The infamous story of the Israeli NSO Group and its terrifying spying software Pegasus is so troubling, even the United States government blacklisted the company for “malicious cyber activities.” But that didn’t stop the company from hiring four high-profile lobbying firms to try to reverse the listing and win federal contracts.
Three of the lobbying firms were typical conservative, corporate lobbyists. But one, Bluelight Strategies, stood out because of its association with not only Jewish and pro-Israel causes, but for its strong connection to the Democratic Party. Bluelight’s president, Steve Rabinowitz, is a familiar face around the Washington Jewish community and on Capitol Hill.
All four of the lobbying firms came under fire from the human rights group DAWN (Democracy in the Arab World NOW), an organization seeded by Jamal Khashoggi before his brutal murder by Saudi Arabian agents commanded by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. The lobbyists were all required to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) and, while they did so, they failed to report fully on the connection of their client, NSO Group, to the Israeli government.