The Kennedys vs Israel’s Lobby

Editor’s note: PULSE is delighted to welcome Grant F. Smith, director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRMEP) and author of many books, including America’s Defense Line, as our new feature contributor. In his first post Grant reveals the emerging details of the secret battles between the Kennedys and the Israel lobby.

AIPAC Founder Isaiah L. Kenen and Ted Kennedy
AIPAC Founder Isaiah L. Kenen and Ted Kennedy

The lobby’s accolades for the late Ted Kennedy and his support of Israel mask the generally unknown conflicts fought by the senator’s older brothers.  It is likely that lessons from the fiercest of all battles, fought behind the scenes by President John F. Kennedy alongside his brother and Attorney General Robert—guided the younger sibling’s political choices.  Details of the JFK-RFK duo’s effort to register the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) parent organization, the American Zionist Council (AZC) as an Israeli foreign agent were shrouded in mystery until declassified in mid-2008.

Between 1962 and 1963 Senator J.W. Fulbright uncovered a massive network of financial “conduits” moving funds directed by the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem to Israel lobby startup groups across the United States.  Even as JFK attempted to place Israel’s Dimona nuclear weapons program under US inspection, RFK ordered the AZC to openly register and disclose all of its foreign funded lobbying activity in the United States.

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