web analytics
October 22, 2014 / 28 Tishri, 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
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon walks through a Hamas terror tunnel from Gaza to Israel.
IDF Checks for Terror Tunnel Threat in Northern Israel
Latest Indepth Stories
Noah and his Family; mixed media collage by Nathan Hilu. Courtesy Hebrew Union College Museum

Myth #1: It is easy to be a B’nai Noach. It is extraordinarily hard to be a B’nai Noach.

Sweden prefers to ignore its own problems and make trouble elsewhere.

The question of anti-Semitism in Europe today is truly tied to the issue of immigration.

256px-Israel-Palestine_flags.svg

Polls indicate that the Palestinians are much more against a two state solution than the Israelis.

Map of Syria-Turkish border area, pinpointing Kurdish border town of Kobani, just taken by ISIS terror forces Oct 7, 2014.

Turkey and Iran the 2 regional powers surrounding the ISIS conflict gain from a partial ISIS victory

Emigration from Israel is at an all-time low, far lower than immigration to Israel from Europe.

Leon Klinghoffer’s daughters: “‘Klinghoffer’ is justified as ‘a work of art’…This is an outrage.”

Do you seriously think that as you kidnap our children we should medically treat and help yours?

Sometimes collective action against the heinous acts of the majority is not enough. The world should not only support the blockade of Gaza; it must enforce the dismantling of Hamas.

The Arab Spring has challenged Jordan with the task of gradual reform with regard to its monarchy.

Israel offered Syria the entire Golan Heights, only to find that the Syrians were demanding MORE!

Israeli hasbara too can be described at best as pathetic, at worst non existent.

A ‘good news’ story from the Nepal avalanche disaster to warm your heart. Take out your Kleenex.

Journalists see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as morality play: Israel=evil; Palestine=innocent

Warsaw Ghetto: At its height, the Nazis walled in some 500,000 Jews within the1.3 square mile area.

While police officers face dangers every day on the job, Jews also face danger in their daily lives.

Carter developed a fondness for Arafat believing “they were both ordained to be peacemakers by God”

More Articles from Elliot Resnick
FE_PR_100112_22Learning_CableTV425x282

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”?

Ben Cohen

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.

For Steinsaltz, the Rebbe was no less than “the greatest man I have ever met,” as he writes in the preface to his book.

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: