Posted by on December 16, 2011 in Blog

By Jane Kaddouri

A new story is making the media rounds, reporting on a proposed 1997 FBI sting targeting GOP candidate Newt Gingrich. According to author Joseph Trento, Newt’s then-wife Marianne was soliciting bribes from an infamous arms dealer in exchange for Gingrich’s lifting of the U.S. embargo of Iraq.

The report details Marianne’s 1995 Paris meetings with arms dealer Sarkis Soghanalian—meetings also attended by Howard Ash, who had worked with Marianne at the Israel Export Development Company (IEDC).

While Marianne says she was meeting with Soghanalian not to negotiate a bribe for House Speaker Gingrich, but at the behest of her former boss at IEDC, who was seeking a donation from Soghanalian. The arms dealer, on the other hand, says he met Marianne through Miami car dealer Morty Bennett (also in attendance at the Paris meeting), who told him that Newt Gingrich could lift the Iraqi embargo “in exchange for a $10 million payment to Gingrich through his associates…[at] The Institute for Advanced Strategic & Political Studies (IASPS)”—where the same Howard Ash also served as a fundraiser.

And this is where it gets really interesting for us. Because you have to ask what kind of person would solicit a donation from a known arms dealer (he was profiled on “60 Minutes” the night before the Paris meeting). And we’re here to tell you. The CEO of IEDC at the time—and the Board Chair of IASPS—was none other than David Yerushalmi, the man behind the Islamophobia movement; the man who wanted turn adherence to Sharia into a felony crime.

The 2011 publication Fear, Inc., profiles Yerushalmi’s hatemongering in terrifying detail— from referring to African Americans as “the most murderous of people,” to his authorship of anti-Sharia legislation that’s being used as a model around the country.

Back in 2006, Yerushalmi wasn’t happy with Newt Gingrich—for the simple reason that Newt just wasn’t tough enough on Islam.  Newt said that there were 5 challenges America had to meet in order to win the future, the first of which was “confronting a world in which America's enemies, including the irreconcilable wing of Islam and rogue dictatorships, could acquire and use nuclear or biological weapons.” Yerushalmi’s response was to ask if Newt was “articulating a future for America or for the ‘middle wing’ of the Republican Party and for control of Congress and the White House?” Either way, he concluded, Newt was just not his guy. “As much as I admired Newt Gingrich in 1994, and I had a special relationship with him through his former wife Marianne, I fear he is not the leader we await.”

Now that Newt is vying for control of the White House, he seems to be taking a page from Yerushalmi’s book of horrors. Far from the days of being a friend to the Muslim community, he’s now espousing legislation to combat the “spread of Sharia law.” He’s insisting that all Palestinians are terrorists. He mirrored Yerushalmi’s stance on Park 51. The new Newt seems a lot like the same old Yerushalmi—a similarity that’s becoming frighteningly clear.

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