What AIPAC Doesn’t Want Discussed in Court

Gershom Gorenberg

Doug Bloomfield is a bowtie-wearing lobbyist, and he used to lobby for AIPAC. A friend of mine pointed me to a column Bloomfield wrote about the long-delayed trial of two former AIPAC staffers accused of passing classified info to the media and the Israeli government.

Bloomfield’s column is a treasure, hidden in the website of the New Jersey Jewish News – as if dumped on the Jersey shore by a pirate crew on the run. It explains how the trial — if it ever happens — could hurt the hawkish Israel lobby, even more than it could embarrass the prosecution. (The defendants? They may have the least to worry about.) This will look like one of those divorce trials in which all the family secrets are finally spoken aloud. Says Bloomfield:

One of the topics AIPAC won’t want discussed, say these sources, is how closely it coordinated with Benjamin Netanyahu in the 1990s, when he led the Israeli Likud opposition and later when he was prime minister, to impede the Oslo peace process being pressed by President Bill Clinton and Israeli Prime Ministers Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres.

That could not only validate AIPAC’s critics, who accuse it of being a branch of the Likud, but also lead to an investigation of violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

“What they don’t want out is that even though they publicly sounded like they were supporting the Oslo process, they were working all the time to undermine it,” said a well-informed source.

“After Rabin came in in 1992 and said he wanted to make peace and signed the Oslo accords, and the U.S. was supposed to pay the tab, every restriction on all political and financial dealings [by the Palestinians] came out of our office,” said the insider. …

In addition to cooperating with the Israeli opposition, AIPAC worked closely with congressional Republicans to undermine the Clinton administration’s Middle East policy, several sources confirmed.

There’s more here.

Such charges aren’t new, of course.  But Bloomfield is particularly well connected to the organization and particularly unhappy, it seems, with his former associates. While we wait for the trial, we’d love some more teasers, Doug.

9 thoughts on “What AIPAC Doesn’t Want Discussed in Court”

  1. Gershom posts:
    In addition to cooperating with the Israeli opposition, AIPAC worked closely with congressional Republicans to undermine the Clinton administration’s Middle East policy, several sources confirmed.


    Call the police! Can you imagine that? Opposition politician opposing what the government in power is doing!
    Of course, when Netanyahu is in power and the Israeli Left is lobbying against his policies in Washington “for the sake of peace”, that is okay! Having Clinton openly interfere in Israel 1996 election campaign to help Peres is wonderful. Yes, the Left can do anything it wants, but for the Right to do the same thing is a crime!

  2. As an American Jew, I think Y. Ben-David has misunderstood the issue. The issue is that AIPAC, which presents itself as a neutral pro-Israeli lobby, actually works closely with one side in Israeli politics, and this includes working to thwart the peace process that most Americans and most American Jews support.

  3. Edward-
    Your claim that AIPAC is “working to thwart the peace process” is your view only. Many “progressives” who claim to support Israel say they want massive pressure on Israel from Obama to take measures that threaten the vital interests of Israel and endanger its security, up to the point of imposing punitive sanctions. They say this is for “Israel’s own good” and to “promote the peace process”. However, many Jews, including American Jews oppose this. All the claims I hear from supporters of J-Street, the Israel Policy Forum and other such fringe groups are that since, some polls show a majority of American Jews supposedly want the creation of a Palestinian state, then they extrapolate this to mean that American Jews want there to be pressure and threats on Israel to implement this dream. I don’t for one moment believe that. Many believe that it is on the Arab side FIRST to show its good will by ending terror, and then this can be reciprocated by Israeli concessions. The argument is over this point.

  4. Now that the former Republican Party exists only in exile maybe we can get something accomplished without the interference the Bush buddies like AIPAC their “water carriers” . Netanyahu is a lightweight who wouldn’t even be in politics if he couldn’t lunch off his truly heroic brother’s reputation.

    I support J- Street and I’m not even a Jew. I guess my opinions don’t count . I also belong to the ACLU and the Americans United For Separaton of Church and State . I guess using the Y Ben David criteria they are fringe groups too.

    By the wayY who are the Progressives you always allude to ? I guess if your group is the opposite ,can we call you th Non-Progressives or just the Retardants.

    Barak Obama has the best interest of this country in his sights which includes getting a viable Near East peace which some like you in Israel are trying to thwart. Your right up there with Rush Limbaugh and the lunatic fringe in this country. History and time are not your side

  5. I think that the comments of a disgruntled ex AIPAC staffer need to be taken with a grain of salt, if not a boulder of salt. Maybe thats why he has been cast ashore in Jersey like chemical waste

  6. Well, I guess this proves that AIPAC doesn’t have that much influence in the US as the US only increased its support for the peace process throughout the 1990’s. Great refutation of Walt and Mearsheimer, Gershom!

  7. Nothing like that insider “Well Informed Source” to give your reporting credibility.

    “t…hey were working all the time to undermine it,” said a well-informed source.

    “…Arafat and the Palestinians to put on more restrictions and limit relations,” the source added.

  8. Funny, but the main claim from Israel against AIPAC is that it usually cooperates only with the Israel government in power and ignores the opposition as if there’s no plurality of opinion. And it also ignores non-establishment groups. I had a very hard time, but succeeded, in appearing as a Yesha representative at an AIPAC annual conference in the late 1980s if only in an elective session. Now Bloomfield is suggesting such activity of truly presenting Israel public opinion as semi-criminal?

Comments are closed.