THE ISRAEL LOBBY ENTERS STATE GOVERNMENT

RISE OF THE VIRGINIA ISRAEL ADVISORY BOARD

By Grant F. Smith

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About the Author

Grant F. Smith lives in Washington, DC where he researches and writes about U.S. Middle East policy formulation. Smith is director of the nonprofit Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep).

In his thirty-year professional career as a researcher, Smith has investigated financial services and global telecommunications industries, worked in twenty-two countries assessing the impact of regulatory and trade regime changes and managed multi-country research teams. Smith has a BA in International Relations from the University of Minnesota and MIM (Master of International Management) from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. Smith’s first research experience examining lobbying took place in the late 1980s as a member of a Minnesota Citizen’s League committee investigating public entities that used a significant percentage of their taxpayer-funded allocations to lobby elected officials for ever-larger appropriations.[1]

In 2014, Smith sued the Department of Defense in federal court and won release of a detailed report, contracted in 1987, about the advanced state of Israel’s nuclear weapons program. The Nation wrote about it in the article “It’s Official: The Pentagon Finally Admitted That Israel Has Nuclear Weapons, Too.” In 2015, Smith sued the Central Intelligence Agency and won release of 131 pages of formerly classified information revealing its overseas agents obtained compelling evidence that Israel stole U.S. government-owned weapons-grade uranium in the 1960s to build its first atom bombs. The CIA’s refusal to share this information thwarted two FBI investigations into the diversion. It is the subject of continuing Freedom of Information Act litigation as estimated toxic site cleanup costs approach half a billion dollars.

Smith’s essays about the lobby are frequently published at the Antiwar.com news website and the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs magazine. This book is Smith’s ninth about the Israel lobby. IRmep is co-sponsor of the annual conference about Israel, the Israel lobby, Palestine, elections and free speech at the National Press Club. It has become a gathering point for a broad range of intellectuals, activists, reporters and educators determined to expose and defeat the institutionalized corruption driving deadly and wasteful U.S. Middle East policy formulation.

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[1] “Because That’s Where the Money Is: Why the Public Sector Lobbies” Citizens League Report, June 28, 1990