Council for the National Interest

Smearing Paul Findley: Jonathan Schanzer Only Confirms That the Former Illinois Congressman Was Right

Aug 26 2019 / 12:34 pm

Former Republican congressman from Illinois Paul Findley died at age 98 on August 9th. Most obituaries and remembrances of him were respectful, but one that appeared in the American Jewish Committee founded neoconservative magazine Commentary written by Jonathan Schanzer of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) was particularly vile. Paul was one of the first in Congress to decry the Israeli grip over U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and beyond and for that unpardonable sin the Israel Lobby has condemned him to a modern version of damnatio memoriae, the ancient Roman practice whereby the very memory of bad leaders would be condemned and expunged from the record.

I know Paul, not as well as I would have liked, as I am now executive director of the Council for the National Interest, which he co-founded more than thirty years ago. As the name suggests, the Council “advocates for Middle East policies that serve the national interest; that represent the highest values of our founders and our citizens; and that work to sustain a nation of honor, decency, security and prosperity.” In particular, Paul was concerned about how Israeli interests in particular, cynically promoted by a powerful and wealthy domestic lobby, have continued to dominate all discussions of policy in the Middle East.

Paul was seen as a threat to the Jewish state’s control of congress and the Lobby worked to replace him. As Schanzer put it, “By 1980, the pro-Israel community in Washington had clearly identified Findley as a problem. In 1982, he lost his seat…” In fact, establishing what was to become a familiar pattern in dealing with recalcitrant legislators, in 1982 Israeli partisans put up and funded generously a candidate against Findley while also engaging in a smear campaign directed at him through its extensive contacts in the media.

It should be pointed out that Paul has not been alone in his one-issue defeat for reelection. Senator William Fullbright, Senator Chuck Percy, Congressman Pete McCloskey, and Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney have all found themselves on the losing end of electoral campaigns because they dared to criticize Israel and its seemingly all-powerful Lobby. Say the right things about Israel and donors and favorable media coverage will follow. Criticize Israel, and the reverse is true. Recently elected Palestinian American congresswoman Rashida Tlaib is already being confronted by an organized campaign by Detroit Jews to raise money and garner political support to replace her for “Jewish reasons.”

The Schanzer article, which runs to just under 1,900 words, is a perfect example of what used to be called “poison pen.” FDD, it should be noted, is a neocon outfit funded by the usual Jewish oligarchs that is dedicated to having the United States attack Iran. It works very closely with the Israeli government in shaping and delivering its message, but oddly, like all other Jewish/Israeli advocacy organizations, it has never been required to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938.

chanzer’s article is entitled “The Congressman who hated Israel” and begins with “Consider this scenario: A legislator from the Midwest targets Israel with a passion and vitriol that smacks of anti-Semitism. The legislator alleges that Israel’s supporters in Washington are bought off with Jewish money and that they have too much influence over our politics. When many Americans express their outrage at such comments, the legislator invokes the right to free speech and insists that the sentiments expressed were all for the just cause of getting American policy on a more reasonable and moral path.”

Well, pausing right there, it might well be reasonably suggested that Israel’s sheeple in congress and the media are indeed bought off with Jewish money and few would doubt these days that Israel and its friends have too much influence over America’s politics, most particularly its foreign policy. In fact, a majority of Democratic Party voters now have more sympathy with the Palestinians than with the Israelis while the Party leadership is firmly aligned with Israel. That’s called corruption of the political process and the corruption comes from money.

Schanzer then notes that “This has been the dynamic surrounding Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar’s disturbing comments about Israel and America’s relationship with the Jewish state. But Omar’s false accusations and the outrage they’ve generated are not without precedent. She is not the first U.S. representative to give public voice to vicious anti-Israel (and anti-American) bigotry and claim the mantle of righteousness. Before Omar, there was the Republican congressman Paul Findley, who died August 9 at the age of 98.”

That’s called killing two birds with one stone. Findlay’s critique that Israel has too much power, echoed by Omar, is far from a fiction. That anti-Israeli criticism is “bigotry” is a lie and that it is also anti-American is complete nonsense, attempting to sustain the fiction that Israel and the U.S. share common interests and values. They do not.

More smearing of Findley follows, with claims that he was a terrorist supporter expressed by “concerned professionals from the pro-Israel community…”  And he is condemned for having written with complete accuracy how “scores of times over the years, I have sat in committee and in the chamber of the House of Representatives as my colleagues behaved, as an undersecretary of state once described them, like ‘trained poodles’ jumping through hoops held for them.” Schanzer observes that the “them” referred to pro-Israel organizations.

Schanzer continues “After Findley left office, however, things got far uglier. The seeming gentleman from Illinois dropped all pretense. In 1985, he authored They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel’s Lobby. In the book, updated and republished twice, Findley unleashed a torrent of venom toward Israel and its supporters, and lionized Israel’s detractors. He spoke disapprovingly of Jewish money, Jewish groups in Washington, Jewish groups on campus, Jewish congressmen, and Jewish influence. Findley claimed that the pro-Israel community had a stranglehold on congressional politics and American foreign policy… There were few realms of public life behind which Findley couldn’t detect the purported presence of Zionist manipulators. In 1990, amid the lead-up to the first war with Iraq, he asserted that Israel’s ‘zealous supporters occupy influential positions throughout U.S. society—not just in the media—and are employed by the U.S. government in every office that has any important relationship to the making of U.S. policy in the Middle East. Relentlessly, step by step, they have assiduously developed over the years a tight grip on America’s Middle East policy.’”

Thank you, Jonathan for providing the evidence that Paul Findley really nailed it. It doesn’t take much Googling to learn that everything he claimed about the many tentacles of Jewish power in the United States and its ability to corrupt our institutions from top to bottom is absolutely true. And he is correct in asserting that Zionists control every office in the United States government that has anything to do with foreign policy in the Middle East. An Israeli woman Sigal Mandelker even serves as the Department of the Treasury’s Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, which is in charge of handing out sanctions against the Iranians and other Muslim groups that Israel believes to be threatening.

Well Paul Findley is dead, and so what? The Israel Lobby operating under the cover provided by President Donald Trump reigns supreme. But the fact that Schanzer felt compelled to do a hit piece on Findley suggests that there is another agenda. To be sure there is, as Schanzer reveals the real object of his anger towards the end of his article, returning to the subject of Omar, writing that “Findley’s example shows how the vitriol exhibited today by Ilhan Omar or her co-freshman congresswoman Rashida Tlaib is nothing new. These controversial legislators are Findley’s progeny.” And they are even worse, per Schanzer as “Findley, malign as his anti-Israel animus was, didn’t have the effect on public discourse that Omar and Tlaib now enjoy.”

So Schanzer objects to what Omar and Tlaib or saying but he is more troubled that there might be an audience out there listening. He wants a country where dual loyalty and “thou shall speak no ill of Israel” prevail in the belief that what is good for the Jewish state is good for the United States. It is not. Paul Findley was one of the first to challenge that notion and Omar and Tlaib have benefitted their country by opening up discussion of a subject that has long been considered off limits. Thank you Paul, may you rest in peace, and thank you also Rashida and Ilhan.

Posted by on Aug 26 2019 . Filed under Commentary & Analysis, Israel Lobby, Philip Giraldi . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 . Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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