Many Americans who thought that the health care debate was important must have wondered where their congressmen were in early August during the first two weeks of the House of Representatives recess. It turns out they were not hosting town hall meetings or listening to constituents because many of them were in Israel together with their spouses on a trip paid for by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Fully 13% of the entire US House of Representatives, 56 members, traveled to Israel in the largest AIPAC-sponsored fact-finding visit by American politicians ever conducted. And the leaders of the two congressional groups, 25 Republicans for a week starting on August 2nd followed by 31 Democrats beginning on August 13th, were drawn from the top ranks of their respective parties. House Minority whip Eric Cantor headed the Republican group and House Majority leader Steny Hoyer led the Democrats.
Cantor and Hoyer are longtime enthusiasts for Israel and all its works. In January, when Israel was pounding Gaza to rubble and killing over a thousand civilians, Hoyer and Cantor wrote an op-ed entitled “A Defensive War,” which began with “During this difficult war in the Gaza Strip, we stand with Israel.” Why? Because “Instead of building roads, bridges, schools and industry, Hamas and other terrorists wasted millions turning Gaza into an armory.” Hoyer and Cantor, clearly noticing a militarization of the Gaza Strip that no else quite picked up on, also affirmed that Israel occupied the moral high ground in the conflict, “While Israel targets military combatants, Hamas aims to kill as many civilians as possible.” That Hoyer and Cantor were completely wrong on this vital point as well as others, in fact reversing the truth, has never resulted in an apology or a correction of the record from either lawmaker. [continued…]