August 31, 2004

by Joe Sobran

     Not again.

     The FBI says it has found a Pentagon employee who 
has been slipping secrets about Iran to the Israelis. The 
Israelis deny everything, as usual, and the American 
Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) likewise denies 
serving as the conduit.

     There are many reasons to be skeptical of these 
denials. Here are just a few.

     The state of Israel -- "our only reliable ally in 
the Middle East," as they say -- has a long record of 
spying and technology theft against its allies, 
especially the United States. New Zealand has recently 
charged two Israeli nationals with spying.

     In 1985 the Israelis insisted that the espionage of 
Jonathan Pollard was a "rogue operation." Yet they 
promoted Pollard's handler, set aside a pension for 
Pollard himself, and have persistently demanded Pollard's 
release from an American prison, where he is serving a 
life sentence. They have neither returned nor identified 
the documents he stole, many of which were apparently 
passed along to the Soviet Union and China. Today Pollard 
is a national hero in Israel.

     The Pentagon employee now under scrutiny, Lawrence 
Franklin, was stationed at the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv 
for two years and is said to be strongly pro-Israel and 

     Franklin works for Undersecretary of Defense Douglas 
Feith, a supporter of and advisor to the Likud Party, an 
admirer of the radical Zionist Vladimir Jabotinsky, and 
of course a hawk in the current war. Long before the 
state of Israel was founded, Jabotinsky urged the 
creation of a much larger Jewish state, on both sides of 
the Jordan -- a dream his disciples still cherish; a 
recent biography of him thanks Feith in the 

     Perhaps most damning -- and certainly most amusing 
-- is that the NEW YORK TIMES has found a character 
witness, identified as "a friend of Mr. Franklin": none 
other than Michael Ledeen, one of the most fervent, not 
to say fanatical, neoconservatives in Washington. Having 
Ledeen vouch for your patriotism is a bit like having 
Alger Hiss swear that you aren't a Soviet agent. You have 
to wonder if the TIMES story quoting Ledeen was meant as 
a bit of deadpan humor.

     Franklin, in short, would appear to be part of the 
Zionist network that has enjoyed a free rein in the Bush 
administration, just as the old Soviet network did in 
Franklin Roosevelt's administration.

     Dante reserves the lowest circle in Hell for those 
who betray their benefactors. That would seem to cover 
the Israelis' contempt for the United States. But an 
Israeli spokesman says his country wouldn't do such a 
thing to its "cherished friend," never mind that it has 
often done so before.

     Moreover, it has done so with impunity. And that's 
the real problem. Our rulers, from Lyndon Johnson to 
Bush, including the U.S. Congress, have taken no punitive 
action when the Israelis have treated America 
treacherously. There wasn't even a congressional inquiry 
when the Israelis made a murderous attack on the USS 
Liberty in 1967, nor when Pollard was found to have 
stolen a huge cache of secrets two decades later.

     Now, when George W. Bush has put the highest 
priority on national security, it appears that the 
Israelis are still helping themselves to such secrets, 
expecting to get away with it as always. The individual 
agent who is caught may, like Pollard, pay a stiff price; 
the Israeli government, never. Franklin is reportedly 
cooperating with the FBI; but he may still go to prison. 
Billions in U.S. aid to Israel, however, will continue, 
as will the pro-Israel policies that have made us so many 
enemies around the world, helped provoke the 9/11 
attacks, and are sure to bring us more grief.

     Will any American president ever stand up to the 
Israelis? Not likely. All the men who have come within 
shouting distance of the presidency in the last few years 
have been shamefully obsequious toward Israel, including 
John Kerry, Al Gore, and John McCain. Even Howard Dean 
quickly backed away from his call for a more 
"even-handed" policy in the Middle East.

     Even-handed? Why not a simply pro-American policy 
that puts American interests ahead of Israeli interests? 
Unthinkable. When the two countries' interests clash, 
American interests must yield. Gore and McCain have 
actually told Jewish audiences that the United States 
must stand prepared to go to war -- to sacrifice American 
blood -- to defend Israel.

     Such amazing declarations don't even rate news 
reports. But if a presidential candidate promised he 
would never sacrifice American lives for Israel, he would 
achieve instant notoriety.


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