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Program Information
Takes on the World
Grant Smith, Director, Inst. for Research: Middle East Policy
 Jeff Blankfort  Contact Contributor
July 26, 2017, 1:27 p.m.
In a dynamic interview, Grant Smith, referencing current Senate hearings on alleged Russian interference in US elections, says that whatever Russia did can't begin to be compared with Israel's history of meddling in US elections and its politics overall; that everything Russia has been accused of doing, including providing illegal funding, Israel has done, citing “stealth” PACS, called that because Israel is never in their name, that raise money and contribute to candidates solely on the basis of their support for Israel that is coordinated, in violation of the law by AIPAC, Israel's unregistered foreign agent in the US.

Smith provides other key examples of illegal operations designed to benefit Israel, from providing funding to a handpicked candidate to siphon votes from serious opponent to a pro-Israel senator (Alan Cranston), to stealing trade secrets from US corporations that opposed the Israel-US Free Trade Agreement.

He describes the last time the Senate held hearings involving the Foreign Agents Registration Act, 1963, in which the American Zionist Council was found to be using money from the Jewish Agency in Israel to publish pro-Israel propaganda in the US. The AZC had been told to register with FARA in 1962 but had not responded. Following the hearings, Pres. Kennedy ordered the Justice Dept. to have the AZC register as a foreign agent which its lawyers were able to counter until JFK's assassination. It did cause the AZC, however, to take the name of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, an existing but unincorporated subgroup.

Smith then described his own efforts in 2009, representing Irmep, to pressure the FARA office at the Justice Dept, to force AIPAC to register, having brought more than 300 pages in declassified documents to make his case to the head of the FARA department and her staff but seemed to be overruled by another figure at the meeting who didn't identify himself, apparently a “minder” for AIPAC.

Later in the interview, Smith acknowledges that having its lobbying groups able to function in the US without having to go through the hoops required of those who register as foreign agents was, perhaps, more important for Israel than possessing nuclear weapons
Smith rejects the comparison frequently made that AIPAC is just another lobby, taking advantage of the US political system, and has just been very successful in doing so, like the National Rifle Assn., pointing that the latter lobbies on behalf of what it considers to be the rights of US citizens under the 2nd amendment while AIPAC pursues the interest of a foreign country to which it pressures members of Congress to pledge their loyalty.

Regarding the “Israel Anti-Boycott Act,” Smith suggests that more than a free speech issue, the legislation represents a dangerous attempt by AIPAC and its allies in Congress to insert the protection of Israel into critical laws involving US national security.

He questions, in particular, the bill's invocation of the “International Emergency Powers Act,” as if to tell the American public that efforts to boycott Israel represent a national emergency for the United States. He then calls attention to Senator Ben Cardin, the bill's original sponsor in the Senate who has a long and inglorious record of putting Israel's interests first while in office. Following the money, Smith reveals the degree of funding that Cardin had received from pro-Israel PACs, NORPAC, and the Washington PAC that disguise their reasons for existence which is to fund candidates based exclusively on the their support for Israel.

And there is MUCH MORE!
Interviewed by Jeff Blankfort

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00:36:08 1 July 26, 2017
KZYX Studios, Philo, CA
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