Genevieve Cora Fraser
For those who believe AIPAC and Israel are at the root of propelling the United States into the misguided Iraq War and subsequent occupation, the Israel spy case involving classified information on Iran is serving as the proverbial string entwining the various conflicts in the Middle East. Once pulled, the garment comes unraveled providing a revealing glimpse into Zionist/Israeli espionage and influence in America and far beyond US borders.
In an article published in March by Salon Online, retired Air Force Lt. Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski, who worked in the Pentagon with the Office of Special Plans described the transition from the Clinton to the Bush administrations. Once the office was secured under Bush officials she was advised not to say anything positive about the Palestinians. “At the time, I didn’t realize that the expertise on Middle East policy was not only being removed, but was also being exchanged for that from various agenda-bearing think tanks, including the Middle East Media Research Institute, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs.” The political appointees had a lot in common, namely the views of the right-wing Likud Party in Israel.
A quick glance at these “agenda-bearing think tanks” is quite enlightening. Juan Cole, Professor of History at the University of Michigan and an expert on the Middle East, informs us that the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee a.k.a. AIPAC “set up the Washington Institute for Near East Policy as a pro-Israeli alternative to the Brookings Institution, which it perceived to be insufficiently supportive of Israel.” Likewise, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy is linked to AIPAC. It’s founding director, Martin Indyk, is the former research director at AIPAC. The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) is best known for their successful promotion of the Israel-First policy which has become the rallying cry for the US Congress, rather than America First.
Recently the FBI removed computers from AIPAC and is conducting an investigation of two AIPAC employees regarding whether a Pentagon official, namely Lawrence A. Franklin passed a secret document on Iran policy to the group. But Larry Franklin’s involvement with Israel may be the tip of the iceberg. For the past two years, the FBI had been investigating whether AIPAC has been passing highly classified intelligence data on to Israel, according to Haaretz.
In his article “Pentagon/Israel Spying Case Expands: Fomenting a War on Iran,” Professor Cole states that the information Franklin may have passed on about US policy on Iran is most likely “an echo of the one-two punch secretly planned by the pro-Likud faction in the Department of Defense. First, Iraq would be taken out by the United States, and then Iran.”
Professor Cole who has met Franklin claims that he has a strong Brooklyn accent and can barely speak a few phrases of Persian or Farsi, the language most often spoken in Iran. Cole believes that Larry Franklin was not giving the directive to AIPAC in order to provide them with information. Franklin “was almost certainly seeking feedback from them on elements of it. He was asking, ‘Do you like this? Should it be changed in any way?’ And, he might also have been prepping AIPAC for the lobbying campaign scheduled for early in 2005, when Congress will have to be convinced to authorize military action, or at least covert special operations, against Iran. AIPAC probably passed the directive over to Israel for the same reason--not to inform, but to seek input.”
Professor Cole cites an article published in the Washington Monthly that details Franklin’s meetings with a corrupt Iranian arms dealer and con man Manuchehr Ghorbanifar (among others), who in the 1980s played a key role in the Iran-contra scandal. Cole also points out that the forged documents falsely purporting to show Iraqi uranium purchases from Niger - as a pretext for going to war with Iraq - implicated Iran, and the Israeli spy and the Niger forgeries investigations may share links. “The Iraq/Iran nuclear plot was so far-fetched that it is what initially made the Intelligence and Research division of the US State Department suspicious of the forgeries, even before the discrepancies of dates and officials in Niger were noticed…”
“AIPAC and Israel were helping write US policy toward Iran, just as they had played a key role in fomenting the Iraq war,” Cole writes. “With both Iraq and Iran in flames, the Likud Party could do as it pleased in the Middle East without fear of reprisal. This means it could expel the Palestinians from the West Bank to Jordan, and perhaps just give Gaza back to Egypt to keep Cairo quiet. Annexing southern Lebanon up to the Litani River, the waters of which Israel has long coveted, could also be undertaken with no consequences, they probably think, once Hizbullah in Lebanon could no longer count on Iranian support. The closed character of the economies of Iraq and Iran, moreover, would end, allowing American, Italian and British companies to make a killing after the wars (so they thought).”
Larry Franklin, the man the FBI believes may be a spy for Israel, is a Colonel in the United States Air Force Reserves and served as an attaché to the US embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel (a position which is now viewed with suspicion). His most recent assignment as a so-called “expert” on Iranian affairs under neo-conservatives William J. Luti and Douglas Feith in the Office of Special Plans appears to have been as agenda laden as the other substitutes for real expertise to which Lt. Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski alluded. While serving at OSP, Kwiatkowski observed, “Feith paid scant attention to most policy detail, except that relating to Israel and Iraq.” She further noted, “Instead of developing defense policy alternatives and advice, OSP was used to manufacture propaganda for internal and external use, and pseudo war planning.” It is Kwiatkowski’s opinion that Rumsfeld’s Office of Special Plans was a “subversion of constitutional limits on executive power and a co-optation through deceit of a large segment of the Congress.”
Despite a career spent in support of Israel, in May after announcing his retirement from the Senate, Ernest “Fritz” Hollings of South Carolina dared to openly question Congress’ Israel-First policy in a column he wrote for his local newspaper and later, after being attacked as an anti-Semite, on the Senate floor. Hollings had grown exasperated with the neo-conservative, “Project for a New American Century” agenda which had led the US down a garden path to the military quagmire we currently face in Iraq. To his credit, Hollings spoke out because too many service men and women were dying needlessly in Iraq as they had 30 years ago in Vietnam, and because it is US funded military equipment and state-of-the-art technology that is used by Israel to wage a lopsided war against the unarmed Palestinian civilian population.
“You can’t have an Israel policy other than what AIPAC gives you around here,” Hollings stated on the Senate floor. “I can tell you no President takes office--I don’t care whether it is a Republican or a Democrat--that all of a sudden AIPAC will tell him exactly what the policy is...”
Hollings had come to realize that though he had supported the President’s policy on Iraq he was misled. “There weren’t any weapons, or any terrorism, or al-Qaida. This is the reason we went to war,” he told his colleagues.
Fritz waxed eloquent that day in the Senate. His comments on President Bush were equally revealing. “I just read about President Bush’s appearance before the AIPAC. He confirmed his support of the Jewish vote, referring to adopting Ariel Sharon’s policy, and the dickens with the 1967 borders, the heck with negotiating the return of refugees, the heck with the settlements he had objected to originally. They had those borders, Resolution No. 242--no, no, President Bush said: I am going along with Sharon, and he was going to get that and he got the wonderful reception he got with the Jewish vote,” Hollings said. “There is nothing like politicizing or a conspiracy, as my friend from Virginia, Senator Allen, says--,” Fritz said repeating Allen’s charges that Hollings had made “an anti-Semitic, political, conspiracy statement” because he dared to finally, after all these years, tell the Truth as he saw it.
“That is not a conspiracy. That is the policy. I didn’t like to keep it a secret, …but I can tell you now, I will challenge any one of the other 99 Senators to tell us why we are in Iraq, other than what this policy is here. It is an adopted policy, a domino theory of The Project for the New American Century,” Hollings continued. “Everybody knows it because we want to secure our friend, Israel.”
“With President Bush’s domino policy in the Mideast gone awry, he can’t keep shouting ‘Terrorism war.’ Terrorism is a method, not a war,” Hollings asserted. “Here, might does not make right. Right makes might. Acting militarily we have created more terrorism than we have eliminated.”
“Militarily, Israel is a veritable aircraft carrier. You can hardly fly and you are out of the country, and everybody has to understand that. You cannot play the numbers game Sharon plays. He thinks he can do it militarily,” the Senator from South Carolina continued.
“I want to remind you, it was in that 6-day war--the book is ‘Six Days of War’ by Michael Oren. Look on page 151, and Major Ariel Sharon says: Look, we are going to decimate the Egyptian army and you will not hear from Egypt again for several generations. And Levi Eshkol, the Prime Minister, on page 152 says: ‘Militarily victory decides nothing. The Arabs will still be here.’”
“That is my theme. I have watched it over the years. You have to learn not to kill together, but to live together,” the Senator said.
Hollings spoke of being struck by a headline he had recently read. “When I saw it, I showed it to my staff. I said: You all come in here, I want to ask you something. ‘Israel plans to destroy more Gaza dwellings.’ You see that headline? I asked staff members: Suppose they bulldoze your daddy’s home. Wouldn’t you want to cut their throat? They said: In a New York minute.”
Hollings went on to speak about a trip where he met with the King of Jordan, the Prime Minister of Kuwait, and Mr. Musharraf, the President of Pakistan who had all said that if you settle the Israel-Palestine question, terrorism would disappear around the world.
“Then we came in on a Friday evening to make a little courtesy call with the French,” Hollings reminisced. “The majority of the troops on the field at Yorktown with the surrender of Cornwallis were French troops. We had French troops that helped us get this so-called freedom. All this anti-French stuff, do not give me french fries and everything else, (this) is crazy,” he said in reference to the incident where the cafeteria menus in the three House office buildings changed the name of “French Fries” to “Freedom Fries.” The name change was a rebuke to France over the country’s refusal to support the U.S. position on Iraq.
During his trip, Hollings also met with French president Jacques Chirac. After discussing Iraq, Hollings stated that Chirac said, “What we have to do is do something about Israel and Palestine. I said, what would you do? He said, I would put in a peacekeeping force. I said, would French troops come? He said, French troops would come immediately. We would be part of it and we would separate them from killing each other every day.”
Hollings’ talk with the president of France must have gotten back to Israel. Today there is growing concern in France that American Jewish money is being used to influence French politics, including the presidential election. The candidates cited are Patrick Gaubert, a well-known Jewish leader, at a recent European Parliament election; Laurent Dominati, in a French parliamentary election in Paris as well as presidential hopeful Nicolas Sarkozy.
Marc Perelman, in a recent article published by Forward magazine, stated that Israel’s ambassador to France, Nissim Zvili, has warned the Israeli Foreign Ministry, that American Jewish money funding a French electoral campaign would be a catastrophe. According to Perelman, Zvili has “urged Israel to tell American Jewish groups to proceed carefully. The source indicated that the message was approved in Jerusalem and likely passed on to American Jewish groups.”
Last year there was a controversial agreement regarding American Jewish funding in France between the America Jewish Congress and a vocal pro-Israel group called the Union of French Jewish Employers and Professionals, known by its French acronym, UPJF, Perelman noted. “Concerns are also being voiced about the European activities of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the Washington pro-Israel lobbying organization, which has developed ties with Jewish groups in France and other European countries to encourage the development of American-style lobbying.”
AIPAC has its hands in many lands, or so it seems. If the results elsewhere are as catastrophic as they have been to the American political life, its economy and world standing, (as we preemptively strike our way into a moral abyss) God help us all.
In closing, I wish to recognize members of the Jewish community in America and throughout the world who are supporting Palestinian prisoners in their hunger strike. Hunger striker Mohammed Al Arouqi from Gaza has heard from Svera Haerter, a Jewish peace activist, who called from Italy to say that she and many other peace activists in the world are supporting the Palestinian prisoners in their hunger strike and for the right of freedom.
“I speak on behalf of our group called ‘Europe Jews for Just Peace’,” Ms. Haerter said. “We have formed a network of groups aiming at promoting peace, democracy and supporting the Palestinians in their just issue. Our network is composed of 18 different groups from different European countries, mainly Jewish, who are against Israeli aggressions against the Palestinians and refusing the Israeli terrorism in the name of Judaism.”
She added that the Israelis did not have the right to commit crimes in the name of Judaism. “We want to prove to the world that there are many Jews who condemn what the Israelis are doing and have a strong belief in the just cause of the Palestinians.”