Paul Findley, Member of Congress 1961-83, remarks, ADC luncheon, June 8,
2007, Washington, D.C.
Madame President, Members of ADC, distinguished guests, one and all.
Thank you, Mary Rose Oakar, for this privilege and for providing great
leadership to the Arab-American community and beyond. I first had the honor of
addressing ADC in 1981, at the invitation of Senator Jim Abourezk. Imagine: that
was 26 years ago.
Since then, my eyesight has declined, my heart has become weak, my wife Lucille
finds my hearing highly selective. I am presently chained to a walker or a
wheelchair. I say, oh to be 70 again.
But one thing has not changed. The fire in my belly for Arab human rights burns
as brightly today as it did when I started down this trail 40 years ago. That
fire brings me here today.
I have an important message, and I cannot imagine a more suitable audience than
those gathered in this great hall. I will not tiptoe around the facts. I will
use plain language.
Here is my basic point. It is high time for the American people to shed their
fears of a foreign lobby. Long overdue is an unfettered, civilized public
discussion about the role of Israel in our society. We must face plain reality
and bring it out of the shadows.
Here are plain facts that should be obvious and freely discussed:
First: Israel was the main reason the United States invaded Iraq. Saddam Hussein
posed no threat whatever to America. In the absence of heavy pro-Israel pressure
for the invasion, our troops would not be fighting and dying there today. The
war is the worst folly in our history. The dollar cost will soon be one-half a
trillion dollars. The toll in young American lives will soon be 4,000. Thousands
of other Americans are maimed for life, not to mention Iraqi lives lost and
Second: Our complicity with Israel was the main motive for 9/11. Nine-eleven
would not have happened if any U.S. president in the last forty years had
refused to finance Israelís destruction and humiliation of Palestinian society.
Osama bin Laden has repeatedly said that 9/11 was payback for U.S. complicity in
Israelís carnage of Arabs in 1982, when U.S. donated munitions massacred over
18,000 innocent people. Arabs rightly blame America, not just Israel.
Third: Israelóand only Israel--is pressuring the United States to attack Iran.
The pressure is intense.
Fourth: All politicians of prominence are afraid to call for the liberation of
America from the criminal behavior of the State of Israel. Despite overwhelming
evidence that Israel has forced America into deep, costly trouble, no serious
candidate for the presidency in 2008 sounds the alarm. Every one of them is
The fear of Israel goes far beyond politics and Washington. It paralyzes every
part of our society.
Israelís deadly influence is the most costly, vexing and dangerous challenge
facing our country. But almost everyone acts as if it is in poor taste to say
even a critical syllable about Israelís crimes. We answer only with silence.
Why the fear? Whatís come over this great nation? How did we get I this mess?
It all started 40 years ago today. June 8, 1967, was a day of infamy. On that
day, the U.S. commander-in-chief, Lyndon B. Johnson, turned his back on the crew
of a U.S. navy ship, the USS Liberty, despite the fact that the ship was under
deadly assault by Israelís air and sea forces.
The Israelis were engaged in an ugly scheme to lure the U.S. into their war
against Arab states. They tried to sink the Liberty and its entire crew without
a trace, and then pin the blame on the Arabs. This, they reasoned, would outrage
the American people and immediately lead the United States to join Israelís
battle against Arabs. The scheme almost worked.
It failed because, despite the horrible assault, the Liberty crew managed to
broadcast an SOS. When the appeal reached U.S. aircraft carriers nearby, the
commanders immediately launched fighter planes to defend the Liberty.
Informed of the launch, President Johnson ordered the rescue planes to turn
back. This, I know, is hard to believe, but it is the truth. Johnson demanded
that the planes return to the carriers immediately.
For the first time in history, forces of the U.S. Navy were denied the right to
defend a Navy ship under attack. Johnson was heard to say, ďI donít care if the
ship sinks, I am not going to embarrass an ally.Ē Those were his exact words,
heard by Navy personnel manning the radio relays. The ally Johnson refused to
embarrass was of course Israel. To him, saving Israel from embarrassment was
more important than saving the lives of the Liberty crew.
The day of infamy was not over. For one thing, Johnson accepted Israelís false
claim that the assault was a case of mistaken identity, even though the
president knew it was a lie. Then he magnified the infamy by ordering a cover-up
of the truth. Liberty survivors were sworn to secrecy.
Even Liberty survivors lying badly wounded in hospital beds were threatened with
court martial if they told anyone what actually happened. It was a fateful
cover-up continued by every administration since Johnsonís.
It was also a fateful turning point in Israelís power in America. The Liberty
infamy convinced Israeli officials that they could literally get by with
anythingóeven the murder of U.S. sailors--in their manipulation of the U.S.
Financial aid to Israel began to pour like a river, all of it with no stings
attached. According to The Christian Science Monitor, this outpouring has now
cost U.S. taxpayers over $1.4 trillion with no end in sight. The cost goes far
beyond money. It has blighted thousands of American families forever. It has
destroyed Americaís once high moral standing. Because of Israel, Washington is
hated worldwide as never before.
But only a few brave people talk about this costly burden. Over 20 people are
now campaigning for the presidency in 2008. So far, not one of them has
expressed a word of alarm about Israelís domination of America. That great elder
statesman Jimmy Carter has tried to open the debate with his superb book
Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, but his voice remains a lonely one.
The silence about Israelís crimes prevails throughout the land, not just on
Capitol Hill. Mighty America is afraid, yes afraid. This great nation is
terrified by the lobby for a small nation of six million people.
Why the fear of Israel? Are there no politicians with decency, courage and back
bone? What can you and I do? My answer: we can do a lot. We can join Jimmy
Carter in keeping the debate alive. We must challenge every candidate for
Congress and the presidency with hard and unrelenting questions about U.S. aid
Each of us must help. No topic is more worthy of a candid, honest debate. We
must talk honestly and openly at every opportunity about Israelís dangerous
power in our beloved country.
Israel rules U.S. policy in the Middle East, and each of us must accept some of
the blame for letting this happen. By remaining silent, we let America down. We
did not speak out enough. I know that I should have done more. How about you? It
is not too late. Resolute action will dismiss fear. Am I right?
Will you help? Will you help liberate America? Will you be resolute? Will you
never falter, never give up? Never, never give up?