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Israel spies on U.S. more than any other ally

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Paul Pillar

Paul Pillar

Ah the unending gifts of the special relationship! Jeff Stein reports at Newsweek that Israel spies on the U.S. more than any other ally. “Alarming” and “terrifying” are the words used by a congressional aide who has seen the evidence of Israeli theft of US secrets. “Key components for Israel’s nuclear bombs were clandestinely obtained here,” Paul Pillar tells Stein, echoing Grant Smith.

Notice how this story has emerged in the context of the visa exemption that Israel seeks from the U.S. for its citizens. If they’re coming over here without needing a visa, what’s going to stop them from even more spying, asks that congressional aide.

According to classified briefings on legislation that would lower visa restrictions on Israeli citizens, Jerusalem’s efforts to steal U.S. secrets under the cover of trade missions and joint defense technology contracts have “crossed red lines.”

Israel’s espionage activities in America are unrivaled and unseemly, counterspies have told members of the House Judiciary and Foreign Affairs committees, going far beyond activities by other close allies, such as Germany, France, the U.K. and Japan. A congressional staffer familiar with a briefing last January called the testimony “very sobering…alarming…even terrifying.” Another staffer called it “damaging.”

The Jewish state’s primary target: America’s industrial and technical secrets.

“No other country close to the United States continues to cross the line on espionage like the Israelis do,” said a former congressional staffer who attended another classified briefing in late 2013, one of several in recent months given by officials from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the State Department, the FBI and the National Counterintelligence Directorate…
As Paul Pillar, the CIA’s former national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia, told Newsweek, old habits are hard to break: Zionists were dispatching spies to America before there even was an Israel, to gather money and materials for the cause and later the fledgling state. Key components for Israel’s nuclear bombs were clandestinely obtained here. “They’ve found creative and inventive ways,” Pillar said, to get what they want.

“If we give them free rein to send people over here, how are we going to stop that?” the [anonymous] former congressional aide asked. “They’re incredibly aggressive. They’re aggressive in all aspects of their relationship with the United States. Why would their intelligence relationship with us be any different?”

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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43 Responses

  1. CitizenC on May 6, 2014, 10:57 am

    At the National Summit on the US-Israel relationship, Phil Giraldi said that over 100 investigations into Israeli espionage in the US had been quashed. He had an exact figure, it was > 100

    • Kathleen on May 6, 2014, 2:03 pm

      Yes many former CIA analyst etc have reported about Israel and agents for Israel here in the states that have been spying and confiscating U.S. National Security for decades and how investigation’s into this spying and undermining of U.S. National Security have been dropped. Exactly what happened in the Aipac espionage case. Kathleen and Bill Christison, Ray McGovern, Micheal Scheuer all former CIA analyst have all stated that Israel and Israeli agents here in the states persistently undermine U.S. National Security.

      Visa exemptions would give them even easier access. To think that this was the number one issue Aipac conference attendees and lobbyist pushed for during the conference with congress people

  2. CloakAndDagger on May 6, 2014, 10:59 am

    Every Congress person that aids and abets this form of Israeli assault on our secrets is a traitor to this country. Every Israel Firster should be expelled from this country.

    • Kay24 on May 6, 2014, 1:14 pm

      I agree. To keep sending aid, weapons, and unwavering support for this rogue nation, that has been spying on us, is reprehensible, and is against our nation.

  3. Woody Tanaka on May 6, 2014, 11:09 am

    I think that Americans should make a concerted effort to create a groundswell in the US to demand the Congress condition the aid given to the Israelis on their agreeing to halt any and all spying — military, political, industrial, all of it — and to include a provision that automatically ends the aid if they are found to be spying.

    I have no illusions of the quislings in Washington passing such legislation, nor do I expect that the land thieves will stop their spying, but it would be fun to watch the members of the Lobby jump around and tie them in knots trying to explain how it would be bad for America to condition aid on not spying on America.

  4. Citizen on May 6, 2014, 11:10 am

    As the adage goes, with a friend like Israel, who needs another enemy?

    Israel costs the USA a lot, literally:

  5. Boomer on May 6, 2014, 11:14 am

    It is good that this fact is getting out. It has been common knowledge in Congress (and, obviously, in the Executive Branch) for years. Amazing how that has not seemed to matter. Some politicians don’t care, others are afraid to express concern.

    • Kay24 on May 6, 2014, 4:46 pm

      I am glad this information is coming out too, especially from our intelligence officials. Congress and the zionist media, are in a way “occupied” and they are terrorized by Israeli lobbies, to toe their line. Notice the media has not touched on this?
      So why should Israel keep stooping to spying on the only superpower that has aided and armed it? Is it one way of “controlling the US”?

  6. doug on May 6, 2014, 11:16 am

    Just looking at it objectively Israel’s intelligence services would be remiss in not pursuing spying in the US. Israel is more dependent on what the US does and doesn’t do than any other country. “Friendship” has nothing to do with it. It is simply a matter of self interest as it is in any other country. There are two major levels of spying. The basic level is information gathering to assess what a country is likely to do and understanding and accurately predicting how they will respond to various scenarios. There is a more serious level though and that is having “agents of influence” which are the most valuable assets an intelligence service can have. These are people that have positions and varying degrees of influence over the decisions made in the target country but who’s primary loyalty is to the intelligence services’ country. It seems probable to me that Israel is particularly effective in this arena in much of the World’s developed countries including, especially, the US.

    • Ellen on May 6, 2014, 1:11 pm

      These are people that have positions and varying degrees of influence over the decisions made in the target country but who’s primary loyalty is to the intelligence services’ country. It seems probable to me that Israel is particularly effective in this arena…

      And that is exactly why Israel should certainly not be in the visa waiver program. You explained it well.

  7. just on May 6, 2014, 11:22 am

    ““They’re incredibly aggressive. They’re aggressive in all aspects of their relationship with the United States. Why would their intelligence relationship with us be any different?””

    More honesty from ‘anonymous’ folks who sound fed up with the status quo. When will the American people get outraged?

    Israel is no ally. It is an intransigent and nefarious state from which we should withdraw support and $$$. BDS! Our relationship with I is threatening to us, to national security and to peace.

    • Kay24 on May 6, 2014, 4:48 pm

      The American people will get outraged, only when they are told the whole truth.
      What stands between the American people and the truth? That would be the zionist media.

  8. American on May 6, 2014, 11:29 am

    You could take up this entire site listing what US intelligence agencies and those like Grant Smith have documented on how much Israel has stolen from the US.
    What they have and are still stealing is literally the basis for everything Isr has.
    ‘If ‘Americans knew indeed—–what Israel, its minons and politicians have done they would all be vaporized.

    ”The reality of Israeli spying is indisputable. Israel always features prominently in the annual FBI report called “Foreign Economic Collection and Industrial Espionage.” The 2005 report states, “Israel has an active program to gather proprietary information within the United States. These collection activities are primarily directed at obtaining information on military systems and advanced computing applications that can be used in Israel’s sizable armaments industry.” It adds that Israel recruits spies, uses electronic methods, and carries out computer intrusion to gain the information. The 2005 report concluded that the thefts eroded US military advantage, enabling foreign powers to obtain expensive technologies that had taken years to develop.
    A 1996 Defense Investigative Service report noted that Israel has great success stealing technology by exploiting the numerous co-production projects that it has with the Pentagon. “Placing Israeli nationals in key industries …is a technique utilized with great success.” A General Accounting Office (GAO) examination of espionage directed against American defense and security industries described how Israeli citizens residing in the US had stolen sensitive technology to manufacture artillery gun tubes, obtained classified plans for a reconnaissance system, and passed sensitive aerospace designs to unauthorized users. An Israeli company was caught monitoring a Department of Defense telecommunications system to obtain classified information, while other Israeli entities targeted avionics, missile telemetry, aircraft communications, software systems, and advanced materials and coatings used in missile re-entry. The GAO concluded that Israel “conducts the most aggressive espionage operation against the United States of any US ally.” In June 2006, a Pentagon administrative judge overruled an appeal by an Israeli who had been denied a security clearance, stating, “The Israeli government is actively engaged in military and industrial espionage in the United States. An Israeli citizen working in the US who has access to proprietary information is likely to be a target of such espionage.” More recently, FBI counter intelligence officer John Cole has reported how many cases of Israeli espionage are dropped under orders from the Justice Department. He provides a “conservative estimate” of 125 worthwhile investigations into Israeli espionage involving both American citizens and Israelis that were stopped due to political pressure from above.
    Two recent stories that have been reported in the Israeli media but are strangely absent from the news on this side of the Atlantic demonstrate exactly what is going on and what is at stake. The first story confirms that Israeli efforts to obtain US technology are ongoing. Stewart David Nozette, a US government scientist who was arrested on October 19, 2009 in an FBI sting operation after offering to spy for Israel has been waiting in jail to go to trial on espionage charges. New documents in the case were presented in the Federal court in Washington last week. The documents confirm that Nozette was a paid consultant for Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) and it is believed that he passed to them classified material in return for an estimated $225,000 in consulting fees. Examination of his computer by the FBI revealed that he was planning a “penetration of NASA” the US space agency and that he was also trying to crack into other scientists’ computers to obtain additional classified material. Other documents demonstrate that he was cooperating with two Israeli scientists who were administrators with IAI, Yossi Weiss and Yossi Fishman. Nozette made several trips to Israel without reporting them, which he was required to do because of his high security clearance. The FBI reportedly also has incriminating letters and other documents that were obtained from the computer.
    The second story relates to the pending sale of twenty-five F-35 fighter planes to Israel. The F-35 is one of the most advanced fighter planes in the world. The $130 million planes would be purchased with US military assistance money, which means they would effectively be a gift from the US taxpayer. But Israel is balking at the sale reportedly because it wants to install some of its own local content in the aircraft. The Pentagon has already made some concessions but is disinclined to grant approval for all the changes because to do so would require giving the Israelis full access to the plane’s advanced avionics and computer systems. Israel also wants to independently maintain the aircraft, which would also require access to all systems. It would be nice to think that the Pentagon wants to keep the maintenance in American hands to preserve jobs, but the Defense Department has never cared about US workers before when the issue is Israel, and the real reason for the standoff is that Lockheed-Martin and the Pentagon both know that Israel will steal whatever it can if it gains access. It would then use the technology to market its own products at a price below that of US defense contractors. The result would be a triple whammy for Uncle Sam: the expensive planes are given to Israel free, the technology is then stolen, and future sales vanish as our Israeli friends market their knock down versions of weapons systems reliant on the stolen technology.
    Christopher Ketcham
    March 10, 2009
    Israel runs one of the most aggressive and damaging espionage networks targeting the U.S., yet public discussion about it is almost nil
    Scratch a counterintelligence officer in the U.S. government and they’ll tell you that Israel is not a friend to the United States.
    The former deputy director of counterintelligence at FBI, Harry B. Brandon, last year told Congressional Quarterly magazine that “the Israelis are interested in commercial as much as military secrets. They have a muscular technology sector themselves.” According to CQ, “One effective espionage tool is forming joint partnerships with U.S. companies to supply software and other technology products to U.S. government agencies.”
    James Bamford’s book , “The Shadow Factory. explains how this Israeli partnership with US companies is used by Israel and it inside spies in “every sector’ of the US—political, high tech theft, industrial, defense companies theft, at the pentagon, Dept of Commerce, Banking, finance, etc etc ect etc..
    Video: Israel Is Spying In And On The U.S.?
    Fox News – It has been more than 16 years since a civilian working for the Navy was charged with passing secrets to Israel. Jonathan Pollard pled guilty to conspiracy to commit espionage and is serving a life sentence. At first, Israeli leaders claimed Pollard was part of a rogue operation, but later took responsibility for his work. Now Fox News has learned some U.S. investigators believe that there are Israelis again very much engaged in spying in and on the U.S., who may have known things they didn’t tell us before September 11. Fox News correspondent Carl Cameron has details in the first of a four-part series. more

  9. Walid on May 6, 2014, 11:30 am

    For decades, the US has been getting into all kinds of cosy agreements and arrangements with Israel, especially on matters of security, like with airport security, access and control over computer and phone data and now someone is objecting to all of this. It’s now too late to do anything about it. Israel probably has more information than the American government on people and businesses in the US.

    • just on May 6, 2014, 11:47 am

      They are the masters of racial profiling, and seem unduly proud about their state- sponsored apartheid, after all.

      Walid, I think that this latest revelation may just add the necessary soupçon of accelerant to the fire that BDS has lit.

    • Ellen on May 6, 2014, 3:08 pm

      Practically the entire US telephone billing system is done by AMDOCS, an Israeli company that pretends (in the US) to be a US Company with large operations in Chesterfield, MO.

      The vaguely military atmosphere and shroud of secrecy are impressive, particularly in light of its size. Over the years, Amdocs’ management has kept out of Israel’s limelight; its aversion to media exposure is legendary….

      There is the usual innuendo and un-sourced and often wacky accusations of Amdocs as a spy operation, so will not go there. But it IS odd that a foreign company handles one of the key pillars of the US communications system, including many contracts with the US government.

      Heck, Congress would not even allow a Dubai company to handle a harbor and shipping operation just because it’s owners are in a Arab country — one that has no history of spying or stealing. But an Israeli company runs our phone system?

      • Walid on May 6, 2014, 3:40 pm

        Not just the phones; Viber, WhatsApp, Tango, everything gets routed and processed via Israel.

  10. pjdude on May 6, 2014, 12:05 pm

    The simple fact remains that israel has done more to attack and harm us national security than every other country in the Middle East. Are alleged best “ally” it long past time for these thugs to put in there place

  11. Nevada Ned on May 6, 2014, 12:33 pm

    These accusations are true, but are definitely not new.
    What IS new is that Newsweek is printing these accusations.
    Is the special relationship beginning to unravel?

  12. pabelmont on May 6, 2014, 12:57 pm

    I worked in a defense-related software-development firm in the 1990s. I very much remember our company being approached by an Israeli who somehow insinuated himself into our offices to inquire about our progress on a certain publicly-announced project.

    I think we managed to be polite without revealing much information. On the other hand, we were not the sort of people to know about such things as left-behind microphones and the like.

    All of this rings such a charming bell in my memory.

    • CloakAndDagger on May 6, 2014, 1:59 pm


      Around 2000, I worked for a company that got on the wrong side of an Israeli company in Silicon Valley. One day we were visited by a horde of female Israeli students purporting to be selling art. They swarmed all over our office space. We asked them to leave but they just ignored us. They engaged in conversations with many of the engineers, apparently to sell them paintings, who were thrilled to be talking to pretty girls. Later we found a bunch of documents missing. I don’t know if they left microphones and cameras, because that is not something we were sensitive to at that time.

      • just on May 6, 2014, 4:29 pm

        I guess they weren’t Girl Scouts selling regular cookies… just the other cookies.

  13. annie on May 6, 2014, 1:08 pm

    Barak Ravid reviews newsweek’s article @ haaretz:

    The Newsweek article included very strong statements against Israel, verging on anti-Semitism. The writer, Jeff Stein, stated that “since Israel is as likely to stop spying here as it is to give up matzo for Passover, the visa barriers are likely to stay up.”

    Stein quoted Paul Pillar, a senior former CIA officer, as saying that the “Zionists were dispatching spies to America before there even was an Israel, to gather money and materials for the cause and later the fledgling state.”

    Stein stated in the article that the U.S. also spies on Israel, but quoted a former top CIA operative as saying that Israel “was the last place you wanted to go on vacation,” because of heavy-handed Israeli surveillance.

    • just on May 6, 2014, 1:54 pm

      So the truth is “verging on anti-Semitism.”?

      lololol. That dog won’t hunt, Ravid.

    • American on May 7, 2014, 10:20 am

      Political anti semitism has now been added to the anti semitism definitions. Should have anticipated this. What will be next? If you oppose the holocaust being taught to kindgarteners will that be educational anti semitism? The definitions list could be endless.

      ‘ADL leader says political anti-Semitism threatens US Jews’

      Abe Foxman warns MKs of ‘level of insecurity’ for American Jewry, says ‘Jews are not as secured in (the US) as they pretend to be.’
      ” We do polling in America. Thirty percent of the American people believe that Jews are more loyal to Israel than the United States.
      This is a political anti-Semitism,” said Abe Foxman, the National Director of the Anti-Defamation League.

  14. amigo on May 6, 2014, 1:12 pm

    Why doesn,t the USA just hand over the keys to the Pentagon or all defence contractors etc and allow Israel to decide what they want to take and then arrange a free trip home to Apartheid Israel without the troublesome use of visas or passports.

    After all, the Apartheid State is our dearest bestest friend in the whole wide world.

  15. Citizen on May 6, 2014, 1:23 pm

    Yet the US gives Israel so much aid: 2014 Congressional Research Service Report on US Aid To Israel:
    All Americans should read this report.

  16. Kay24 on May 6, 2014, 1:32 pm

    The question for our congress and other leaders, is simple….If Iran kept spying on us, had an Iranian American do much damage to our state secrets, caught spying and spending a life sentence in our prison (like Pollard) and others (like Richard Perle), caught spying on 9/11 by the FBI and having a false front moving company called ‘Urban Moving Systems”, and if our former intelligence officers declared that it was the most dangerous nation in the Middle East for example:
    Haaretz: “Former U.S. officials say CIA considers Israel to be Mideast’s biggest spy threat
    U.S. intelligence agents stationed in Israel report multiple cases of equipment tampering, suspected break ins in recent years; CIA officials tell the Associated Press that Israel may have leaked info that led to the capture of an agent inside Syria’s chemical weapons program”. Jul. 28, 2012

    Would we still be sending endless aid, weapons, allow their lobby to dictate and write our foreign policies, defend Iran at the UN and protect and veto UN resolutions against it? Not a damn chance.
    It is ironic, that the other Middle Eastern nations are demonized by the zionists servants in the media here, and yet our own Intelligence officials believe that the only democratic nation in the ME, and only “true ally” is the MOST devious and mistrusted. That would be Israel.

  17. irmep on May 6, 2014, 2:04 pm

    Jeffrey Goldberg and Haaretz diplomatic correspondent Ravid David are trying to paint the article as antisemitic. David: “The claim that spying on the US is an Israeli tradition like eating Matzo on passover. This is antisemitic.” Goldberg is wounded too, or trying to be: “A story about “aggressive” Jews that contains weird references to matzo is a little strange.”

    Of course, Stein wrote about Israel, not “Jews.” To get a bona fide weird reference, you’d have to watch Jeffrey Goldberg’s farewell address to Abraham Foxman at the ADL last week, when he made the curious preface that “Jewish people can sometimes be annoying, sometimes be exasperating.”

    Wow. Not a double standard. No standards at all.

  18. Ellen on May 6, 2014, 2:16 pm

    The attack hounds are out. Stein is being called anti-semitic by gate keepers because of his matzo reference. (???) And accused of profiling “Jews as aggressive.” All odd, but predictable. Be prepared for this to gather steam in the next days.

    To be honest, Stein’s article was quite light. It did not go into the AIPAC culture of strutting the halls of Congress as if they owned the place. Opps, well they do!

    He did not go into mentioning any of the ongoing cases of Israeli espionage in the US. (Court filings are public record.)

    Nor — and importantly — the State department reports on Israeli students entering the country on tourist visas, immediately after their IDF service, and then illegally working to sell Dead Sea products (Israeli companies claim that only Israelis can do this properly) and a few spying for the Israeli government while at it.

    While not (yet) covered by the media both HMS and State have uncovered and reported that thousands of young Israeli’s have entered the country under false pretense as simple tourists in the last decade. Some have been caught, and some have been involved in industrial espionage.

    While there is nothing unusual about a foreign national working on the side to make some money while visiting, it is the degree and vast numbers of fraud by ex ISF/students within a well organized system behind it that is so alarming. The more Abe Foxman and Co. scream anti-Semite!!! Blah Blah…I think the more will be leaked to John and Jane of the US public.

    One example:
    Michael Davis, an immigration lawyer with the Davis and Goldfarb law firm in Minneapolis, said the U.S. government takes a dim view of those Israelis who go to the U.S. embassy and make false statements to get a visa, and then lie again to custom officials upon entering the U.S. “There are multiple acts of fraud,” said Davis – against both the U.S. State Department and against Homeland Security. He said that this behavior is “treated more seriously than the person who is smuggled in, the unauthorized Latino worker who is being smuggled in at the border.”

    US Embassy in TelAviv information video warning Israeli’s on the scam

    Just last month I was in a Mall in MD. It was filled with Israeli kids working the kiosks. Don’t know how effective the campaign against scamming both young Israelis and the American public is.

  19. Sycamores on May 6, 2014, 2:22 pm

    increasing China-Israeli military ties will become more of a strain on the ‘Special Relationship’. the theft of US secrets by Israeli spies could end up anywhere, this poses a serious threat to the US both military and in economics.

  20. Philip Munger on May 6, 2014, 2:45 pm

    From just over 10 years ago, LTC Karen Kwiatkowski’s description of Israeli penetration of the Pentagon Office of Special Plans just before the beginning of the Iraq War:

    In early winter [2002-2003], an incident occurred that was seared into my memory. A coworker and I were suddenly directed to go down to the Mall entrance to pick up some Israeli generals. Post-9/11 rules required one escort for every three visitors, and there were six or seven of them waiting. The Navy lieutenant commander and I hustled down. Before we could apologize for the delay, the leader of the pack surged ahead, his colleagues in close formation, leaving us to double-time behind the group as they sped to Undersecretary Feith’s office on the fourth floor. Two thoughts crossed our minds: are we following close enough to get credit for escorting them, and do they really know where they are going? We did get credit, and they did know. Once in Feith’s waiting room, the leader continued at speed to Feith’s closed door. An alert secretary saw this coming and had leapt from her desk to block the door. “Mr. Feith has a visitor. It will only be a few more minutes.” The leader craned his neck to look around the secretary’s head as he demanded, “Who is in there with him?”

    This minor crisis of curiosity past, I noticed the security sign-in roster. Our habit, up until a few weeks before this incident, was not to sign in senior visitors like ambassadors. But about once a year, the security inspectors send out a warning letter that they were coming to inspect records. As a result, sign-in rosters were laid out, visible and used. I knew this because in the previous two weeks I watched this explanation being awkwardly presented to several North African ambassadors as they signed in for the first time and wondered why and why now. Given all this and seeing the sign-in roster, I asked the secretary, “Do you want these guys to sign in?” She raised her hands, both palms toward me, and waved frantically as she shook her head. “No, no, no, it is not necessary, not at all.” Her body language told me I had committed a faux pas for even asking the question. My fellow escort and I chatted on the way back to our office about how the generals knew where they were going (most foreign visitors to the five-sided asylum don’t) and how the generals didn’t have to sign in. I felt a bit dirtied by the whole thing and couldn’t stop comparing that experience to the grace and gentility of the Moroccan, Tunisian, and Algerian ambassadors with whom I worked.

  21. Hostage on May 6, 2014, 5:10 pm

    Zionists were dispatching spies to America before there even was an Israel, to gather money and materials for the cause and later the fledgling state.

    In many cases they had powerful friends and operated openly, despite NY Times Op-Eds that revealed exactly what they were doing, when they were doing it. Some historians mention Zionist challenges to Roosevelt Administration policies, but Eleanor Roosevelt was an ardent Zionist and an unrepentant sponsor of Hillel Kook’s fund raising programs for the Irgun terrorist group. Her comments about Palestinian refugees, made while she was a member of the US UN delegation (more below) prove that she was no warm hearted humanitarian. Another supporter of the Irgun was the wife of Judge Louis Brandies:

    On a sunny April morning in 1944 the mailman brought a fascinating item to the New York headquarters of the American League for a Free Palestine (ALFP), a militant Jewish statehood group established by US supporters of Menachem Begin’s Irgun Tzvai Leumi underground. It was a membership card signed by Mrs. Alice Brandeis, widow of the famed jurist and Zionist leader, together with payment of her annual membership dues. To the ALFP, Mrs. Brandeis’ membership was a pleasant surprise; to the mainstream Zionist leaders with whom Mrs. Brandeis normally associated it was a horrifying shock.

    See Rafael Medoff, “Why Mrs. Brandeis Endorsed the Irgun: An Episode in Holocaust-Era American Jewish Politics”, American Jewish History, Volume 84, Number 1, March 1996, pp. 29-38

    According to the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies the Bergson was raising money for refugees:

    In 1943, Mrs. Roosevelt had attended a Bergson group pageant about the Nazi massacres, called “We Will Never Die,” and then devoted part of one of her syndicated columns to the event. Later that year, she spoke briefly on a Bergson group radio broadcast.

    A second militant Zionist underground in Palestine, the Irgun Zvai Leumi (led by Menachem Begin), also sought to bring Holocaust survivors to the Jewish homeland. Its U.S. support group, the American League for a Free Palestine –better known as the Bergson group, after its founder, Peter Bergson (Hillel Kook) — raised funds for the Irgun’s refugee-smuggling with a Broadway play called “A Flag is Born.” Authored by the Academy Award-winning screenwriter Ben Hecht (‘Gone With the Wind,’ ‘Wuthering Heights’), “Flag” starred Paul Muni, Celia Adler, and a young Marlon Brando.

    But when Judah Magnes wrote an Op-Ed advising her that the play “makes an open appeal for funds for the purchase of arms for terrorist groups in Palestine,” she just doubled-down and went ahead:

    The ‘Sponsoring Committee’ for “Flag” that the ALFP assembled featured prominent names from the worlds of culture and politics, among them composer Leonard Bernstein, novelist Lion Feuchtwanger, New York City Mayor William O’Dwyer, and former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. The involvement of individuals of such renown was especially irksome to Jewish opponents of “Flag,” such as Judah Magnes, president of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who was part of a small group of Jewish intellectuals opposed to the creation of a Jewish state. Magnes’s open letter to Mrs. Roosevelt, published prominently in the New York Times, denounced “A Flag is Born” for supporting violence and urged her to dissociate herself from the play. (She did not do so.) Two days later, the Times ran a lengthy response from former U.S. Senator Guy Gillette, president of the ALFP, defending the play by way of reference to the American Revolution. “Flag” embodied Thomas Jefferson’s motto, “Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God,” he argued.
    See also MAGNES SAYS PLAY SUPPORTS TERROR; Tells Mrs. Roosevelt ‘Flag Is Born,’ Which She Sponsors, Helps to Buy Arms. Use of Funds Questioned, Terrorists “Destroying Life” Points to Arab Majority Colossal Deception” Charged

    The international community of states incorporated the right of prisoners and civilians to be repatriated after an armed conflict into the Geneva Conventions of 1949. It’s ironic that Eleanor Roosevelt is credited, as one of the drafters, with enshrining the right of all persons to leave and return to their country of origin in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 ( ), since she devoted some of her time as a member of the US UN delegation denigrating attempts by Palestinian refugees to obtain political support from her for the exercise of their right of return and claiming that it would be impossible for any of them to ever return. See her remarks starting on page 1074 in the Minutes of the Fifteenth Meeting of the United States Delegation to the Seventh Regular Session of the United Nations General Assembly, New York, November 28, 1952 in the FRUS,

    She portrayed the efforts of Palestinian refugees, including a group of homesick children she visited, who had learned just enough English to communicate their desires to go home again, as those of insincere political pawns. That finally convinced me that, in her case, the ugly was more than skin deep.

    • just on May 6, 2014, 6:01 pm

      my heart just broke a bit more.

      Many thanks, Hostage.

    • Boomer on May 6, 2014, 7:10 pm

      I had no idea. Thanks for this history lesson. There is so much history that affects me and those alive today, though we are ignorant of it.

    • Kathleen on May 6, 2014, 10:57 pm

      Did not know this about Eleanor.

  22. Kay24 on May 6, 2014, 5:23 pm

    Here is the latest on the Israeli spies…Israel states they do not spy on the US anymore!
    What a hoot. Bibi and Israel have NO credibility anymore, so no one, especially our intelligence officers, will believe that BS.

  23. talknic on May 6, 2014, 8:11 pm

    Has anyone else received a similar email invite? (nov 2010)

    Eyal (Ilya) Lantzman has indicated you are a Colleague at Amdocs Israel Ltd:
    I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.

    – Eyal (Ilya) Lantzman

    … a colleague? Me?

  24. Kathleen on May 6, 2014, 11:04 pm

    this came out soon after 9/11
    Watch all four parts

    A history lesson in dual loyalties and alleged spying
    Dr. Stephen Bryen and Colleagues

    In April of 1979, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Robert Keuch recommended in writing that Bryen, then a staff member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, undergo a grand jury hearing to establish the basis for a prosecution for espionage. John Davitt, then Chief of the Justice Department’s Internal Security Division, concurred.

    The evidence was strong. Bryen had been overheard in the Madison Hotel Coffee Shop, offering classified documents to an official of the Israeli Embassy in the presence of the director of AIPAC, the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee. It was later determined that the Embassy official was Zvi Rafiah, the Mossad station chief in Washington. Bryen refused to be poly-graphed by the FBI on the purpose and details of the meeting; whereas the person who’d witnessed it agreed to be poly-graphed and passed the test.

    Aipac espionage case files

    • Kay24 on May 7, 2014, 6:58 am

      Wow, why do we have a Mossad station chief in Washington? That is definitely letting the serpent into the room. Are our officials so helpless, that they cannot kick these vermin out of our country?

    • Citizen on May 7, 2014, 3:04 pm

      I notice that today it’s a given Israel spies on the USA more than any other friend or enemy. But if you google the subject somewhat extensively, not more than a decade or so ago, if you even suggested Israel was spying on the US, you would be ridiculed.

  25. Andreas Schlueter on May 7, 2014, 5:22 am

    No doubt that Isreal´s government and secret services have no respect for international law as well as for the rights of allies, but here the US have the chance to present themselves as victims covering that the “Fife Eyes” are the most effective spying force in this world!
    Andreas Schlüter
    Berlin, Germany

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