"This is to advise you that the American Zionist Committee for Public Affairs, which is registered with you, has changed its name to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, and that henceforth the reports will be filed under this new name."

In the 1950's the AZCPA raised funding from many controversial sources, including Meyer Lansky associate Aaron Weisberg and mobster John Factor (aka "Jake the Barber"). In 1959 Isaiah Kenen renamed the AZCPA the "American Israel Public Affairs Committee" or AIPAC to distance itself from the AZC after US Undersecretary of Treasury Fred Scribner advised major Zionist organizations that they needed to restructure their operations to avoid problems with the Eisenhower administration, the IRS, and the US Department of Justice.

In the 1960s the AIPAC received several donations from Abraham Feinberg. Feinberg was designated by Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion in 1958 to be the primary American "benedictor" organizing private donations for Israel's clandestine nuclear weapons program. In 1962 the AZC was ordered to begin registering as an Israeli foreign agent by the US Department of Justice. The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearings in 1963 revealed that the AZC had laundered more than $5 million in Jewish Agency funds into US public relations and lobbying activities (including to Kenen's Near East Report) over a period of two years.

"Abraham Feinberg led a secret fundraising campaign for the nuclear project that garnered about $40 million ($250 million in today's terms) from "some twenty-five millionaires."…/…/02/16/AR2006021601897.html

The History of US-Israel Relations

Alison Weir:
The success of this movement to achieve its goals, partly due to the hidden nature of much of its activity, has been staggering. It has also been at almost unimaginable cost.

It has led to massive tragedy in the Middle East: a hundred-year war of violence and loss; sacred land soaked in sorrow.

The Israel Lobby in the U.S. is just the tip of an older and far larger iceberg known as "political Zionism," an international movement that began in the late 1800s with the goal of creating a Jewish state somewhere in the world.

What Is An AIPAC?

Clive Hambidge:
In their ‘scrupulously researched book’ More Bad News From Israel Philo and Berry quote two journalists “It’s time to revive one of the oldest stereotypes in American politics, the power of the Jewish lobby. Today, it’s not the Jewish lobby that counts, it’s the pro-Israel and the difference is crucial. Two of the most formidable organizational networks in America, the Jewish Establishment and the Christian Right have joined forces. Together, they can penetrate deep into the body politic …. AIPAC’s power has become the stuff of Washington legend. Fortune magazine consistently puts it in the top five special interest groups. No other foreign policy based lobby group gets into the top 25.” (A Lobby to Reckon With, BBC Radio 4, 7 May 2002)

Still writes Alison Weir “coverage of the Israel lobby is so minimal that many well-informed Americans are unaware of such entities as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.” This is unsurprising as in Mearsheimer & Walt’s The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy we find, “most American commentators are pro-Israel.” They quote journalist Eric Alterman who writes Middle East punditry is “dominated by people who cannot imagine criticizing Israel”, he goes on to list 61 “columnists and commentators who can be counted upon to support Israel reflexively and without qualification.” “Conversely,” write Mearsheimer & Walt “Alterman found just five pundits who consistently criticize Israel behaviour or endorse pro-Arab positions.” make that 6. “[P]rominent newspapers like The Chicago Sun-Times and The Washington Times regularly run editorials that are strongly pro-Israel. Magazines like Commentary, the New Republic, and the Weekly Standard also zealously defend Israel at every turn. And Editorial bias is also found in papers like the New York Times.” (Mearsheimer & Walt)…/…

AIPAC and Espionage: Guilty as Hell

Justin Raimondo:
For months, AIPAC’s defenders have been bruiting it about that this prosecution is persecution, that the whole thing is a “setup.” What Rosen, Weissman, and Franklin are accused of is routine, said their defenders – “everybody does it” – and the decision to go after AIPAC is thinly disguised anti-Semitism, the 21st century American equivalent of Kristallnacht. They have impugned the FBI as some sort of neo-Nazi outfit, exonerated the accused before even hearing the charges, and engaged in a smear campaign against anyone who wonders why it is that a purportedly American organization is engaged in an intelligence-gathering operation involving the transfer of top-secret information to a foreign government.

Now the man they portrayed as being a persecuted victim is admitting that, yes, he spied for Israel, and, furthermore, the clear implication of this apparent plea bargain is that he is prepared to expose the spy ring that Israel was – and perhaps still is – running inside AIPAC, one of the most powerful lobbying groups in Washington.…/aipac-and-espionage-guilty-a…/

Michael Collins Piper:
Just before the fifth edition of Final Judgment went to press, an anonymous source left a package of eye-opening documents outside the author’s office (left). The material, dating to 1976, includes bitter, handwritten attacks on JFK and his policy toward Israel by no less than I. L. Kenan, founder of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the lobby for Israel. Kenan’s attacks on JFK prove beyond doubt that JFK was not a “special friend of Israel” as the Israeli lobby (and some JFK researchers) have suggested in order to counter the foundational thesis of Final Judgment. The 2003 book, Support Any Friend (right) by Israeli educated Warren Bass—the first-ever overview of JFK’s Middle East policy—was funded by pro-Israel foundations ...The Israeli-spon- sored book makes the contorted, clearly specious argument that JFK’s conflict with Israel actually strengthened the U.S.-Israeli relationship and claims that because JFK provided Israel with conventional weapons (effectively paying extortion hoping to stop Israel from building nuclear weapons) is somehow “proof” that JFK was the spiritual father of the “special relationship” between the U.S. and Israel. Not surprisingly, the American media—particularly Jewish newspapers—have given the book wide play.

The Apollo Affair, Zalman Shapiro, Arnon Milchan, Bibi Netanyahu & the Silence of the US Media

James Corbett Interview with Grant Smith
[Grant F Smith--An author, and the man who wrote the NUMEC FOIA requests, covers diversion in rich detail (recommended)]

Nina Rosenwald--Major AIPAC donor

[Sheldon] Adelson is a Zionist extremist from the far right. He is reported to have paid for the new AIPAC building (the Israeli lobby) in Washington, D.C. He wanted to sustain and extend the so-called War on Terrorism "unto the blazing horizon," in the words of Philip Weiss. I didn't think the Zionist gangster Adelson was betting on a losing horse. Adelson is a high-level criminal who plays to win.

AIPAC: The Voice of America--Anthony Lawson

Michael Glassner, AIPAC, 911 & Trump

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