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AMERICA'S DEFENSE LINE: The Justice Department's Battle to Register the Israel Lobby as Agents of a Foreign Government
by Grant F. Smith


Hardcover and Paperback available at:



"In his book, America's Defense Line: The Justice Department's Battle To Register The Israel Lobby As Agents Of A Foreign Government, Grant Smith tells the story of how, in the 1960s, a strenuous effort was made to have AIPAC register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). This effort was led by Sen. J.W. Fulbright (D-AR) and Rabbi Elmer Berger of the American Council for Judaism and received support from the Department of Justice. Unfortunately, it was not successful. Now, AIPAC has formed a political action committee and is contributing millions of dollars to defeat candidates who express support for Palestinian rights. The case which was made in the 1960s for AIPAC's registration as a foreign agent of Israel may be even stronger today. To understand how AIPAC works and what its goals are, a careful reading of Grant Smith's book will,provide the reader with the necessary historical perspective. AIPAC often promotes itself as speaking for American Jews. Nothing could be further from the truth. The overwhelming majority of Jewish Americans, for example support the creation of a Palestinian state and supported the nuclear agreement with Iran, which AIPAC vigorously opposed. Grant Smith understands that religion and nationality are separate and distinct. Americans of Jewish faith are American by nationality and Jews by religion, a concept which AIPAC and the government of Israel do not seem to understand. This book will open the eyes of many readers who may not understand the dynamics involved in this question." Allan C. Brownfeld, Editor, ISSUES, the quarterly journal of the American Council for Judaism (

"In our media filled with war, chaos and propaganda, Grant F. Smith's America's Defense Line is the real thing--illumination of a critical issue by a superb investigative Journalist. Thanks to Smith's brilliant mining of the declassified documents of Isaiah L. Kenan and his Zionist lobby collaborators, the truth can indeed set us free. Read it and see." James W. Douglass, author, JFK and the Unspeakable

"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.

"Grant Smith renders great service.  The secret documents reviewed in this volume will help any reader understand how a small but determined group of zealots for Israel have placed the United States in grave danger.  It is a wakeup call that must be answered, if our noble experiment in representative government, which has long proclaimed justice for all people in all lands everywhere, is to survive.  I choose those words carefully.  This is no time to sit on our hands. Unwarranted fear of Israel has plunged us into an abyss that gets deeper all the time.  All that is needed is a civilized discussion, one that this volume must surely bring forth."  Paul Findley, Member of Congress 1961-83, author of three books on the U.S.-Israeli relationship, including the Washington Post bestseller "They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel's Lobby"

 "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

 "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"

"It has been a long honeymoon, but it may at last be coming to an end. The neoconservatives and the Iraq war have had the positive effect of exposing the ways that an ultra-Zionist agenda hurts the American interest (a subject of another Grant F. Smith book). And so today a new debate over Zionism has begun in America: how pro-Israel should the United States be? And how pro-Israel should the American Jewish community be? Given the success and power of Jews in this country, a factor that I.L. Kenen [the founder of AIPAC] and his adversaries would never have anticipated, this is not just an ethnic conversation; it is one that all Americans can join. I hope that the light Smith shines on a period in which Jews were far more ambivalent about Zionism will help to restart that debate."  Philip Weiss, writes for The Nation, The New York Observer, The American Conservative and Mondoweiss

About the Book
An unforeseen effect of the Iraq war is allowing more Americans to speak freely about the role of the Israel lobby. When and how was it born? While it is generally understood that American interest groups played a crucial role in the creation of the state of Israel in 1948 and supporting politicians who would stand up for Israel, other facts have remained elusive.  

 Grant F. Smith reveals that many of the functions the Israel lobby smoothly and quietly executes in political life today were formed in the late 1950s and early 1960s: the crucial political contributions and unrelenting campaign to convince Americans that Israel and the United States share common interests and enemies, whether the old Communist bloc´┐Żor Islamic radicals in the 21st century. Smith documents the lobby's awesome resistance to public accountability for its actions from Congress and the Justice Department.  That fascinating history is the terrain of this book.

 Referencing over 1,000 previously classified documents released under a Freedom of Information Act filing, Smith follows Isaiah L. Kenen's path from registered foreign agent for the Israeli government to founder of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee or AIPAC.  Smith unearths a formerly secret non-prosecution agreement, the "subvention caveat" reached between the Israel lobby and the US Department of Justice.  The agreement reveals a great deal about the operational latitude of the lobby and the US government's institutional aversion to challenging it.  America's Defense Line may forever change the debate about US Middle East policy formulation.

Page Count: 340 pages
Language: English
Hardcover ISBN: 0-9764437-2-4
Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1 inches

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