#6. February 6,
P. 4, AMERICAN
FREE PRESS * February 6, 2006...
Behind the Headlines
with Michael Collins Piper
Be Big Issue
In McCloskey’s Race for House
By Michael Collins Piper
fight for the Republican nomination for Congress in the 11th district
of California could get ugly. “Antisemitism” may well
turn out to be the key issue of the campaign, despite the fact that
most voters in that district, like most voters nationwide, don’t
care about the subject one way or the other.
Former U.S. Rep. Pete McCloskey — the no-nonsense 11- term
congressman who repeatedly dared to take on the Israeli lobby —
is attempting to make a comeback, 24 years after leaving Congress
following his defeat in a U.S. Senate primary.
An attorney and rancher, McCloskey is challenging incumbent Rep.
Richard Pombo for renomination in the 2006 GOP House primary.
According to local press reports, McCloskey is campaigning on issues
such as “fiscal restraint, reduced government and balanced
budgets.” However, he is also raising questions about Pombo’s
record on the environment.
Now, Pombo’s supporters are starting to sling accusations
of “anti-Semitism” against McCloskey.
During his years in the House of Representatives,
McCloskey was an outspoken critic of U.S. policy toward Israel and
the Arab world and was unabashed in his support for Palestinian
statehood. However, since McCloskey, a decorated Marine combat veteran
from the Korean War, was generally ranked as a “liberal Republican”
and was well known as a supporter of civil rights legislation and
as a foe
of U.S. involvement in Vietnam, his critics were hardpressed to
call him a “right wing racist.”
Nonetheless, McCloskey’s critics in the powerful Israeli lobby
were quick to tag him as an “anti- Semite.” The smear
campaign really heated up following a civil action he filed as an
attorney against the U.S-based Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B’nai
B’rith. The ADL had been unmasked in a 1994 scandal as having
illicitly spied on law-abiding American citizens and others and
then turned the data over to the intelligence services of both Israel
and South Africa.
Because South Africa was then under white minority rule, under its
so-called “apartheid” regime, the ADL — which
proclaims itself an enemy of “racism” — was
particularly embarrassed by McCloskey’s lawsuit, which put
the focus on the fact that the ADL and its foreign principal, Israel’s
clandestine services agency, Mossad, were secretly allied with the
South African regime.
In the end, McCloskey and his clients forced the ADL to settle the
lawsuit, which the ADL agreed to do. The well-funded ADL preferred
to make a cash payment to end the affair, rather than have the spectacle
of its top officials and other key assets being dragged through
a public trial that would have bared the ADL’s dirtiest secrets.
Needless to say, the lawsuit against the ADL, coupled with McCloskey’s
support for the rights of Christian and Muslim Palestinians, did
not endear the ex-congressman to supporters of Israel, who are now
rallying behind incumbent Pombo in the primary.
McCloskey had formerly represented a coastal California district
near San Francisco. But he is relocating to Pombo’s north-central
district, which includes the famous San Joaquin Valley.
Considering what appears to be a campaign fight that will have an
“Israelcentric” focus if Pombo’s supporters have
their way, Pombo himself may have some explaining to do, in light
of the fact that he accepted money from corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff,
who swindled American Indian tribes out of millions and then used
the money to fund, among other things, a terrorist sniper’s
school for Jewish settlers on Palestine’s occupied West Bank.
One past blunder by McCloskey may haunt his campaign. Some years
ago — against the advice of friends — the ex-congressman
agreed to speak before a group accused of “Holocaust denial.”
His friends had advised him it was actually a “controlled
opposition” front group being used by Israeli intelligence
to collect names and monitor critics of Israel who attend the group’s
Although McCloskey is a fervent believer in the Holocaust and was
actually booed for having said so when speaking before the group,
Pombo supporters are bellyaching about the fact that McCloskey agreed
to lecture there.
(Issue #7, February 6, 2006, American