Neal Sher

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Who is Neal Sher?

Neal M. Sher is an American lawyer who is the former head of the Office of Special Investigations and former executive director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Since 2002, he has been a solo practitioner in New York City.

Sher graduated Cornell University in 1968 and New York University Law School in 1972. He clerked for Judge Barrington D. Parker for two years, and then worked in a Washington, DC law firm from 1974 to 1979, before joining the United States Department of Justice.

From 1983 to 1994, Sher headed the Office of Special Investigations, the Justice Department’s Nazi prosecution unit, where he oversaw the denaturalization and deportation of dozens of onetime Nazi war criminals. His investigation of the Nazi past of Kurt Waldheim led to Waldheim’s placement on the watch list of persons ineligible to enter the United States. In 1989, Sher received the Raoul Wallenberg Award for his work.

Sher was the executive director of AIPAC from 1994 to 1996. As director, Sher led AIPAC's support of the Oslo Accords, sparring with rival lobbyists Zionist Organization of America over the issue. Sher apparently clashed with the board of directors, however, and resigned shortly after Benjamin Netanyahu's surprise victory in the 1996 Israel prime ministerial election to return to work on Holocaust-related issues.

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  • Cornell University

on July 23, 2013


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