| Wag the Dog: Against Our Better Judgment!

Against Our Better Judgment ~ Alison Weir, IF AMERICANS KNEW.

The hidden history of how the United States was used to create Israel

ZIO pic

Louis Brandeis, flanked by Rabbi Stephen Samuel Wise, founding secretary of the American Federation of Zionists (right) and Nathan Straus, co-owner of Macy’s (Source: Library of Congress)

This is an uncorrected proof of an upcoming book; in addition to finalizing footnotes, additional information is still being added. We feel the information is so important that we are distributing this version ahead of time.

How the U.S. “special relationship” with Israel came about

While many people are led to believe that U.S. support for Israel is driven by the American establishment and U.S. national interests, the facts don’t support this theory. The reality is that for decades U.S. foreign policy and defense experts opposed supporting the creation of Israel. They then similarly opposed the massive American funding and diplomatic support that sustained the forcibly established state and that provided a blank check for its aggressive expansion. They were simply outmaneuvered and eventually replaced.

Like many American policies, U.S. Middle East policies are driven by a special interest lobby. However, the Israel Lobby, as it is called today in the U.S.[1], consists of vastly more than what most people envision in the word “lobby.”

As this article will demonstrate, the Israel Lobby is considerably more powerful and pervasive than other lobbies. Components of it, both individuals and groups, have worked underground, secretly and even illegally throughout its history, as documented by scholars and participants.

And even though the movement for Israel has been operating in the U.S. for over a hundred years, most Americans are completely unaware of this movement and its attendant ideology – a measure of its unique influence over public knowledge.

The success of this movement to achieve its goals, partly due to the hidden nature of much of its activity, has been staggering. It has also been at almost unimaginable cost.

It has led to massive tragedy in the Middle East: a hundred-year war of violence and loss; sacred land soaked in sorrow.

In addition, this movement has been profoundly damaging to the United States itself.

As we will see in this two-part examination of the pro-Israel movement, it has targeted virtually every significant sector of American society; worked to involve Americans in tragic, unnecessary, and profoundly costly wars; dominated Congress for decades; increasingly determined which candidates could become serious contenders for the U.S. presidency; and promoted bigotry toward an entire population, religion and culture.

It has promoted policies that have exposed Americans to growing danger, and then exaggerated this danger (while disguising its cause), fueling actions that dismember some of our nation’s most fundamental freedoms and cherished principles.[2]

All this for a population that is considerably smaller than New Jersey.[3]

The beginnings

The Israel Lobby in the U.S. is just the tip of an older and far larger iceberg known as “political Zionism,” an international movement that began in the late 1800s with the goal of creating a Jewish state somewhere in the world. In 1897 this movement, led by a European journalist named Theodore Herzl[4] coalesced in the First Zionist World Congress, held in Basle, Switzerland, which established the World Zionist Organization, representing approximately 120 groups the first year; 900 the next.[5]

While Zionists considered such places as Argentina, Uganda, and Texas,[6] they eventually settled on Palestine for the location of their proposed Jewish State, even though Palestine was already inhabited by a population that was 95 percent Muslims and Christians, who owned 99 percent of the land.[7] As numerous Zionist diary entries, letters, and other documents show, Zionists planned to push out these non-Jews – financially, if possible; violently if necessary.[8]

Political Zionism in the U.S.

In the 1880s groups advocating the setting up of a Jewish state began popping up around the United States.[9] Emma Lazarus, the poet whose words would adorn the Statue of Liberty, promoted Zionism throughout this decade.[10] A precursor to the Israeli flag was created in Boston in 1891.[11]

In 1887 President Grover Cleveland appointed a Jewish ambassador to Turkey (then under the Ottoman Empire), which at that time controlled Palestine, because of its importance to Zionists. Jewish historian David G. Dalin reports that presidents considered the Turkish embassy important to “the growing number of Zionists within the American Jewish electorate.”

Every president, both Republican and Democrat, followed this precedent for the next 30 years. “During this era, the ambassadorship to Turkey came to be considered a quasi-Jewish domain,” writes Dalin.[12]

By the early 1890s organizations promoting Zionism existed in New York, Chicago, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Boston, Philadelphia, and Cleveland.[13] Reports from the Zionist World Congress in Basle, which four Americans had attended, gave this movement a major stimulus, galvanizing Zionist activities in American cities that had large Jewish populations.[14]

In 1897-98 numerous additional Zionist societies were founded in the East and the Midwest. In 1898 the first annual conference of American Zionists convened in New York on the 4th of July, where they formed the Federation of American Zionists (FAZ).[15]

By 1910 the number of Zionists in the U.S. approached 20,000 and included lawyers, professors, and businessmen. Even in its infancy, when it was still considered relatively weak, Zionism was becoming a movement to which Congressmen listened, particularly in the eastern cities.[16]

The movement continued to expand, and by 1914 several additional Zionist groups had cropped up. The religious Mizrachi faction was formed in 1903, the Labor party in 1905 and Hadassah, the women’s Zionist organization, in 1912.[17]

By 1922 there were 200,000 Zionists in the U.S. and by 1948 this had grown to almost a million.[18]

From early on Zionists actively pushed their agenda in the media. One Zionist organizer proudly proclaimed in 1912 “the zealous and incessant propaganda which is carried on by countless societies.”[19] The Yiddish press from a very early period espoused the Zionist cause. By 1923 only one New York Yiddish newspaper failed to qualify as Zionist. Yiddish dailies reached 535,000 families in 1927.[20]

While Zionists were making major inroads in influencing Congress and the media, State Department officials were less enamored with Zionists, who they felt were trying to use the American government for a project damaging to the United States. Unlike politicians, State Department officials were not dependent on votes and campaign donations. They were charged with recommending and implementing policies beneficial to all Americans, not just one tiny sliver working on behalf of a foreign entity. In memo after memo, year after year, U.S. diplomatic and military experts pointed out that Zionism was counter to both U.S. interests and principles.[21]

While more examples will be discussed later in this article, Secretary of State Philander Knox was perhaps the first in the pattern of State Department officials rejecting Zionist advances. In 1912, when the Zionist Literary Society approached the Taft administration for an endorsement, Knox turned them down flat, noting that “problems of Zionism involve certain matters primarily related to the interests of countries other than our own.”[22]

Despite that small setback in 1912, Zionists garnered a far more significant victory in the same year; one that was to have enormous consequences both internationally and in the United States and that was part of a pattern of influence that continues through today.

Louis Brandeis, Zionism, and the “Parushim”

In 1912 prominent Jewish American attorney Louis Brandeis, who was to go on to become a Supreme Court Justice, became a Zionist. Within two years he became head of the international Zionist Central Office, which had moved to America from Germany a little while before.[23]

While Brandeis is an unusually well known Supreme Court Justice, most Americans are unaware of the significant role he played in World War I and of his connection to Palestine.

Some of this work was done with Felix Frankfurter, who became a Supreme Court Justice two decades later.

In his book The Brandeis/Frankfurter Connection: The Secret Political Activities of Two Supreme Court Justices, Historian Bruce Allen Murphy describes a covert arrangement in which the two men collaborated on numerous political activities. Zionism was one of them.[24]

Murphy writes: “[I]n one of the most unique arrangements in the Court’s history, Brandeis enlisted Frankfurter, then a professor at Harvard Law School, as his paid political lobbyist and lieutenant. Working together over a period of 25 years, they placed a network of disciples in positions of influence, and labored diligently for the enactment of their desired programs.”[25]

Murphy continues: “This adroit use of the politically skillful Frankfurter as an intermediary enabled Brandeis to keep his considerable political endeavors hidden from the public.”

Brandeis only mentioned the arrangement to one other person, Murphy writes, “another Zionist lieutenant– Court of Appeals Judge Julian Mack.”

Later, when Frankfurter himself became a Supreme Court Justice, he used similar methods, “placing his own network of disciples in various agencies and working through this network for the realizations of his own goals.” These included both Zionist objectives and “Frankfurter’s stewardship of FDR’s programs to bring the U.S. into battle against Hitler.”[26]

Their activities, Murphy notes, were “part of a vast, carefully planned and orchestrated political crusade undertaken first by Brandeis through Frankfurter and then by Frankfurter on his own to accomplish extrajudicial political goals.”[27]

Frankfurter joined the Harvard faculty at the age of 31 in 1914 and, Murphy writes, “for the next 25 years, shaped the minds of generations of the nation’s most elite law students.”[28]

Murphy reports that after becoming head of the American Zionist movement, Brandeis “created an advisory council–an inner circle of his closest advisers–and appointed Felix Frankfurter as one of its members.”[29]

Former New York Times Editorial Board member and Harvard scholar Peter Grose[30], who was sympathetic to Israel, describes Brandeis’s efforts on behalf of Zionism in his 1984 bookIsrael in the Mind of America.[31]

Gross writes that Brandeis recruited ambitious young men, often from Harvard, to work on the Zionist cause – and further their careers in the process. Gross reports:

“Brandeis created an elitist secret society called the Parushim, the Hebrew word for ‘Pharisees’ and ‘separate,’ which grew out of Harvard’s Menorah Society. As the Harvard men spread out across the land in their professional pursuits, their interests in Zionism were kept alive by secretive exchanges and the trappings of a fraternal order. Each invited initiate underwent a solemn ceremony, swearing the oath ‘to guard and to obey and to keep secret the laws and the labor of the fellowship, its existence and its aims.'”[32]

At the secret initiation ceremony, the new member was told:

“You are about to take a step which will bind you to a single cause for all your life. You will for one year be subject to an absolute duty whose call you will be impelled to heed at any time, in any place, and at any cost. And ever after, until our purpose shall be accomplished, you will be fellow of a brotherhood whose bond you will regard as greater than any other in your life–dearer than that of family, of school, of nation.”[33]

‘We must work silently, through education and infection’

An early recruiter explained: “An organization which has the aims we have must be anonymous, must work silently, and through education and infection rather than through force and noise.” He wrote that to work openly would be “suicidal” for their objective.

Grose writes: “The members set about meeting people of influence here and there, casually, on a friendly basis. They planted suggestions for action to further the Zionist cause long before official government planners had come up with anything. For example, as early as November 1915, a leader of the Parushim went around suggesting that the British might gain some benefit from a formal declaration in support of a Jewish national homeland in Palestine.”[34]

Brandeis was a close personal friend of President Woodrow Wilson and used this position to advocate for the Zionist cause, at times serving as a conduit between British Zionists and the president.

In 1916 President Wilson named Brandeis to the Supreme Court. Although Brandeis officially resigned from all his private clubs and affiliations, including his leadership of Zionism, behind the scenes he continued this Zionist work, receiving daily reports in his Supreme Court chambers and issuing orders to his loyal lieutenants.[35]

When the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) was reorganized in 1918, Brandeis was listed as its “honorary president.” However, he was more than just “honorary.”

As historian Donald Neff writes, “Through his lieutenants, he remained the power behind the throne.” One of these lieutenants was future Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, another particularly well-regarded justice, and another whose Zionist activities have largely gone unnoted.[36]

Zionist membership expanded dramatically during World War I, despite the efforts of some Jewish anti-Zionists, who called the movement a “foreign, un-American, racist, and separatist phenomenon.”[37]

World War I & the Balfour Declaration

Unlike some wars, most analysts consider WWI a pointless conflict that resulted from diplomatic entanglements rather than some travesty of justice or aggression. Yet, it was catastrophic to a generation of Europeans, killing 14 million people.[38]

The United States joined this unnecessary war a few years into the hostilities, costing many American lives, even though the U.S. was not party to the alliances that had drawn other nations into the fray. This even though Americans had been strongly opposed to entering the war and Woodrow Wilson had won the presidency with the slogan, “He kept us out of war.”[39]

Yet, In 1917 President Wilson changed course and plunged the U.S. into a tragic and pointless European conflict in which hundreds of thousands were killed and injured.[40]Over 1,200 American citizens who opposed the war were rounded up and imprisoned, some for years.[41]

A number or reasons were publicly given for Wilson’s change of heart, including Germany’s submarine warfare, the sinking of the American passenger ship Lusitania, and the Zimmerman Telegram.[42] Historians also add pro-British propaganda and economic reasons to the list of causes, and most suggest that a number of factors were at play.

While Americans today are aware of these facts, few know that Zionism appears to have been one of those factors.

As diverse documentary evidence shows, Zionists pushed for the U.S. to enter the war on Britain’s side as part of a deal to gain British support for their colonization of Palestine.

From the very beginning of their movement, Zionists realized that if they were to succeed in their goal of creating a Jewish state on land that was already inhabited by non-Jews, they needed backing from one of the “Great Powers.”[43] They tried the Ottoman Empire, which controlled Palestine at the time, but were turned down (although they were told that Jews could settle throughout other parts of the Ottoman empire and become Turkish citizens).[44]

They then turned to Britain, which was also initially less than enthusiastic. Famous English Arabists such as Gertrude Bell pointed out that Palestine was Arab and that Jerusalem was sacred to all three major monotheistic faiths.

Future British Foreign Minister Lord George Curzon similarly stated that Palestine was already inhabited by half a million Arabs who would “not be content to be expropriated for Jewish immigrants or to act merely as hewers of wood and drawers of water for the latter.”[45]

However, once the British were embroiled in World War I, and particularly during 1916, a disastrous year for the Allies,[46] Zionists were able to play a winning card. Zionist leaders promised the British government that Zionists in the U.S. would push America to enter the war on the side of the British, if the British promised to support a Jewish home in Palestine afterward.[47]

As a result, in 1917 British Foreign Minister Lord Balfour issued a letter to Zionist leader Lord Rothschild. Known as the Balfour Declaration, this letter promised that Britain would “view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” and to “use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object.”

The letter then qualified this somewhat by stating that it should be “clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.” The “non-Jewish communities” were 90 percent of Palestine’s population at that time, vigorous Zionist immigration efforts having slightly expanded the percentage of Jews living in Palestine by then.[48]

The letter, while officially signed by British Foreign Minister Lord Balfour, was actually written by Leopold Amery, a British official who, it came out later, was a secret and fervent Zionist.[49]

While this letter was a less than ringing endorsement of Zionism, Zionists considered it a major breakthrough as it cracked open a door that they would later force wider and wider open.

These Balfour-WWI negotiations are referred to in various documents. For example, Samuel Landman, secretary of the World Zionist Organization, described them in a 1935 article inWorld Jewry:

“After an understanding had been arrived at between Sir Mark Sykes and [Zionists] Weizmann and Sokolow, it was resolved to send a secret message to Justice Brandeis that the British Cabinet would help the Jews to gain Palestine in return for active Jewish sympathy and for support in the USA for the Allied cause, so as to bring about a radical pro-Ally tendency in the United States.”[50]

Landman wrote that once the British had agreed to help the Zionists, this information was communicated to the press, which rapidly began to favor the U.S. joining the war on the side of Britain.”[51]

British Colonial Secretary Lord Cavendish also wrote about this in a 1923 memorandum to the British Cabinet, stating: “The object [of the Balfour Declaration] was to enlist the sympathies on the Allied side of influential Jews and Jewish organizations all over the world… and it is arguable that the negotiations with the Zionists…did in fact have considerable effect in advancing the date at which the United States government intervened in the war.”[52]

Former British Prime Minister Lloyd George similarly referred to this deal, telling a British commission in 1935: “Zionist leaders gave us a definite promise that, if the Allies committed themselves to giving facilities for the establishment of a national home for the Jews in Palestine, they would do their best to rally Jewish sentiment and support throughout the world to the Allied cause. They kept their word.”

American career Foreign Service Officer Evan M. Wilson, who had served as Minister-Consul General in Jerusalem, also described this arrangement in his book Decision on Palestine, in which he wrote that the Balfour declaration “…was given to the Jews largely for the purpose of enlisting Jewish support in the war and of forestalling a similar promise by the Central Powers [Britain’s enemies in World War I]”.[53]

The influence of Brandeis and other Zionists in the U.S. had enabled Zionists to form an alliance with Britain, one of the world’s great powers, a remarkable achievement for a non-state group and a measure of Zionists’ immense power. As historian Kolsky states, the Zionist movement was now “an important force in international politics.”[54]


Alison Weir is Executive Director of If Americans Knew and President of the Council for the National Interest. She is available to give presentations on this topic and can be reached at contact@ ifamericansknew.org. 


[1] In Israel it is typically called “the Jewish lobby,” perhaps reflective of the fact that today virtually all the mainstream Jewish organizations in the U.S., both religious and secular – the ADL, Jewish Federations, Jewish Community Relations Councils, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Jewish Studies departments, etc – advocate for Israel. Benjamin Ginsberg, in the anthology Jews in American Politics, notes that the “greatest triumph of American Jewish organizations during the postwar period” was to secure recognition of the state of Israel over the objections of the U.S. State and Defense Departments and then to successfully urge the U.S. government to provide Israel with billions of dollars over the subsequent decades.

However, until World War II and Nazi atrocities against Jews, the majority of Jewish Americans did not support Zionism. From its beginnings in Germany, Reform Judaism had rejected Jewish nationalism, and in the U.S. the Reform movement embraced universalism. Historian Rafael Medoff writes that an 1885 proclamation specifically “denounced the concept of a Jewish return to the land of Zion.” (p.26)

Today’s unanimity was only created after years of strenuous and sometimes secretive efforts to overcome the objections of anti-Zionist Jewish individuals and organizations, and even now, JJ Goldberg’s contention, made in his informative book Jewish Power, may hold considerable truth: “…the broader population of American Jews… are almost entirely unaware of the work being done in their name.”

Goldberg, Jonathan J. Jewish Power: inside the American Jewish Establishment. Reading, Mass. [u.a.: Addison-Wesley, 1996. 7.

Many people feel this a profoundly unfortunate situation, believing, as Israel professor Yosef Grodzinsky writes: “…the State of Israel and its actions actually put world Jewry at risk.” (“In the Shadow of the Holocaust.” Interview by Chris Spannos. Znet. Jun 7, 2005. Z Communications Link)

[2] See, for example, CounterPunch LinkACLU Link

[3] New Jersey’s population is 8,821,155 according to U.S. Census figures:

http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/34000.html [accessed July 21, 2011]

Israel’s population, according to the CIA World Factbook is 7,590,758 (July 2012 est.). Of this, approximately 5,799,339 are Jewish citizens.


Israel’s population growth can be seen here:

http://israelipalestinian.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID =636&print=true

Israel’s area is 20,770 square kilometers – smaller than all but four of the states in the U.S.



[4] Herzl’s seminal book The Jewish State is online at:http://fliiby.com/file/239266/f8rd51benn.html

“Herzl devoted all his time to this movement, eventually dying at the age of 44 leaving his family penniless. An article in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reports that his daughter Pauline suffered from emotional problems from youth and eventually died of morphine addiction. His son Hans converted to Christianity in 1924, at which time he was abandoned by the Jewish community and denounced publicly. He committed suicide following his sister’s death. A book about Herzl’s children was written in the 1940s but was suppressed by the World Zionist Organization, which decided to bury Pauline and Hans in Bordeaux, despite their wish to be buried beside their father in Austria, “probably to avoid tarnishing Herzl’s image.”

– Uni, Assaf. “Hans Herzl’s Wish Comes True – 76 Years Later.” Ha’aretz [Israel] 19 Sept. 2006. Print. Haaretz Link

[5] Christison, Kathleen. Perceptions of Palestine: Their Influence on U.S. Middle East Policy. First Paperback Printing ed. Berkeley, Calif: University of California, 2000. Print.

Davis, John Herbert. The Evasive Peace: a Study of the Zionist-Arab Problem. First American ed. [N.Y.]: New World, 1970. Print. 1.

It was first just called the Zionist Organization; its name officially changed to the WZO in 1960. Most people use the two names interchangeably.

According to the WZO website, today the organization “consists of the following bodies:

The World Zionist Unions, international Zionist federations; and international organizations that define themselves as Zionist, such as WIZO, Hadassah, Bnai-Brith, Maccabi, the International Sephardic Federation, the three streams of world Judaism (Orthodox, Conservative, Reform), delegation from the CIS – Commonwealth of Independent States (former Soviet Union), the World Union of Jewish Students (WUJS), and more.”


[6] Mulhall, John W., CSP. America and the Founding of Israel: an Investigation of the Morality of America’s Role. Los Angeles: Deshon, 1995. Print. 47, 51-52.

[7] Khalidi, Walid. “The Palestine Problem: An Overview.” Journal of Palestine Studies 21.1 (1991): 5-16. Print. Online at Google

The best resources on the pre-Israel population are:

Abu-Sitta, Salman H. Atlas of Palestine, 1917-1966. London: Palestine Land Society, 2010. Print.

McCarthy, Justin. The Population of Palestine: Population History and Statistics of the Late Ottoman Period and the Mandate. New York: Columbia UP, 1990. Print.

Khalidi, Walid. All That Remains: the Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948. Washington, DC: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1992. Print.

A Survey of Palestine. Prepared in December 1945 and January 1946 for the Information of the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, by the British Mandatory Commission, 1946. Washington, D.C.: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1991. Two volumes. Print.

Supplement to Survey of Palestine Notes Compiled for the Information of the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine. Washington, D.C.: Inst. of Palestine Studies, 1991. Print.

[8] Nur, Masalha. Expulsion of the Palestinians: the Concept of “transfer” in Zionist Political Thought, 1882-1948. Fourth ed. Washington, DC: Inst. for Palestine Studies, 2001. Print.

An example of the fanaticism to be found within some segments of the movement is represented by a statement by Dr. Israel Eldad:

“Israel is the Jews land… It was never the Arabs land, even when virtually all of its inhabitants were Arab. Israel belongs to four million Russian Jews despite the fact that they were not born here. It is the land of nine million other Jews throughout the world, even if they have no present plans to live in it.” – Wright, p.1, citing The Times of Israel, August 19, 1969.

Eldad was a strategist for a pre-state underground militia who later became a lecturer at several Israeli universities, authored a number of books, and in 1988, Eldad was awarded Israel’s Bialik Prize for his contributions to Israeli thought.

Another example is described by Israeli Uri Avneri, who quotes a song that was being sung while he was growing up in Palestine (cited by Wright, 9):

“We have returned, Young and Powerful

We have returned, We the Mighty

To conquer our Homeland, In a storm of War,

To redeem our land, with a lofty hand,

With blood and fire, Judea fell

With blood and fire, Judea shall rise.”

[9] An earlier project with both a domestic and international focus, “The Board of Delegates of American Israelites,” was organized in 1861, which coalesced to block an effort by the Union during the Civil War to prepare a constitutional amendment declaring America a Christian nation. (See J.J. Goldberg, Jewish Power, p. 97.)

In 1870 the group organized protest rallies around the country and lobbied Congress to take action against reported Romanian pogroms that had killed “thousands” of Jews. The chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee suggested that such reports might be exaggerated, but under pressure from the “Israelite” board, the Senate ordered the committee to take up the matter with the State Department. Eventually, it turned out the total killed had been zero. (Goldberg, 98-99)

In their book on foreign lobbying in Washington, The Power Peddlers, authors Russell Warren Howe and Sarah Hays Trott write that the American Jewish Committee’s history of Jewish lobbying on behalf of both American and foreign Jews began in the mid-nineteenth century. P. 284.

Howe and Trott write, “The first lobby link with Palestine came in 1881, when Jewish American groups wrote to General Lewis Wallace,” the author of Ben Hur and then U.S. minister to the Ottoman Empire (which included Palestine), to intercede on behalf of American Jews who had retired to Jerusalem and were allegedly being harassed. P. 285

[10] Lichtenstein, Diane. “Emma Lazarus.” Jewish Virtual Library. A Division of The American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise. Web. 03 Apr. 2012.http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/lazarus.html

[11] Sarna, Jonathan D., Ellen Smith, and Scott-Martin Kosovsky. The Jews of Boston. New Haven, London : Yale University Press, Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston, 2005. 252. Online

Encyclopaedia Britannica; online athttp://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1355322/Israel-flag-of

[12] Dalin, David G. “At the Summit: Presidents, Presidential Appointments, and Jews.” Jews in American Politics. Editors: Maisel Louis Sandy, Ira N. Forman, Donald Altschiller, and Charles Walker Bassett. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2004. Print. 32-34.

(The appointee was Oscar Straus, whose brothers owned Macy’s Department Store and whom TR later named to his cabinet. Dalin reports a humorous incident that occurred at a dinner years later for Straus and Roosevelt:

“In his remarks, Roosevelt had stated that Straus had been appointed on the basis of merit and ability alone; the fact that he was Jewish had played no part in Roosevelt’s decision to appoint him. A few minutes later, in introducing Straus, [another speaker, the Jewish financier and philothropist Jacob] Schiff, who was a bit deaf and had evidently not heard Roosevelt’s remarks, recounted how Roosevelt had sought his advice as to who would be the most suitable and eminent Jewish leader to appoint to his cabinet.”

The 30-year pattern ended in 1917 when Turkey broke off diplomatic relations after the U.S. declared war on Germany; after the war Turkey no longer controlled Palestine.

[13] Kolsky, 24.

[14] Kolsky, Thomas A. Jews against Zionism: the American Council for Judaism, 1942-1948. Philadelphia: Temple UP, 1990. Print. 24.

[15] In a 1918 reorganization the FAZ renamed itself the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA). Kolsky, 26.

[16] Neff, Donald. Fallen Pillars: U.S. Policy towards Palestine and Israel since 1945. Reprint Edition. Washington D.C.: Institute for Palestine Studies, 2002. 8.

Neff, the author of five books on Israel, was Jerusalem Bureau Chief and then a Senior Editor for Time magazine.

[17] Kolsky, 25.

[18] Neff, p. 17. Tivnan, p. 30

[19] Stevens, Richard P. American Zionism and U.S. Foreign Policy, 1942-1947. Reprinted by the Institute for Palestine Studies, 1970. New York: Pageant, 1962. Print. 20

[20] Stevens, Richard P., American Zionism and U.S. Foreign Policy 1942-1947. New York: Pageant Press. Inc. Reprinted by the Institute for Palestine Studies, 1970, p. 20.

[21] Neff, 9.

[22] Neff, 10.

[23] Neff, 10. Christison, 28. John, Robert, and Sami Hadawi. The Palestine Diary 1914-1945 Britain’s Involvement (Vol. I). Reprint of Third Ed. Charleston: BookSurge, 2006. Introduction by Arnold Toynbee. Print. 59.

[24] Murphy is a judicial biographer and scholar of American Constitutional law and politics and is the Fred Morgan Kirby Professor of Civil Rights at Lafayette College. He holds a PhD from the University of Virginia. This book received a Certificate of Merit from the American Bar Association.

[25] Murphy, p. 10.

[26] Murphy, p. 10; back cover flap.

[27] Murphy, p. 11.

[28] Murphy, p. 39.

[29] Murphy, p. 39.

[30] Peter Grose was an editor and specialist on the history of intelligence. Grose was an editor for the New York Times and Foreign Affairs. He held a position at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He is the author of a number of books on modern U.S. history. – “Princeton University Library.” Peter Grose Papers, 1942-1999: Preliminary Finding Aid. Web. 06 Apr. 2012. http://findingaids.princeton.edu/getEad?eadid=MC227

A positive review of the book in Foreign Policy stated: “[Grose] is not a one-sided partisan; he exposes the faults and foibles of all concerned (above all, the State Department). What slant the book has derives from his chosen theme: that America and the Jewish state are “bonded together” through history and shared values.” – Campbell, John C. “Israel in the Mind of America.” Foreign Affairs Spring (1984). Foreign Affairs. Council on Foreign Relations. Web. 06 Apr. 2012. Foreign Affairs Link

[31] Grose, Peter. Israel in the Mind of America. New York: Knopf, 1984. Print.

[32] Grose, p. 53

The Menorah Society was also a largely a Zionist organization, and was similarly secretive about its Zionist connections. An essay from the time states that the Menorah Society “camouflaged its Zionism by organizing itself as a purely nonpartisan body so as to obtain a larger membership.” The writer reports that “practically all the leaders and active workers in the Menorah organization are Zionists… the thing of which the Menorah boasts now…is its little list of prize conversions to Zionism. – Kosofsky, 256.

[33] Schmidt, Sarah. “The Parushim: A Secret Episode in American Zionist History.”American Jewish Historical Quarterly 65.Dec (1975): 121-39. Print.121. Online at CNI Link

Schmidt writes: “The image that emerges of the Parushim is that of a secret underground guerilla force determined to influence the course of events in a quiet, anonymous way.”

Schmidt gives the entire oath and response of the Parushim initiation:

A member swearing allegiance to the Parushim felt something of the spirit of commitment to a secret military fellowship. At the initiation ceremony the head of the Order informed him:

You are about to take a step which will bind you to a single cause for all your life. You will for one year be subject to an absolute duty whose call you will be impelled to heed at any time, in any place, and at any cost. And ever after, until our purpose shall be accomplished, you will be fellow of a brotherhood whose bond you will regard as greater than any other in your life-dearer than that of family, of school, of nation. By entering this brotherhood, you become a self-dedicated soldier in the army of Zion. Your obligation to Zion becomes your paramount obligation… It is the wish of your heart and of your own free will to join our fellowship, to share its duties, its tasks, and its necessary sacrifices.

The initiate responded by swearing:

Before this council, in the name of all that I hold dear and holy, I hereby vow myself, my life, my fortune, and my honor to the restoration of the Jewish nation, -to its restoration as a free and autonomous state, by its laws perfect in justice, by its life enriching and preserving the historic speech, the culture, and the ideals of the Jewish people.

To this end I dedicate myself in behalf of the Jews, my people, and in behalf of all mankind.

To this end I enroll myself in the fellowship of the Parushim. I pledge myself utterly to guard and to obey and to keep secret the laws and the labor of the fellowship, its existence and its aims. Amen.

Schmidt reports that Henrietta Szold, founder of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization, was an early member of the Parushim.

She writes: “Brandeis … began to assign the Parushim to carry out special “missions” for him. In particular the Parushim were to serve as a school for leaders, and under Kallen’s direction its members initially became the leading activists of the reorganized American Zionist movement.”

Among those invited to be members were Alexander Dushkin, an authority on Jewish education; Dr. I. L. Kandel, an educator then with the Carnegie Foundation and Teacher’s College of Columbia University; Israel Thurman, a lawyer and “Harvard man,” who would be used to propagandize among young lawyers; Nathan C. House, a “Columbia man,” high school teacher, who could work out plans for training Jewish high school boys; I.J. Biskind, a doctor in Cleveland; Steven S. Wise, prominent Reform Rabbi and leader in the Jewish Community; Oscar Straus; Alexander Sachs, a graduate student in economics at Columbia University; David Shapiro, an agricultural student at the University of California; Jesse Sampter, a writer and poetess; Elisha Friedman, President of the Collegiate Zionist League.

Also according to Schmidt; “The Pittsburgh Program seems to have been the last of the projects of the Parushim.”

[34] Grose, p. 54.

American professor Horace Kallen was a major mover and the original founder of the Parushim.

In his book American Zionism: Mission and Politics, Jeffrey Gurock writes (p. 135): “Brandeis conducted a vigorous search of his own for ‘college men,’ particularly young graduates of Harvard Law School, whom he co-opted to leadership or special assignments for the regular and emergency Zionist organizations he controlled. Among those recruited were men like Felix Frankfurter, Judge Julian Mack, Walter Lippmann [who seems to have largely turned them down], Bernard Flexner [one of the founders of the Council on Foreign Relations], Benjamin Cohen [high official under both FDR and Truman], and others who achieved national and international eminence.”

Read online at Google Books Link

Parushim creator Kallen is known as being one of the fathers of “cultural pluralism,” opposing the highly popular “melting pot” view, in which immigrants from all over the world would join together as non-hyphenated Americans. See, for example, Alexander, Michael. Jazz Age Jews. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 2001. Print. P. 90.

[35] Neff, Fallen Pillars, p. 12.

Brandeis also “played a decisive role in planning Wilson’s economic program, and particularly in formulating the Federal Reserve.”

— Ginsberg, Benjamin. The Fatal Embrace: Jews and the State. Chicago: University of Chicago, 1993. Print. 93

[36] Neff 12; John & Hadawi, p. 59-60.

Felix Frankfurter’s work on behalf of Zionism spanned many years. FDR was to appoint him to the Supreme Court in 1939, and even before this time he used his “access to the president to bring Zionist issues to his attention and urge his intercession on behalf of the Zionist cause. – Christison, 47

“At Brandeis’s behest, Frankfurter also became involved with American Zionism. In 1917 Frankfurter accompanied Ambassador Henry Morgenthau to Turkey and Egypt to see what could be done for the settlements in Palestine during the World War. Frankfurter also attended the peace conference in Paris as a representative of the American Zionist movement and as a liaison for Brandeis.” – Alexander, Michael. Jazz Age Jews. 91

Online at Google Books Link

Financier Jacob Schiff had created a position for Frankfurter at Harvard early in his career.

[37] Kolsky, 25, 32.

[38] “World War I.” Digital History. Web. 03 Apr. 2012.http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/modules/ww1/index.cfm

[39] “Woodrow Wilson.” The White House. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Jan. 2013.

[40] Deaths and injuries were 364,800:

http://www.taphilo.com/history/war-deaths.shtml [accessed July 21, 2011]

[41] Wilson’s Alien and Sedition acts resulted in the jailing 1,200 American citizens:

“Walter C. Matthey of Iowa was sentenced to a year in jail for applauding an anticonscription speech. Walter Heynacher of South Dakota was sentenced to five years in Leavenworth for telling a younger man that ‘it was foolishness to send our boys over there to get killed by the thousands, all for the sake of Wall Street.’…Abraham Sugarman of Sibley County, Minnesota, was sentenced to three years in Leavenworth for arguing that the draft was unconstitutional and remarking, ‘This is supposed to be a free country. Like Hell it is.'” – Kauffman, Bill. Ain’t My America: the Long, Noble History of Antiwar Conservatism and Middle American Anti-imperialism. New York: Metropolitan, 2008. Print. 74.

One of the songs that helped recruit Americans to fight in the war, “Over There,” was written by George M. Cohan, who received the Congressional Medal of Honor for it in 1940, when America was about to join another world war:


[42] An intriguing article speculates that Zionists might have played a role in making the Zimmerman note public. While the article is speculative, the editors called it “…an original and very plausible explanation of a major event in world history for which no previous rationale has ever seemed satisfactory.” See: Cornelius, John. “The Balfour Declaration and the Zimmermann Note.” Washington Report on Middle East Affairs August-September (1997): 18-20. Print.

Online at WRMEA Link

[43] Shlaim, Avi. The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World. P.5.

[44] Mulhall, 50.

Political Forum Link

[45] Mulhall p. 66. This was a sadly deft prognosis, writing of Jerusalem in the early 1960s, the American Consul General in Jerusalem found: “I think I can safely make the general comment that in present-day Israel… the Arabs are very much of ‘hewers of wood and drawers of water'” for the dominant Israelis – Wilson, Evan M. Jerusalem, Key to Peace. Washington: Middle East Institute, 1970. 33.

[46] At the Battle of the Somme Britain lost 58,000 troops on the first day alone. “Firstworldwar.com.” First World War.com. Web. 03 Apr. 2012.http://www.firstworldwar.com/battles/somme.htm

[47] John, p 68-70: “The British government was advised that ‘previous overtures to American Jewry to support the Allies had received no attention was because the approach had been to the wrong people. It was to the Zionist Jews that the British and French governments should address their parleys.’ Sir Mark Sykes was particularly weighed down by the secret Sykes-Picot Agreement, which had promised that the British would support Arab independence, insisting that it was impossible to offer Palestine to the Jews. He was told that Brandeis had just become a Supreme Court Justice, and that he had President Wilson’s ear. This began the negotiations with the Zionists.

Zionists had retained Lloyd George’s law firm in approximately 1903. For a detailed discussion of the Lusitania incident and other aspects of the U.S. entry into WWI see Cornelius, John. “The Hidden History of the Balfour Declaration.” Washington Report on Middle East Affairs Nov. (2005): 44-50. Print.

Online at WRMEA Link

[48] See citation #6.

[49] “Balfour Declaration Author Was a Secret Jew, Says Prof.” JWeekly (Jewish Bulletin of San Francisco) Jan 15 (1999). Print. Online at Jewish Weekly Link

Rubinstein, William D. “The Secret of Leopold Amery.” History Today 49. Feb (1999). Print. Online at CNI Link

According to his publisher, Macmillan, “William D. Rubinstein is Professor of Modern History at the University of Aberystwyth, UK and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He has published widely on modern British history and on modern Jewish history, and was President of the Jewish Historical Society of England, 2002-2004. His works includeA History of the Jews in the English-Speaking World: Great Britain (Palgrave Macmillan 1996), TheMyth of Rescue (1997), and Israel, the Jews and the West: The Fall and Rise of Antisemitism(2008).” http://us.macmillan.com/authordetails.aspx?authorname=williamdrubinstein

Amery, who had kept his Jewish roots secret, worked for Zionism in a number of ways. As a pro-Israel writer (Daphne Anson) reports:

“As assistant military secretary to the Secretary of State for War, Amery played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Jewish Legion, consisting of three battalions of Jewish soldiers who served, under Britain’s aegis, in Palestine during the First World War and were the forerunners of the IDF. ‘I seem to have had my finger in the pie, not only of the Balfour Declaration, but of the genesis of the present Israeli Army’, he notes proudly.

“As Dominions Secretary (1925-29) he had responsibility for the Palestine Mandate, robustly supporting the growth and development of the Yishuv – Weizman recalled Amery’s “unstinting encouragement and support” and that Amery “realized the importance of a Jewish Palestine in the British imperial scheme of things more than anyone else. He also had much insight into the intrinsic fineness of the Zionist movement”. In 1937, shortly after testifying before the Peel Commission on the future of Palestine, Amery helped to organise a dinner in tribute to the wartime Jewish Legion at which his friend Jabotinsky was guest of honour. Amery became an increasingly vociferous critic of the British government’s dilution of its commitments to the Jews of Palestine in order to appease the Arabs, and fulminated in the Commons against the notorious White Paper of 1939, which set at 75,000 the maximum number of Jews to be admitted to Palestine over the ensuing five years. ‘I have rarely risen with a greater sense of indignation and shame or made a speech which I am more content to look back upon’, he remembered. And he became an arch-critic of Chamberlain and Appeasement.”

[50] World Jewry, March 1, 1935, cited by John, p. 72.

[51] Landman, S. Great Britain, the Jews and Palestine. London: New Zionist, 1936. Print.

Online at http://desip.igc.org/1939sLandman.htm Excerpts below:

“Mr. James A. Malcolm, who….. knew that Mr. Woodrow Wilson, for good and sufficient reasons, always attached the greatest possible importance to the advice of a very prominent Zionist (Mr. Justice Brandeis, of the U.S. Supreme Court) ; and was in close touch with Mr. Greenberg, Editor of the Jewish Chronicle (London) ; and knew that several important Zionist Jewish leaders had already gravitated to London from the Continent on the qui vive awaiting events ; and appreciated and realised the depth and strength of Jewish national aspirations; spontaneously took the initiative, to convince first of all Sir Mark Sykes, Under Secretary to the War Cabinet,and afterwards Monsieur Georges Picot, of the French Embassy in London, and Monsieur Goût of the Quai d’Orsay (Eastern Section), that the best and perhaps the only way (which proved so. to be) to induce the American President to come into the War was to secure the co-operation of Zionist Jews by promising them Palestine, and thus enlist and mobilise the hitherto unsuspectedly powerful forces of Zionist Jews in America and elsewhere in favour of the Allies on a quid pro quo contract basis. Thus, as will be seen, the Zionists, having carried out their part, and greatly helped to bring America in, the Balfour Declaration of 1917 was but the public confirmation of the necessarily secret ” gentleman’s ” agreement of 1916…”

“The Balfour Declaration, in the words of Professor H. M. V. Temperley, 2 was “a definite contract between the British Government and Jewry.” The main consideration given by the Jewish people (represented at the time by the leaders of the Zionist Organisation) was their help in bringing President Wilson to the aid of the Allies.”

“…many wealthy and prominent international or semi-assimilated Jews in Europe and America were openly or tacitly opposed to it (Zionist movement)…”

“In Germany, the value of the bargain to the Allies, apparently, was duly and carefully noted.”

“The fact that it was Jewish help that brought U.S.A. into the War on the side of the Allies … contributed in no small measure to the prominence which anti-Semitism occupies in the Nazi programme.”

[52] Davidson, Lawrence, America’s Palestine: Popular and Official Perceptions from Balfour to Israeli Statehood. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2001. 11-12.

[53] Wilson, Evan M. Decision on Palestine: How the U.S. Came to Recognize Israel. Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution, Stanford University, 1979. Print. p. xv.

Moshe Menuhin, scion of a distinguished Jewish family that moved to Palestine during the early days of Zionism (and father of the renowned musicians), also writes about this aspect. In addition, he states that the oft-repeated claim that the British rewarded Weizman for his “discovery of TNT” was false, quoting Weizmann’s autobiography Trial and Error, p. 271:

“For some unfathomable reason they always billed me as the inventor of TNT. It was in vain that I systematically and repeatedly denied any connection with, or interest in, TNT. No discouragement could put them off.” – Menuhin, Moshe. The Decadence of Judaism in Our Time. Beirut: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1969. Print. 73-74.

[54] Kolsky 12.






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