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A 1980s Look at the Israel Lobby

[1]2,287 words

Arabic version here [2]

Paul Findley
They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel’s Lobby [3]
Westport, Connecticut: Lawrence Hill & Company, 1985

The late Congressman Paul Findley (1921-2019) was a Republican Congressman from Illinois. His hometown was Jacksonville [4]. Like so many other Midwesterners his ancestors [5] were a mix of the Yankees and Pennsylvanians who created a civilization on the wild prairie.

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Paul Findley’s family was among the original pioneers of Illinois.

For most of Findley’s twenty-two years in Congress, his main concern was helping economically manage [7] the considerable output of corn and hogs [8] for his district — but then he waded into Zionist intrigue. To explain, in the early 1970s, a constituent of modest means asked for his help to set free a teacher named Ed Franklin [9], imprisoned in the Communist nation of South Yemen [10].

Findley journeyed to South Yemen. The United States had no diplomatic relations with South Yemen in the early ‘70s, so there was concern that this visit could go badly. What he found was that the South Yemenis were quite rational. They were also utterly frustrated with the American government’s enthrallment to Israel, as well as American support for Saudi Arabian attacks on South Yemen.

Findley secured the release of Ed Franklin and in the process was introduced to Arab leaders in the region such as Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) leader Yasser Arafat. What Findley found was that the Arabs were not the fanatics portrayed by the media and were often treated badly by the American government after they had acted in good faith. One example of such happened during the Iran hostage crisis. Yasser Arafat genuinely served as an honest broker, securing the release of 11 prisoners. The Carter administration was aware of the help, but didn’t publicly thank Arafat or help the Palestinian cause at all.

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Congressman Paul Findley.

Findley came to believe that it was time for the United States to take an evenhanded approach to Middle Eastern issues, especially with regards to Israel. What Findley discovered was that this attitude led to him being labeled an enemy of Israel and an anti-Semite. 

In 1980, Findley faced a tough re-election bid. He faced a Republican primary challenger and a formidable Democratic rival in the general election. He won, but he had to carry out considerable fundraising to match the money that poured into both of his challengers’ campaign coffers.

In 1982, his congressional district’s boundaries were re-drawn. He lost his hometown base of Jacksonville and gained areas where the Democratic voters were predominant. Meanwhile, money from Jews poured into the new Illinois 20th Congressional District and Findley barely lost to his rival, Dick Durban. 

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Left: US congressional districts in Illinois from 1973 to 1982. Right: US congressional districts in Illinois from 1983-1992.

The American Israeli Political Action Committee (AIPAC) claimed they were responsible for the victory. To make a complex situation simple: AIPAC was somewhat correct in claiming victory. Nonetheless, the race was so close, and the circumstances of the 1982 election were so varied that it is hard to truly know for certain if that was totally true.

Regardless, after his election loss, Findley took a hard look at the Israel/Jewish Lobby in America. (Findley uses both Israel and Jewish as adjectives and I will do so in this review.) He published They Dare to Speak Out in 1985. He names names, gives important dates, and has direct quotes that show exactly how the Jewish lobby functions.

Elections

The central endeavor of the Israel Lobby [13] is shaping who gets elected. Jewish activists and their allies monitor every committee hearing, work in the staffs of every congressman, and consider every statement made by an elected official. They even have a network that reports off-the-cuff private remarks. Anything but total subservience will bring down hostility from a large network of Jewish activists.

Even impeccably liberal activists with long histories of pro-Jewish submission can run afoul of the Jewish Lobby if they aren’t subservient enough. Findley writes,

Adlai Stevenson III’s [14] campaign manager for the 1982 Illinois gubernatorial election Joseph Novak remarked after Stevenson’s very narrow loss was that “If [a Jewish led anti-Stevenson] effort hadn’t happened. Stevenson would be governor today.” In the predominantly Jewish suburban Chicago precincts of Highland Park and Lake County, “We just got killed, just absolutely devastated.” Press secretary Rick Jasculca adds, “What bothers me is that hardly any rabbis, or Jewish leaders beyond Phil [Klutznick] were willing to speak up, and say this is nonsense to call Adlai anti-Israel.” (p. 92)

Like the disciples after the crucifixion, American politicians cower for fear of the Jews [15].

Foreign Entanglements

The Jewish Lobby warps American politics in other ways. The United States doesn’t really need to have a vast military presence in the world. The web of military alliances that ensnare the US does not benefit the Americans. Nowhere is that situation more glaring than the relationship between the United States and Israel. Indeed, all of America’s military operations in the Middle East have an Israeli angle.

The United States also gives vast quantities of financial aid to Israel. This aid continues in the teeth of recessions, unemployment crises, natural disasters, and wars that spring up elsewhere. This is surprising in that foreign aid is one of the most unpopular things the American government does. The main driver is the Jewish lobby. “Except for a few humanitarian and church-related organizations, AIPAC serves as foreign aid’s only domestic constituency.” (p. 29)

Christian Zionism

Israel also gains support from a Philo-Semitic group of Americans called Christian Zionists. These people are American whites who follow a theological fad called premillennial dispensationalism. This iffy theology holds that Israel’s founding in 1948 was foretold in the Bible and portends the return of Christ.

Findley writes: 

The religious convictions of many Americans have made them susceptible to the appeals of the Israel lobby, with the result that free speech concerning the Middle East and US policy in the region is frequently restricted before it begins. The combination of religious tradition and overt lobby activity tends to confine legitimate discussion within artificially narrow bounds. (p. 239)

Findley refutes Christian Zionism by quoting several non-Zionist Christian theologians. They argue that the prophesized return of Israel took place after the Babylonian captivity [16]. Modern Israel is therefore not part of some grand Biblical plan unfolding in the present day. Also, the Covenant between God and Abraham’s descendants was rendered void when the Jews failed to follow God’s Commandments. (p. 245)

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Christian Zionists are peddling falsehood. Meanwhile the Jews the love do not love them back. Christian Zionists also tolerate horrifying behavior on the part of the Israelis against a large Christian community in the Levant.

The Mailed Fist

Findley has a great many examples of anti-Israel activists who were personally ruined by activist Jews. One owned a Middle Eastern restaurant in Skokie, a town with a large Jewish population. His restaurant was boycotted and had to shut down. Other activists get threatening letters and menacing phone calls in the middle of the night. Jewish activists even harass activists and ordinary researchers at mid-grade universities in places like Temple, Arizona. Many have lost jobs and are hounded afterward through some malicious lawsuit or another trick.

Part of the problem is there is basically no white pushback to this menace. In an earlier time, US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles [18] complained: “It is impossible to hold the line because we get no support from the Protestant elements in the country. All I get is a battering from the Jews.” (p. 119)

Findley also discusses the Israeli sneak attack on the USS [19] Liberty [20]. Additionally, the State and Defense Departments are riddled with offices and sections which specifically focus on supporting Israel or Jewish issues.

Not all is a mailed fist though. Israelis directly working with American government officials are warm, intelligent, and helpful. These Israelis quickly become part of the team — and then they steal American secrets and technology. Findley explains that professional AIPAC lobbyists show up on time, are courteous, are on point, and don’t waste anyone’s time. 

A Message to America, the Republicans, & the Palestinians

Congressman Findley lived a long life. Even as the infirmities and indignities of old age wracked his body, he continued to speak out [21] for American interests and against the Israel lobby. He argued that a way to defeat the Jewish lobby was a constitutional amendment that restricted campaign donations for a politician to people who’d lived in that political district for several years. All Americans should consider this idea.

Republican cowardice in the face of the Israel Lobby and the organized Jewish committee is easy to comprehend in the light of Findley’s 1982 electoral defeat, but the circumstances may have changed enough that an exact duplication of Findley’s ouster might be hard. America is now polarized in such a way that the Democratic Party is split between an Israel First establishment and a pro-Palestine left wing. Meanwhile, the organized Jewish diaspora in the United States is intractably hostile to the GOP [22]. There is no reason for any Republican to care about Israel, they’ll be called a racist and anti-Semite regardless. Should all Republicans in Congress stand against Israel, they will change the dynamic in the course of an afternoon.

Republicans can make support for Israel an issue with their base. Don’t like troops in Syria [23]. . . well, the Israel Lobby. Didn’t like Trump’s impeachments or the 2020 election [24] fraud [25]. . . well, let me tell you about the organized Jewish community. White Americans are ready to hear a counter-Israel message. It just requires teamwork and a little courage.

I encourage Arab groups in the United States who are working against Israel’s terror machine to reach out to ordinary Americans, like those Americans that come from the same racial stock as Paul Findley of Illinois. There needs to be some finesse — a great many Americans have Arab = Terrorist burned into their mental programming, especially after 9/11. However, Americans should be reminded that Arabs like Ralph Nader and Massad Ayoob [26] are totally dialed into traditional white American culture. On the other hand, Jews like Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Pearle, or Max Boot are utterly hostile to American whites. By their actions, we can see they only care about America in so far as they can plunder its people and resources.

Rashida Tlaib & Matthew 18:21, 22

As this article goes to print, the most outspoken counter-Israel member of Congress is not an American like Paul Findlay, but a foreigner of Palestinian stock named Rashida Tlaib. White advocates reading this may very well be angry with Tlaib. Among other outrages, she voted for Trump’s impeachment and screamed obscenities at a venue where Trump was speaking.

This anger is justified, but I’ll argue here that it is better to just let all of that go. Instead of spitting tobacco juice on Tlaib’s shoes, white advocates should follow the words of Christ quoted in the eighteenth chapter of Matthew [27]. We should “forgive [her] up to seventy times seven” times for these transgressions.

Here’s why. The main driver of hostility between Americans and Arabs from the Levant is not anything any American or Arab is doing. It is caused entirely by Israeli actions and diaspora Jews residing in the United States. Next, a peaceful Palestine means an end to refugee flows from that region. As a result, there will be fewer radicalized, dangerous men seeking to murder whites at a Colorado King Soopers [28] or Fort Hood [29]. A peaceful Palestine means a city like Gaza can become a haven for tourism due to its Mediterranean climate and low cost of living. If Palestinians can carry out economic activity free from Jewish F-16 attacks, they can become a market for American products.

Palestinians are not savages. The Palestinian Liberation Organization and Hamas aren’t terrorists in the al-Qaeda or ISIS sense either. They are more like the Maryland militia in the War of 1812.

Palestinians may appear to be on the same team as Black Lives Matter terrorists, but a closer look shows this is a tenuous alliance of convenience. Palestinians are in a desperate situation. They’ve been steamrolled by Zionism since the end of World War II. They’ll take allies wherever they can take them. Additionally, through the warped media lens through which the rest of the world views America, BLM might seem just to them. They don’t know about the knockout game or black crime more generally. I think a people who live in an open-air prison that is subject day and night to artillery bombardment can be forgiven any such misunderstandings.

Palestinians should not count on the Black Lives Matter movement for long-term support. Eventually, the BLM “brand” will imply crime, terrorism, and African pathology in the same way the Freedmen’s Bureau “brand” did by the late 1870s. I recommend Palestinian activists be very polite and grateful to BLM support while cultivating white American supporters.

The ultimate rogue nation in the world is Israel. Its aggression drives much of the turmoil in the Middle East. Since that fact is objectively true, it is natural that many types of people will align themselves against Israel. These people might have considerable differences, but all alliances do. To be part of a mature and serious movement, white advocates will need to get along with all kinds of people. I’ll conclude with the idea that white Americans are more Palestinian than not.

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