Manage episode 340176558 series 3377080
The Department of Justice orders AIPAC's umbrella organization to begin registering as an Israeli foreign agent on November 21, 1962. JFK friend Simon H. Rifkind is hired to help the lobby wriggle out of the order, claiming they would stop laundering Jewish Agency funding into the United States for Israel lobbying and propaganda. Rifkind argues that registering as a foreign agent would "choke the very life" out of the Zionist movement. The anti-Zionist American Council for Judaism celebrates news of the order, as the New York Times scrambles to get inside information.
Justice Department lawyer Nathan Lenvin warns Israel lobby representatives that the Fulbright Senate hearings on foreign agents proved beyond doubt that the AIPAC umbrella was not disseminating "educational" material but rather was receiving huge Jewish Agency cash infusions to propagandize Americans and lobby Congress in league with the Israeli state.
A curious Wall Street Journal report that Justice Department officials were "weighing the risk of offending Jewish opinion in the U.S" triggers a huge outpouring of letters from American Jews to Congress and RFK that they should follow rule of law. In October, 1963 the FBI offers its assistance to enforce the FARA order as additional evidence of foreign control continues to accumulate. Fortunately for AIPAC, on November 22, 1963 JFK is assassinated and the drive to enforce the FARA order gradually begins to fall apart.
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