A Straight Look at the Jewish Lobby
By Mark Weber
For many years Israel has violated well established precepts of international law and has defied numerous United Nations resolutions in its occupation of conquered lands, in extra-judicial killings, and in its repeated acts of military aggression.
Most of the world regards Israel’s policies, and especially its oppression of Palestinians, as illegal and outrageous. This international consensus is reflected, for example, in numerous UN resolutions condemning Israel, which have been approved with overwhelming majorities.
“The whole world,“ said United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, “is demanding that Israel withdraw [from occupied Palestinian territories]. I don’t think the whole world... can be wrong.” 
Only in the United States do politicians and the media still fervently support Israel and defend its policies. For many years the US has provided Israel with crucial military, diplomatic and financial backing, including more than $3 billion each year in aid.
Why is the US such a staunch bastion of support for Israel?
Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, who was awarded the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize, has candidly identified the reason. Speaking to an audience in Boston, he said:
“But you know as well as I do that, somehow, the Israeli government is placed on a pedestal [in the US], and to criticize it is to be immediately dubbed anti-Semitic … People are scared in this country, to say wrong is wrong because the Jewish lobby is powerful -- very powerful.” 
Bishop Tutu spoke the truth. Although Jews make up only two or three percent of the US population, they wield immense power and influence – much more than any other ethnic or religious group.
As Jewish author and political science professor Benjamin Ginsberg has pointed out: 
“Since the 1960s, Jews have come to wield considerable influence in American economic, cultural, intellectual and political life. Jews played a central role in American finance during the 1980s, and they were among the chief beneficiaries of that decade’s corporate mergers and reorganizations. Today, though barely two percent of the nation’s population is Jewish, close to half its billionaires are Jews. The chief executive officers of the three major television networks and the four largest film studios are Jews, as are the owners of the nation’s largest newspaper chain and the most influential single newspaper, the New York Times... The role and influence of Jews in American politics is equally marked...
“Jews are only three percent of the nation’s population and comprise eleven percent of what this study defines as the nation’s elite. However, Jews constitute more than 25 percent of the elite journalists and publishers, more than 17 percent of the leaders of important voluntary and public interest organizations, and more than 15 percent of the top ranking civil servants.”
Stephen Steinlight, former Director of National Affairs of the American Jewish Committee, similarly notes the “disproportionate political power” of Jews, which is “pound for pound the greatest of any ethnic/cultural group in America.” He goes on to explain that “Jewish economic influence and power are disproportionately concentrated in Hollywood, television, and in the news industry.“ 
Two well-known Jewish writers, Seymour Lipset and Earl Raab, pointed out in their 1995 book, Jews and the New American Scene: 
“During the last three decades Jews [in the United States] have made up 50 percent of the top two hundred intellectuals... 20 percent of professors at the leading universities ... 40 percent of partners in the leading law firms in New York and Washington ... 59 percent of the directors, writers, and producers of the 50 top-grossing motion pictures from 1965 to 1982, and 58 percent of directors, writers, and producers in two or more primetime television series.”
Vanity Fair magazine in October 2007 published a list of what it calls “the world’s most powerful people” – a lineup of the one hundred most influential media bosses, bankers, publishers, image makers, and so forth, who determine how we view ourselves and the world, and who – directly and indirectly -- shape our lives and our futures. Jews made up more than half of the powerful men and women on the Vanity Fair list, reported a leading Israeli newspaper, The Jerusalem Post. 
The influence of American Jewry in Washington, The Jerusalem Post has also noted, is “far disproportionate to the size of the community, Jewish leaders and US officials acknowledge. But so is the amount of money they contribute to [election] campaigns.” One member of the influential Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations “estimated Jews alone had contributed 50 percent of the funds for [President Bill] Clinton’s 1996 re-election campaign.” 
Mother Jones magazine compiled a listing of the 400 leading contributors to the 2000 US national elections. Seven of the first ten were Jewish, as were twelve of the top 20, and 125 of the top 250. 
The single biggest donor to American politicians is Israeli billionaire and media mogul Haim Saban. In January 2007 it was revealed that he had donated approximately $13 million to various US political candidates.  The New York Times has noted Saban’s ardent devotion to the Jewish state: “He has since emerged as perhaps the most politically connected mogul in Hollywood, throwing his weight and money around Washington, and increasingly, the world, trying to influence all things Israeli. 'I’m a one-issue guy and my issue is Israel,' he said.” 
A Grip on Hollywood
“It makes no sense at all to try to deny the reality of Jewish power and prominence in popular culture,” acknowledges Michael Medved, a well-known Jewish author and film critic. “Any list of the most influential production executives at each of the major movie studios will produce a heavy majority of recognizably Jewish names.” 
One person who has carefully studied this subject is Jonathan J. Goldberg, editor of the influential Jewish community weekly Forward. In his 1996 book, Jewish Power, he wrote: 
“In a few key sectors of the media, notably among Hollywood studio executives, Jews are so numerically dominant that calling these businesses Jewish-controlled is little more than a statistical observation …
“Hollywood at the end of the twentieth century is still an industry with a pronounced ethnic tinge. Virtually all the senior executives at the major studios are Jews. Writers, producers, and to a lesser degree directors are disproportionately Jewish -- one recent study showed the figure as high as 59 percent among top-grossing films.
“The combined weight of so many Jews in one of America’s most lucrative and important industries gives the Jews of Hollywood a great deal of political power. They are a major source of money for Democratic candidates.”
“As a proud Jew,” writes Joel Stein, a columnist for the Los Angeles Times, “I want America to know about our accomplishment. Yes, we control Hollywood … I don’t care if Americans think we’re running the news media, Hollywood, Wall Street or the government. I just care that we get to keep running them.” 
Reflecting their role in the American media, Jews are routinely portrayed as high-minded, trustworthy, compassionate, and deserving of sympathy and support. While millions of Americans readily accept such imagery, not everyone is impressed. “I am very angry with some of the Jews,” complained actor Marlon Brando during a 1996 interview. “They know perfectly well what their responsibilities are... Hollywood is run by Jews. It’s owned by Jews, and they should have a greater sensitivity about the issue of people who are suffering.” 
A Well-Entrenched Factor
This intimidating power is not a new phenomenon, but has long been an important factor in American life. In 1972, during a private White House meeting, President Richard Nixon and the Rev. Billy Graham spoke frankly about the Jewish grip on the media. “This stranglehold has got to be broken or the country’s going down the drain,” said Graham, the nation’s best-known Christian evangelist. “You believe that?,” Nixon responded. “Yes, sir,” said Graham. “Oh, boy,” replied Nixon. “So do I. I can’t ever say that, but I believe it.” 
In 1978, Jewish American scholar Alfred M. Lilienthal wrote in his detailed study, The Zionist Connection: 
“How has the Zionist will been imposed on the American people?... It is the Jewish connection, the tribal solidarity among themselves and the amazing pull on non-Jews, that has molded this unprecedented power ... The Jewish connection covers all areas and reaches every level. Most Americans may not even sense this gigantic effort, but there is scarcely a Jew who is not touched by its tentacles…
“The extent and depth to which organized Jewry reached – and reaches – in the U.S. is indeed awesome … The most effective component of the Jewish connection is probably that of media control … Jews, toughened by centuries of persecution, have risen to places of prime importance in the business and financial world… Jewish wealth and acumen wields unprecedented power in the area of finance and investment banking, playing an important role in influencing U.S. policy toward the Middle East … In the larger metropolitan areas, the Jewish-Zionist connection thoroughly pervades affluent financial, commercial, social, entertainment, and art circles.”
Foreign Policy Role
Jews in Israel feel free to act brutally against Arabs, writes Israeli journalist Ari Shavit, “believing with absolute certitude that now, with the White House, the Senate and much of the American media in our hands, the lives of others do not count as much as our own.” 
In Britain, a veteran member of the House of Commons candidly declared in May 2003 that pro-Israel Jews had taken control of America’s foreign policy, and had succeeded in pushing the US and Britain into war in Iraq. Tam Dalyell, a Labour party deputy known as “Father of the House” because he is the longest-serving Member of Parliament, said: “A Jewish cabal have taken over the government in the United States and formed an unholy alliance with fundamentalist Christians … There is far too much Jewish influence in the United States.” 
Admiral Thomas Moorer, former Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, has spoken with blunt exasperation about the Jewish-Israeli hold on the United States: 
“I've never seen a President -- I don't care who he is -- stand up to them [the Israelis]. It just boggles the mind. They always get what they want. The Israelis know what is going on all the time. I got to the point where I wasn't writing anything down. If the American people understood what a grip those people have got on our government, they would rise up in arms. Our citizens certainly don't have any idea what goes on.”
Today the danger has never been greater. Israel and Jewish organizations are prodding the United States into new wars against Israel’s enemies.
To sum up: Jews wield immense power and influence in the United States. The “Jewish lobby” is a decisive factor in US support for Israel. Jewish-Zionist interests are not identical to American interests. In fact, they often conflict.
As long as the “very powerful” Jewish lobby remains entrenched, there will be no end to the Jewish-Zionist domination of the US political system and the American media, the Zionist oppression of Palestinians, the Israeli threat to peace, and the bloody conflict between Jews and non-Jews in the Middle East.
1. On April 8, 2002, in Madrid. Quoted in Forward (New York), April 19, 2002, p. 11.
2. D. Tutu, “Apartheid in the Holy Land,” The Guardian (Britain), April 29, 2002.( http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/comment/0,10551,706911,00.html )
3. Benjamin Ginsberg, The Fatal Embrace: Jews and the State (University of Chicago, 1993), pp. 1, 103.
4. S. Steinlight, “The Jewish Stake in America's Changing Demography: Reconsidering a Misguided Immigration Policy,” Center for Immigration Studies, Nov. 2001.( http://www.cis.org/articles/2001/back1301.html )
5. Seymour Martin Lipset and Earl Raab, Jews and the New American Scene (Harvard Univ. Press, 1995), pp. 26-27.
6. N. Burstein, “Jewish power dominates at 'Vanity Fair',” The Jerusalem Post (Israel), Oct.12, 2007.( http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1191257286817&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull )
7. Janine Zacharia, “The Unofficial Ambassadors of the Jewish State,” The Jerusalem Post (Israel), April 2, 2000. Reprinted in “Other Voices,” June 2000, p. OV-4, a supplement to The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.
8. A. Cockburn, “The Uproar Over the Israel Lobby,” May 5 (or 8), 2006.( http://www.freepress.org/columns/display/2/2006/1368 )( http://www.counterpunch.org/cockburn05082006.html )
9. “Israeli Billionaire Saban is Biggest Donor to US Politicians,” Ynet News (Israel), Jan. 23, 2007.( http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/1,7340,L-3355786,00.html )
10. A. R. Sorkin, “Schlepping to Moguldom,” The New York Times, Sept. 5, 2004.( http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/05/business/yourmoney/05sab.html )
11. M. Medved, “Is Hollywood Too Jewish?,” Moment, Vol. 21, No. 4 (1996), p. 37.
12. Jonathan Jeremy Goldberg, Jewish Power: Inside the American Jewish Establishment (Addison-Wesley, 1996), pp. 280, 287-288. See also pp. 39-40, 290-291.
13. J. Stein, “How Jewish Is Hollywood?,” Los Angeles Times, Dec. 19, 2008.( http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-stein19-2008dec19,0,4676183.column )
14. Interview with Larry King, CNN network, April 5, 1996. “Brando Remarks,” Los Angeles Times, April 8, 1996, p. F4 (OC). A short time later, Brando was obliged to apologize for his remarks.
15. “Nixon, Billy Graham Make Derogatory Comments About Jews on Tapes,” Chicago Tribune, March 1, 2002 (or Feb. 28, 2002)( http://www.fpp.co.uk/online/02/02/Graham_Nixon.html );“Billy Graham Apologizes for ’72 Remarks,” Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, March 2, 2002. “Graham Regrets Jewish Slur,” BBC News, March 2, 2002.( http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/1850077.stm ) The conversation apparently took place on Feb. 1, 1972.
16. A. Lilienthal, The Zionist Connection (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1978), pp. 206, 209, 212, 218, 228, 229.
17. The New York Times, May 27, 1996. Shavit is identified as a columnist for Ha’aretz, a Hebrew-language Israeli daily newspaper, “from which this article is adapted.”
18. F. Nelson, “Anger Over Dalyell's 'Jewish Cabal' Slur,” The Scotsman (Edinburgh), May 5, 2003; M. White, “Dalyell Steps Up Attack On Levy,” The Guardian (London), May 6, 2003.See also: M. Weber, “ Iraq: A War for Israel” ( http://www.ihr.org/leaflets/iraqwar.shtml )
19. Interview with Moorer, Aug. 24, 1983. Quoted in: Paul Findley, They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel’s Lobby (Lawrence Hill, 1984 and 1985), p. 161.
#2016 Revised, updated: Feb. 2009
About the author
Mark Weber is director of the Institute for Historical Review. He studied history at the University of Illinois (Chicago), the University of Munich, Portland State University and Indiana University (M.A., 1977).
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