Sobran's -- The Real News of the Month

 Reliable Ally Strikes Again 

August 31, 2004 
Not again.

The FBI says it has found a Pentagon employee who has been slipping secrets about Iran to the Israelis. Read Joe's columns the day he writes them.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 anti-Iranian.

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 acknowledgments.

[Breaker quote: Israeli espionage and national security]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.

Joseph Sobran

Copyright © 2004 by the Griffin Internet Syndicate,
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