This seemingly revolving door between State Department officials serving in the Arab world and later becoming lobbyists for the Arab cause has been happening pretty much below the radar of the major media, and consequently little has been made of it. Conversely, pro-Israel advocacy efforts of groups like AIPAC (America-Israel Public Affairs Committee) have been scrutinized and vilified by figures such as former President Jimmy Carter and Profs. John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt.
In the August 2007 issue of WRMEA, a host of anti-Israel videos were showcased. One in particular, with the agenda-driven title "Does the Israeli Lobby Stifle Debate on Israel/ Palestine?" dealt with the Doha (Qatar) debates at the U.K. Oxford Student Union. Not surprisingly, the primary debate sponsor was the Qatar government, owners of the TV cable network Al-Jazeera, a supposedly "unbiased" Arab TV network (and one that, more than likely, funds WRMEA and/or its officials).
As expected, the panel spoke for and against the proposition: "The Jewish Lobby Stifles Debate on the Israel/Palestine." The audience, comprised mostly of Arab students, voted "for" the proposition. The case for the proposition was made by panelists Norman Finkelstein - a regular Israel-basher who promotes himself as a "son of Holocaust survivors" and whose academic scholarship has been questioned by prominent academicians - and Andrew Cockburn, a free-lance journalist and another virulent Israel-basher who has been promoting the Arab cause for many years. Arguing against the proposition were Martin Indyk, former U.S. ambassador to Israel (a Clinton appointee), and David Ahronovitch, a British journalist with the London Times.
What was strikingly absent from this seemingly "polite and cultured debate" was any mention of the Arab lobby in the U.S. While the pro-Israel lobby is transparent and open, the pro-Arab lobbyists are hidden and operate via proxies in the U.S., including some of the most prestigious firms in Washington staffed by former U.S. officials, oil company executives (from the seven sisters that made up ARAMCO) and other multi-national corporations (including Bechtel).
The Arab lobby consists of two types: domestic organizations, including the National Association of Arab Americans, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, the Middle East Research and Information Project, the Middle East Affairs Council, the American Palestine Committee, the Arab American Institute and Americans for Near East Refugee Aid, to name a few.
The second Arab lobby type is foreign - Arab governments hiring American lobbyists. Billy Carter, brother of ex-president Jimmy Carter, was a paid foreign lobbyist for Libya. Former U.S. Sen. William Fulbright, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was a paid lobbyist for Saudi Arabia.
Fred Dutton, known as "Dutton of Arabia," became the chief U.S. attorney for Saudi Arabia. A former special assistant to President John F. Kennedy and chief of staff to California Gov. Pat Brown, Dutton became a major lobbyist for the Saudis. During the debate on the sale of the AWAC spy-planes to Saudi Arabia, Dutton coined the catchphrase "Reagan v. Begin," hoping to raise doubts as to the patriotism of American Jews.
Other prominent American figures who became lobbyists for the Arabs included Clark Clifford, President Johnson's defense secretary; Richard Kleindienst, President Nixon's attorney general; and William Rogers, Nixon's secretary of state.
Another group includes ex-diplomats who used the "revolving door" and became Arab lobbyists after serving in Arab states: L. Dean Brown, ambassador to Jordan; Herman Eilts, ambassador to Syria and Egypt; and Parker T. Hart, ambassador to Saudi Arabia are among them.
A third group of Arab lobbyists are the oil companies. In 1973, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia demanded that ARAMCO Chairman Frank Jungers "create a sympathetic attitude in the U.S. towards the Arabs." Money, of course would not be a problem. In June of that year, Mobil Oil ran a series of full-page, pro-Arab advertisements in the New York Times.
In July 1973, Standard Oil of California sent a letter to its 40,000 employees and 262,000 stockholders asking that they send letters "in support of the aspirations of the Arab people" to their legislators in Washington. In October of that same year, an ARAMCO memorandum opposing military aid to Israel was sent to the White House (while Israel was fighting a surprise attack coordinated by the Egyptians and Syrians on Yom Kippur, the most solemn day on the Jewish calendar). Texaco also called for a "reassessment of U.S. policy in the Middle East."
The oil-rich Arab states have also purchased academic chairs at the some of the most prestigious American universities, establishing a virtual stranglehold on Middle East studies on American campuses, as detailed by Prof. Walid Phares in his book, Future Jihad.
Beginning in 1975, when President Ford hosted 12 top officials of the National Association of Arab Americans (NAAA) at the White House, American presidents have met with and regularly hosted Arab-American pressure groups. The Arab domestic lobby has grown in strength by copying the way AIPAC works. In fact, representatives of Arab organizations regularly attend AIPAC conferences in order to learn its operational methods.
In the final analysis, AIPAC's success is founded on the good sense and good will of the American people and their elected representatives. Americans support Israel because it shares our values, and Americans admire the Jewish state for maintaining its democracy in the midst of a sea of hostile Arab dictatorships and Palestinian-Arab terrorism.
Former Secretary of State George Shultz concluded: "The U.S. supports Israel not because of favoritism based on political pressure or influence but because the American people, and their leaders, say that supporting Israel is politically sound and morally just. ... So, on every level, those who blame Israel and its Jewish supporters for U.S. policies they do not support are wrong. They are wrong because, to begin with, support for Israel is in our best interests. They are also wrong because Israel and its supporters have the right to try to influence U.S. policy. And they are wrong because the U.S. government is responsible for the policies it adopts, not any other state or any of the myriad lobbies and groups that battle daily - sometimes with lies - to win American support."
Andrew Killgore's propaganda mouthpiece and the pro-Arab lobby, with their unlimited resources, must face the uncomfortable reality that, in America, the Arab dictators and the Arab-American groups that work with them can try to lie their way into this open society, but they cannot buy the hearts, minds and souls of the majority of fair-minded Americans.