Chapter 22: The Game Within the Game

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Laurie A. Brand, Palestinians in an Arab World: Institution building and the Search for State (New York: Columbia University Press, 1988) She includes detail on GUPS (General Union of Palestine Students)

Helene Cobban, The Palestinian Liberation Organization (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984)

Helena Lindholm Schulz, The Reconstruction of Palestinian Nationalism: Between Revolution and Statehood (Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 1999)

Avi Shlaim, The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World ( New York: W. W. Norton, 2000) See especially for the evolution of policy shifts between Eisenhower and Johnson.

U.S. Foreign Policy and the Middle East

Warren Bass, Support Any Friend: Kennedy’s Middle East and the Making of U.S-Israel Alliance (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003)

Herbert Druks, John F. Kennedy and Israel (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2001) Insightful for JFK’s regional approach to the Middle East and his attempt to de-emphasize the East/West conflict.

Peter L. Hahn, Caught in the Middle East: U.S. Policy Toward the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1945-1961 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, Press, 2004) See especially Part IV, on the late Eisenhower period

Robert D. Kaplan, The Arabists: The Romance of an American Elite (New York: Free Press, 1993) Draws heavily on interviews with former State Department specialists but overemphasizes their influence on Middle East policy.



ALL notes correspond to the endnotes in Patriotic Betrayal, supply additional information or evidence, and should be read together.

Note 25: Tony Smith and Israel: Smith’s grandfather was Joseph M. Proskauer, founder the Rose, Proskauer law firm, and a figure in New York politics. More importantly, Proskauer headed the American Jewish Committee from 1943 to 1949. In his memoir, A Segment of My Times, (New York: Farrar, Straus, 1950), Proskauer wrote about his role in the founding of Israel. During my interview with Tony Smith, he told me that the CIA director of counterintelligence, James Jesus Angleton, responsible for the “Israeli account,” despised Smith for his Israeli connections. Smith said Angleton’s attitude surprised him, since he assumed entrée to Israeli leaders would have been considered an asset.

Note 28: General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS). Laurie Brand (Palestinians in an Arab World) has written that GUPS influenced governments throughout the region, “From Nasser in Egypt to Faysal in Saudi Arabia, Arab leaders and Kings met with and listened to the students.” (p. 73)

Note 22: NSA support for GUPS: Subsequently, Ronald (Ron) Story reported on a visit from Nabil Sha’ath [Also Shaath], President of OAS (Organization of Arab Students), then a student at the University of Pennsylvania, who had requested further assistance for Palestinian refugees. Story recommended NSA give “a token amount” to support Sha’ath’s project in order to “retain our present more or less cordial relations.” H/NSA Box 25 (Backoff) December 10, 1963 memo from Story to Backoff.

  • January 14, 1964, Story reported that Sha’ath again visited NSA headquarters to request NSA travel support for a GUPS congress in Gaza in February 1964. H/NSA Box 25 (Backoff), Story to Backoff.
  • February 13, 1964 Story wrote re support for Nabil Sha’ath and GUPS congress in Gaza. Excerpts from the letter indicate that NSA awarded financial support to Sh’ath, and regarded it as a quid pro quo for information: “We definitely need information on what happens at the meeting; since Shaath seems to me to be reasonably trustworthy and neutral in the conflict, this seemed the best way to obtain information. …. He has agreed to tell us as much as he can about who attends the meeting, what the future policy is likely to be, etc. The fact that we are sending him is to remain confidential, since knowledge of it would hurt his effectiveness and would do us no good with the Baath.” Whether or not Sha’ath had the same understanding of the agreement is unknown. H/NSA Box 25 (Backoff)

Nabil Sha’ath, whose father was a Palestinian, became a key figure in Palestinian politics (PLO, Fatah, and the Palestinian Authority). He has been a chief negotiator for the Palestinian authority, and was its first foreign minister. He also served as Ambassador to the United Nations, and was a member of the Palestinian delegation to the United States in 2003 that met with President George Bush.

Note 30: NSA and Israeli student leader: Robert Witherspoon had assured Israeli student leader, Simha Salpeter, that NSA would act as a “moderating influence” during the GUPS-sponsored international seminar. After the seminar, Witherspoon met again with Salpeter to argue that Uphoff’s remarks were “not that damaging” and tried to “correct his [Salpeter] interpretation” of them. H/NSA Box 30 (Kovacs) May 29, 1965 copy of Robert Witherspoon’s Memo to Confidential Files.

Note 82: Richard Stearns: In declassified U.S. Senate testimony, Stearns stated that he and Kiley agreed the security oath he signed was unenforceable because it was administered under false pretenses (as part of a USAID grant). Stearns also testified to sending reports on Middle Eastern students from Beirut to Paris on the supposition the information was destined for the NSA office in Washington, D.C.

Ironically, the USAID person in charge of an internal AID youth task force during this period was Robert S. Smith, the first international affairs vice president for NSA (1947-198). In this position, Smith was in touch with NSA international staff. This was during a period of time when the CIA frequently used USAID positions as cover.

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