Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, extract from The "Terrorism" Industry

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JINSA is run by individuals closely identified with Israeli interests and may be regarded as a virtual lobbying organization for the state of Israel as well as a terrorism institute. The two are closely related, as one aspect of lobbying for Israel consists of trying to discredit the Palestinians and PLO as terrorists. JINSA also illustrates the multinational character and ambiguity of affiliation of the institutes and experts in the terrorism industry. JINSA vice-president Morris J. Amitay is former head of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a major pro-Israel lobbying organization. [1] Others affiliated with JINSA as founders and board or advisory board members include Michael Ledeen and Walter Laqueur of CSIS, Jack Kemp, retired Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, and Max Kampelman, Jeane Kirkpatrick, and Eugene Rostow, the latter three all Reagan administration officials as well as members of the Committee on the Present Danger and Committee for a Democratic Majority. [2]

JlNSA has produced numerous studies and newsletters detailing Soviet support for the PLO and alleging PLO backing for international terrorism, central points of Israeli propaganda. Until 1981, the JlNSA newsletter was edited by the institute's executive director, Dr. Stephen Bryen, a former staffer for New Jersey Republican Senator Clifford Case. In 1979, Bryen had gone to work for the Coalition for a Democratic Majority. By 1980, he was running JlNSA, and in 1981 he joined the Pentagon to work with Richard Perle.

When Bryen left JlNSA for the Pentagon in 1981, his wife, Shoshana, took over as executive director. With Stephen Bryen in the Pentagon and several well-connected JlNSA directors serving in sensitive, defense-related positions, new conduits for the dissemination of propaganda opened up between JlNSA and the White House, and JlNSA took advantage of these opportunities. [3]

For example, on July 20, 1983, the White House Office of Media Relations and Planning released a report entitled "The PLO in Central America," published in the 'White House Digest'. The report alleged that the PLO, working closely with Castro and the Sandinistas, was helping its allies establish a Soviet base of operations in Central America through the training and deployment of terrorists throughout the world. This poorly documented report included a chart showing the encircled names of some twenty-two "worldwide terrorist organizations" linked, by arrows, to the diagram's centerpiece � an unflattering picture of Yasser Arafat with the acronym "PLO" set in the center of his forehead.

The chart was designed to show alleged PLO backing for such organizations as the Black Panthers, the Uruguayan Tupamaros, the Sandinistas, and EI Salvador's "underground movements." While the diagram carried the caption "Intelligence information has linked the PLO with terrorist and guerrilla organizations around the world;" it failed to mention Salvador's "underground movements" by name (one assumes that it was intended to refer to the FMLN-FDR). While a "genuine" intelligence document would have been careful to identify the group, the diagram included in the 'White House Digest' did not, perhaps because its source was not military intelligence but rather the 'JINSA Newsletter' (vol. 3, no. 21) for June 1983.

According to the June Newsletter's cover story, written by Shoshana Bryen and bearing a title identical to the report in the Digest ("The PLO in Central America"), Castro and the Sandinistas were working with the PLO in order to subvert order and democracy in Central America and the Caribbean. If the Digest report and the JINSA document are read in tandem, it becomes evident that the bulk of the White House's citations and "facts" were lifted wholesale from Bryen's article. Likewise, the diagram attributed to "intelligence information" and accompanying the Digest article was simply reproduced, without addition or correction, by the White House from JINSA's newsletter (e.g., "Nicaragua 'Sandinists' " for "Nicaraguan 'Sandinistas' ").

JINSA illustrates the close relationship between the right-wing Democrats of the Committee for a Democratic Majority and the Israeli lobby. In the early Reagan years, with Perle a high official in the Pentagon and Kampelman, Rostow, and Kirkpatrick serving as administration officials, the lobby was integrated into the Republican administration and its key executive bodies as well. It networks extensively with CSIS and ASC. Its materials on terrorism, though essentially Israeli propaganda, can hardly be differentiated from those of many other industry institutes and experts, and flow easily into the White House and out again as information on terrorism.


  1. Edward Tivnan, The Lobby: Jewish Political Power and American Foreign Policy (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987), Chap. 6
  2. The Committee for a Democratic Majority was formed in 1973 by the neoconservative minority of the Democratic party as an opposition entity to carry out a running attack on the democratic majority; this group joined Reagan en masse after his 1980 victory. The CPD was organized in 1976 by a larger but overlapping set of cold warriors and reactionaries determined to turn back the clock on social policies and to move toward a national security state. See Saloma, Ominous Politics, pp. 123-27.
  3. New opportunities for transmitting information to Israel also flowed from JINSA's connections. According to a 600-page FBI file on Bryen, built up on the foundation of a sworn affidavit supplied by Michael Saba of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee, Bryen had conspired to offer highly sensitive and classified military information to a representative of the Israeli government. See Saba, The Armageddon Network (Brattleboro, Vt.: Amana Books, 1984). Bryen has been the subject of several investigations since then. See, further, the discussion of Michael Ledeen in chapter 7, note 63.