web analytics
October 31, 2014 / 7 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Jack Abramoff: Americans Believe The System Is Rigged Against Them

Abramoff today is committed to reforming the lobbying industry that he helped tarnish.

Jack Abramoff

Jack Abramoff

If they doubt that the reforms I’m proposing will be effective, then come up with better reforms. If they think I’m trying to get in the spotlight, what good is it for me being in the spotlight? I don’t earn any money really off of anything like this.

Israel’s foes sometimes portray the Israel lobby as an all-powerful force that controls Washington. As a former insider, what’s your impression?

America’s support of Israel is, in part, because pro-Israel forces are organized. But it generally flows, not from the so-called Jewish lobby – frankly I fear there are more Jews lobbying against Israel than for Israel – but rather from the over 150 million Christians who believe strongly in the state of Israel. Otherwise there’s no way in the world this country would be supportive of Israel.

You reportedly became frum at age 12 after watching “Fiddler on the Roof.” Is that true?

It helped me. In those days, the early 1970s, there was no perceptible ba’al teshuvah movement. Where I lived in Beverly Hills, there were Jews, but the Orthodox were far away from us. I had no exposure to them. One of the first exposures I had was seeing “Fiddler on the Roof.” It was literally one of the only times in my life I had seen traditional Jews. It wasn’t the only thing that impacted me, but it certainly had an impact.

It didn’t have the impact the author of “Fiddler on the Roof” intended, by the way. Shalom Aleichem was anti-frum. He’s probably rolling around in his grave somewhere.

How did matters proceed after watching “Fiddler on the Roof”? Did you go to yeshiva?

No, I wanted to, but I wasn’t allowed. It wasn’t until I went to college that I was among frum people. I went to Brandeis. There actually weren’t too many frum people there either, but that’s where I could be more openly Orthodox.

As an Orthodox Jew, were you concerned about the chillul Hashem your arrest in 2005 caused?

Of course, I was absolutely concerned. I was mortified, but unfortunately I wasn’t in control of it at that point.

When did you do teshuvah? At what point did you cease being a ruthless lobbyist and start becoming a reformer?

It wasn’t until after my career ended and I started to sit down and analyze what I was involved in. I started to look at it honestly without having any skin in the game any longer. It was a process. It took months to come to those conclusions [about my behavior]. They weren’t quickly-reached conclusions and they weren’t conclusions that I didn’t fight against, but I came to them anyway.

About the Author: Elliot Resnick is a Jewish Press staff reporter and author of “Movers and Shakers: Sixty Prominent Personalities Speak Their Mind on Tape” (Brenn Books).


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

2 Responses to “Jack Abramoff: Americans Believe The System Is Rigged Against Them”

  1. Besides being Native American, I am part Jewish. My sons attended Hebrew school to satisfy their God Father and his father. I really would like Jack Abramoff to talk to me and tell me how he found lobbying against the Native American people, so other bad law firms like the one that ruined our rez, our family and left everyone with a 200 plus million dollar debt and a $50 million dollar law suit settlement by a resort company that sued us when the law firm talked our non-member cousin into breaching the contract and taking his company instead……..more money loss. I never wanted a casino. I wanted a web based medical center, medical and dental school, and a multi cultural publishing company. I suppose it is good he is helping investigate, but to reduce his sentence, not because he is a good guy. And now he is making money on harming not just the Native Americans, but every American with his lobbyist scams.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (L) meets with Israel's Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon in Halifax, Canada on November 22, 2013.
Ya’alon Scraps Purchase of US Aircraft
Latest Indepth Stories
Which glass has the poison?

The White House wanted to defame Netanyahu, undermine his reputation, impugn him & his policies

Adolf Hitler and the representative of the Palestinian Arabs, the Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin al-Husseini, December, 1941.

Palestinian anti-Semitism in 2014 is more extreme and mainstream than German A/S in the 1930s.

Sheldon Silver

Woven deeply through it all is the Jewish obligation to fight injustice.

Cravatts-Richard--new

Only in the inverted world of academia would Jewish professors denounce the AMCHA Initiative report.

Many poskim were and are adamant about the responsibility of every individual to vote.

Individuals who may have been abused are the “clients” in need and receiving care and protection.

An accomplished Torah scholar and ardent adherent of Bobov chassidus, he was renowned for his self-effacing dedication and skills as an international lawyer and law professor

The fact that the United States government after World War II sought to take advantage of the expertise of German scientists, even those known to have contributed to the Nazi war effort, is well known and largely accepted as having been necessary for America’s national defense. (Wernher von Braun is perhaps the most famous and […]

The New York State comptroller manages the state’s $180.7 billion pension fund, audits the spending practices of all state agencies and local governments, oversees the New York State and Local Retirement System, reviews the New York State and City budgets, and approves billions in State contracts and spending.

Rabinovich is the author of several popular books on Israel’s wars, including The Battle for Jerusalem, The Yom Kippur War, and The Boats of Cherbourg.

To say he was beloved because of the way he loved his students does not sufficiently capture the reality.

The birth I speak about is to give birth to ourselves, to our full potential.

The extreme hypocrisy, contempt & vulgarity of the attacks indicate more than a policy disagreement

More Articles from Elliot Resnick
Abraham Rabinovich

Rabinovich is the author of several popular books on Israel’s wars, including The Battle for Jerusalem, The Yom Kippur War, and The Boats of Cherbourg.

Resnick-102414-Pergament

I think Seth Lipsky is amazing, but it just drives home the point that newspapers have a lot of moving parts.

Can teenagers seriously be expected to behave properly when they are surrounded by so much suggestive material? Is it fair to expose them (and ourselves) to so much temptation and then tell them, “Just say no”?

If you remember, in 2006, a Jewish kid in Paris, Ilan Halimi, was abducted, beaten, and held hostage for three weeks… These are the kinds of people attending these Gaza solidarity rallies.

King Solomon said it long ago: “Cast your bread upon the waters” because you don’t know when you’ll hit something. Our job is to do.

Formerly an attorney at the prestigious law firm Proskauer Rose for 40 years – six of those years as its chairman – Fagin holds degrees from both Columbia and Harvard Universities. He retired in 2013 to devote more time to the Jewish community.

The message is that Zionism, which used to be great, is today very institutionalized and [consists of a] bunch of people who are just squabbling over titles and budgets.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/americans-believe-the-system-is-rigged-against-them-an-interview-with-former-lobbyist-jack-abramoff/2013/01/03/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: