I.L. (Sy) Kenen

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I.L. Kenen (born 7 March 1905[-1988], Canada) was a journalist before he founded AIPAC. He was born in Canada. Before founding AIPAC, he worked as a press secretary and spin doctor for Israel's ambassador to the UN Abba Eban. In 1943, he joined the American Emergency Committee for Zionist Affairs (AECZA) as the director of information. He was then registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). After AECZA was renamed the American Zionist Council and registered as a tax-exempt, non-profit, Kenen became its executive director (no longer registered under FARA).[1]


Kenen was born to an American Zionist family who had moved to Canada. His Ukrainian-born father established the first B'nai Zion club in Toronto in 1911. His sisters organized a Hadassah chapter in Toronto. Kenen wasn't a US citizen when he first started lobbying for a Jewish State. He was naturalized only on 8 June 1934.[2]


  • Edward Tivnan, The Lobby: Jewish Political Power and American Foreign Policy (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987)
  • Grant F. Smith, America's Defense Line: The Justice Department's battle to register the Israel Lobby as agents of a foreign government (Washington, DC: IRMEP, 2007)
  • Isaiah L. Kenen, Israel's defense line: her friends and foes in Washington (Prometheus Books, 1981)


  1. Tivnan (1987): pp.24, 34-35; Smith (2007): 15
  2. Smith (2007): 14