"In America's Defense Line, Grant Smith has penetrated once again into the murky waters that underlie the observable control of US Middle East policy by Israel and its aggressive American support base that have undermined the efforts of successive US administrations, be they Democrat or Republican, to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict. In Foreign Agents and now in America's Defense Line, using recently declassified documents, Smith exposes the charade that the 'pro-Israel lobby' is simply a well-organized, overly zealous group functioning within the spirit of traditional American political advocacy. What we see is something far more sinister. America's Defense Line should be required reading for anyone concerned with preserving what is left of the US political process." -- Jeffrey Blankfort is the former editor of the Middle East Labor Bulletin and hosts the international affairs program "Takes on the World" on KZYX Pacifica Radio in Mendocino, California.
"The Israel lobby is one of the most influential interest groups in American history. Yet there is insufficient public knowledge about its origins and operations. Grant Smith's new book is a major step forward in correcting that problem. He provides a fascinating--and disturbing--account of how I.L. Kenen laid the groundwork for AIPAC, the most powerful organization in the lobby." -- John J. Mearsheimer, the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago and the author with Stephen M. Walt of "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy" (2007)
"This is an excellent book that brings together declassified material showing how the Israel lobby managed to sow corruption at the highest levels of the US government and even break US law. Like other excellent books by the author (e.g. Deadly Dogma and Foreign Agents), America's Defense Line breaks new ground in research into the destructive role of narrow special interests in US domestic and foreign affairs. This latest contribution is a tour de force and is a must read for anyone interested to understand why we are embroiled in the quagmire of the Middle East and how we might get out of it (thus saving our economy and our global reputation)." -- Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh, Professor at Bethlehem University and author of "Sharing the Land of Canaan: Human Rights and the Israeli-Palestinian Struggle"
"This is vital reading for anyone interested in what really guides American attitudes towards Israel. Grant F. Smith reveals how the almost universal misunderstanding of the Israel-Palestine question in the United States, and the blind support for Israel in Government, the media and public opinion are not sentimental accident, but the result of assiduous plotting and planning by Israel, its agents, and friends to subvert the American system and freedom of speech over more than half a century." -- Tim Llewellyn, former BBC Middle East Correspondent --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From the Inside Flap
On January 17, 1951 Isaiah L. Kenen walked into Nathan B. Lenvin's office at the Department of Justice Foreign Agent Registration (FARA) section. He launched an elaborate deception that continues to this day. As director of the Israeli Embassy's Office of Information, Kenen plotted with the nascent government to break free of tight transparency laws regulating all agents of foreign powers operating in the US. A public relations expert, Kenen knew that framing Israel's issues as America's own would be impossible with an onerous "foreign agents" stamp on his every press release, newsletter, film clip, or radio tape circulated in the US. Israeli leaders recognized Kenen's forays to Capitol Hill to lobby for arms and aid were less effective as an openly declared agent for Israel than as an "American" lobbyist.
Kenen circumvented the FARA section and the rest of the DOJ long enough to establish the most extensive foreign lobby ever assembled on US soil: the American Israel Public Affairs Committee or AIPAC. Along the way he dodged FBI, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and US Department of State investigations. Kenen battled to drown out the voices of dissenters such as the American Council for Judaism while the lobby worked to place United Jewish Appeal and other charitable relief fundraising under their control. Meanwhile, Kenen's key financial backers established an elaborate network to smuggle stolen US military hardware and finance nuclear arms production in the fledgling state. On the 20-year anniversary of Kenen's death, over 1,000 pages of previously classified documents related to his activities were released in response to Freedom of Information Act filings. They reveal how Kenen and his key collaborators subverted FARA oversight through false filings, money laundering, and stealth. Declassified files also reveal the "subvention caveat," a secret Department of Justice non-prosecution agreement kept secret from the American public...until today.
After the caveat the Israel lobby's public relations and political network grew into a force dominating US-Middle East policy formulation. Kenen and AIPAC would ultimately face down the most powerful presidents and members of Congress, but at what cost to America and the rule of law? --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.