Friday, August 15, 2008

PAUL FINDLEY They Dare to Speak Out 1

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Findley, Paul, 1921-
They dare to speak out: people and institutions confront Israel s lobby/ Paul Findley.— 3rd ed. p. ; cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 1-55652-482-X
1. United States—Foreign relations—Israel. 2. Israel—Foreign relations— United States. 3. American Israel Public Affairs Committee. 4. Jews—United States—Politics and government. 5. Zionists—United States—Political activity. 6. Arab-Israeli conflict. I. Title. *. # E183.8.I7F56 2003
327.7305694—dc21 2002155505
Cover and interior design by Rattray Design
©1985, 1989, 2003 by Paul Findley All rights reserved Third edition Published by Lawrence Hill Books An imprint of Chicago Review Press, Incorporated 814 North Franklin Street Chicago, Illinois 60610 ISBN 1-55652-482-X Printed in the United States of America 5 4 3 2
To our grandchildren Andrew, Cameron, Henry, and Elizabeth. May they always be able to speak without fear.
Preface vii
1 Rescue and Involvement 1
2 King of the Hill 27
3 Stilling the Still, Small Voices 51
4 The Deliberative Body Fails to Deliberate 81
5 The Lobby and the Oval Office 117
6 Penetrating the Defenses at Defense and State 147
7 The Assault on Assault 187
8 Subverting Academic Freedom 209
9 Paving the Way for the Messiah 249
10 Not All Jews Toe the Line 281
11 Scattering the Seeds of Catastrophe 313
12 What Price Israel? 349
Acknowledgments 375
Notes 379
Index 395
Shortly after World War II, a small band of United States partisans for Israel marshaled self-discipline and commitment so effectively that they succeeded in ending free and open debate in America whenever Middle East issues are considered.
Their primary goal was to assure broad, substantial, unconditional, and ultimately blind support for Israel by the U.S. government. In seek­ing that goal, these partisans forced a severe anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bias into U.S. Middle East policy that has since raised costly economic, political, and military barriers to the American national interest. The most harmful part of this process was the disappearance of unfettered discussion of the United States' relationship to the Arab-Israeli conflict. These biases and restrictions, though unwritten, are as effective as if they had been carved in stone. Even in the legislative chambers on Capitol Hill, the nation's highest and most hallowed halls of debate, discussion on the Middle East is virtually nonexistent.
In a 1983 interview for the first edition of this book, the late I. F. "Izzy" Stone, a widely respected author, commentator, and self-styled radical, told me why many of his fellow Jews work so aggressively to sti­fle free speech. He explained that, because Jews in Israel seem constantly at war with Arabs, Jews in America feel that they are in the same war. To them, free speech is a luxury that can be sacrificed where debate might weaken U.S. support for an Israel at war. Stone summed it up, "When people are at war, it is normal for civil liberties to suffer." As long as Israel is at war, most U.S. Jews "feel they have to fight and keep fighting." Nowhere has this been more obvious than in Israel's post-September 11 incursions into the occupied territories.
5 Preface
This reaction is almost instinctive, prompted by deeply felt anxi­eties, fears, and outrage that arise mainly from the common bond of religion and the knowledge of unspeakable Jewish death and suffering in the Nazi Germany Holocaust during World War II. It is not confined to people of the Jewish faith. To Muslims and many non-Muslims world­wide, the present suffering of Palestinians—to them, a latter-day holo­caust—evokes a similar reaction in which free speech and other basic rights are sometimes casualties.
April 2002 provided evidence that strong passions persist on both sides. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, well known for his bias in favor of Israel, received a lesson in anti-Palestinian fervor when addressing a large crowd of people gathered for a pro-Israel rally at the U.S. Capitol. He tried to tell the crowd, "Innocent Palestinians are suf­fering and dying as well, and it is critical that we recognize and acknowl­edge that fact." His words were drowned out by boos and the shouted slogan "No more Arafat."1
A third of the way around the world, U.S. Ambassador Donald Neu­mann was booed for making a similar plea to a crowd of Bahraini citi­zens gathered to protest Israel's latest invasion of Palestine. After standing with the protesters for a minute of silence for the victims of the Israeli onslaught, Neumann remained standing and asked for a moment of silence for innocent Israeli victims of Palestinian terrorism. The crowd turned hostile and shouted back its refusal.2
Six weeks later, the scene in Bahrain remained hostile. Neumann issued an advisory, suggesting that U.S. citizens avoid crowds and vary their travel routes when away from home. He reported several beatings of U.S. military personnel, American vehicles being pelted with eggs, and local vehicles swerving near U.S. cyclists and pedestrians.3
Open Season on Palestinians
The Patriot Act brought about many changes in America, but it did not alter Israel's total domination of Capitol Hill. In 2001 Israel quickly endorsed President Bush's war on terrorism and Congress applauded Israel's war on Palestinians, accepting Israeli Prime Minister Sharon's duplicitous argument that eradicating "terrorists" from the occupied ter­ritories was an essential part of Bush's worldwide military campaign.
Preface 5
Supporting Israeli wars was normal procedure on Capitol Hill. Thanks to the effectiveness of the pro-Israel lobby, the United States had long been the key, indispensable ally in all of Israel's military victories over Arabs. Despite frequent claims over the years that it sought only policies that were fair to both sides—the "honest broker" role—the U.S. gov­ernment provided critical support to Israel's expansionist campaigns with­out interruption since President Lyndon B. Johnson gave clandestine aid to Israel's June 1967 war against the Arabs. The American people remain largely unaware of U.S. complicity in these wars, although it is widely recognized in all countries outside the United States. To this day, Amer­icans are poorly informed about the level of U.S. military and economic aid to Israel, not to mention our government's record of near-perfect sup­port of Israel in critical votes in the United Nations Security Council.4
In April 2002 Sharon ordered the invasion of the territories on the pretext of rooting out the leaders who organized suicide bombings car­ried out inside Israel by individual Palestinians. The bombings spread fear throughout Israel, not just in areas adjacent to the occupied territo­ries. Even armed Israeli soldiers and police officers did not feel safe. The bombers could rarely be identified in advance, as they were of both sexes and varied ages.
Sharon's counterattack was brutal and massive, utilizing tanks, heli­copter gunships, and other arms—all donated to Israel through the U.S. government's military assistance program. It left major cities in the occu­pied territories heavily damaged and the Palestinian authority head­quarters in shambles and isolated. Accurate casualty statistics may never emerge, but the UN Report on Jenin put the Palestinian death toll in Jenin alone at 52. It reported that 497 people had been killed and 1,477 were wounded during the entire military sweep. These figures were com­piled from a distance, because the Israeli government, supported by Washington, refused to permit the UN inspection team to visit Jenin.
The invasion did not halt suicide bombings, but it left the Palestin­ian population more tightly repressed than ever before. It also left Pales­tinians and their sympathizers outraged at the crucial support provided to the invaders by the U.S. government.
For twelve days following the assault, Israeli forces barred a UN relief mission headed by special envoy Terje Roed-Larsen, from entering the Jenin refugee camp. During this period ambulances were routinely
5 Preface
turned away, and scores of injured Palestinians bled to death. After finally being allowed to enter and tour the camp, Roed-Larsen said, "We have expert people here who have been in war zones and earthquakes, and they say they have never seen anything like it. It is horrifying beyond belief." He told reporters that 300 buildings had been destroyed and 2,000 people were left homeless.5
The Israelis did everything they could to prevent reports of the immense destruction from reaching American eyes and ears. Riad Abdelkarim, a Los Angeles physician who writes commentaries on the Middle East for U.S. newspapers and who served as a relief worker dur­ing the assault on Jenin, was arrested and held for several weeks by Israeli authorities after sending an eyewitness report on the devastation in the camp to U.S. newspapers.
Outraged by U.S. complicity in the assault, Palestinian officials in Jenin rejected a U.S. Agency for International Development shipment of tents, food, and children's toys. Their reason: the camp had been destroyed by U.S.-donated weapons.6
"A Special Relationship with Israel"
During Israel's month-long invasion, President Bush publicly demanded that Sharon order the immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces. Given Bush's position as chief executive of the United States, Israel's chief benefactor, one would have expected Sharon to offer at least a touch of conciliation. Instead, with supreme arrogance, he announced simply that his war meas­ures were not finished, and that withdrawal would not occur until they were. Faced with this defiance, Bush unaccountably praised Sharon as a "man of peace" and reminded reporters of the obvious: the United States has "a special relationship with Israel." He failed to explain what this rela­tionship entails: letting Israeli prime ministers defy the demands of U.S. presidents, control Palestinians and their land by force of arms, and vio­late with impunity international laws and conventions on human rights.
Sharon's 2002 war on Palestinians was in several ways reminiscent of the bloody 1982 massacres he waged on the Palestinian refugee camps at Sabra and Shatila. Sharon called both of them assaults on terrorism. In both wars, the U.S. president—in 1982, Ronald Reagan—demanded that Israel stop the war. In both, the prime minister of Israel—in 1982, Men-achem Begin—defied the presidential demand. In the greatest irony of all,
Preface 5
when both assaults came to an end, Congress promptly appropriated funds to resupply Israels war machine—$150 million in 1982, $200 million in 2002. To free up funds for the bonus to Israel, the House Appropriations Committee, in a curious reordering of priorities, cut $75 million from a project to reinforce cockpit doors to guard against intrusions by hijackers.7 Sharon's war prompted huge anti-Israel and anti-American protests worldwide. One in Rabat, Morocco, drew an estimated 1.5 million peo­ple—fully 6 percent of the nation's population. Surprisingly large protests also took place in Washington, D.C., New York, and other major U.S. cities. They received little media attention.
"Laughingstock of the World"
A Time-CNN poll showed that 60 percent of Americans favored reduc­ing or completely eliminating aid to Israel if Sharon failed to withdraw his troops from Palestinian areas. The same poll showed 75 percent favoring Bush's diplomatic initiatives for Middle East peace.8
That sentiment was not represented on Capitol Hill in Washington, where both the House of Representatives and the Senate acted as if they were committees of the Israeli Knesset. During deliberations on Sharon's war, almost all speeches were sympathetic to Israel, echoing Sharon's "war of survival" theme.
On May 2, 2002, both the Senate and the House of Representatives adopted resolutions that praised Sharon's war and pledged full support of Israel. Although the House resolution was slightly more hostile to the Palestinian cause than the Senate version, the Atlanta Constitution colum­nist Martha Ezzard wrote that "Republican leaders in the House and Democratic leaders in the Senate entered into a schoolyard-like contest to see who could be the best pro-Israel cheerleader, approving resolutions that made Sharon appear as blameless for the loss of any innocent lives as Mother Teresa."9
In the House, Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR), one of twenty-one who voted "no" on the resolution, declared that it put the House of Representatives on record "to the right of Ariel Sharon and the Likud Party." Representative Nick J. Rahall (D-WV), who also voted against it, predicted that the resolution would make the House "the laughing­stock of the world." Earlier, DeFazio had found only thirteen colleagues willing to sign a balanced resolution.
5 Preface
In the end, 352 of the 435 members voted yes. Twenty-one voted no. Twenty-eight others heeded the advice of Representative Marcy Kap-tur (D-OH), by voting "present." During the House debate, Kaptur warned of a "corrosive" effect: "This one-sided resolution will only fan the killing frenzy. ... I fear it represents crass domestic politics in this election year. . . . Let us be a true partner for peace, not just with Israel but as well with the Arab states in the region."10
In the Senate, only Democrats Ernest Hollings (D-SC) and Robert Byrd (D-WV) voted against the resolution. Hollings told his colleagues that Sharon "is making more terrorists than he is getting rid of."11
Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), responded, "It is truly disturbing to see American elected officials falling over themselves in an unseemly attempt to 'pledge allegiance' to a foreign government and its domestic lobby."12
Unprecedented War-Making Authority
What a difference a year can make. Within twelve months, America became, for the first time, the target of a massive, lethal assault by for­eign terrorists on its own soil. Congress subsequently granted the presi­dent unprecedented authority to make war and police the world. Bush used that authority to launch a costly war in Afghanistan, with a larger one expected to follow against Iraq. Meanwhile, at home, Congress curbed precious civil liberties. All the while, several fundamental ques­tions begged for attention:
• Why America? What, if anything, did the United States do to provoke 9/11?
• Do grievances against America remain? If so, what should America do to redress them?
• Why did almost every other nation reject or ignore President Bush's call for a multinational assault on Iraq?
These are urgent questions. They reach into the heart of the fran­tic, wrenching ordeal in which America finds itself, and yet, incredibly they are left unanswered—or worse, are largely unasked.
Welcome to my quest for the answers, a search that began unwit­tingly midway through my congressional career. It continues to this day.
Rescue and Involvement
"How did A congressman from the corn-hog heartland of America get entangled in Middle East politics?" people ask. Like most rural con­gressmen, I had no ethnic constituencies who lobbied me on their for­eign interests. As expected, I joined the Agriculture Committee and worked mainly on issues such as 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 twelve 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 Israel" and my re-election campaign the principal target of Israel's lobby.
Prodded by a professor at Illinois College when I first joined the subcommittee, I had already begun to doubt the wisdom of U.S. policy
5 They Dare to Speak Out
in the Middle East. In the early years, 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 penetrated U.S. institutions.
In matters pertaining to Middle East policy, members of Congress generally paid attention only to what Israel wanted. Arab American lob­bies, fledgling forces even today, were nonexistent. Muslim organiza­tions were in their infancy. Arab embassies showed little interest in lobbying. Even if a congressman wanted to hear the Arab viewpoint, he would have had difficulty finding a spokesman to explain it.
My personal involvement with Middle East politics started with a situation that had no direct connection to 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 weekly newspaper I had 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 had once been a major British base.
Had it not been for a series of canceled 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 there by the cancelation of his departing flight. His luck worsened. 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. After being kept in an interrogation center for months, he was finally brought to trial, where he was 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 country's regime dramatically to the left. This meant that the State Department could do nothing directly. I asked a friend in the Egyptian embassy in Washington, D.C., to help. Franklins parents, people of
Rescue and Involvement 5
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 Britain to intervene through its 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, handsome, 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—in either the House or the Senate—to visit Aden since the republic was established in 1967, and the first U.S. 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 caused me 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 opponents 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 U.S. 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
5 They Dare to Speak Out
dominating the Aden government, they could effectively control the canal from the south. It was obvious that, Franklin's potential release aside, the United States needed good relations with Aden.
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 with Aden.
A good traveler always brings gifts. At the suggestion of an Egypt­ian 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 The Prairie Years, Carl Sandburg's biog­raphy of Abraham Lincoln. In addition, I carried two small busts of Lin­coln—my state's most celebrated leader—hoping he would be known even in Aden.
I left Washington, D.C., 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 importance, 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 by the presence of a U.S. 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 the United States' support of Israel's actions: "We are bitter
Rescue and Involvement 5
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 via 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 personally extended Assad's invitation to many of my colleagues and then, 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. It was 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 western­like city with a lively nightlife and bustling commerce. A new Holiday Inn had just opened near the harbor. Every street seemed to boast two 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, which were 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 Palestinian civilians would
5 They Dare to Speak Out
shock the world. My embassy escort said, "These miserable camps haven't improved in twenty years."
I also passed the Tel Zaatar refugee camp, whose wretched inhabi­tants would soon suffer a fate even more cruel. A year later, it was under seige for forty-five days by rightist "Christian" militias, armed and advised by Israel's Labor government. Fifteen thousand Palestinians were killed, many of them after the camp surrendered. Virtually every adult male survivor was executed. That slaughter was barely noted by the world press. Today hardly anyone, save the Palestinians, remembers it.
At that time, the spring of 1974, however, I had no premonition of the tragedies to come. 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 2:00 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, in imperial days, was the residence 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 living room. We had never seen each other before.
"I presume you are Congressman Findley," he said.
Despite the emotion of the occasion, I smiled, sensing how Dr. Liv­ingston must have felt years before in Africa.
After sixteen months of confinement, Franklin was thin, almost gaunt. His trousers were several sizes too big, but his blonde hair was neatly combed, his face was cleanly shaved, and he was surprisingly well tanned. He looked much older than his thirty-four years.
Rescue and Involvement 5
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 developed 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 allowed 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. Still, 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 a 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 Muslim day of worship, touring the nearby desolate countryside. The main tourist attraction was an ancient, massive stone that was used 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 British had long ago understood the importance of maintaining diplomatic relations even with hostile regimes and, shortly after their stormy departure from Aden, they established an embassy there.
On Saturday morning Foreign Minister M. J. Motie came to my quarters for a long discussion of United States-Yemen relations. The
5 They Dare to Speak Out
plight of the Palestinians under Israeli occupation was at the top of his agenda, Franklin at the top of mine. He complained, "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 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 shoppers. I returned to the guest house empty-handed, only to find an assortment of gifts, each neatly wrapped. Among them was zjambia, the traditional curved Yemeni dagger, and a large ceremonial pipe. The gifts were accompanied by a card bearing the words: "With the compliments of the president."
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. At least it had acceded to his request 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 that, strictly on my own hunch, I 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 that covered three walls. 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. The president needed no introduction. I had seen Ali's picture in many places around Aden, but frankly it did him little justice. He was a tall, well-built man of forty. His black hair had a touch
Rescue and Involvement 5
of gray. His skin was dark, his bearing dignified. He was soft-spoken, and two gold teeth glistened when he smiled. After we exchanged greet­ings, I thanked him for his hospitality and for the gifts. Then I launched into my own presentation of gifts: first the book and bust, then the scholarships.
What he was waiting for, of course, was the letter from Kissinger, 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 formally presents the desire of the United States to reestablish 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 policy. 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 antipoverty 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 building, placed there for me to examine.
I interjected that this information was not known in the United States, and I underscored 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
5 They Dare to Speak Out
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 leaving the room. Franklin was free. In fact, he was waiting at my quarters when I returned. We were on the plane at 6:00 the next morning, headed for Beirut, and then to New York and finally St. Louis, where a joyous fam­ily welcomed Franklin home.
I am convinced that the main reason for Franklins release was the decision by our government to probe ever so cautiously for better rela­tions with Yemen. Caution was necessary, because there 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 Yemen's expulsion 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 U.S. government fiddled, hedged, and stalled for three years. Jimmy Carter replaced Gerald 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 Vance. I did so, and after my report, Vance and Foreign Minister Motie of South Yemen agreed to exploratory talks. To me, this appeared like a momentous breakthrough. The talks were to begin in Aden in just a few weeks, shortly after New Year's Day. Sadly, procrastination 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 to include 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 who would soon become the
Rescue and Involvement 5
Saudi monarch. Fahd spoke approvingly of my efforts in Aden and asked me to tell officials there that Saudi Arabia was ready to resume sending them economic aid.
"It's a Good Omen"
As I saw when I arrived, the scene in Aden had improved. South Yemen had already exchanged ambassadors with former 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 "imperialists." 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, this time with an honor guard, in the same spacious hall we had used before. Although he avoided comment on Saudi Arabia's offer of aid, Ali spoke of Crown Prince Fahd with great warmth.
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." Unfortunately, no one had.
Ali was left waiting, day by day, for a group that would 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 local 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 concluded our discussion by giving me a message to Washington:
Please extend my warm greetings to President Carter. Kindly inform him that we are eager to maintain smooth and friendly relations between
5 They Dare to Speak Out
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.
"Its 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 recommendation on Secretary Vance and 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. We've been hoping to improve our situation there." I urged that there be no further delays. "Another cancellation would be baffling to President Ali, to say the least," I cautioned. Carter thanked me and assured me that 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 noncommittal way," the resumption of diplomatic negotiations. Ali was to meet them on the day of their arrival.
It was too late. Aden's Marxist hard-liners had decided to act. Con­cerned by Ali's initiatives for improved relations with the United States and Saudi Arabia, radicals seized fighter planes, strafed the presidential 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 that the U.S. mission was scrubbed. After traveling as far as Sana'a, the capital of North Yemen, the State Department officials returned to Washington.
Rescue and Involvement 5
Distressed over the execution of Ali, I asked Ashtal for an explana­tion. He replied, "Its an internal matter of no concern to the outside world." Still, Alis fate troubled me. It still does. I have often wondered whether my goodwill visit and Ali s decision to release Franklin con­tributed to the president s downfall and death.
My journeys to Aden had broad personal implications. After years on Capitol Hill, I heard for the first time the Arab perspective, particularly the plight of the Palestinians. I began to read about the Middle East, talk with experts, and try to understand the region. Arabs emerged as human beings.
Reports of my experiences made the rounds, and soon my office became 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 declared that our unwillingness to talk directly to the political leaders 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 acknowledged political voice of the Palestinians? One reason, I discovered, was that Henry Kissinger, who had provided help on my road to Aden, had agreed to an Israeli request, under which the U.S. government would not communicate formally with the PLO until the organization recognized the right of Israel to exist. It was a tough demand, especially in light of Israels flat refusal to accept a Palestinian state as its neighbor, but Kissinger had agreed to it.
To help break the ice, I decided to communicate with Arafat myself, not to negotiate anything but to serve, as best I could, as a bridge of information between the U.S. government and an important Arab com­munity. I met the PLO leader for the first time in January 1978 in Dam­ascus, just before meeting with Ali in Aden for what would be the last time. Before the meeting with Arafat, I had the same misgivings that I felt before going to Aden four years earlier. Meeting Arafat crossed the line that Kissinger, at Israels demand, had drawn.
5 They Dare to Speak Out
"I Stand Behind the Words"

PAUL FINDLEY They Dare to Speak Out 2

"I Stand Behind the Words"
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. Welcoming our small group, which included Mrs. Findley and several other members of Congress, he spoke softly and listened atten­tively. He was bareheaded and 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 repeated his usual litany, but coming directly from his lips the words had added force: "I am a freedom fighter. We are fighting for justice for our people, the four million Palestinians dispossessed and scattered by three decades of war."
Later that year, I had a second and more productive meeting with the PLO leader, again in Damascus. This time I was alone. With Arafat 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 hard-liners. Such was the ferment in the Palestinian community. 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 that stretched 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 to Carter—and to the public.
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 Pales­tine. 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 wrote the words on a legal sheet and read them back several times so he could ponder their full meaning. 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."
I was elated, perhaps too much so. Arafat s pledge contrasted sharply with the harsh rhetoric of earlier Palestinian public statements which
Rescue and Involvement 5
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, and 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 what he pledged, 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 before.
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, but his suggestion was rejected. In a subsequent interview on NBC's Meet the Press, Arafat—always a nimble actor—sidestepped questions about the pledge. Carter's newly appointed special ambassador to the Middle East, Robert Strauss, a prominent Democrat who had previously served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, was intrigued by 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 put aside their government s hard line. But Strauss, despite his unique intimate relationship with Carter and his demonstrated ability to negotiate complicated problems on both the international 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 re­election, 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 into Middle East politics. Early one Sunday, Assistant Secretary of State Harold Saunders called for help. At Arafat's behest, Kuwait was demanding consideration of a United Nations resolution that was sympathetic to the Palestinians. The United States, because of Israels objections, would not support it, but did not want to go on record against it. The vote was scheduled for the following Tuesday. Saunders hoped that, given more time, he could find
5 They Dare to Speak Out
a formula that would satisfy both the Arab states and the United States. Mindful of Carter's rule against even informal talks with the PLO, Saunders carefully avoided directly asking that I call Arafat. Neverthe­less, I knew Saunders well enough to grasp the real purpose of his call to me. I told him I would try to persuade Arafat to postpone the sched­uled vote.
My call to Arafat's office went through instantly, which was unusual for the chaotic Beirut exchange. I urged Arafat to postpone the UN vote, arguing that the delay would cost him nothing and would earn him U.S. gratitude. Two hours later Kuwait postponed the vote. That same week­end, Carter's ambassador to the UN, Andrew Young, had acted less cau­tiously than Saunders. He'd met to discuss the same issue with Zuhdi Labib Terzi, the PLO observer at the UN. So firm was Carter's edict against talking with the PLO that this incident led to Young's resignation.
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, Arafat had told me of his close relationship with the revolutionaries in Iran. I saw this crisis as an opportunity for Arafat to help in a humanitarian cause and, perhaps, to open the door for peaceful discussions 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.
Labadi reminded me that Arafat had taken my advice on the UN confrontation but, in Labadi's words, "got nothing in return." He was right. Labadi told me he disagreed with me regarding the situation in Iran but would carefully report my recommendation 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, the Carter spokesmen did nothing to discourage the unfounded speculation that the PLO had actually conspired with Iran to seize the hostages. The reverse was true. Just before he left office, 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 publicly.
Rescue and Involvement 5
On several occasions during off-the-record meetings at the White House, I urged Carter to publicly acknowledge Arafat's moderate coop­erative course. I was warned that failure to do so would strengthen more radical forces. I later learned that Vice President Walter Mondale, more than any other personality in the administration, had argued persua­sively against making any public statements that acknowledged PLO cooperation.
Labadi never forgave Arafat for this cooperation. He later deserted the PLO leader and joined the rebels who were laying siege to Arafat at Tripoli.
Turmoil in the Middle West
While I was organizing my one-man peace initiative, my critics were organizing to throw me out of office. Partisans back home, who had watched my re-election margins grow to 70 percent in 1978, correctly surmised that my unusual activities in foreign policy would provide them the money to attack me in the upcoming elections. In the spring of 1979, an aggressive former state legislator, David Robinson, strongly encour­aged by pro-Israel activists, began campaigning full-time for the Dem­ocratic nomination for the congressional seat I had held for nineteen years. Three months before the March 1980 primary, David Nuessen, the popular Republican mayor of Quincy, Illinois, challenged my renom-ination in a professionally managed campaign that was supported mainly by pro-Israel political action committees and individuals. Their contri­butions financed a relentless pummeling that bruised me more than I realized. I squeaked through the 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 Reserve Board and, in 1980, the U.S. ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany. Just after the primary election, I explained my campaign chal­lenge in a telephone conversation with him. 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 request: "If you will put those sentiments in a letter I can use in the campaign, that would be a great help."
5 They Dare to Speak Out
His endorsement was not a high priority objective. In fact, I did not even think to ask for it until he praised my record, but I expected Burns to agree without hesitation, as we had been friends throughout my career. Our views on fiscal and economic policies were identical.
His answer was the deepest wound in a traumatic year: "Oh, I couldn't do that. Its your views on the PLO. I'm sorry." I was stupefied. I am used to surprises—and disappointments—but his refusal left me speechless. No event, before or since, disclosed to me so forcefully the leverage of the pro-Israel lobby on the U.S. political scene. This great, kind, generous Jewish elder statesman, a personal friend, could not ignore the lobby and say a public good word for my candidacy. I report this episode for this reason: If an otherwise stalwart man like Burns felt intim­idated, lesser men and women who do speak out are truly courageous.
Meanwhile, Democrat Robinson solicited campaign contributions by advertising in Jewish newspapers throughout the country, where he called 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. Robinson and I raised about $600,000 each. It was the most expensive congressional campaign in Illinois history. College students from both coasts and in between came to central Illinois on Robinson's behalf, manning phone banks and can­vassing door-to-door.
Midway through my speech to the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, a man burst into the hall and shouted, "We've received a call. There's a bomb in the room." The crowd of five hundred made a fast exit. The police later found a pipe loaded with bubble gum in the grand piano on the stage. Later, Robinson activists converged on Detroit, Michigan, where I was a delegate to the Republican convention, to picket and amuse onlookers with the chant, "Paul, Paul, he must go. He sup­ports the PLO."
Trapped on a Bos with Percy
At first, my plight escaped the attention of the Ronald Reagan presi­dential campaign. In fact, when Reagan's scheduling office learned that I was having a fundraising luncheon in Springfield, his manager asked if Reagan could stop by, as he would be nearby that day. That unsolicited
Rescue and Involvement 5
warmth quickly chilled. 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 was the home of the first Republican president, Abraham Lin­coln, and therefore a "must visit" for the party's presidential candidates. During a day in Illinois, a candidate simply could not pass by Springfield. The Reagan team was concerned about how to make the expected pil­grimage and still keep me out of camera range.
Greg Newell, chief of scheduling, first planned to finesse the prob­lem by having Reagan deliver a major address from the steps of the Lin­coln home at the very moment he knew I would be attending my major fundraiser of the year halfway across town. Just for insurance, Newell moved Reagan's Springfield appearance to the Lincoln Tomb, all the way across town. He also scrubbed Reagan's speech, a move designed to min­imize press interest in the Springfield stop.
I realized, however, that most of my supporters would also want to see Reagan when he came to town. To accommodate them (and to assure good attendance at my own function), I rescheduled my fundraiser early enough so those attending—myself included—could also attend the Reagan appearance at the tomb.
Reagan's manager passed on an order quietly, or so they thought, that read: "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, Don Norton, my campaign manager, vented his outrage to Reagan's 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 a platform with Reagan. Representative Ed Madigan, who later became Reagan's secretary of agriculture, was irritated to learn that he would have to either speak before Reagan's arrival in Bloomington that day or wait until Reagan had left the platform. Madigan opted to make 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. Unaware at the time of the panic of
5 They Dare to Speak Out
Reagan's crew, I was literally corralled behind a rope fifty 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. Their goal was to keep only me away from 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 remarks and left the area.
Bob Hope Backs Bot
The Reagan team's panic even spread to Hollywood. Bob Hope, who never wavered under enemy fire on war fronts in World War II and who withstood heavy criticism for his support of President Nixon's Vietnam policies, encountered a new and more devastating line of fire when he agreed to appear at a fundraising event for me in Springfield.
Two years earlier I had organized a seventy-fifth birthday party for Hope in the House of Representatives in Washington. It was the most fun-filled moment in the chamber that I can remember. Hope and his wife sat in the gallery as one congressman after another voiced praise of the great entertainer. The tributes filled fourteen pages of the Congres­sional Record. Gratefully recalling the unique party, Hope agreed to help with my 1980 campaign. His manager, Ward Grant, knowing from the start 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 recalled receiving an urgent telephone message 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 gotten to the point where Hope's lawyer of thirty-five 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 were made, tickets were sold, and enthusiasm was high. His plea was to no avail. When Norron told me of the crisis, I tried to
Rescue and Involvement 5
get a call through to Hope himself, hoping to persuade him to reconsider. 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 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 the U.S. government was maintaining a public posture of refusing to communicate with the PLO. My letter brought no response, nor were my phone calls returned.
Happily, Strauss—a prominent Democrat and a Jew—agreed to help. Encountering him one afternoon on the steps of the House of Rep­resentatives, I explained my problem and asked him to talk to Hope. By then Strauss had left his diplomatic post and was chairman of Carter's campaign for re-election. In a remarkable gesture of magnanimity to a Republican in the midst of a hotly contested election, Strauss agreed, adding, "Maybe I can help him understand the 'crazy' pressure he is 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 responded, "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. Happily, only one ticket holder asked for a refund. The sellout crowd heard a stirring address by my friend and
5 They Dare to Speak Out
colleague, Representative Guy Vander Jagt of Michigan, who agreed to fill in at the last minute.
Lobby pressure also intervened 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 Palm 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 speak for me, the caller said, before election day. To determine if some accommodation could be arranged, Bob Wichser, my assistant, called the Michigan Bar Association, only to learn that there was no conflict— no event was scheduled on the day in question.
I was puzzled. I had worked closely with Ford during the sixteen years he was Republican leader of the House, noting with admiration that he had never let disagreement on a policy issue keep him from cam­paigning 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. 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 assumed the worst was over. What more could the pro-Israeli activists do? Accordingly, I continued my endeavors for Middle East peace and did not anticipate the severe new challenges related to the Arab-Israeli dispute that were yet to come. In late 1981a federal court, responding to shifts in population, ordered boundary changes in my district that removed Jacksonville, my old hometown, and added, Decatur, the city with the nation's highest unem­ployment. Marginally Democratic before the border changes, the new district was now substantially so. In addition, local industry was in a deep depression and farmers were restless.
I was unopposed in the 1982 primary, but a strong Democratic opponent, Richard Durbin, emerged in the general election. Experienced and popular, he quickly picked up the resources that Robinson had amassed, including Robinson's list of. nationwide contributors. The Asso­ciated Press reported: "Israel's American supporters again are pouring
Rescue and Involvement 5
money into an emotional drive to unseat Central Illinois Representative Paul Findley." On the plus side, Reagan's lieutenants were helping me this time. Vice President George H. W. Bush, my former House colleague, brushed aside pro-Israeli complaints from Texas and appeared at an event on my behalf in Springfield.
This time, re-election was not to be. I lost by 1,407 votes, less than 1 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 150 students from the University of Illinois to my district to "pound the pavements and knock on doors." He 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 recording for total campaign spending.
No Ready Answers
The campaign to remove me from Congress started early in 1979 and spanned most of the next four years. It attracted the attention and finan­cial resources of pro-Israel people in every state in the Union. Reports from friends suggested its national scope. Senator Bob Dole of Kansas, my seatmate on the House Agriculture Committee for six years, told me he heard pro-Israel leaders in Kansas speak with great emotional inten­sity about my candidacy both before and after election day. Clarence Palmby, the 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 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? WJvy did people from all over the coun­try, who did not know me personally and very likely knew little of my
5 They Dare to Speak Out
record, dig so deeply into their own pockets, many of them contribut­ing $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 voted consistently for aid to Israel. Sometimes I was critical of Egypt and other Arab states. Even when, in an effort to force Israel to halt its attacks on Lebanon, I tried to get President Carter to suspend aid, I voted for all measures that authorized future military and economic aid to Israel. Interestingly, many Israelis and U.S. Jews shared my views about the Arab-Israeli dispute. Beyond Middle East policy, I supported causes that 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 Repre­sentatives. While senior among Republicans, I was just one of nine on the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee dealing with the Middle East. When I criticized Israel, whether I spoke in committee or on the floor of the House of Representatives, I almost always stood alone. Surely the lobby for Israel realized that I posed no serious threat. Could Israel's support­ers not tolerate even one lonely voice of dissent?
Or was the lobby's goal to make an example of me in the Elizabethan tradition? According to legend, Queen Elizabeth occasionally hanged an admiral just to keep others on their toes. 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 experienced with the tradi­tional Jewish advocacy of civil liberties, a record I had admired all my life. In Congress, I worked closely with Jewish colleagues, including Allard Lowenstein 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 questions 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. What about the presi­dent and the vast array of "movers and shakers" employed in the execu­tive branch? What pressures, if any, do they experience? A lobby
Rescue and Involvement 5
formidable enough to intimidate two former presidents of the United States must have great leverage at the highest levels of government.
What of those in other occupations? The lobby had forced Bob Hope to back down. Did it have similar power over people in different professions? On campus, for example, does tenure and the tradition of academic freedom give immunity to teachers and administrators from the kind of pressure I received? Do members of the clergy escape it? How about people in business, large and small? And, vitally important in our free society, how about reporters, columnists, editorial writers, publishers, and 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 the Capitol Hill offices of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Jurgen Graf : Holocaust or Hoax

Germar Rudolf : Lectures on the Holocaust

RUDOLF Germar Auschwitz : Plain Facts

Arthur R. Butz : The Hoax of the Twentieth Century

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, perhaps 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 Israel'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, then 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 congressmen 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 having a direct effect on public policy it is clearly the most important. The organization
5 They Dare to Speak Out
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 representative 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 litera­ture regularly cites a tribute published in the New York Times: "The most powerful, best-run and effective foreign policy interest group in Wash­ington." A former congressman, Paul N. "Pete" McCloskey, puts it more directly: Congress is "terrorized" by AIPAC.1 Other congressmen have not been so candid on public record, but many House and Senate mem­bers privately agree.
The Washington presence of AIPAC is only the most visible tip of this lobby. Its effectiveness rests heavily on the nationwide foundation built by U.S. Jews who function through more than 200 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.2
Actually, those who provide the political activism for all organiza­tions 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 nth, 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 is also sent, without charge, to news media, congressmen, key government officials, and other people prominent in foreign policy. AIPAC members get the newsletter as a part of their annual dues.
In practice, the lobby groups function as an informal extension of the Israeli government. This was illustrated when AIPAC helped draft the
King of the Hill 5
official statement defending Israel's 1981 bombing of the Iraqi nuclear reactor, then issued it at the same hour that Israel s embassy did.3
No major Jewish organization ever publicly takes issue with posi­tions and policies adopted by Israel.4 Thomas A. Dine, executive direc­tor of AIPAC from 1981 to 1993, 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 twenty-four hours Congress would pass a resolution congratulating him on the discovery," recalls Don Bergus, former ambas­sador to Sudan and a retired career diplomat.5
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."6
AIPAC's charter defines its mission as legislative action, but it now also represents the interests of Israel whenever there is a perceived 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 citizens, 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 a president of the United States turned when he had a vexing political problem related to the Arab-Israeli dispute.
The Ascendancy of Thomas A. Dine

PAUL FINDLEY They Dare to Speak Out 3

The Ascendancy of Thomas A. Dine
In October 1983 President Ronald Reagan, faced with rising public opposition to the presence of U.S. Marines in Lebanon, sought help from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The terrorist bombing that would kill more than 200 marines as they slept 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
5 They Dare to Speak Out
Congressman Sam Stratton of New York, a veteran known for his hawk­ish views, called the marines "sitting ducks" and predicted heavy casual­ties. He wanted them out of Lebanon.
Others cited the War Powers Resolution and questioned whether the president had the authority to keep forces in a hostile environment such as Beirut for more than ninety days without the express approval of 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 had his predecessors, to the restrictions imposed by the War Powers legislation. If he accepted its terms, he would have to withdraw the forces within ninety 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. Regardless, he would have a rebellious Congress on his hands.
Reagan decided to finesse the problem. He asked Congress for leg­islation that would allow him to keep the existing force of marines in Lebanon for eighteen months. This would please the "strict construc­tionists" who felt that the chief executive must live with the War Pow­ers Resolution. It would also suit his own needs, because he was confident that the orderly removal of the marines would occur within the eighteen-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 Democrat 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 of the legislation in the Democrat-controlled body.
But the Senate, although controlled by his fellow Republicans, posed a more difficult problem for the president. An informal "nose count" showed a close vote and probably defeat. The president decided he needed help, and he enlisted the cooperation of Thomas A. Dine, the slender, aggressive, dark-haired young Capitol Hill staff veteran who then headed AIPAC.
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
King of the Hill 5
controversy. Pro-Israeli forces did not want other Americans to blame Israel if the marines should encounter more trouble. Certainly Israel already bore enough responsibility for U.S. problems in Lebanon.7 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 was included. (The multinational force would have been unnecessary had Israel not invaded Lebanon in the first place.) Although 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 stalwart supporters.8 The president was unsure of the votes of twelve Republicans, 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 matters and all except McClure were strong supporters of Israel. Learning of the presidential plea, one AIPAC staffer said, "If the White House is worried about those votes, the bill is going down."
Despite its reluctance to get publicly involved 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 54-46 victory.9
AIPAC's role in the outcome was not noted in most media reports of 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 CNN's Wolf Blitzer, who at the time wrote for the Jerusalem Post and had previously written 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 grassroots organizations to generate support."10
"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."
5 They Dare to Speak Out
Work together they did. The Reagan executive branch established a relationship with AIPAC of unprecedented intimacy. It was not the first time, however, that 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 humani­tarian and church-related organizations, AIPAC serves foreign aid's only domestic constituency.
Without AIPAC, foreign aid legislation would not have been approved at the $15 billion-plus level in 2001, and might have difficulty surviving at all. A candid tribute to the lobby came from John K. Wil-helm, the executive director of the presidential commission that made recommendations in late 1983 on the future direction of foreign aid.11 Briefing a world hunger board at the State Department in January 1984, Wilhelm, a career veteran in the Agency for International Development, said the 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. But AIPAC was then in its infancy.)
AIPAC also crafted the strategy that produced a $510 million increase in 1983 aid for Israel—an astonishing increase, considering it came just after the indiscriminate bombing of Beirut and complicity of Israeli forces in the massacre of Palestinian refugees in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps, events that aroused unprecedented public criti­cism of Israeli policy.
The administration opposed the 1983 increase but was outmaneu-vered. By the time Judge William Clark, who at the time was National Security Adviser to President Reagan, sent an urgent appeal to Repub­lican Senator Mark Hatfield to block the increase, the issue was already settled. AIPAC had locked in support by persuading a majority on the Appropriations Committee that the increase was a simple question of being for or against Israel. No one wanted to champion the negative side.
King of the Hill 5
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 lobbyists pre­sented elaborate data showing how the extra aid to Israel could be accom­plished without cutting support for other countries. An AIPAC lobbyist summed it 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 required—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 forty-two on the commission, twenty-seven were Senate or House members with primary responsibility for handling foreign aid legislation. The others had been prominent in administering foreign aid in years past.
Only one full-time lobbyist was named to the panel: AIPAC's exec­utive director, Thomas A. Dine. To my knowledge, it was the first time that a lobbyist had been selected for such a prestigious government assignment, and Dines 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:
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.12 He was invited to the White House for a private meeting with National Security Adviser Robert C. McFarlane, 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:
5 They Dare to Speak Out
the Lebanese situation and the proposal to help Jordan establish a rapid deployment force. Both of these issues were, of course, of vital interest to Israel. Dine's invitation came just a week after he received the Presi­dent's jubilant phone call thanking him for his help in getting the War Powers Resolution authority extended.
In January 1984 Washingtonian magazine listed Dine among the most influential people in the nations capital.
Dine's reputation has even stirred Arab capitals. In 1984 King Hus­sein of Jordan publicly blamed AIPAC, in part, for the decline of U.S. influence and leadership for peace in the Middle East.13 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 especially provoked the king: For ten days begin­ning in mid-March 1984, Dine personally took part in direct foreign policy negotiations with Undersecretary of State Lawrence S. Eagle-burger and National Security Adviser McFarlane.14 During 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 of the missiles. At the time Eagleburger made his proposition, AIPAC already had forty-eight senators committed in opposition, and he received pledges from six more the next day.15 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; second, issue a public letter announcing that it would engage in no further indirect communications with the Palestine Liberation Organization.16 Although the public letter
King of the Hill 5
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 and the official charged with the development and administration of U.S. policies relating to the Middle East, was not invited to the Eagleburger-McFarlane-Dine negotiations, nor was he notified of the administrations 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 administrations making deals on foreign pol­icy issues with a private, special-interest organization." 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 Dines combination of ingratiating manner, tough, relentless spirit, and sheer dynamism. Under Dine, AIPAC's membership has risen from 11,000 to more than 50,000, and its annual budget had grown from $750,000 to more than $3 million.
Dine's influence was felt in power centers beyond the Oval Office. He received calls from presidential candidates as well as presidents, and he reported that former Vice President Walter Mondale "bounces ideas off us" before issuing statements on Middle East policy. And most con­gressional actions affecting Middle East policy were 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's director utilized a team of hard-driving, able professionals and kept them working together smoothly. Policy lines were kept clear and the troops are well-disciplined. AIPAC's role is to support Israel's policies, not to help for­mulate them, so AIPAC maintained daily telephone communication with the Israeli embassy, and Dine's successor as executive director Howard Kohr met personally with embassy officials at least once a week.
5 They Dare to Speak Out
Although AIPAC has a small staff 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 attract top political tal­ent: the Israeli ambassador, senior White House and State Department officials, and prominent senators and House members. Recent confer­ences featured Senators Tom Daschle of South Dakota and John McCain of Arizona, Representative Tom DeLay of Texas, former and current Israeli Prime Ministers Ehud Barak and Ariel Sharon, and Texas Gover­nor George W. Bush—the year he was elected president.
The White House is also well represented at such conferences. While serving as Reagan's vice president, former U.S. president George Herbert Walker Bush assured AIPAC delegates that the Reagan administration would keep fighting against anti-Semitism at the United Nations and criticized three Democratic presidential candidates—Walter Mondale, Gary Hart, and Jesse Jackson—for being "soft on anti-Semitism."
Ties to 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 Art Chotin, Dine's deputy, the goal was nothing less than to "bring that community into AIPAC." He noted the presence of fifty Christians representing thirty-five states as evidence of progress already made toward this end. White helped organize the annual Religious Roundtable Prayer Breakfast for Israel the following February. Chris Gerstein, AIPAC's political director, came to the position after seven years as special assistant to the president of the International Union of Operating Engineers.
AIPAC's coast-to-coast outreach is enhanced by its speaking pro­gram. Its officers, staff members, and representatives filled more than 900 dates in 1982 alone. Receptions are held in scores of smaller cities. "Parlor briefings" in the homes of Jewish leaders across the country 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.
King of the Hill 5
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, arranged for 1,500 U.S. Jews to take one-week tours. "The visitors were given a view of the magnificence you will find in any country," observed an AIPAC staff member. He said the tour had profound impact: "It built spirit for the cause, and it raised money. The pitch for funds was the final event. It came right after the folks walked out of the memorial to the Holocaust." The effect was awesome. "The tour directors have it down to a science," he reported. "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 legislatures, and community leaders, including news media personnel, are also given the opportunity for expense-paid tours of Israel. Trips are also arranged for our nation's leaders, 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 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 arrange expense-paid tours for staff members who occupy key positions. These annual trips are called the Hal Rosenthal Program, named for former Republican Senator Jacob Javits's staff aide, who was gunned down by a Palestinian terrorist on the first such trip.
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 participation. It
5 They Dare to Speak Out
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 congressman 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 to advance Israel's objectives.
The most controversial publication of all was an "enemies list" issued as a "first edition" in the spring of 1983. A handsomely printed 154-page paperback entitled The Campaign to Discredit Israel, it provided a "directory of the actors": 21 organizations and 39 individuals AIPAC identified as inimical to Israeli interests.
Included were such distinguished public servants as former Under­secretary of State George W. Ball, retired ambassadors Talcott Seelye, Andrew Killgore, John C. West, and James Akins, and former Senator James Abourezk. There were 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," titled Pro-Arab Propaganda in America: Vehicles and Voices. It too was identified as a "first edition," and lists thirty-one organizations and thirty-four individuals. These books were nothing more than blacklists, reminiscent of the worst tactics of the McCarthy era.
A similar "enemies list" was employed in AIPAC's extensive program at colleges and universities.
They Get the Word Out Fast
Through its "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.
King of the Hill 5
The network can have almost instantaneous effect. One day I whis­pered to a colleague in the Foreign Affairs Committee that I might offer an amendment to a pending bill cutting aid to Israel. Within thirty min­utes, two other congressmen came to me with worried looks, reporting that they had just had calls from citizens in their home districts who were concerned about my amendment.
Paul Weyrich, who worked as a Senate aide before becoming a polit­ical analyst, details the effectiveness of AIPAC:
Its 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 pressure is bound to affect Senators' thinking, espe­cially if they are wavering or need support.17
This activism is carried out by an elaborate system of officers, com­mittees, and councils that give AIPAC a ready, intimate system for polit­ical activity from coast to coast. Officers meet once a month to confer with Executive Director Kohr on organization and management. Each of its five vice presidents can expect to eventually serve a term as presi­dent. A large executive committee is invited to Washington every three months for briefings. A recent national council listed more than 200 names. These subgroups include the leadership of most major U.S. Jew­ish organizations.
The AIPAC staff is not only highly professional and highly motivated but also thoroughly experienced. Prior to joining AIPAC, director Howard Kohr was a management fellow for the Department of Defense, deputy director of the National Jewish Coalition, and assistant Wash­ington representative of the American Jewish Committee.
Lobbyists for AIPAC have almost instant access to House and Sen­ate members and feel free to call them at their homes in the evening. Republican Congressman Douglas Bereuter of Nebraska, an exception, received no lobbyists, AIPAC or otherwise, but the doors were wide open to AIPAC lobbyists at the offices of almost all other congressmen. A congressional aide explained why:
5 They Dare to Speak Out
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 lobby­ist 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 somewhat 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 that AIPAC enjoys: "If I can actually see two congressmen or senators in one long day, its been a good one."
Despite its denials, AIPAC keeps close records on each House and Senate member. Unlike other lobbies, which keep track of only a few "key" issues voted on the House or Senate floor, AIPAC takes note of other activities, too—votes in committees, cosponsorship 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 House of Representatives approved a bill to remove all trade restrictions between the United States and Israel; 98.5 percent (416) voted in the affirmative, despite the strong opposition of the AFL-CIO and the Amer­ican Farm Bureau Federation. The vote was 416-6 on legislation 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 that found that the duty-free imports proposed in the bill would cause "significant adverse effects" on U.S. producers of vegetables.18 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 loose a copy by complaining bit­terly—and correctly—to the White House that AIPAC had secured a copy for its own use.
King of the Hill 5
"I Cleared It with AIPAC"
Until his defeat in an upset on November 6, 1984, Congressman Clarence D. "Doc" Long, a seventy-four-year-old Democrat from Mary­land, exemplified the strong ties between AIPAC and Capitol Hill. He delivered for Israel as chairman of the House Appropriations Subcom­mittee, which handles aid to Israel.
The tall, gray-haired, former economics professor at Johns Hopkins 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 came up. The lobby wanted him to keep it. Chairmanships are normally decided by senior­ity, and next in line after Long was David Obey of Wisconsin, who earned lobby disfavor in 1976 by offering an amendment to cut aid to Israel by $200 million.19 "Doc" Long never had any misgivings about aid to Israel, and he helped his colleagues defeat Obeys amendment by a vote of 342-32.
Sitting at a table in the House of Representatives restaurant during a late House session in 1982, Long explained:
Long ago I decided that Id 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 Obeys questions about the high levels of Israeli aid. Long said, "I cant 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 Leb­anon. He proposed an amendment that would have cut funding for the operation in sixty days. John Hall, a reporter who knew Longs close ties with the lobby, asked Long, "Are you sure this amendment wont get you in trouble?" Without hesitation, the congressman replied, "I cleared it with AIPAC." He was not joking. This was not the first congressional proposal to be cleared in advance with the Israeli lobby, but it was the first time the clearance had been specifically acknowledged in the public
5 They Dare to Speak Out
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 Subcommittee on Europe and the Middle East, the measure failed, 274-153.
Although heavily supported by pro-Israeli interests—eighteen 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 twenty years, most of the time without contributions.
The money and votes that Israel's supporters provided to Long's can­didacy were insufficient in 1984. Although pro-Israel PACs (political action committees) gave him $155,000—four times the amount that went to any other House candidate—Long lost by 5,727 votes, less than 3 percent of those cast. A factor in his defeat was advertising sponsored by people prominent in the National Association of Arab Americans, who attacked Long for his uncritical support of Israel's demands. Obey, Long's likely successor as chairman, was the only Democrat on the panel who did not accept money from pro-Israel political action committees.
"They Have Never Forgiven Me"
On one occasion, Israel's U.S. lobby had a hand in putting a vice presi­dent out of office. In a letter to me dated April 20, 1988, former Vice President Spiro T. Agnew credited AIPAC and other elements of Israel's U.S. lobby with keeping him from becoming president. Before resign­ing the vice presidency over corrupt payments dating from his career as governor of Maryland, Agnew was the idol of conservatives. They loved his caustic and sometimes entertaining attacks on liberals, whom he once called "nattering nabobs of negativism."
In the letter, Agnew said he was engaged in a second reading of my book, They Dare to Speak Out, and added:
Although you do not speak of my experience in your book, I trace the advent of my difficulties to a confrontation with this same lobby. In 1971, President Nixon wished me to visit Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to provide a little balance to the teeming of congressmen who run to Israel on the slight­
King of the Hill 5
est pretext. The White House staff suggested that I also go to Israel, but I declined on the basis that doing so would substantially diminish the signal that my visits were trying to send to the Arab countries. AIPAC raised hell, and I received a torrent of letters and calls from Jewish friends and acquain­tances as well as numerous requests for appointments with Jewish pressure groups. I stuck to my guns and did not visit Israel, and they have never for­given me. And they made sure that I would not become president.
In subsequent correspondence, Agnew asked me not to place the text of his letter on the public record during his lifetime. In a curious twist to the Agnew history, I was among those who did not want him to succeed Nixon, but my reasons differed from those he ascribed to AIPAC. I was uneasy with Agnews brand of Republicanism in early 1973 and had a discussion with Senator Charles "Mac" Mathias (R-MD) and a few other Republicans over what, if anything, could be done to keep the vice president from becoming the party's presidential nominee in 1976. The question proved moot when, faced with corruption charges, Agnew resigned the vice presidency in October 1973. Richard Nixon resigned a year later. After serving a prison term, Agnew returned to private life as a business consultant. He died in 1996.
Outreach on an International Scale
AIPAC champions not only Israel s U.S. causes, but its international ambi­tions as well. The lobby recently began an international outreach program, serving Israels interests by facilitating U.S. aid to other countries. In 1983 it tried to help Zaire, Israels new African 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 button­holed members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. The amend­ment failed, but the effort helped to pay the debt that Israel incurred when Zaire extended full diplomatic recognition to Israel the previous year.
Columnists Rowland Evans and Robert Novak viewed the initiative 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 described this new effort by Israel as "an exercise of domestic political power by a foreign nation that raises troubling questions."
5 They Dare to Speak Out
Beyond AIPAC to the PAG
AIPAC differs from most lobbies in that it avoids endorsing candidates publicly and does not raise or spend money directly in partisan campaigns. Campaign involvement is officially left to private individuals and pro-Israel political action committees (PACs). More than 3,000 PACs are registered under federal law, and most are clearly affiliated with special-interest lob­bies. There are fifty-three PACs that focus on support for Israel, although none lists an affiliation with AIPAC or any other Jewish organization.
The first pro-Israel political action committees were organized in 1979. By 1982 they had mushroomed to a total of thirty-one. Pro-Israel PACs contributed more than $1.8 million to 268 different election cam­paigns during the 1981-82 Federal Election Commission reporting cycle, putting them in the highest political spending range.20 By mid-August 1984, the list had increased to seventy-five PACs, and they had accumulated $4.25 million for the 1984 federal elections.
These numbers dropped significantly by the 1999-2000 election cycle, in which fifty-three pro-Israel PACs distributed approximately $2 million among 316 campaigns. The reason for this decline is that indi­vidual fund-raisers have largely supplanted PACs as the primary means of raising pro-Israel money for candidates. The decline in the number of pro-Israel PACs does not, therefore, indicate a decline in pro-Israel activism. According to former Democratic National Committee head Steve Grossman, who has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for pro-Israel candidates, "The record will show there is far more money going to pro-Israel candidates than during the days when PACs were created." This isn't to say that pro-Israel PACs have completely ceased their activities: "Since a contribution of $10,000 can't really make a dif­ference, what we try to do is thank our friends," says Morris Amitay, who heads the pro-Israel Washington PAC.21
Few of these PACs bear names or other information disclosing their pro-Israeli interest, nor do any list affiliations with AIPAC or other pro-Israeli or Jewish organizations. Most choose to obscure their pro-Israel character by using a bland title, such as the "Committee for 18," "Ari­zona Politically Interested Citizens," "Joint Action Committee for Polit­ical Affairs," or "Government Action Committee." Yet all are totally committed to one thing: Israel.
King of the Hill 5
"No one is trying to hide anything," protests Mark Siegel, founder 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 originally formed to help in the late Senator Henry Jackson's 1978 presidential bid.
Norman Silverman, who helped to found the Denver-based Com­mittee for 18, is more explicit, saying that the name selection became "an emotional issue." Some of the organizers, mainly younger people, wanted the committee's Jewish identity plainly set forth in its name. "Others," Silverman noted, "said they didn't want to be a member if we did that."
Richard Altman, former executive director of the highly influen­tial—and exclusively pro-Israel—National Political Action Committee, spoke candidly about PAC contributions to the political process: "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."22
As a matter of fact, AIPAC sometimes drops all pretenses of staying apart from fund-raising. For instance, a pro-Israel political action com­mittee was organized in Virginia in 1983 during a workshop sponsored by AIPAC. In addition, 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 in 1977, founded the Jerusalem-based Americans in Israel Political Action Committee. Through the committee, Frolich says, 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 full-time in fund-raising wor­ries about appearances. AIPAC's former executive director, Morris Ami-tay, 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 founded the relatively small Wash­ington Political Action Committee, which dispensed $193,722 in 106 races during the 1999-2000 elections.23
Too much or not, Jewish influence in fundraising is widely rec­ognized. Given recent campaign finance reforms, the "middle-sized"
5 They Dare to Speak Out
contributions of individual donors have become especially valuable. Laws banning "soft money" prevent huge cash donations from corporations and extremely wealthy individuals to political parties. The focus is thus placed on individual donors, who by law may only contribute up to $2,000 directly to a candidate per election cycle, and up to $10,000 to a politi­cal action committee. Since PACs may contribute $10,000 per candidate, individuals often contribute the $2,000 limit directly to a candidate, and also the $5,000 limit to one or more PACs supporting the same candidate. In all, an individual donor can effectively contribute up to $57,000 to one candidate per election. Jewish donors are especially sought after. According to the Jewish weekly Forward, "... in the 1999-2000 elec­tion cycle, some twenty of the top fifty individual donors of soft money were Jewish."24 That kind of generosity is not ignored by politicians.
In August 1983 the Wall Street Journalreported that "several rank­ing Congressmen—most of whom wouldn't comment on the record 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 that the PACs concentrate on the Senate because it is the "real battleground" on questions of foreign policy. In 1999-2000, PACs invested $1,083,101 in Senate races, with $961,505 going to House contests.25
Guided by AIPAC, PACs choose their targets with care. In 1982 when Lynn Adelman, a Jewish state senator in Wisconsin, 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 Committee on Foreign Affairs, through which all Israeli aid measures must go. 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 Committee on Foreign Affairs will have a friend
King of the Hill 5
of Israel as its new chairman," referring to Dante Fascell of Florida, the Democrat who was next in line to succeed Zablocki. Zablocki was re­elected by a two-to-one margin.
After the 1982 election—a year before he was elected chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee after the sudden death of Zablocki, Fas-cell 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.26
"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 ro 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. Danforth, 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 1 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 least chance for re-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. He had never won an election.
Encouraged by AIPAC, twenty-seven pro-Israel political action com­mittees, all based outside Maine, contributed $77,400 to Mitchell's
5 They Dare to Speak Out
campaign. With this help, Mitchell fooled the professionals and won handily. In a post-election phone call to AIPAC director 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 twenty pro-Israeli political action committees, with $10,000 of it coming from the Citizens Organized PAC in California. This PAC contributed $5,000 during a breakfast meeting four months after Durenberger 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 supporting 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 investment in Symms by pro-Israeli 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 legisla­tive 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 records 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.
King of the Hill 5
Because favored candidates need more money than PAC sources pro­vide, AIPAC also helps by providing lists for direct mail fundraising. The appeal can be hard-hitting. An example is the literature mailed in early 1984 on behalf of Republican Senator Rudy Boschwitz of Min­nesota. Fellow Republican Lowell Weicker wrote the introductory letter, 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 Pack-wood and Wolf Blitzer, then the 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 Vil­lage Voice in June 1983 after a delegation of eighteen dissenting rabbis had scoured Capitol Hill trying to convince congressmen that some Jews oppose Israeli policies.27 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 concern:
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 Israel's national interest. When these converge—wonderful! But they don't always 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."28
Later, when he reviewed the 1984 election results, Dine credited Jewish money, not votes: "Early money, middle money, late money."29 He claimed credit for defeating Republican Senators Charles Percy of
5 They Dare to Speak Out
Illinois and Roger Jepsen of Iowa and Democratic Senator Walter Hud-dleston of Kentucky, all of whom incurred AIPAC's 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."
Our allies are aware of Americas tendency to place lobby interests over the interests of the United States. After AIPAC blocked a $1.6 bil­lion arms sale to Jordan, King Hussein complained, "The United States is not free to move except within the limits of what AIPAC, the Zion­ists, and the State of Israel determine for it." A Democratic senator con­versing with a visiting European diplomat put it bluntly: "All of us here are members of Likud now."30
Stilling the Still, Small Voices