Mother Jones and NBC report that Ann Neuberger, a senior NSC official responsible for national cyber-security has donated nearly $600,000 between 2012 and 2018 to Aipac. The funds, which came from a family foundation founded by her and her husband, were specifically directed to fund the pro-Israel group’s lobbying of U.S. government officials on behalf of the interests of Israel.
The women and men of the NSC are patriotic, dedicated, and serve their country with distinction. Being forced to endure public smear campaigns should not be part of working on behalf of the American people. 2/2
— Emily Horne (@emilyhorne46) January 28, 2021
After the articles were published, the NSC itself published statements which denounced the articles as anti-Semitic. No doubt it did so in response to strong encouragement from Aipac itself. Pro-Israel media have also raised a geschrei.
In response, NBC withdrew the article, claiming it had not undergone proper vetting and did not meet journalistic standards. In fact, the article was reported as well or better than most investigative pieces. For example, the NBC editorial claim that publishing the story with only anonymous sources was shabby is ridiculous. Investigative pieces like this one commonly use anonymous sources. That’s why the NBC editors who vetted the original story published it. The only reason they changed their mind was when Aipac and the NSC complained loudly about how badly mistreated Neuberger had been.
The articles are not anti-Semitic. In fact, they are excellent journalism and raise important issues about the potential conflict of interest Neuberger faces as she works to protect the nation’s cyber-infrastructure, while having donated substantial sums to the premier domestic lobbying group representing the interests of the State of Israel.
Further, Aipac’s mission has everything to do with Israel and little to do with Judaism. It is a political, not a religious group. The deliberate conflation of Israel and Judaism is meant to suppress legitimate criticism of the political power of the Lobby and its potential infiltration into major policy deliberations.
Aipac routinely opposes U.S. foreign policy toward Israel. In fact, Neuberger’s husband, who is a senior volunteer leader of the group’s Baltimore chapter, organized public events opposing the Obama administration’s most ambitious foreign policy achievement, the JCPOA agreement with Iran. Aipac opposition to the deal arose from Israel’s own opposition to it. It was lobbying in America on behalf of Israeli interests and against U.S. policy. Once again, Ms. Neuberger faces a serious conflict when she is tasked with protecting American interests and her husband and the organization they both fund handsomely is directly at odds with them.
Let’s not forget that two employees of Aipac recruited a State Department official to hand over classified documents to an Israeli agent. The Justice Department charged the two with serious crimes:
Here’s my summary of FBI depositions describing Steve Rose’s job at Aipac:
Steve Rosen spent much, if not most of his work time, recruiting federal employees, mostly at the Department of Defense, to reveal classified information that would be of interest to Israel. When he recruited such an employee or secured such information he pretty much went directly to his “handlers” in the Israeli embassy to whom he passed the information or contact.
The very first person with whom he met after being the FBI confronted him and warned that he might be arrested was NOT his own attorney or anyone from Aipac, but the deputy director of the Israeli embassy. Such warning, allowed Israel to roll up its espionage-intelligence operation and spirit Naor Gillon out of DC so he would not be arrested and thus embroil Israel directly in the controversy.
As the Forward notes in its report, this fact may be a very important one since if Rosen was following the procedures and directives of Aipac in summoning the Israeli for the meeting and warning him about the investigation, then Aipac is in effect an accessory to Israeli intelligence operations in this country and not a fully independent American lobbying venture.
Knowing this, why would Neuberger donate to such an organization? At the very least, it shows questionable judgment.
The executive branch ended the prosecution. Not because they weren’t guilty. But because the Israel lobby began crying out that the prosecution was anti-Semitic. Pres. Bush feared he would lose far more in domestic support from American Jews who support Israel, than he would gain in protecting American security. So he directed the case be dropped.
Further, Israel recruits American Jews to spy for Israel. In doing so, it raises precisely the sorts of doubts in the minds of Americans about the loyalties of pro-Israel government officials like Neuberger. Given the damage Jonathan Pollard and other spies recruited by Mossad here have done to U.S. security, why shouldn’t we raise such alarms?
Israel constantly probes U.S. security for weaknesses, which it exploits to extract important military, intelligence and commercial secrets. The IDF’s Unit 8200 engages in surveillance of U.S. officials like those who were negotiating the Iran nuclear deal. The reason we know this is that the NSA itself was spying on the very Israelis who were spying on us. At the time, Neuberger worked for the NSA.
Israeli cyber-hacking companies like NSO Group sell products which are also used, according to Sen. Ron Wyden, to spy on U.S. officials. These products are also used to intercept private personal communications of U.S. citizens, and they sabotage the business activities of U.S. social media companies like WhatsApp.
Israel is one of the three most active countries in spying on America. It is a major security threat. Yet Neuberger is tasked with defending the very domestic cyber-networks Israel is probing. What is this if not a conflict of interest?
Let’s make clear that neither the articles published nor this post have engaged in attacks based on her religion. That is the only basis on which an accusation may be called anti-Semitic. The troubling aspect of Neuberger’s past is that she has been a major funder of a powerful lobbying group working directly on behalf of the State of Israel. She may be the most honest, professional person in the world. But she has a major conflict which cannot be wiped away by spurious charges of anti-Semitism.
If she has any seychel she will step down from her role as an officer of the family foundation.