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American Section - Jewish Agency for Israel, Inc. Deregisters as a Foreign Agent after the DOJ orders it to file secret 1953 Covenant Agreement with the Israeli Government

Documents

The American Section - Jewish Agency for Israel, Inc. was the US subsidiary of the Jewish Agency, a pre-state lobby for Israel.  During the 1963 Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings on the activities of registered foreign agents American Section - Jewish Agency for Israel, Inc. executives testified under oath about funding flows, corporate structure, payments to US entities such as the American Zionist Council for grassroots development, lobbying and public relations.  American Section - Jewish Agency for Israel, Inc. executives testified under oath that they had no subsidiary relationship to the Israeli government.  However when Rabbi Elmer Berger and George Washington University legal scholar William T. Mallison Jr. filed a complaint with the Department of Justice, the American Section - Jewish Agency for Israel, Inc. was forced to file the Jewish Agency's 1953 "Covenant" agreement with the Israeli government.

The American Section - Jewish Agency for Israel, Inc. subsequently closed down in November of 1971, but quickly reorganized its operations under a new corporate shell: the World Zionist Organization - American Section, which claimed no foreign government principal.

 

Document/File Date Contents
3/28/1939 A New York Times article titled "15 more registered as Foreign Agents" states the Jewish Agency for Palestine has registered under the 1938 Foreign Agents Registration Act.
9/14/1943 The American Section of the Jewish Agency for Israel, formerly known as the American Section of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, registers at the Department of Justice FARA section. (source: FARA Database)
09/1948 The Jewish Agency is granted tax exempt status by the Internal Revenue Service
5/23/1963 Testimony from the Senate Record:  Senator J. W. Fulbright asks American Section - Jewish Agency - officials Isadore Hamlin and Maurice Boukstein to produce Jewish Agency articles of incorporation, resolutions and relevant governing documents during sworn testimony.  Documents about the Jewish Agency's contractual relationship with the Israeli government are never received or entered into the Senate record.

The Senate investigations go on to discover that the Jewish Agency moved $5 million  (equivalent to $35 million today) into the American Section - Jewish Agency for Israel, Inc. in New York,  and on to the American Zionist Council (AZC).  The editor of the "Near East Report" Isaiah L. Kenen, and other "conduits" for public relations, lobbying and grassroots coalition building in the United States received Jewish Agency funding.

Document Archive The Department of Justice orders the American Zionist Council to register as a foreign agent of the Jewish Agency.  The AZC fights the registration demand until the DOJ acquiesces to a partially secret filing.  The AZC then files a partial list of expenditures only to shut down and shift operations over the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
05/27/1969 The American Section - Jewish Agency for Israel, Inc. files a supplemental FARA statement revealing the existence of a July, 1953 agreement between the Israeli government and the Jewish Agency and receipt of Israeli government funding:

"The Government of Israel has from time to time made subventions to the Jewish Agency for Israel, particularly in connection with its work in agricultural settlements and immigrant housing.  These subventions varied in amounts from time to time.  In all cases, control over the operations subventioned by the Government remained fully with the Jewish Agency...."

"A special law to that effect was passed by the Kenesseth of Israel in 1962 and an agreement setting forth the areas of cooperation between the executive of the Jewish Agency and the Government of Israel in respect to the foregoing functions of the Agency was entered into in July 1953.  The Jewish Agency is not an instrumentality or subdivision of the Government of Israel."

8/29/1969 Under order from the Department of Justice, the American Section - Jewish Agency files the Jewish Agency's 1953 Covenant Agreement in a supplemental FARA statement.
12/31/1970 The US Department of Justice reviews the Jewish Agency's claims of "reconstituting" itself, finding the story and documents submitted to be "sketchy".
6/30/1971 The American Section of the Jewish Agency for Israel files its final Foreign Agent Registration Act supplemental statement detailing activities and $26, 814, 628 in revenue flow.  It then ceases operations.
9/21/1971 The World Zionist Organization - American Section registers on September 21, 1971 as a foreign agent of the World Zionist Organization in Israel.  It claims not to be owned, directed, controlled or financed by any foreign government.  It occupies the same 515 Park Avenue office space as the American Section - Jewish Agency for Israel, Inc. and immediately takes over publication of the Jewish Agency's "Israel Digest".  It employs the same management and staff.
Document Archive Israeli prosecutor Talia Sason discovers the Jewish Agency at the center of a multi-billion dollar money laundering and illegal West Bank colonization ring.
2002 The Jewish Agency establishes and funds the "Jewish People Policy Planning Institute" in Jerusalem.  American Diplomat Dennis Ross becomes its first Chairman.

 

 
 
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