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The Jews Who Run Clinton's Court

        November/December, 1994

Published monthly since 1982 by the American Educational Trust (AET),
a non-profit foundation incorporated in Washington, DC by retired
U.S. foreign service officers to provide the American public with
balanced and accurate information concerning U.S. relations with
Middle Eastern states.


This article appeared in the Tel Aviv Hebrew-language daily Ma'ariv on 
Sept. 2, 1994, by Avinoam Bar-Yosef

Translation by Dr. Israel Shahak

Several weeks ago the rabbi of the "Adath Yisrael" synagogue in Cleveland Park, Washington, DC, dedicated his Sabbath sermon to the Jewish cultural and political center now being formed in America. "For the first time in American history," the rabbi said, "we no longer feel that we live in the diaspora. The U.S. has no longer a government of Goyim [Gentiles], but an administration in which the Jews are full partners in the decision making at all levels. Perhaps the aspects of the Jewish religious law connected with the term 'government of goyim' should be re-examined, since it is an outdated term in the U.S."

Indeed, as far as the Jews are concerned, President Bill Clinton has contributed toward a real change in administration outlook, having concluded a series of changes which enhance Jewish power, a process that began under President Reagan and his secretary of state, George Shultz.
True, the Jewish political influence was also evident in America in previous decades. We have already seen a Jewish secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, enjoying the full confidence of President Richard Nixon. There were Jewish Cabinet members also under Carter. However, they were exceptions proving the rule. Especially, pious Jews were seldom appointed to participate in political work concerning the Middle East.

The picture now has totally changed, and not only about the Middle East. For example, every morning at about 6 o'clock, several staff cars travel from the CIA center to the White House with senior officers of the American intelligence community, who are about to present to the president and to the four top staffers a PDB -Presedent's Daily Briefing- the term for the most exclusive report in Washington. The document, consisting of 5-7 pages, is often accompanied by top secret satellite photographs transferred by the Pentagon. It is composed in the course of the night by the best American intelligence experts, who analyze the telegrams and reports arriving from the CIA's worldwide network of agents. It contains the most sensitive information regarding developments around the world. Its uniqueness, compared to all other American intelligence documents, lies in the fact that it almost always indicates the source of the information, whether it is a document stolen by a spy, or an agent or "mole" infiltrating a foreign government, or whether the source is tapped by means of satellite. If Clinton is in Wahington, he holds a short discussion on the contents of the document with the five other addressees: Vice President Al Gore, National Security Adviser Anthony Lake, White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta, Deputy National Security Adviser Samuel ("Sandy") Berger, and National Security Adviser to the Vice President Leon Perth. Two of the addressees, Berger and Perth, are warm Jews. They have reached posts that are extremely sensitive for U.S. policy. They are by no means exceptions.

In the National Security Council, 7 out of 11 top staffers are Jews. Clinton has especially placed them in the most sensitive junctions in the U.S. security and foreign policy administrations. Sandy Berger is the deputy chairman of the council; Martin Indyk, the intended ambassador to Israel, is a senior director in charge of the Middle East and South Asia; Dan Schifter, the senior director and adviser to the president, is in charge of Western Europe; Don Steinberg, the senior director and adviser to the president, is in charge of Africa; Richard Feinberg, the senior director and adviser to the president, in charge of Latin America; Stanley Ross, the senior director and adviser to the president, is in charge of Asia.

The situation is not much different in the president's office, which is full of warm Jews: the new White House counsel, Abner Mikva; the president's schedule and programs manager, Ricki Seidman; deputy chief of staff, Phil Leida; economic adviser, Robert Rubin; media director, David Heiser; staff director, Alice Rubin; Ely Segal, in charge of volunteers; Ira Magaziner, in charge of the health program. Two Cabinet members, Labor Secretary Robert Reich and Mickey Kantor, in charge of international trade aggreements, are Jewish. They are joined by a long list of senior Jewish officials in the State Department, headed by the chief of the Middle East peace team, Dennis Ross, and followed by many deputy secretaries and even more senior secretaries' chiefs of staff.

One of the most interesting Jews from the Israeli point of view, who has rarely been exposed to view until now, is Rahm Emmanuel, Clinton's senior adviser in charge of coordinating special projects in the White House. His office is located next to the famous Oval Office. Rahm won extra points from his boss last week, when he succeeded in passing a law for combatting crime. He has become an expert at communicating with Congress and has already had many successes, the most prominent of which was the ratification of NAFTA. Now he is immersed in the passing of the health bill. Last Thursday his office was in shambles and he strode around it like a typical Sabra, simultaneously conducting a lively conversation with me, studying the protocols of the debate being held at the time by the Senate, and watching the report of Wolf Blitzer (also a Jew) on CNN and being updated by his secretary and three aides on the positions of the senators regarding the votes. . . . . . .

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The other synagogue competing for the young generation of wealthy Jews is located in Georgetown. It is a fully Orthodox synagogue, but its prayers are conducted in the Israeli style favored by "Gush Emunim." The Israeli flag is proudly displayed above the Sacred Ark alongside the American flag. On each Sabbath the prayers include the benediction for the Israeli Jewish soldiers and the prayer for the welfare of the Israeli government and its officials. Many Jewish administration officials pray there. They not only don't try to conceal their religious affiliation, but go to a great length to demonsrate their Judaism since it may help their careers greatly. The enormous Jewish influence in Washington is not limited to the government. In the Washington media a very significant part of the most important personages and of the presenters of the most popular programs on the TV are warm Jews. A significant portion of senior media correspondents, newspaper editors and analysts are Jewish and many of them are warm Jews too. Many of them are influenced in Israel's favor by attending suitable synagogues. AP's political reporter, Barry Schweid, and The Washington Post's education reporter, Amy Schwartz, regularly participate in a prayer session which is considered to be close to Israel at the Cleveland Park synagogue. Also there the Israeli flag is posted proudly above the Sacred Ark. Let us not forget in this context the Jewish predominance in the Washingtonian academic institutions. At the National Institutes of Health the percentage of Jewish researchers is very much higher than their relative percentage in the population. In the fields of security and science, in the film industry, in art and in literature, the Jewish influence can only be described as immense, with a corresponding enhancement of Jewish power.

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