Findley Paul - They Dare to Speak Out

Author : Findley Paul
Title : They Dare to Speak Out People and institutions confront Israël's lobby
Year : 1989

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To our grandchildren Andrew, Cameron, Henry, and Elizabeth may they always be able to speak without fear. Preface to the 1989 Edition One day in early December 1982, I was called to the Republican cloakroom, an area just off the floor of the House of Representatives where Congressmen may receive telephone calls, have a light lunch, or watch television. The House was engaged in the post-election "lame duck" session, finishing up legislative business which had been put off by campaign pressures. Waiting on the phone was a prominent citizen I had known and admired for years. He expressed his regret at my defeat at the polls the previous month, then made the surprising suggestion that I write a book about Israel's lobby. He even suggested the title. That telephone call started me down a fascinating trail that absorbed most of my time and energies for the next two years and culminated in this volume. The journey elicited great support from many people and entailed, from others, many frustrations. The magnitude and diversity of cooperation I received were surprising. The frustrations were not. Although there were many dark moments when I harbored evil thoughts about my friend for luring me into writing this book, there were rewards aplenty, and now I wish I could thank him by name in this space for making the suggestion. I cannot, for I promised him anonymity. I can name only one of the five people who contributed the most in the preparation of my manuscript - Robert W. Wichser, a good friend and for fourteen years director of my Washington staff, who perished in flood waters in December 1985. While the other four are enthusiastic about the text and convinced the book meets a long-standing need, they unanimously asked that their names not be mentioned in these acknowledgments. Recognizing the Israeli lobby's potential for malice, they agreed that such mention might jeopardize their careers. One said bluntly, "In helping you, I'm taking a big chance. If this gets out, I will be fired from my job." Others who helped expressed similar concern. Much of the information provided here is volunteered by career government officials who want the public to be aware of how the lobby functions but insist that their own names be withheld. These requirements tell a lot about the sensitivity of the subject matter. Happily, I can acknowledge by name several people who provided yeoman support. I am especially indebted to Washington journalist Donald Neff, former Middle East correspondent for TIme magazine and author of Warriors at Suez and Warriorsfor Jerusalem, and George W. Weller, former foreign correspondent for the Chicago Daily News who now lives in Rome, for their extensive and valuable suggestions on organization and style. If you detect a professional touch here and there, credit these gentlemen. My gratitude also extends to a number of my former colleagues in Congress and many citizens around the United States and elsewhere who provided both encouragement and cooperation, especially former Senator James Abourezk. I must also thank the word processor to which I was glued for eighteen months. The attachment was so constant that my wife, Lucille, occasionally described herself-without really complaining-as a Wang widow. In fact, when she first learned that I was thinking of writing this book, she offered to live on beans and water if need be to see the project to completion. The Spartan diet was unnecessary, thanks to a grant provided by Sangamon State University, Springfield, Illinois, and funded by the American Middle East Peace Research Institute, a nonprofit organization based in Boston, Massachusetts. The grant covered most of the expenses I encountered in the preparation of the text. During this period I also received helpful income by speaking at chapter meetings of the AmericanArab Anti-Discrimination Committee. My quest for a publisher began in March 1983 and was predictably long and frustrating. Declining to represent me, New York literary agent Alexander Wylie forecast with prophetic vision that no major U.S. publisher would accept my book. He wrote, "It's a sad state of affairs." Bruce Lee of William Morrow and Company called my manuscript "outstanding," but his company concluded that publishing it "would cause trouble in the house and outside" and decided against "taking the heat." Robert Loomis of Random House called it an "important book" but reported that the firm's leadership decided the theme was "too sensitive. " Twenty other publishers also said no. In July 1984, veteran publisher Lawrence Hill agreed to take the gamble. When he died in March 1988, I lost a friend, and the cause of human rights lost an able advocate. He would rejoice, I am sure, that this book now appears in a new updated edition. ...

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