David Steiner (AIPAC)
Controversy and resignation from AIPAC
He resigned his AIPAC Presidency in November 1992 after Haim Katz, a New York real estate developer, secretly recorded a telephone conversation with him and released it to the Washington Times. Steiner told Katz he had significant influence over American foreign policy and the selection of US political leaders.
Among the things Steiner told Katz:
"I got, besides the $3 billion, you know they're looking for the Jewish votes, and I'll tell him whatever he wants to hear.... Besides the $10 billion in loan guarantees which was a fabulous thing, $3 billion in foreign, in military aid, and I got almost a billion dollars in other goodies that people don't even know about.... I have friends on the Clinton campaign, close associates.... I've known Bill for seven, eight years from the National Governors Association. I know him on a personal basis.... One of my friends is Hillary Clinton's scheduler, one of my officer's daughters works there. We gave two employees from AIPAC leave of absence to work on the campaign. I mean, we have a dozen people in the campaign, in the headquarters, in Little Rock, and they're all going to get big jobs.... I also work with a think tank, the Washington Institute. I have Michael Mandelbaum and Martin Indyk being foreign policy advisers... Steve Spiegel.... We have Bill Clinton's ear. I talked to Bill Clinton. He's going to be very good for us.... A girl who worked for me at AIPAC stood up for them at their wedding. Hillary lived with her. I mean we have those relationships.... Susan Thomases, who's in there, worked with me on the Bradley campaign. We worked together for 13 years. She's in there with the family. They stay with her when they come to New York. One of my officers, Monte Friedkin, is one of the biggest fund-raisers for them. I mean, I have people like that all over the country.... He's said he's going to help us. He's got something in his heart for the Jews, he has Jewish friends.... Clinton is the best guy for us.... We're just negotiating. We're more interested right now in the secretary of state and the secretary of National Security Agency.... I've got a list. But I really can't go through it. I'm not allowed to talk about it.... We'll have access.
After the transcript of the recording was made public, Steiner and AIPAC claimed he had exaggerated. "In an effort to encourage and impress what I thought was a potential political activist calling on the telephone," Steiner said, "I made statements which went beyond over-zealousness and exaggeration and were simply and totally untrue. I apologize to Governor Clinton, Chief of Staff Baker, and AIPAC for these actions."
Steiner was replaced as President of AIPAC by Steve Grossman.
- Richman, Sheldon L. "Jews and Israel: AIPAC President Resigns." Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, December/January 1992/93, p. 69.
- "Special Report: The Complete Unexpurgated AIPAC Tape," Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, December/January 1992/93, pp. 13-16.