News Release

Congress and Israel: Two Views


Zunes is Middle East editor for Foreign Policy In Focus and author of the book Tinderbox: U.S. Middle East Policy and the Roots of Terrorism.” His most recent piece is “Jihad Against Hezbollah,” in which he writes: “Just as Washington’s concerns about the threat from Iraq grew in inverse correlation to its military capability — culminating in the 2003 invasion long after that country had disarmed and dismantled its chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons programs — the U.S. focus on Hezbollah has grown as that party had largely put its terrorist past behind it. In recent years, the administration and Congress — in apparent anticipation of the long-planned Israeli assault — began to become more and more obsessed with Hezbollah.

“For example, not a single Congressional resolution mentioned Hezbollah during the 1980s when they were kidnapping and murdering American citizens and engaging in other terrorist activities. In fact, no Congressional resolution mentioned Hezbollah by name until 1998, years after the group’s last act of terrorism [was] noted by the State Department. During the last session of Congress, there were more than two dozen resolutions condemning Hezbollah.

“In March of last year, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution by an overwhelming 380-3 margin condemning ‘the continuous terrorist attacks perpetrated by Hezbollah.’ Despite contacting scores of Congressional offices asking them to cite any examples of terrorist attacks by Hezbollah at any time during the past decade, no one on Capitol Hill with whom I have communicated has been able to cite any.”

Zunes has also written the recent pieces “Congress and the Israeli Attack on Lebanon,” “The United States and Lebanon: A Meddlesome History,” and “The Israel Lobby: How Powerful Is It Really?
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Findley was a Republican representative from Illinois in Congress from 1961 to 1983. He is the author of the book They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel’s Lobby.

The Hill newspaper reports in an Aug. 2 piece titled “McKinney opponent rakes in pro-Israel cash” that “Georgia Rep. Cynthia McKinney’s primary run-off opponent has tapped into the pro-Israel fundraising network that helped her virtually unknown challenger Denise Majette topple McKinney and Artur Davis beat then-Rep. Earl Hilliard (D-Ala.) in a pair of hotly contested 2002 primaries in black-majority districts.”

Findley said today: “McKinney’s the logical target of the pro-Israel lobby. She went under once in 2002. I hope this doesn’t cause her to back away from talking about human rights and justice. The pro-Israel lobby was the major factor in my defeat for reelection in 1982.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167