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by Rachel Neuwirth


The criminal prosecution of Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman, former executives of AIPAC (the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, which has been in progress now for over a year (although the trial date has constantly been delayed), is a national disgrace. It is a mortal threat to the American Jewish community, since it strongly reinforces the idea-propounded recently by Professors Stephen Walt, Dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, his co-author John Mearshimer of The University of Chicago, Patrick Buchanan, and numerous other prominent soi-disant American patriots, that American Jews' loyalty is to Israel and not to the United States. It threatens Israel by in effect criminalizing efforts to lobby on its behalf by American citizens. In addition, it threatens freedom of the press and freedom of speech for all Americans.

Neither Keith Weissman nor Steven Rosen was ever an Israeli spy. Neither was recruited by Israeli agents. Neither received a cent from Israel. Neither gave classified documents to Israel. They never even saw such documents; rather they are accused of having passed on information that they had heard by word of mouth that their informants allegedly learned from such documents. In effect, they are charged with gossiping and trading in rumors!

In fact, they are not even technically accused of espionage, but only of giving "national security information" (a vague phrase that can refer to unclassified as well as classified information, not necessarily in writing) to "persons not entitled to receive it." These individuals, according to the indictment, included not only Israeli diplomats, but also unnamed American journalists and other American citizens not connected with Israel. The indictment thus criminalizes the widespread practice in Washington of leaking classified information to the press -- a point we will return to shortly.

Rosen and Weissman were senior employees, with thirty years of seniority between them, for an organization that is closely identified with the organized American Jewish community as a whole. Rosen was employed by AIPAC for twenty years, and was the organizations' director for policy. Unnamed sources within the organization have characterized him as "the soul of AIPAC." Keith Weissman was the organizations' expert on policy towards Iran; he has been described as one of Washington's most respected experts on Iranian affairs. Malcolm Hoenlein, the Executive Vice President of AIPAC and its former President, describes both men as "patriotic Americans;" in my research I have discovered absolutely no evidence to the contrary, even in the government's published indictment of them.

Among the many outrageous aspects of the case against the two former AIPAC executives are the following:

How has AIPAC responded to the prosecution of its two former senior officials? By firing them, disassociating itself from their alleged actions, and capping its contractual obligation to pay their legal bills at 1.5 million dollars. Speculation is that AIPAC was threatened with prosecution if it did not cut off payment for the legal bills.

How has the rest of the organized American Jewish community responded to the plight of Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman, two patriotic Americans who sought to protect the national security of both America and Israel? There has been some private fund raising for them, but they hardly are a cause célèbre.

Why is the government prosecuting these three men? Is it true, as the FBI and AIPAC have asserted, that AIPAC itself is not the object of an FBI investigation, but only the two former AIPAC executives and Larry Franklin? Or is there an ongoing FBI investigation of AIPAC? Are Jewish members of Congress and other pro-Israel American Jewish objects of FBI investigations as well?

How does the prosecution of Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman fit in to the FBI's attitudes towards Jews and Israel, as displayed in other cases? Is it related to the FBI's remarkably friendly relations with Islamist organizations in the United States, such as CAIR and MPAC, despite these organizations' relations with terrorist organizations like HAMAS, and their unrelenting hostility to the war on terror? Is it connected with the claims made by a former FBI interpreter turned whistle-blower, that al-Qaeda sympathizers have infiltrated the bureau?

Rachel Neuwirth is a freelance writer who resides in the Los Angeles area. Please, visit Rachel's web-site Rachel receives e-mail at

John Landau contributed to reporting and research to this article. This article was published December 15, 2006 in American Thinker,


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