Culture, Politics

AIPAC slaughters two sacrificial lambs, holds breath

In Thursday’s Washington Post, Dan Eggen and Jerry Markson report big developments on the still-developing AIPAC espionage scandal :

“Two senior employees of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, one of Washington’s most influential lobbying organizations, have left their jobs amid an FBI investigation into whether they passed classified U.S. information to the government of Israel, a source close to the organization said yesterday. The source characterized the departures as firings.”

The two men, Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman deny the charges against them but declined to comment further. Up to this point, AIPAC had been defending the conduct of all its employees, and people in the press had even been going as far as pulling the anti-semitism card. But now the organization seems to have taken a tactical 180 degree turn:

“The statement made by Rosen and Weissman represents solely their view of the facts,” said AIPAC spokesman Patrick Dorton. “The action that AIPAC has taken was done in consultation with counsel after careful consideration of recently learned information and the conduct AIPAC expects of its employees.”

Previous article on AIPAC: New Poll Shows Americans Suspicious of AIPAC Status.

20 thoughts on “AIPAC slaughters two sacrificial lambs, holds breath

  1. oops JB, looks like we posted on the same thing at the same time… I’ll delete mine, but post its contents here in the comments

  2. AIPAC Changes Course
    AIPAC has decided to can two employees who were allegedly involved in mishandling classified documents.
    Pressed by JTA, lawyers for Rosen and Weissman issued the following statement Wednesday: “Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman have not violated any U.S. law or AIPAC policy. Contrary to press accounts, they have never solicited, received or passed on any classified documents. They carried out their job responsibilities solely to serve AIPAC´s goal of strengthening the U.S.-Israel relationship.”
    Well, I happen to know Keith (though I haven’t spoken with him in several years) and I must say he is a committed and smart-as-hell guy. I hope he’s ultimately vindicated, and in the short term I hope he’s able to snag a new job quickly (though I’m guessing it won’t come easy). Anyway, it shouldn’t have come to this– the US ought to be sharing information on Iran with Israel as a matter of policy.

  3. In re AIPAC’s surname, “one of Washington’s most infuential lobbying organizations.” Are there any Washington lobbying organizations without influence? Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that the whole idea of having a lobbying organization? Just wondering.

  4. Yeah– but there are rankings out there that try to quantify influence. AIPAC is consistently ranked in the top 5 (at least last time I checked… which was not recent).

  5. Zionista: you’re correct in exactly the same way it is anti-Semitism to call the President powerful, because, hey, aren’t all Executive branch members somewhat powerful? You get down to cops and they have guns.
    No other lobby of a foreign nation comparable to Israel in America touchs AIPAC, they’re in the league of the energy behemoths (although strangely enough they sometimes oppose, since many of the oily ones are on the side of hateful Arab despots). Congressmembers who give attention to the wrong constituency suddenly find ther nobody oponent is swimming in cash.
    This guy, a former Democratic congressional staffer writing on AIPAC, has been following this investigation for a while now.
    Among his recent posts: Iranian terrorist group held a convention with Congresspeople in DC, as part of a possible push for rape there (the MEK is an Iranian equivalent of the INC), and a prediction that Steve Rosen would be made to take the fall.
    Of course, there is a much simpler reason why everyjew should despise AIPAC:
    if there is anything threatening to restore anti-Semitism, it is this idea of 1 for 1 equivalency of the Jewish people (the Diaspora meaning of “Israel”) with a certain finite flawed human government that strives mightily to bring hatred down upon its head, and if there is anyone trying to ram that equivalency home at every opportunity it’s the ADL and AIPAC.

  6. This situation is very troubling, and should not be ignored by Jewish Americans. AIPAC should do some serious housecleaning and stay completely ‘kosher’ when it comes to espionage. The last thing American Jews need is another Pollard-type scandal!

  7. AIPAC is not a “lobby of a foreign nation.” The Israeli government has its own lobby. AIPAC is a group that promotes the American-Israeli alliance, which is a good thing. The fact that one advocates for such close relations, or supports the positions of Israel, does not make one a “foreign agent.” A foreign agent is one who is hired or acts at the behest of a foreign principal. AIPAC is no more a foreign agent than the American Committee for Jerusalem, the ADC, or the myriad of Arab advocacy groups which laughably claim to support a “balanced” foreign policy, are foreign agents for the PLO. Americans of all stripes can advocate foreign policy without losing their tax exempt status.
    The Zogby poll for the “Council for the National Interest” simply asked whether AIPAC should register as a foreign agent, without explaining what a foreign agent legally is. What it does show is that despite the promise of America, there are still devious stereotypes whereby people think that groups supporting Israel are somehow controlled agents of the government.
    The anti-Israel lobby has been gunning for AIPAC for a long time, and has taken the “foreign agent” tack for a while. This is because most of the pro-Arab lobbyists ARE foreign agents and registered as such. There is a very lucrative revolving door from the state department and other government branches into the hands of the petroleum-diplomatic industrial complex. They want to try to equate AIPAC’s grass roots support with the Arabs’ bought and paid for lobby. Fortunately, they are not successful.
    As for gorilla, his site is laughably bad, and I’m shocked that anyone here would give it credence. He claims to want to have an “open discussion” of the issues, but his site is really nothing but a flimsy dossier on anyone who dares speak out in favor of Israel. The site is regularly linked to by hate sites like, whatreallyhappened, and the zundelsite. He regularly encourages such traffic and links, and when he’s called on it, he lamely says “I can’t control who links to me.” It got bad enough so that he had to enter a tepid post saying “I don’t support Holocaust denial” (and in a bit of unintentional comedy, the comments section of the post spiked with condemnations, saying that he was “caving into the Jewish lobby.” He also censors his comments section.
    I don’t agree with all of AIPAC’s positions. But on balance, it has done a good job ensuring that the U.S. Israel relationship is a strong one. In addition, it is made up of a coaltion of remarkably diverse groups. Americans for Peace Now is a constituent member, as is the Zionist Organization of America. It has representatives from the Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform movement. Some people have complained that it’s structured in a way as to give disproportionate influence to the more hawkish groups. For example, the Orthodox Union has as much representation as the Conservative and Reform organizations, even though Orthodox Judaism is a significantly smaller presence in the U.S.
    Nevertheless, the fact is that there is difference of opinion between AIPAC members. If AIPAC policy has tended to support a more hawkish attitude, that is largely because most Israeli advocates have felt that way, particularly after the failed peace negotiations of four years ago.
    As for the investigation, who knows what happened. My guess is that Rosen and Weismann, being baited by the government, crossed the line when they were fed (most likely false) information that Israeli lives were in iminent danger. It reminds me of Ken Starr’s years long inquisition of Bill Clinton, where in the end, all he could find was a crime that was largely derivative of the investigation itself.

  8. “American law sets two chief tests for defining an organization or a publicist as an “agent of a foreign principal.” The financial one clearly does not apply to Aipac, which does not receive money from Israel.
    The other test has to do with the nature of the relationship between the American advocacy organization and the foreign government in question. According to the law, any person or group that acts “at the order, request, or under the direction or control of a foreign principal” has to register with the Justice Department as a foreign agent.”

  9. “Under the above test, it’s clear that AIPAC does not meet the definition of foreign agent.”
    Well, that depends on the results of the investigation, doesn’t it? If AIPAC higher-ups had knowledge of or promoted the passing of classified information to Israel, then the group certainly would seem to meet the definition.

  10. Probably not. The fact that two AIPAC officials, concerned with a direct and immediate threat to human life, contacted the Israeli embassy, does not mean they are acting on behalf of the Israeli government.
    What’s funny is that I have seen people complaining, for the longest time, that AIPAC DOESN’T follow the Israeli line, but aligns with the Israeli right wing. Now, one can be a foreign agent on behalf of something other than a government, but the fact that you share an ideological affinity doesn’t change that.
    Conceivably, the investigation could show that AIPAC regularly took direction and orders from the Israeli government, But I doubt it. This looks like a screw up, which while understandable, provides great fodder for those who want to drive a wedge between the U.S. and Israel, and put American advocates for Israel in a bad public light with claims of dual loyalty.

  11. So, if it didn’t receive money from Germany, the infamous German-American Bund cannot be attacked as representing Germany because, far from it, they represent German-American friendship (which sounds like it’s not only representing Germany but doing one better and taking a definite stance on it, which an embassy doesn’t necessarily have to do, doesn’t it)?
    Exactly how many Americans do you honestly think will care about the legal definition of “agent” if they start hearing more and more bad things about Israel-prepresenting lobbies, whether they’re official diplomats or not?
    Nobody controls who links to them or their comments if passwordless (retroactive comment control can include banning, deletion and directed flaming, but gorilla does none of these). Some “hate links” (rense, which is a huge mess categorically but which is hardly a hate site) are necessray for certain documents that can be linked to nowhere else. Gorilla has passwords and some censorship and that’s really all you can do (notice Gorilla is found guilty of both controlling and failing to control his comments). And saying that “[Gorilla] encourages such traffic and links” is as disgusting and categorically baseless a slander as saying that “JewSchool” is a recruiting front for the Border Guard.
    A flimsy dossier on anyone who dares speak out on behalf of Israel? (which, remember, is in no way representing Israel. So if we speak out on behalf of Al Qaeda don’t you dare say we’re representing them.) Do you have any idea how many people that would be?
    Concern for safety is hardly an excuse for a county that justifies its ever murder, bulldozing and military act with high-pitched screaming about a right to existence and human (Israeli) life.
    And before we forget, the new “security fence”? Using American lives as a bufffer.

  12. “notice Gorilla is found guilty of both controlling and failing to control his comments.”
    Yes. He deletes comments which expose the factual errors of him or his commentors. He fails to control the anti-semitic drivel on his site, and sheepishly says “I can’t control who links to me” (of course you can, you can go to, whatreallyhappened, and say “remove your link to my site.”)
    “And saying that “[Gorilla] encourages such traffic and links” is as disgusting and categorically baseless a slander as saying that “JewSchool” is a recruiting front for the Border Guard.”
    He regularly encourages such links. It’s in his comments section.

  13. As for the German American Bund, was it ever actually forced to register as a foreign agent? Although the organization was reprehensible, it strikes me more along the lines of “International ANSWER,” a bunch of people advocating for a truly frightening cause, and advocating policies that would benefit evil foreign actors. But again, that doesn’t mean that it acts under the direction or control of the group. (Payment is not necessary, but in most cases that is, as a practical matter, what demonstrates the relationsjip).

  14. (of course you can, you can go to, whatreallyhappened, and say “remove your link to my site.”)
    rrrright. you could ask the skinheads to behave themselves. we’ll try to remember that one. hey stormfront, why don’t you not only remove your link, but rethink your lives?
    He regularly encourages such links. It’s in his comments section.
    He schills for his site like anybody with a site tries to get free advertising; saying he’s encouraging hate is not only untrue but the same pattern we see with knee-jerk identification of Norman Finkelstein, child of two Holocaust survivors who dedicates his work to them, as a Holocaust denier.
    And talking about whether or not the Bubnd registerred is proof you’re still not paying attention. Registration, legischmation: they represent Israel. Informally, like the nice old couple in the JNF ad does if you like, but they sure are representing a foreign country and it ain’t Kyrgyzstan. And yes, ANSWER is scary, but they’re also impotent. AIPAC boasts about its power to silence dissent (while simultaneously claiming to be just another lobby); who has ANSWER knocked out of office?

  15. Of course you can tell websites not to link to you. And my guess is most webmasters would listen. A cursory look at his site and the comments section make clear that the “gorilla” is not looking to have the “honest debate” he cries about but is looking to smear anyone who advocates for Israel as part of some nefarious conspiracy (I should know, the second I questioned his assertions I was assumed to be part of the conspiracy).
    And not to change the subject, but Finkelstein is essentially a Holocaust denier.
    “they [AIPAC] represent Israel.” The specific question is whether they meet the legal definition of a foreign agent. It’s pretty clear that they don’t.
    The funny thing is that Israel haters squeal about AIPAC and anyone who advocates for Israel “suppressing dissent.” Yet it is they who regularly try to call for legal action to be taken against any uppity Jew who dares speak out on behalf of Israel.
    AIPAC has several different representatives on its executive board. These range from peace groups such as Americans for Peace Now to hardline groups such as the ZOA. There are some claims, which I believe have some legitimacy, which say that it is structured in a way to give disproportionate influence to more hardline groups (for example, the Orthodox Union has as much representation as the Union for Reform Judaism, even though the latter has significantly more members in America). Nevertheless, the structure of AIPAC, that of a diverse group of Jewish organizations each with an input into AIPAC policy, belies any claim that it is acting at the direction or request of the Israeli government, or the Likud Party, or whomever the anti-semitic conspiracy theorists choose to rant about that day.

  16. Of course you can tell websites not to link to you. And my guess is most webmasters would listen.
    You’re still not paying attention, to yourself no less. The guys you’re complaining about are not “most webmasters.”
    What honest debate? Every Nazi and extremist libertarian/John Bircher we ever came across is always screaming about “fair debate.” This is usually the signal of someone who considers criticism to be unfair slander and probably anti-Semitism, because somebody not alien to the idea of “free debate” would just start in. It’s a Coulterism, this cry for free debate. It’s Gorilla’s site and the comments we saw have him responding politely and, unfortunately, accurately to your charges.
    He’s not a Nazi like terrorist-embracing poor-person-despising Grover Norquist, Joshua, he’s something you’re going to see a lot more of soon: Americans pissed off at what has been done in their name. Not necessarily pissed off at the very idea of Zionism, but at that basic dishonesty that has characterized the US-Israel relationship from Nixon through Iran-Contra and the present glories.
    Finkelstein cannot be a Holocaust denier so long as he dedicates his work to the memory of his parents (“may I neither forgive not gorget what was done to them,” yeah, sounds just like Zundel doesn’t it?) and accepts the standard figure of 11 million, 6 million of which were Jews, endorsed by scholars, and who has the endorsement of Raul Hilberg, the dean and embattled father of Holocaust history. Is the author of the Destruction of the European Jews also a Holocaust denier?! This is like saying that Albert Einstein is not a physicist because there are disagreements with other physicists. This practice of automatically smearing people, this proof that “anti-Semitism” and “Holocaust denier” really do not have any meaning any more other than “political heretic,” is disturbing.
    AIPAC is so diverse it ijcludes 4,317 different kinds of Zionists! Gee whiz! Someday Hamas will include 3,765,737 different kinds of hate-drunk terrorists! Name and number all the groups you want, as long as your idea of left is Peace Now, Arik ain’t worried (hell, they demonstrated for him), and if Arik ain’t bothered moral people should be. Who said anything about the request of the Israeli government? Are we realy going to go as slowly as possible looking for red herrings no real intelligence agency would be stupid enough to leave? Well, they left no receipt for the Iran photos, so they must not have gotten them…
    “they [AIPAC] represent Israel.” The specific question is whether they meet the legal definition of a foreign agent. It’s pretty clear that they don’t.
    They represent Israel, period: nobody but you cares about your straw vindication which is going to come in real handy if anything beyond schilling at the top of their lungs was going on, least of all Steve Rosen.

  17. With respect to “fair debate” I did, in fact, start in, and my posts, which merely corrected blatant factual errors and exposed the seamy underside of who was supporting gorilla, were deleted.
    Gorilla tried posting the same crap on some other sites when he used to pimp his blog. People who are no fans of Sharon or Israel quickly saw through his charade.
    Here’s one of the latest comments from gorilla’s “I’m not an anti-semite!” website.
    “How often in the history of massacrous wars have the militant Talmudists played the role of puppet masters?
    Why do Christians agree to serve as foot soldiers in Talmudist genocidal wars?”
    As for, “They represent Israel, period.”
    More accurately, they support a strong American Israel relationship. Nothing wrong with that.
    “AIPAC is so diverse it ijcludes 4,317 different kinds of Zionists! Gee whiz!”
    Which is indeed quite diverse. Look, AIPAC has an agenda, which is to ensure that the strong alliance between America and Israel remains so. Genocidal terrorists need not apply. But that is a far cry from being a foreign agent, which is what the discussion originally was about and what AIPAC haters are trying to label them as so they can restrict their political activities and communications with members.
    As for Finkelstein, the less said, the better. The man has routinely slandered reputable scholars and advocates in an attempt to score political points. He is, for all intents and purposes, a Holocaust denier.

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