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The History of US-Israel Relations
Against Our Better Judgment
The hidden history of how the United States was used to create Israel

Louis Brandeis, flanked by Rabbi Stephen Samuel Wise, founding secretary of the American Federation of Zionists (right) and Nathan Straus, co-owner of Macy’s (Source: Library of Congress)

By Alison Weir April 18, 2013
Alison Weir is Executive Director If Americans Knew and President of the Council for the National Interest. She is available to give presentations on this topic and can be reached at contact@

How the U.S. “special relationship” with Israel came about

W hile many people are led to believe that U.S. support for Israel is driven by the American establishment and U.S. national interests, the facts don't support this theory. The reality is that for decades U.S. foreign policy and defense experts opposed supporting the creation of Israel. They then similarly opposed the massive American funding and diplomatic support that sustained the forcibly established state and that provided a blank check for its aggressive expansion. They were simply outmaneuvered and eventually replaced.

Like many American policies, U.S. Middle East policies are driven by a special interest lobby. However, the Israel Lobby, as it is called today in the U.S.[1], consists of vastly more than what most people envision in the word "lobby."

As this article will demonstrate, the Israel Lobby is considerably more powerful and pervasive than other lobbies. Components of it, both individuals and groups, have worked underground, secretly and even illegally throughout its history, as documented by scholars and participants.

And even though the movement for Israel has been operating in the U.S. for over a hundred years, most Americans are completely unaware of this movement and its attendant ideology – a measure of its unique influence over public knowledge.

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

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

In addition, this movement has been profoundly damaging to the United States itself.

As we will see in this two-part examination of the pro-Israel movement, it has targeted virtually every significant sector of American society; worked to involve Americans in tragic, unnecessary, and profoundly costly wars; dominated Congress for decades; increasingly determined which candidates could become serious contenders for the U.S. presidency; and promoted bigotry toward an entire population, religion and culture.

It has promoted policies that have exposed Americans to growing danger, and then exaggerated this danger (while disguising its cause), fueling actions that dismember some of our nation's most fundamental freedoms and cherished principles.[2]

All this for a population that is considerably smaller than New Jersey.[3]
The beginnings

The Israel Lobby in the U.S. is just the tip of an older and far larger iceberg known as "political Zionism," an international movement that began in the late 1800s with the goal of creating a Jewish state somewhere in the world. In 1897 this movement, led by a European journalist named Theodore Herzl[4] coalesced in the First Zionist World Congress, held in Basle, Switzerland, which established the World Zionist Organization, representing approximately 120 groups the first year; 900 the next.[5]

While Zionists considered such places as Argentina, Uganda, and Texas,[6] they eventually settled on Palestine for the location of their proposed Jewish State, even though Palestine was already inhabited by a population that was 95 percent Muslims and Christians, who owned 99 percent of the land.[7] As numerous Zionist diary entries, letters, and other documents show, Zionists planned to push out these non-Jews – financially, if possible; violently if necessary.[8]
Political Zionism in the U.S.

In the 1880s groups advocating the setting up of a Jewish state began popping up around the United States.[9] Emma Lazarus, the poet whose words would adorn the Statue of Liberty, promoted Zionism throughout this decade.[10] A precursor to the Israeli flag was created in Boston in 1891.[11]

In 1887 President Grover Cleveland appointed a Jewish ambassador to Turkey (then under the Ottoman Empire), which at that time controlled Palestine, because of its importance to Zionists. Jewish historian David G. Dalin reports that presidents considered the Turkish embassy important to "the growing number of Zionists within the American Jewish electorate."

Every president, both Republican and Democrat, followed this precedent for the next 30 years. "During this era, the ambassadorship to Turkey came to be considered a quasi-Jewish domain," writes Dalin.[12]

By the early 1890s organizations promoting Zionism existed in New York, Chicago, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Boston, Philadelphia, and Cleveland.[13] Reports from the Zionist World Congress in Basle, which four Americans had attended, gave this movement a major stimulus, galvanizing Zionist activities in American cities that had large Jewish populations.[14]

In 1897-98 numerous additional Zionist societies were founded in the East and the Midwest. In 1898 the first annual conference of American Zionists convened in New York on the 4th of July, where they formed the Federation of American Zionists (FAZ).[15]

By 1910 the number of Zionists in the U.S. approached 20,000 and included lawyers, professors, and businessmen. Even in its infancy, when it was still considered relatively weak, Zionism was becoming a movement to which Congressmen listened, particularly in the eastern cities.[16]

The movement continued to expand, and by 1914 several additional Zionist groups had cropped up. The religious Mizrachi faction was formed in 1903, the Labor party in 1905 and Hadassah, the women's Zionist organization, in 1912.[17]

By 1922 there were 200,000 Zionists in the U.S. and by 1948 this had grown to almost a million.[18]

From early on Zionists actively pushed their agenda in the media. One Zionist organizer proudly proclaimed in 1912 "the zealous and incessant propaganda which is carried on by countless societies."[19] The Yiddish press from a very early period espoused the Zionist cause. By 1923 only one New York Yiddish newspaper failed to qualify as Zionist. Yiddish dailies reached 535,000 families in 1927.[20]

While Zionists were making major inroads in influencing Congress and the media, State Department officials were less enamored with Zionists, who they felt were trying to use the American government for a project damaging to the United States. Unlike politicians, State Department officials were not dependent on votes and campaign donations. They were charged with recommending and implementing policies beneficial to all Americans, not just one tiny sliver working on behalf of a foreign entity. In memo after memo, year after year, U.S. diplomatic and military experts pointed out that Zionism was counter to both U.S. interests and principles.[21]

While more examples will be discussed later in this article, Secretary of State Philander Knox was perhaps the first in the pattern of State Department officials rejecting Zionist advances. In 1912, when the Zionist Literary Society approached the Taft administration for an endorsement, Knox turned them down flat, noting that "problems of Zionism involve certain matters primarily related to the interests of countries other than our own."[22]

Despite that small setback in 1912, Zionists garnered a far more significant victory in the same year; one that was to have enormous consequences both internationally and in the United States and that was part of a pattern of influence that continues through today.
Louis Brandeis, Zionism, and the "Parushim"

In 1912 prominent Jewish American attorney Louis Brandeis, who was to go on to become a Supreme Court Justice, became a Zionist. Within two years he became head of the international Zionist Central Office, which had moved to America from Germany a little while before.[23]

While Brandeis is an unusually well known Supreme Court Justice, most Americans are unaware of the significant role he played in World War I and of his connection to Palestine.

Some of this work was done with Felix Frankfurter, who became a Supreme Court Justice two decades later.

In his book The Brandeis/Frankfurter Connection: The Secret Political Activities of Two Supreme Court Justices, Historian Bruce Allen Murphy describes a covert arrangement in which the two men collaborated on numerous political activities. Zionism was one of them.[24]

Murphy writes: "[I]n one of the most unique arrangements in the Court's history, Brandeis enlisted Frankfurter, then a professor at Harvard Law School, as his paid political lobbyist and lieutenant. Working together over a period of 25 years, they placed a network of disciples in positions of influence, and labored diligently for the enactment of their desired programs."[25]

Murphy continues: "This adroit use of the politically skillful Frankfurter as an intermediary enabled Brandeis to keep his considerable political endeavors hidden from the public."

Brandeis only mentioned the arrangement to one other person, Murphy writes, "another Zionist lieutenant– Court of Appeals Judge Julian Mack."

Later, when Frankfurter himself became a Supreme Court Justice, he used similar methods, "placing his own network of disciples in various agencies and working through this network for the realizations of his own goals." These included both Zionist objectives and "Frankfurter's stewardship of FDR's programs to bring the U.S. into battle against Hitler."[26]

Their activities, Murphy notes, were "part of a vast, carefully planned and orchestrated political crusade undertaken first by Brandeis through Frankfurter and then by Frankfurter on his own to accomplish extrajudicial political goals."[27]

Frankfurter joined the Harvard faculty at the age of 31 in 1914 and, Murphy writes, "for the next 25 years, shaped the minds of generations of the nation's most elite law students."[28]

Murphy reports that after becoming head of the American Zionist movement, Brandeis "created an advisory council–an inner circle of his closest advisers–and appointed Felix Frankfurter as one of its members."[29]

Former New York Times Editorial Board member and Harvard scholar Peter Grose[30], who was sympathetic to Israel, describes Brandeis's efforts on behalf of Zionism in his 1984 book Israel in the Mind of America.[31]

Gross writes that Brandeis recruited ambitious young men, often from Harvard, to work on the Zionist cause – and further their careers in the process. Gross reports:

"Brandeis created an elitist secret society called the Parushim, the Hebrew word for 'Pharisees' and 'separate,' which grew out of Harvard's Menorah Society. As the Harvard men spread out across the land in their professional pursuits, their interests in Zionism were kept alive by secretive exchanges and the trappings of a fraternal order. Each invited initiate underwent a solemn ceremony, swearing the oath 'to guard and to obey and to keep secret the laws and the labor of the fellowship, its existence and its aims.'"[32]

At the secret initiation ceremony, the new member was told:

"You are about to take a step which will bind you to a single cause for all your life. You will for one year be subject to an absolute duty whose call you will be impelled to heed at any time, in any place, and at any cost. And ever after, until our purpose shall be accomplished, you will be fellow of a brotherhood whose bond you will regard as greater than any other in your life–dearer than that of family, of school, of nation."[33]
'We must work silently, through education and infection'

An early recruiter explained: "An organization which has the aims we have must be anonymous, must work silently, and through education and infection rather than through force and noise." He wrote that to work openly would be "suicidal" for their objective.

Grose writes: "The members set about meeting people of influence here and there, casually, on a friendly basis. They planted suggestions for action to further the Zionist cause long before official government planners had come up with anything. For example, as early as November 1915, a leader of the Parushim went around suggesting that the British might gain some benefit from a formal declaration in support of a Jewish national homeland in Palestine."[34]

Brandeis was a close personal friend of President Woodrow Wilson and used this position to advocate for the Zionist cause, at times serving as a conduit between British Zionists and the president.

In 1916 President Wilson named Brandeis to the Supreme Court. Although Brandeis officially resigned from all his private clubs and affiliations, including his leadership of Zionism, behind the scenes he continued this Zionist work, receiving daily reports in his Supreme Court chambers and issuing orders to his loyal lieutenants.[35]

When the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) was reorganized in 1918, Brandeis was listed as its "honorary president." However, he was more than just "honorary."

As historian Donald Neff writes, "Through his lieutenants, he remained the power behind the throne." One of these lieutenants was future Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, another particularly well-regarded justice, and another whose Zionist activities have largely gone unnoted.[36]

Zionist membership expanded dramatically during World War I, despite the efforts of some Jewish anti-Zionists, who called the movement a "foreign, un-American, racist, and separatist phenomenon."[37]
World War I & the Balfour Declaration

Unlike some wars, most analysts consider WWI a pointless conflict that resulted from diplomatic entanglements rather than some travesty of justice or aggression. Yet, it was catastrophic to a generation of Europeans, killing 14 million people.[38]

The United States joined this unnecessary war a few years into the hostilities, costing many American lives, even though the U.S. was not party to the alliances that had drawn other nations into the fray. This even though Americans had been strongly opposed to entering the war and Woodrow Wilson had won the presidency with the slogan, "He kept us out of war."[39]

Yet, In 1917 President Wilson changed course and plunged the U.S. into a tragic and pointless European conflict in which hundreds of thousands were killed and injured.[40] Over 1,200 American citizens who opposed the war were rounded up and imprisoned, some for years.[41]

A number or reasons were publicly given for Wilson's change of heart, including Germany's submarine warfare, the sinking of the American passenger ship Lusitania, and the Zimmerman Telegram.[42] Historians also add pro-British propaganda and economic reasons to the list of causes, and most suggest that a number of factors were at play.

While Americans today are aware of these facts, few know that Zionism appears to have been one of those factors.

As diverse documentary evidence shows, Zionists pushed for the U.S. to enter the war on Britain's side as part of a deal to gain British support for their colonization of Palestine.

From the very beginning of their movement, Zionists realized that if they were to succeed in their goal of creating a Jewish state on land that was already inhabited by non-Jews, they needed backing from one of the "Great Powers."[43] They tried the Ottoman Empire, which controlled Palestine at the time, but were turned down (although they were told that Jews could settle throughout other parts of the Ottoman empire and become Turkish citizens).[44]

They then turned to Britain, which was also initially less than enthusiastic. Famous English Arabists such as Gertrude Bell pointed out that Palestine was Arab and that Jerusalem was sacred to all three major monotheistic faiths.

Future British Foreign Minister Lord George Curzon similarly stated that Palestine was already inhabited by half a million Arabs who would "not be content to be expropriated for Jewish immigrants or to act merely as hewers of wood and drawers of water for the latter."[45]

However, once the British were embroiled in World War I, and particularly during 1916, a disastrous year for the Allies,[46] Zionists were able to play a winning card. Zionist leaders promised the British government that Zionists in the U.S. would push America to enter the war on the side of the British, if the British promised to support a Jewish home in Palestine afterward.[47]

As a result, in 1917 British Foreign Minister Lord Balfour issued a letter to Zionist leader Lord Rothschild. Known as the Balfour Declaration, this letter promised that Britain would "view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people" and to "use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object."

The letter then qualified this somewhat by stating that it should be "clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine." The "non-Jewish communities" were 90 percent of Palestine's population at that time, vigorous Zionist immigration efforts having slightly expanded the percentage of Jews living in Palestine by then.[48]

The letter, while officially signed by British Foreign Minister Lord Balfour, was actually written by Leopold Amery, a British official who, it came out later, was a secret and fervent Zionist.[49]

While this letter was a less than ringing endorsement of Zionism, Zionists considered it a major breakthrough as it cracked open a door that they would later force wider and wider open.

These Balfour-WWI negotiations are referred to in various documents. For example, Samuel Landman, secretary of the World Zionist Organization, described them in a 1935 article in World Jewry:

"After an understanding had been arrived at between Sir Mark Sykes and [Zionists] Weizmann and Sokolow, it was resolved to send a secret message to Justice Brandeis that the British Cabinet would help the Jews to gain Palestine in return for active Jewish sympathy and for support in the USA for the Allied cause, so as to bring about a radical pro-Ally tendency in the United States."[50]

Landman wrote that once the British had agreed to help the Zionists, this information was communicated to the press, which rapidly began to favor the U.S. joining the war on the side of Britain."[51]

British Colonial Secretary Lord Cavendish also wrote about this in a 1923 memorandum to the British Cabinet, stating: "The object [of the Balfour Declaration] was to enlist the sympathies on the Allied side of influential Jews and Jewish organizations all over the world… and it is arguable that the negotiations with the Zionists…did in fact have considerable effect in advancing the date at which the United States government intervened in the war."[52]

Former British Prime Minister Lloyd George similarly referred to this deal, telling a British commission in 1935: "Zionist leaders gave us a definite promise that, if the Allies committed themselves to giving facilities for the establishment of a national home for the Jews in Palestine, they would do their best to rally Jewish sentiment and support throughout the world to the Allied cause. They kept their word."

American career Foreign Service Officer Evan M. Wilson, who had served as Minister-Consul General in Jerusalem, also described this arrangement in his book Decision on Palestine, in which he wrote that the Balfour declaration "…was given to the Jews largely for the purpose of enlisting Jewish support in the war and of forestalling a similar promise by the Central Powers [Britain's enemies in World War I]".[53]

The influence of Brandeis and other Zionists in the U.S. had enabled Zionists to form an alliance with Britain, one of the world's great powers, a remarkable achievement for a non-state group and a measure of Zionists' immense power. As historian Kolsky states, the Zionist movement was now "an important force in international politics."[54]
Paris Peace Conference 1919: Zionists defeat Christian leaders' calls for self-determination

After the war, the victors met in a peace conference and agreed to a set of peace accords that addressed, among many issues, the fate of Ottoman Empire's Middle East territories. The Allies stripped the defeated Empire of its Middle Eastern holdings and divided them between Britain and France, which were to hold them under a "mandate" system until the populations were "ready" for self-government. Britain got the mandate over Palestine.

Zionists, including Brandeis, Felix Frankfurter, the World Zionist Organization, and an American delegation, went to the peace conference to lobby for a Jewish "home"[55] in Palestine and to push for Balfour wording to be incorporated in the peace accords.[56] The official U.S. delegation to the Peace Conference also contained a number of highly placed Zionists.

Distinguished American Christians posted in the Middle East, who consistently supported self-determination, went to Paris to oppose Zionists. Numerous prominent Christian leaders in the U.S. – including two of the most celebrated pastors of their day, Harry Emerson Fosdick and Henry Sloane Coffin[57] – also opposed Zionism. However, as a pro-Israel author notes, they were "simply outgunned" by Zionists.[58]

The most prominent American in the Middle East at the time, Dr. Howard Bliss, President of Beirut's Syrian Protestant College (later to become the American University of Beirut), traveled to Paris to urge forming a commission to determine what the people of the Middle East wanted for themselves, a suggestion that was embraced by the U.S. diplomatic staff in Paris.[59]

Princeton Professor Philip Brown, in Cairo for the YMCA, provided requested reports to the U.S. State Department on what Zionism's impact would be on Palestine. He stated that it would be disastrous for both Arabs and Jews and went to Paris to lobby against it.[60]

William Westermann, director of the State Department's Western Asia Division, which covered the region, similarly opposed the Zionist position. He wrote that "[it] impinges upon the rights and the desires of most of the Arab population of Palestine." Westermann and other U.S.diplomats felt that Arab claims were much more in line with Wilson's principles of self-determination and circulated Arab material.[61]

President Wilson decided to send a commission to Palestine to investigate the situation in person. After spending six weeks in the area interviewing both Jews and Palestinians, the commission, known as the King-Crane commission, recommended against the Zionist position of unlimited immigration of Jews to make Palestine a distinctly Jewish state.[62]

The commissioners stated that the erection of a Jewish state in Palestine could be accomplished only with "the gravest trespass upon the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine," pointing out that to subject the Palestinians "to steady financial and social pressure to surrender the land, would be a gross violation of the principle [of self-determination] and of the peoples' rights…"[63]

They went on to point out that "the well-being and development" of the people in the region formed "a sacred trust," that the people should become completely free, and that the national governments "should derive their authority from the initiative and free choice of the native populations."[64]

The report stated that meetings with Jewish representatives made it clear that "the Zionists looked forward to a practically complete dispossession of the present non-Jewish inhabitants of Palestine," concluded that armed force would be required to accomplish this, and urged the Peace Conference to dismiss the Zionist proposals.[65] The commission recommended that "the project for making Palestine distinctly a Jewish commonwealth should be given up."[66]

Zionists through Brandeis dominated the situation, however, and the report was suppressed until after the Peace Accords were enacted. As a pro-Israel historian noted, "with the burial of the King-Crane Report, a major obstacle in the Zionist path disappeared."[67] The US delegation was forced to follow Zionist directives.[68]

Ultimately, the mandate over Palestine given to Britain supported the Zionist project and included the Balfour language. According to the mandate, Britain would be "responsible for putting into effect the [Balfour] declaration … in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine…."[69]
Forging an "ingathering" of all Jews

The idea behind Zionism was to create a state where Jews worldwide could escape anti-Semitism.[70] Combined with this was the belief that all Jews would and should come to the Jewish state in a massive "ingathering of exiles."[71]

However, when it turned out that not enough Jews were coming of their own volition, a variety of methods were used to increase the immigration.

Zionist leader David Ben-Gurion once told a gathering of Jewish Americans: "[Zionism] consists of bringing all Jews to Israel. We appeal to the parents to help us bring their children here. Even if they decline to help, we will bring the youth to Israel; but I hope that this will not be necessary."[72]

There are various documented cases in which fanatical Zionists exploited, exaggerated, invented, or even perpetrated "anti-Semitic" incidents both to procure support and to drive Jews to immigrate to the Zionist-designated homeland. A few examples are discussed below.
Brandeis and Frankfurter vs. U.S. diplomat

One such case involved a young diplomat named Hugh Gibson, who in 1919 was nominated to be U.S. Ambassador to Poland. After he arrived in Poland, Gibson, who was highly regarded and considered particularly brilliant,[73] began to report that there were far fewer anti-Semitic incidents than Americans were led to believe. He wrote his mother: "These yarns are exclusively of foreign manufacture for anti-Polish purposes."[74]

His dispatches came to the attention of Brandeis and his protégé (and future supreme Court Justice) Felix Frankfurter, who demanded a meeting with Gibson. Gibson later wrote of their accusations:

"I had [Brandeis and Frankfurter claimed] done more mischief to the Jewish race than anyone who had lived in the last century. They said…that my reports on the Jewish question had gone around the world and had undone their work…. They finally said that I had stated that the stories of excesses against the Jews were exaggerated, to which I replied that they certainly were and I should think any Jew would be glad to know it."[75]

Frankfurter hinted that if Gibson continued these reports, Zionists would block his confirmation by the Senate.

Gibson was outraged and sent a 21-page letter to the State Department. In it he shared his suspicions that this was part of "a conscienceless and cold-blooded plan to make the condition of the Jews in Poland so bad that they must turn to Zionism for relief."

In 1923 another American diplomat in Poland, Vice Consul Monroe Kline, echoed Gibson's analysis: "It is common knowledge that Zionists are continually and constantly spreading propaganda, through their agencies over the entire world, of political and religious persecution." [76]
Zionists and Nazis

Perhaps the most extreme case of Zionist exploitation of anti-Semitism to further their cause came during the rise of Adolf Hitler. Historians have documented that Zionists sabotaged efforts to find safe havens for Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany in order to convince the world that Jews could only be safe in a Jewish state. [77]

When FDR made efforts in 1938[78] and again in 1943 [79], and the British in 1947[80], to provide havens for refugees from the Nazis, Zionists opposed these projects because they did not include Palestine.

Morris Ernst, FDR's international envoy for refugees, wrote in his memoir that when he worked to help find refuge for those fleeing Hitler, "…active Jewish leaders decried, sneered and then attacked me as if I were a traitor. At one dinner party I was openly accused of furthering this plan of freer immigration [into the U.S.] in order to undermine political Zionism… Zionist friends of mine opposed it."[81]

Ernst wrote that he found the same fanatical reaction among all the Jewish groups he approached, whose leaders, he found, were "little concerned about human blood if it is not their own."[82]

FDR finally gave up, telling Ernst: "We can't put it over because the dominant vocal Jewish leadership of America won't stand for it."[83]

Journalist Erskine B. Childers, son of a former Irish Prime Minister, wrote in the Spectator in 1960, "One of the most massively important features of the entire Palestine struggle was that Zionism deliberately arranged that the plight of the wretched survivors of Hitlerism should be a 'moral argument' which the West had to accept."

He explained that "this was done by seeing to it that Western countries did not open their doors, widely and immediately, to the inmate of the DP [displaced persons] camps."

Childers, author of several books on conflict resolution and peace-keeping who later became Secretary General of the World Federation of United Nations Associations, commented: "It is incredible that so grave and grim a campaign has received so little attention in accounts of the Palestine struggle – it was a campaign that literally shaped all subsequent history. It was done by sabotaging specific Western schemes to admit Jewish DPs."[84]

Ironically, some Zionists even noted that their role in working to bring the US into World War I, thus causing Germany's resounding defeat, was a cause of anti-Semitism in Germany.

Samuel Landman, in a Zionist pamphlet in 1936, wrote: "The fact that it was Jewish help that brought U.S.A. into the War on the side of the Allies has rankled ever since in German - especially Nazi-minds, and has contributed in no small measure to the prominence which anti-Semitism occupies in the Nazi programme."[85]
Zionist fake "hate" attacks on Iraq Jews

While Zionists wished for a massive "in-gathering of Jews" in one state, most Iraqi Jews wanted nothing to do with it, according to Iraq's then-Chief Rabbi, who stated: "Iraqi Jews will be forever against Zionism."

"Jews and Arabs have enjoyed the same rights and privileges for 1,000 years and do not regard themselves as a distinctive separate part of this nation," the rabbi declared.[86]

Zionists worked to change that by covertly attacking Iraqi Jews so as to induce them to "flee" to Israel. Zionists planted bombs in Iraqi synagogues and in an American building "in an attempt to portray the Iraqis as anti-American and to terrorize the Jews," according to author and former CIA officer Wilbur Crane Eveland.

"Soon leaflets began to appear urging Jews to flee to Israel," writes Eveland, and "... most of the world believed reports that Arab terrorism had motivated the flight of the Iraqi Jews whom the Zionists had 'rescued' really just in order to increase Israel's Jewish population."[87]

Similarly, Naeim Giladi, a Jewish-Iraqi author who later lived in Israel and the U.S., describes this program from the inside: "I write about what the first prime minister of Israel called 'cruel Zionism.' I write about it because I was part of it."

Giladi states that "Jews from Islamic lands did not emigrate willingly to Israel." In order "to force them to leave," Giladi writes, "Jews killed Jews." He goes on to say that in an effort "to buy time to confiscate ever more Arab lands, Jews on numerous occasions rejected genuine peace initiatives from their Arab neighbors." [88]
The modern Israel Lobby is born

The immediate precursor to today's pro-Israel lobby began in the early 1940s under the leadership of Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver, originally from Lithuania. He created the American Zionist Emergency Council (AZEC), which by 1943 had acquired a budget of half a million dollars at a time when a nickel bought a loaf of bread.

In addition to this money, Zionists had become influential in creating a fundraising umbrella organization, the United Jewish Appeal, in 1939[89], giving them access to the organization's gargantuan financial resources: $14 million in 1941, $150 million by 1948. This was four times more than Americans contributed to the Red Cross.[90]

With its extraordinary funding, AZEC embarked on a campaign to target every sector of American society, ordering that local committees be set up in every Jewish community in the nation. In the words of AZEC organizer Sy Kenen, it launched "a political and public relations offensive to capture the support of Congressmen, clergy, editors, professors, business and labor."[91] [92]

AZEC instructed activists to "make direct contact with your local Congressman or Senator" and to go after union members, wives and parents of servicemen, and Jewish war veterans. AZEC provided activists with form letters to use and schedules of anti-Zionist lecture tours to oppose and disrupt.

A measure of its power came in 1945 when Silver disliked a British move that would be harmful to Zionists. AZEC booked Madison Square Garden, ordered advertisements, and mailed 250,000 announcements – the first day. By the second day they had organized demonstrations in 30 cities, a letter-writing campaign, and convinced 27 U.S. Senators to give speeches.[93]

Grassroots Zionist action groups were organized with more than 400 local committees under 76 state and regional branches. AZEC funded books, articles and academic studies; millions of pamphlets were distributed. There were massive petition and letter writing campaigns. AZEC targeted college presidents and deans, managing to get more than 150 to sign one petition.[94]

Rabbi Elmer Berger, executive director of the American Council for Judaism, which opposed Zionism in the 1940s and 50s, writes in his memoirs that there was a "ubiquitous propaganda campaign reaching just about every point of political leverage in the country."[95]

The Zionist Organization of America bragged of the "immensity of our operations and their diversity" in its 48th Annual Report, stating, "We reach into every department of American life…"[96]

Berger and other anti-Zionist Jewish Americans tried to organize against "the deception and cynicism with which the Zionist machine operated," but failed to obtain anywhere near their level of funding. Among other things, would-be dissenters were afraid of "the savagery of personal attacks" anti-Zionists endured.[97]

Berger writes that when he and a colleague opposed a Zionist resolution in Congress, Emanuel Cellar, a New York Democrat who was to serve in Congress for almost 50 years, told them: "They ought to take you b…s out and shoot you."

When it was unclear that President Harry Truman would support Zionism, Cellar and a committee of Zionists told him that they had persuaded Dewey to support the Zionist policy and demanded that Truman also take this stand. Cellar reportedly pounded on Truman's table and said that if Truman did not do so, "We'll run you out of town.[98]

Jacob Javits, another well-known Congressman, this one a Republican, told a Zionist women's group: "We'll fight to death and make a Jewish State in Palestine if it's the last thing that we do."[99]

Richard Stevens, author of American Zionism and U.S. Foreign Policy, 1942-1947, reports that Zionists infiltrated the boards of several Jewish schools that they felt didn't sufficiently promote the Zionist cause. When this didn't work, Stevens writes, they would start their own pro-Zionist schools.[100]

Stevens writes that in 1943-44 the ZOA distributed over a million leaflets and pamphlets to public libraries, chaplains, community centers, educators, ministers, writers and "others who might further the Zionist cause."[101]

Alfred Lilienthal, who had worked in the State Department, served in the U.S. Army in the Middle East from 1943-45, and became a member of the anti-Zionist American Council for Judaism, reports that Zionist monthly sales of books totaled between 3,000 and 4,000 throughout 1944-45.

He reports that Zionists subsidized books by non-Jewish authors that supported the Zionist agenda. They would then promote these books jointly with commercial publishers. Several of them became best sellers.[102]
Zionists manufacture Christian support

Silver and other Zionists played a significant role in creating Christian support for Zionism, a project Brandeis encouraged.[103]

Secret Zionist funds, eventually reaching $150,000 in 1946, were used to revive an elitist Protestant group, the American Palestine Committee. This group had originally been founded in 1932 by Emanuel Neumann, a member of the Executive of the Zionist Organization. The objective was to organize a group of prominent (mainly non-Jewish) Americans in moral and political support of Zionism. Frankfurter was one of the main speakers at its launch.[104]

Silver's headquarters issued a directive saying,"In every community an American Christian Palestine Committee must be immediate organized."[105]

Author Peter Grose reports that the Christian committee's operations "were hardly autonomous. Zionist headquarters thought nothing of placing newspaper advertisements on the clergymen's behalf without bothering to consult them in advance, until one of the committee's leaders meekly asked at least for prior notice before public statements were made in their name."[106]

AZEC formed another group among clergymen, the Christian Council on Palestine. An internal AZEC memo stated that the aim of both groups was to "crystallize the sympathy of Christian America for our cause."[107]

By the end of World War II the Christian Council on Palestine had grown to 3,000 members and the American Palestine Committee boasted a membership of 6,500 public figures, including senators, congressmen, cabinet members, governors, state officers, mayors, jurists, clergymen, educators, writers, publishers, and civic and industrial leaders.

Historian Richard Stevens explains that Christian support was largely gained by exploiting their wish to help people in need. Steven writes that Zionists would proclaim "the tragic plight of refugees fleeing from persecution and finding no home," thus linking the refugee problem with Palestine as allegedly the only solution.[108]

Stevens writes that the reason for this strategy was clear: "…while many Americans might not support the creation of a Jewish state, traditional American humanitarianism could be exploited in favor of the Zionist cause through the refugee problems."[109]

Few if any of these Christian supporters had any idea that the creation of the Jewish state would entail a massive expulsion of hundreds of thousands of non-Jews, who made up the large majority of Palestine's population, creating a new and much longer lasting refugee problem.

Nor did they learn that during and after Israel's founding 1947-49 war, Zionist forces attacked a number of Christian sites. Donald Neff, former Time Magazine Jerusalem bureau chief and author of five books on Israel-Palestine, reports in detail on Zionist attacks on Christian sites in May 1948, the month of Israel's birth.

Neff tells us that a group of Christian leaders complained that month that Zionists had killed and wounded hundreds of people, including children, refugees and clergy, at Christian churches and humanitarian institutions.

For example, the group charged that "'many children were killed or wounded' by Jewish shells on the Convent of Orthodox Copts…; eight refugees were killed and about 120 wounded at the Orthodox Armenian Convent…; and that Father Pierre Somi, secretary to the Bishop, had been killed and two wounded at the Orthodox Syrian Church of St. Mark."

"The group's statement said Arab forces had abided by their promise to respect Christian institutions, but that the Jews had forcefully occupied Christian structures and been indiscriminate in shelling churches," reports Neff. He quotes a Catholic priest: "'Jewish soldiers broke down the doors of my church and robbed many precious and sacred objects. Then they threw the statues of Christ down into a nearby garden.' [The priest] added that Jewish leaders had reassured that religious buildings would be respected, 'but their deeds do not correspond to their words.'"

After Zionist soldiers invaded and looted a convent in Tiberias, the U.S. Consulate sent a bitter dispatch back to the State Department complaining of "the Jewish attitude in Jerusalem towards Christian institutions."
Zionist Colonization Efforts in Palestine

As early Zionists in the U.S. and elsewhere pushed for the creation of a Jewish state, Zionists in Palestine simultaneously tried to clear the land of Muslim and Christian inhabitants and replace them with Jewish immigrants.

This was a tall order, as Muslims and Christians accounted for more than 95 percent of the population of Palestine.[110] Zionists planned to try first to buy up the land until the previous inhabitants had emigrated; failing this, they would use violence to force them out. This dual strategy was discussed in various written documents cited by numerous Palestinian and Israeli historians.[111]

As this colonial project grew, the indigenous Palestinians reacted with occasional bouts of violence; Zionists had anticipated this since people usually resist being expelled from their land.[112]

When the buyout effort was able to obtain only a few percent of the land, Zionists created a number of terrorist groups to fight against both the Palestinians and the British. Terrorist and future Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin later bragged that Zionists had brought terrorism both to the Middle East and to the world at large.[113]

By the eve of the creation of Israel, the Zionist immigration and buyout project had increased the Jewish population of Palestine to 30 percent and land ownership from 1 percent to approximately 6 percent.

This was in 1947, when the British at last announced that they would end their control of Palestine. Britain turned the territory's fate over to the United Nations.

Since a founding principle of the UN was "self-determination of peoples," one would have expected to the UN to support fair, democratic elections in which inhabitants could create their own independent country.[114]

Instead, Zionists pushed for a General Assembly resolution to give them a disproportionate 55 percent of Palestine.[115][116] (While they rarely announced this publicly, their stated plan was to later take the rest of Palestine.[117])
U.S. Officials Oppose Creation of Israel

The U.S. State Department opposed this partition plan strenuously, considering Zionism contrary to both fundamental American principles and U.S. interests.

For example, the director of the State Department's Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs consistently recommended against supporting a Jewish state in Palestine. The director, named Loy Henderson, warned that the creation of such a state would go against locals' wishes, imperil U.S. interests and violate democratic principles.

Henderson emphasized that the U.S. would lose moral standing in the world if it supported Zionism:

"At the present time the United States has a moral prestige in the Near and Middle East unequaled by that of any other great power. We would lose that prestige and would be likely for many years to be considered as a betrayer of the high principles which we ourselves have enunciated during the period of the [second world] war."[118]

When Zionists began pushing the partition plan in the UN, Henderson recommended strongly against supporting their proposal, saying that such a partition would have to be implemented by force and was "not based on any principle." He warned that partition "would guarantee that the Palestine problem would be permanent and still more complicated in the future…"

Henderson elaborated further on how plans to partition Palestine would violate American and UN principles:

"...[Proposals for partition] are in definite contravention to various principles laid down in the [UN] Charter as well as to principles on which American concepts of Government are based. These proposals, for instance, ignore such principles as self-determination and majority rule. They recognize the principle of a theocratic racial state and even go so far in several instances as to discriminate on grounds of religion and race…"[119]

Zionists attacked Henderson virulently, calling him "anti-Semitic," demanding his resignation, and threatening his family. They pressured the State Department to transfer him elsewhere; one analyst describes this as "the historic game of musical chairs" in which officials who recommended Middle East policies "consistent with the nation's interests" were moved on.[120]

In 1948 Truman sent Henderson to the slopes of the Himalayas, as Ambassador to Nepal (then officially under India). (In recent years, at times virtually every State Department country desk has been directed by a Zionist.)

But Henderson was far from alone in making his recommendations. He wrote that his views were not only those of the entire Near East Division but were shared by "nearly every member of the Foreign Service or of the [State] Department who has worked to any appreciable extent on Near Eastern problems."[121]

He wasn't exaggerating. Official after official and agency after agency opposed Zionism.

In 1947 the CIA reported that Zionist leadership was pursuing objectives that would endanger both Jews and "the strategic interests of the Western powers in the Near and Middle East."[122]

Ambassador Henry F. Grady, who has been called "America's top diplomatic soldier for a critical period of the Cold War," headed a 1946 commission aimed at coming up with a solution for Palestine. Grady later wrote about the Zionist lobby and its damaging effect on U.S. national interests.

"I have had a good deal of experience with lobbies but this group started where those of my experience had ended," wrote Grady. "I have headed a number of government missions but in no other have I ever experienced so much disloyalty…. [I]n the United States, since there is no political force to counterbalance Zionism, its campaigns are apt to be decisive."[123]

Grady concluded that without Zionist pressure, the U.S. would not have had "the ill-will with the Arab states, which are of such strategic importance in our 'cold war' with the soviets."[124]

Former Undersecretary of State Dean Acheson also opposed Zionism. Acheson's biographer writes that Acheson "worried that the West would pay a high price for Israel." Another author, John Mulhall, records Acheson's warning of the danger for U.S. interests:

" transform [Palestine] into a Jewish State capable of receiving a million or more immigrants would vastly exacerbate the political problem and imperil not only American but all Western interests in the Near East."[125]

The head of the State Department's Division of Near Eastern Affairs, Gordon P. Merriam, warned against the partition plan on moral grounds:

"U.S. support for partition of Palestine as a solution to that problem can be justified only on the basis of Arab and Jewish consent. Otherwise we should violate the principle of self-determination which has been written into the Atlantic Charter, the declaration of the United Nations, and the United Nations Charter – a principle that is deeply embedded in our foreign policy. Even a United Nations determination in favor of partition would be, in the absence of such consent, a stultification and violation of UN's own charter."[126]

Merriam added that without consent, "bloodshed and chaos" would follow, a tragically accurate prediction.

An internal State Department memorandum accurately predicted how Israel would be born through armed aggression masked as defense:

"...the Jews will be the actual aggressors against the Arabs. However, the Jews will claim that they are merely defending the boundaries of a state which were traced by the UN.… In the event of such Arab outside aid the Jews will come running to the Security Council with the claim that their state is the object of armed aggression and will use every means to obscure the fact that it is their own armed aggression against the Arabs inside which is the cause of Arab counter-attack."[127]

And American Vice Consul William J. Porter foresaw one last outcome of the "partition" plan: that no Arab state would actually ever come to be in Palestine.[128]
Truman Accedes to Pro-Israel Lobby

President Harry Truman, however, ignored this advice and chose instead to support the Zionist partition plan. Truman's political advisor, Clark Clifford, believed that the Jewish vote and contributions were essential to winning the upcoming presidential election, and that supporting the partition plan would garner that support. (Truman's opponent, Dewey, took similar stands for similar reasons.)

Truman's Secretary of State George Marshall, the renowned World War II General and author of the Marshall Plan, was furious to see electoral considerations taking precedence over policies based on national interest. He condemned what he called a "transparent dodge to win a few votes," which would make "[t]he great dignity of the office of President seriously diminished."[129]

Marshall wrote that the counsel offered by Clifford "was based on domestic political considerations, while the problem which confronted us was international. I said bluntly that if the President were to follow Mr. Clifford's advice and if in the elections I were to vote, I would vote against the President.…"[130]

Secretary of Defense James Forrestal also tried, unsuccessfully, to oppose the Zionists. He was outraged that Truman's Mideast policy was based on what he called "squalid political purposes," asserting that "United States policy should be based on United States national interests and not on domestic political considerations."[131]

Forrestal represented the general Pentagon view when he said that "no group in this country should be permitted to influence our policy to the point where it could endanger our national security."[132]

A report by the National Security Council warned that the Palestine turmoil was acutely endangering the security of the United States. A CIA report stressed the strategic importance of the Middle East and its oil resources.

Similarly, George F. Kennan, the State Department's Director of Policy Planning, issued a top-secret document on January 19, 1947 that outlined the enormous damage done to the the partition plan ("Report by the Policy Planning Staff on Position of the United States with Respect to Palestine").[133]

Kennan cautioned that "important U.S. oil concessions and air base rights" could be lost through for partition and warned that the USSR stood to gain by the partition plan.

Kermit Roosevelt, Teddy Roosevelt's nephew and a legendary intelligence agent, was another who was deeply disturbed by events, noting:

"The process by which Zionist Jews have been able to promote American support for the partition of Palestine demonstrates the vital need of a foreign policy based on national rather than partisan interests…. Only when the national interests of the United States, in their highest terms, take precedence over all other considerations, can a logical, farseeing foreign policy be evolved. No American political leader has the right to compromise American interests to gain partisan votes…"[134]

Kermit Roosevelt went on:

"The present course of world crisis will increasingly force upon Americans the realization that their national interests and those of the proposed Jewish state in Palestine are going to conflict. It is to be hoped that American Zionists and non-Zionists alike will come to grips with the realities of the problem."

Truman wrote in his memoirs: "I do not think I ever had as much pressure and propaganda aimed at the White House as I had in this instance." There were now about a million dues-paying Zionists in the U.S.[135]

Then, as now, in addition to unending pressure there was financial compensation, Truman reportedly receiving a suitcase full of money from Zionists while on his train campaign around the country.[136]
Personal influences on Truman

One person key in such Zionist financial connections to Truman was Abraham Feinberg, a wealthy businessman who was later to play a similar role with Kennedy and Johnson.[137]

While many Americans have been aware of Truman's come-from-behind win over Dewey, few people know about the critical role of Feinberg and the Zionist lobby in financing Truman's victory. After Feinberg financed Truman's famous whistle-stop campaign tour, Truman credited him with his presidential win.[138] (When the CIA later discovered that Feinberg also helped to finance illegal gun-running to Zionist groups, the Truman administration looked the other way.[139])

An individual inside the U.S.government who worked to influence policy was David K. Niles, executive assistant first to FDR and then to Truman. Niles, according to author Alfred Lilienthal, was "a member of a select group of confidential advisers with an often-quoted passion for anonymity. Niles… though occasionally publicized as Mr. Truman's Mystery Man, remained totally unknown to the public."[140]

Behind the scenes Niles was regularly briefed by the head of the Washington Office of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA).

When it was discovered that top-secret information was being passed on to the Israeli government, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Omar Bradley told Truman he had to choose between Bradley and Niles. Not long after, Niles resigned and went on a visit to Israel.[141]

Another who helped influence Truman was his old Kansas City friend and business partner, Eddie Jacobson, active in B'nai B'rith and "a passionate believer in Jewish nationalism," who was able to procure Zionist access to the President at key times.[142] Truman called Jacobson's input of "decisive importance."[143]

Still another was Sam Rosenman, a political advisor to Truman, who screened State Department memos sent to Truman. A longtime diplomat reports that one of the department's memoranda was returned, unopened, with a notation, "President Truman already knows your views and doesn't need this."[144]

Evan M. Wilson, a career diplomat who had been U.S. Consul General in Jerusalem, later wrote that Truman had been largely motivated by "domestic political considerations."[145] At least one of Truman's key policy speeches was drafted primarily by the Washington representative of the Jewish Agency. [146]

Acting Secretary of State James E. Webb in a dispatch to Secretary of State Acheson noted the obvious: "Past record suggests Israel has had more influence with U.S. than has U.S. with Israel."[147]
Pro-Israel Pressure on General Assembly Members

When it was clear that, despite U.S. support, the partition recommendation did not have the two-thirds support of the UN General Assembly required to pass, Zionists pushed through a delay in the vote. They then used this period to pressure numerous nations into voting for the recommendation. A number of people later described this campaign.

Robert Nathan, a Zionist who had worked for the U.S.government and who was particularly active in the Jewish Agency, wrote afterward, "We used any tools at hand," such as telling certain delegations that the Zionists would use their influence to block economic aid to any countries that did not vote for partition.[148]

Another Zionist proudly stated:

"Every clue was meticulously checked and pursued. Not the smallest or the remotest of nations, but was contacted and wooed. Nothing was left to chance."

Financier and longtime presidential advisor Bernard Baruch told France it would lose U.S. aid if it voted against partition. Top White House executive assistant David Niles organized pressure on Liberia through rubber magnate Harvey Firestone, who told the Liberian president that if Liberia did not vote in favor of partition, Firestone would revoke his planned expansion in the country. Liberia voted yes.[149]

Latin American delegates were told that the Pan-American highway construction project would be more likely if they voted yes. Delegates' wives received mink coats (the wife of the Cuban delegate returned hers); Costa Rica's President Jose Figueres reportedly received a blank checkbook. Haiti was promised economic aid if it would change its original vote opposing partition.

Longtime Zionist Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, along with ten senators and Truman domestic advisor Clark Clifford, threatened the Philippines (seven bills were pending on the Philippines in Congress).

Before the vote on the plan, the Philippine delegate had given a passionate speech against partition, defending the inviolable "primordial rights of a people to determine their political future and to preserve the territorial integrity of their native land..."[150]

The delegate went on to say that he could not believe that the General Assembly would sanction a move that would place the world "back on the road to the dangerous principles of racial exclusiveness and to the archaic documents of theocratic governments."

Twenty-four hours later, after intense Zionist pressure, the Philippine delegate voted in favor of partition.

The U.S. delegation to the U.N. was so outraged when Truman insisted that they support partition that the State Department director of U.N. Affairs was sent to New York to prevent the delegates from resigning en masse.[151]

On Nov 29, 1947 the partition resolution, 181, passed. While this resolution is frequently cited, it was of limited (if any) legal impact. General Assembly resolutions, unlike Security Council resolutions, are not binding on member states. For this reason, the resolution requested that "[t]he Security Council take the necessary measures as provided for in the plan for its implementation,"[152] which the Security Council never did. Legally, the General Assembly Resolution was a "recommendation" and did not create any states.

What it did do, however, was increase the fighting in Palestine. Within months, the Zionists had forced out over 413,000 people. Zionist military units had stealthily been preparing for war before the UN vote and had acquired massive weaponry, some of it through a widespread network of illicit gunrunning operations in the U.S. under a number of front groups.

On May 15th Zionists announced the creation of their new state. They decided to name it "Israel," and chose not to set its boundaries or to write a Constitution (a situation that continues through today). Five Arab armies joined the fighting, but, contrary to general perceptions of this war, Zionist/Israeli forces outnumbered the combined Arab and Palestinian combatants.[153]

The UN eventually managed to create a temporary and very partial ceasefire, during which Israel obtained even more armaments. A Swedish UN mediator, Count Folke Bernadotte, who had previously rescued thousands of Jews from the Nazis, was dispatched to negotiate an end to the violence. Israeli assassins killed him and Israel continued what it was to call its "war of independence."[154]

At the end of this war, through ruthless implementation of plans to push out as many non-Jews as possible, Israel came into existence on 78 percent of Palestine.

But let us take a closer look at the violence that followed the UN recommendation.
Massacres and the Conquest of Palestine

The passing of the partition resolution in November 1947 triggered the violence that State Department and Pentagon analysts had predicted and for which Zionists had been preparing. There were at least 33 massacres of Palestinian villages, half of them before a single Arab army joined the conflict.[155] Zionist forces were better equipped and had more men under arms than their opponents[156] and by the end of Israel's "War of Independence" over 750,000 Palestinian men, women, and children were ruthlessly expelled.[157] Zionists had succeeded in the first half of their goal: Israel, the self-described Jewish State, had come into existence.

The massacres were carried out by Zionist forces, including Zionist militias that had engaged in terrorist attacks in the area for years preceding the partition resolution.[158]

Descriptions of the massacres, by both Palestinians and Israelis, are nightmarish. An Israeli eyewitness reported that at the village of al-Dawayima:

"The children they killed by breaking their heads with sticks. There was not a house without dead….One soldier boasted that he had raped a woman and then shot her."[159]

One Palestinian woman testified that a man shot her nine-month-pregnant sister and then cut her stomach open with a butcher knife.[160]

One of the better-documented massacres occurred in a small, neutral Palestinian village called Deir Yassin in April 1948 – before any Arab armies had joined the war. A Swiss Red Cross representative was one of the first to arrive on the scene, where he found 254 dead, including 145 women, 35 of them pregnant.[161]

Witnesses reported that the attackers lined up families – men, women, grandparents and children, even infants – and shot them.[162]

An eyewitness and future colonel in the Israeli military later wrote of the militia members: "They didn't know how to fight, but as murderers they were pretty good."[163]

The Red Cross representative who found the bodies at Deir Yassin arrived in time to see some of the killing in action. He wrote in his diary that Zionist militia members were still entering houses with guns and knives when he arrived. He saw one young Jewish woman carrying a blood-covered dagger and saw another stab an old couple in their doorway. The representative wrote that the scene reminded him of S.S. troops he had seen in Athens.

Richard Catling, British assistant inspector general for the criminal division, reported on "sexual atrocities" committed by Zionist forces. "Many young school girls were raped and later slaughtered," he reported. "Old women were also molested."[164]

The Deir Yassin attack was perpetrated by two Zionist militias and coordinated with the main Zionist forces, whose elite unit participated in part of the operation.[165] The heads of the two militias, Menachem Begin and Ytzakh Shamir, later became Prime Ministers of Israel.

Begin, head of the Irgun militia, sent the following message to his troops about their victory at Deir Yassin:

"Accept my congratulations on this splendid act of conquest. Convey my regards to all the commanders and soldiers. We shake your hands. We are all proud of the excellent leadership and the fighting spirit in this great attack. We stand to attention in memory of the slain. We lovingly shake the hands of the wounded. Tell the soldiers: you have made history in Israel with your attack and your conquest. Continue thus until victory. As in Deir Yassin, so everywhere, we will attack and smite the enemy. God, God, Thou has chosen us for conquest."[166]

Approximately six months later, Begin (who had been involved in a number of other terrorist acts, including blowing up the King David Hotel[167] in Jerusalem, killing 91 people) came on a tour of America. The tour's sponsors included famous playwright Ben Hecht, a fervent Zionist who applauded Irgun violence,[168] and eventually included 11 Senators, 12 governors, 70 Congressmen, 17 Justices, and numerous other public officials.[169]

The State Department, fully aware of his violent activities in Palestine, tried to reject Begin's visa but was overruled by Truman.[170]

Begin later proudly admitted his terrorism in an interview for American television. When the interviewer asked him, "How does it feel, in the light of all that's going on, to be the father of terrorism in the Middle East?" Begin proclaimed, "In the Middle East? In all the world!"[171]
Terrorists set up U.S. front groups
a. Irgun Delegation: Hillel Kook as "Peter Bergson"

A covert Irgun delegation operated in the U.S. from the late 1930s through 1948 under a half dozen front organizations, including the "Emergency Committee to Save European Jewry" and "American Friends of a Jewish Palestine."[172]

The main leader was Hillel Kook, the senior Irgun officer working outside Palestine. Upon coming to the U.S. he assumed the alias "Peter Bergson," and the group is often called the "Bergson Boys."

The other leader was Yitshaq Ben-Ami (father of Jeremy Ben-Ami, founder of today's lobbying organization J-Street). Also closely involved was Eri Jobotinskin, son of right-wing Zionist leader Vladimir Zeev Jabotinsky.[173] Also associated with the group was Meir Kahane, who twenty years later founded the violent Jewish Defense League (JDL).[174]

Though historians have documented that their purpose in coming to the U.S. was to support Irgun activities in Palestine, this was unknown to the multitude of high-level supporters the group eventually acquired. These supporters included Eleanor Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dorothy Parker, Herbert Hoover, Will Rogers, Jr., Labor leader William Green, U.S. Solicitor General Fowler Harper, and U.S. Interior Secretary Harold Ickes.[175]

The FBI, however, suspected this illegal fundraising. It investigated the front groups several times, but largely bungled the investigations and failed to produce evidence. As author Rafael Medoff divulges: "In fact, according to Bergson lobbyist Baruch Rabinowitz, funds raised by the Bergsonites in the United States were indeed secretly transferred to the Irgun; the methods of transfer were simply so well concealed that the FBI could not uncover them."[176]

Their biographer, Israeli professor Judith Baumel, writes that the Irgun Delegation quickly set about "integrating themselves into the social and political culture of their temporary home." They quickly grasped that "public mood, molded to a large extent by propaganda and public relations [was] a dominant force in the American system of direct representation" and they soon became masters at media manipulation.[177]

Thus, besides their secret funneling of money for terrorist activities in Palestine against Palestinians, the British, and members of the Jewish community[178] the Irgun Delegation engaged in numerous public activities pushing for the Jewish state in Palestine. They lobbied Congress and the White House, organized a march on Washington, D.C. of 500 Rabbis, and placed full-page ads in newspapers around the U.S.

They also produced a pageant called "We Will Never Die!" celebrating the Jewish contribution to Western civilization, written by Ben Hecht, directed by Moss Hart, featuring music by Kurt Weil, and starring Edward G. Robinson. The cast also included Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Leonard Bernstein, one hundred Yeshiva students from Brooklyn, and fifty Orthodox rabbis.[179] Forty thousand attended the extravaganza's New York performances. It then went on to play in most of America's largest cities.[180] The group produced several other plays and rallies, one of which starred a young Marlon Brando and brought in $1 million.

Baumel reports that an American Jewish leader whohad emigrated to Palestine wrote to Eleanor Roosevelt asking her to withdraw support from the Brando production, because its profits "were being used to fund terrorist activity."[181]

During WWII, the various organizations created by the Irgun Delegation frequently pushed for rescuing European Jews from the Nazis, but one of their major demands was for the creation of a "Jewish Army of Stateless and Palestinian Jews." The idea was that the Allies should create a Jewish army to fight alongside them against the Nazis.

However, certain right-wing Zionists had sought this army even before the Nazi holocaust began, and some analysts argue it was a plan with a mixed agenda. Historian William Rubinstein writes, "It is rather difficult to believe that Bergson's implausible proposal did not have far more to do with creating the nucleus of a Jewish Palestinian force, to be used against the British and the Arabs, than with saving Europe's Jews from the Nazis."[182]

One supporter, best-selling author Pierre van Paassen, resigned when he learned that various Delegation-spawned "committees" to save Jews were all being run by the same small group, and that they were tied to horrific terrorist actions in Palestine.

He declared that he did not believe they had the means or intention to truly save Jews from the Nazis, writing: "To speak bluntly, that 'Committee to Save the Jewish People of Europe" is a hoax, in my judgment a very cruel hoax perpetrated on the American public, Jewish and non-Jewish alike.[183]

Some at the time and since have considered the Delegation's efforts heroic, but critics point out that it did not manage to rescue any Jews during the Nazi holocaust [184], though it may have helped contribute to the pressure on President Roosevelt to later create a War Refugee Board.

The group had numerous opponents among Jewish leaders, both Zionist and anti-Zionist. Some, unlike the general public, were aware of their secret connections to Menachem Begin's Irgun, whose violent tactics many found abhorrent, particularly when they targeted the British at a time that England was fighting to defeat Hitler – the most effective way, many felt, to rescue Jews.

Biographer Baumel writes that the more mainstream Zionist establishment was disturbed by "the clandestine nature of the committee's formation and the absence of any hint as to its intention."[185]

This division among Zionists was largely hidden from view, however, as the Delegation aimed for the American man in the street, using tantalizing slogans, illustrated advertisements, and "seductive curiosity-whetting gimmicks." Baumel notes that the Irgun Delegation's primary triumph was to understand "the power of Madison Avenue."[186]

Author Rafael Medoff describes the importance of that understanding: "[T]he violent behavior of the Jewish forces in Palestine would have surely undermined American public sympathy for the Zionist cause, if not for the efforts of the Jewish underground's American friends."[187] This public relations crusade was critical in building American support.

After WWII, the Delegation became involved in the sometimes secretive, sometimes very public movement of European Jews to Palestine. One purpose, Ben-Ami explained, was to build up the Irgun terror forces: "We must build a network in Europe capable of moving thousands of Irgun soldiers to Palestine..."[188] This intention, however, was not announced to the general public.

Bergson-Kook's uncle was Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak Kook, often known as "Rabbi Kook the Elder." Rabbi Kook was originally from Eastern Europe, had worked toward the Balfour Declaration in Britain, and eventually became the "Chief Rabbi of Palestine."

Perhaps his most significant accomplishment was to devise an ideology that merged a kabbalistic version of religious Judaism with political Zionism, founding an extremist religious Zionism that continues in existence today.[189]

The Kabbala teaches that non-Jews are the embodiment of Satan, and that the world was created solely for the sake of Jews.[190] Rabbi Kook, who achieved saintly status among his followers in Israel and the U.S., stated: "The difference between a Jewish soul and souls of non-Jews… is greater and deeper than the difference between a human soul and the souls of cattle."[191]

In addition to spanning the Jewish religious-secular continuum, the Irgun Delegation spanned the political spectrum from left to right. Baumel writes that it "evinced many of the unique characteristics of Eastern European protofascism" while also forming partnerships with communists and Jews who belonged to left-wing American groups.[192]
b. Rabbi Korff and the "Political Action Committee for Palestine"

Another terrorist front group and PR machine was formed by an Orthodox rabbi named Baruch Korff [193], who achieved tremendous mainstream success and became very well known in the U.S. His underground activities, on the other hand, were considerably less known.

Korff had earlier been executive director of one of the Bergson group's entities[194], before starting his own splinter group, the Political Action Committee for Palestine (PACP). Korff used many of the same tactics as Kook, as well as building close relationships with various active and former Congressmen.

Korff combined these strong political connections and PR machinations to extraordinary, if duplicitous, effect. One example, which historian Rafael Medoff calls "a particularly well choreographed stunt," involved a former Republican Congressman, Joseph Clark Baldwin of New York.

At Korff's request, Baldwin, who had friendly relations with President Truman, staged a highly publicized visit to England and Palestine in late 1946.[195]

Korff then composed "Baldwin's" official report of the visit, which called on England and the United States to recognize Palestine "as an independent democracy of which homeless European Jews shall be considered citizens."[196]

Then, immediately after writing Baldwin's report, Korff put out a press release criticizing one aspect of the report, in order to make it appear that Baldwin "was not a puppet of the PACP but rather had visited London and Jerusalem with an open mind and returned with his own conclusions."[197]

Korff was also involved in a terrorist plot that was foiled at the last minute by a young American World War II aviator who, following the war, had gone to Paris to study art.

In 1946, British intelligence uncovered conspiracies by Jewish terrorists, including Korff, to assassinate the British foreign minister. Details were heavily censored from the public for many years, but in 2003 the British security files were released.[198]

In 1947, Korff and his group hatched a plan to drop bombs on the British foreign office, along with 10,000 threatening leaflets. "[W]e will carry the war to the very heart of the [British] Empire," the leaflets were to read. "We will strike with all the bitterness and fury of our servitude and bondage. People of England, press your government to quit Eretz Israel now. Demand that your sons and daughters return home, or you may never see them again."[199]

The group tried to recruit a young American aviator in Paris, promising him "lucrative jobs" after the mission was completed.[200] The aviator, Reginald Gilbert, had flown 136 combat missions over Europe during WWII, shooting down three German planes and damaging seven.

Gilbert pretended to agree to the plot, but instead informed the American Embassy, and then worked with Scotland Yard and the Paris police to have the would-be assassins arrested. French police, who said they "feared for the flier's life if the Stern gang ever caught up with him," flew him to London until he could return to the U.S.[201] (The Stern gang was another Zionist paramilitary group known for its terroristic violence against the British, Palestinians, and even other Jewish individuals that they designated enemies. It was considered even more ruthless than the Irgun, from which it had broken off.[202])

Almost no one remembers this plot today, but it was headline news at the time in newspapers across the United States[203]. While some news accounts revealed the full plot, reports quickly stopped mentioning the bombs and recounted only the plan to drop the threatening leaflets. Someone was leaning on spokespeople or reporters to make sure only part of the story got out.

But they couldn't keep Gilbert quiet. In a first-hand account of the plot published by the New York Herald Tribune, Gilbert confirmed that the group had planned much more than a leaflet drop. The first idea had been to drop bombs on Britain's Parliament, but the target was subsequently changed to the Foreign Ministry, "because Korff held a grudge against that office for refusing him a visa to Palestine."

In his article, Gilbert recounted a conversation he had with Korff while playing along with the plot, which he continued to do at the direction of the Paris police. He says he told Korff fog might prevent them from locating their exact target, to which Korff replied that they could just drop the bombs anywhere on London. When Gilbert protested that innocent people might be killed, Korff replied, "They are British, so they are our enemy,'" he reported.[204]

After being arrested, Korff came up with various stories. At one point he claimed that Gilbert had been the guilty party. Next, he and Hillel Kook (using his alias "Peter Bergson") claimed that the plot was a British "frameup" and that Gilbert was a British agent[205]. In other versions, Korff claimed that the "British Nazi Party" fabricated the story[206], a claim picked up by the British weekly News Review.[207]

According to the London Times, Korff later said that "millions of dollars had been subscribed by private American sources to fund the purchase of the aircraft."[208]

Powerful allies proclaimed that Korff was innocent and brought pressure on the State Department to help him.[209] These allies included Korff's contacts in Congress and his father, Rabbi Jacob Korff, who was leader of the Boston Jewish Rabbinate and an important enough man that the Massachusetts governor and Boston mayor attended his funeral, which was accompanied by a 7,000-person march[210]. By November 22nd all charges were dropped.

In 1948, Korff had the temerity to publish a large advertisement in the New York Post calling a State Department policy against enforcing the Partition of Palestine "pure and simple anti-Semitism… plain everyday anti-Semitism, incorporated in the hearts and minds of those who govern free America."[211]

Later, Korff became a close friend and fervent supporter of President Richard Nixon, who called him "my rabbi."[212] Korff is reported to have influenced Nixon's strong support for Israel and efforts to allow Soviet Jews to emigrate.[213] It is unknown whether Nixon was fully informed on Korff's past.

Korff served as a chaplain for the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health for 21 years.[214] He later acted as a consultant to Brown University in conjunction with the school's acquisition of his archives.[215] According to the London Independent, Korff had many supporters in high places in Israel, including Prime Ministers Yitzhak Rabin and Golda Meir.[216]
The "Sonneborn Institute"

A third collective of front groups was the secret American arm of the main Zionist paramilitary in Palestine, the Haganah.[217] Known as the "Sonneborn Institute," it was founded by an American, Rudolf G. Sonneborn, in conjunction David Ben Gurion, who led Zionist forces in Palestine.[218]

Sonneborn, scion of a wealthy German-Jewish family from Baltimore, had met Ben Gurion in 1919. Sonneborn had traveled to the Versailles peace conference as secretary of a Zionist delegation, at the behest of Supreme Court Justice Brandeis (a family friend), and afterward went on a tour of Palestine.[219]

In 1945, Sonneborn, scion of a wealthy German-Jewish family from Baltimore, and Ben Gurion hosted a meeting of 17 well-connected guests at Sonneborn's Manhattan penthouse. Ben Gurion informed the group that their purpose was to form an underground organization to raise money and support "for purposes which could not be publicized or even fully disclosed."

The guests came from Los Angeles, Toronto, Miami, Birmingham, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Columbus, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Newark, New Haven and New York. One was a rabbi, five were lawyers, and the others were highly successful businessmen. The organization was to have representatives in at least 35 to 40 industry groups, and in one month alone there were meetings in Memphis, Ohio, New Jersey, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Baton Rouge, Dallas, Washington DC, and 40 more were scheduled.

The network they set up had members all over the country and representatives in dozens of industry associations, and it held 48 meetings around the U.S. within one month alone. They created a variety of front groups for running weaponry, from machine guns to B-17s.[220] They also organized Zionist youth groups, whose young members sometimes helped load guns onto boats headed for Palestine.[221]

U.S. authorities tried to stop these illegal and extremely damaging activities. In 1948, the Director of Central Intelligence filed a top-secret report with the Secretary of Defense about the Zionist arms trafficking. He warned, "U.S. National security is unfavorably affected by these developments and it could be seriously jeopardized by continued illicit traffic in the 'implements of war.'"[222]

But, like the other Zionist front groups discussed above, the Sonneborn Institute had friends in high places. Author Grant Smith reports that, under Truman, "Haganah operative groups active in arms trafficking within the U.S., like the terrorist charges, would only be lightly investigated and seldom prosecuted."[223]
Infiltrating displaced person's camps in Europe to funnel people to Palestine

A similar underground campaign was operating in Europe. Zionist cadres infiltrated displaced person's camps that had been set up to house refugees displaced during WWII. These infiltrators tried secretly to funnel people to Palestine. When it turned out that most didn't want to go to Palestine, they worked to convince them – sometimes by force.

The fact was that Zionists needed more people to go to Palestine. As Ben Gurion stated in 1944: [T]he essence of Zionism is one of a populating endeavor, to populate [Israel] with multitudes of Jews."[224]

Israeli professor Yosef Grodzinsky explains that Zionists were looking for "chomer 'enoshi tov (good human materials, a phrase Zionist organizers frequently used). Convincing Jews to uproot themselves and move to Palestine proved to be a formidable task: When life is good, people tend to stay where they are. Candidates for Palestine immigration therefore had to be Jews whose life was not good. Post-Holocaust DPs [Displaced Persons], became a human reserve of great immigration potential, hence a prime target for the Zionists…"[225]

A senior Mossad commander stated: "We must not think that thousand upon thousands will come knocking at the country's gates once they open. The Zionist movement must understand that it must be first on the market."[226]

When only a minority of Jewish refugees wished to go to Palestine, a report by Zionist operative Rabbi Klaussner, concluded, "[T]he people must be forced to go to Palestine."

Author Alfred Lilienthal reports that Zionists working in the refugee camps employed numerous means to compel residents to agree to go to Palestine, including confiscation of food rations, dismissal from work, expulsion from the camps, taking away legal protection and visa rights, and, in one case, "even the public flogging of a recalcitrant recruit for the Israel Army."[227]

The Jewish Brigade of the Royal British Army, a unit long sought by Zionists and finally created in the final months of the war, was one of the first on the scene. Its soldiers and officers turned into clandestine emissaries of the Zionist movement.[228]

Grodzinsky reports, "One role Brigade soldiers took upon themselves was to gather Jewish children hidden away in monasteries, or with non-Jewish families."[229]

He writes, "Jewish orphans were to be found in many places, having survived thanks to the goodness of Christian families and institutions that hid them throughout the war." Now the Brigade's soldiers, directed by the Jewish Agency's Center for Diaspora, were retrieving them and taking them to special orphanages, "where they were to be cared for, receive Zionist education, and be trained for immigration to Palestine."

Grodzinsky reports that the process was not always easy. "Many families who rescued Jewish children were now treating them as if they were their own. To retrieve these children, Brigade men occasionally resorted to force."

Future Israeli Major General Yossi Peled and his sisters were among them. They had been raised by a Christian family almost from infancy. Brigade soldiers "came in one day, armed, and threatened [the adoptive parents] saying that 'these are Jewish children and they must give us away, otherwise they would suffer'. They had no choice but hand us over, and we were put in a Jewish orphanage in Belgium."[230]

The children tried to refuse to leave the house, and one of the sisters later said that her siblings' "screams still echo in her head."

One of the best-known orphanages, Selvino House, was run by Brigade soldiers who implemented strict rules, including requiring that only Hebrew be spoken. Children were not permitted to leave the orphanage to search for relatives out of concern that they might then stay in Europe rather than go to Palestine.

Grodzinsky goes on to report that thousands of children passed through such institutions, "their period of residence there being just another part of 'the journey to the promised land.'"[231]

In July 1945 Zionists organized the "First Congress of Jewish Survivors in Germany," which issued a proclamation calling for the "immediate establishment of a Jewish State in Palestine." While the proclamation claimed to represent the survivors, in reality most of the ten signatories were Zionist envoys from Palestine.

David Ben-Gurion, the leader of the Zionist movement who was to become Israel's first prime minister, believed that Palestine should be the only destination for Jewish survivors. Grodzinsky gives little known context for odyssey of the 4,500 survivors from German camps who set sail in July 1947 as "illegal immigrants" on a ship later named Exodus.[232]

Grodzinsky writes, "The real story of the ship was far less glorious than the one told in Leon Uris's 1958 bestseller and Otto Preminger's 1960 film."

Citing Israeli author Idith Zertal, Grodzinsky writes that Ben-Gurion "felt that the plight of Jewish refugees in Europe needed to be dramatized in order to attract more sympathy for the Jewish struggle over Palestine."

While many people have heard that British authorities refused to allow their illegal immigration into Palestine and forced the boat to be returned to Germany, few know that the French government had agreed to host the refugees. Ben-Gurion rejected this solution, and the survivors were forced, unnecessarily, to remain on board for seven months.

Grodzinsky comments: "Ben-Gurion's strategy in the Exodus affair paid off. The fate of the refugee ship attracted considerable and sympathetic attention around the world, and served the Zionist cause well. Few observers at the time knew that many of the refugees from the Exodus had applied for immigration visas to the United States, and were hardly anxious to settle in Israel. By dramatizing the fate of the survivors, in whom he had little interest except as future residents of the state he was building (Good Human Material is the original Hebrew title of Grodzinsky's book), Ben-Gurion helped to make Israel the world's chief power broker over Jewish affairs. Under his leadership, Israel established a claim to represent all of world Jewry, and on this basis successfully claimed reparations from the Federal Republic of Germany."

Grodzinsky/Zertal point out that this enabled Israel to acquire the right to speak not only for living Jews but for those who had perished under the Nazis, "to whom Ben-Gurion suggested granting symbolic citizenship--in effect, turning them into martyrs for the Jewish state." This despite the fact that some some, possibly many, had been anti-Zionist.

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