AIPAC, the Kremlin of American Jewry

o13-iconGideon Levy writes: It’s the biggest convention of Israel-haters, attended yearly by some 15,000 representatives, and the damage, historically speaking, that it has done to Israel is perhaps graver than any done by Iran. The convention is held once a year, and time seems to stop. It’s always the same wheeler-dealers, the same kitsch, the same hollow applause, and the same standing ovation for every Israeli prime minister, no matter his policy. The world turns round and round, but this never changes. Even Israel changes, but not in their eyes. Here, Israel is worthy only of applause, blind and automatic applause, now and forever.

Like at similar conventions held in Romania by Nicolae Ceausescu, all they do is praise the great leader. Welcome to Bucharest in Washington, to the Kremlin of American Jewry, behold the yearly AIPAC conference. Only here can Netanyahu use his old tricks and gimmicks and be met with a full auditorium on its feet. “I bring you a message from the unified Jerusalem” – applause; Israel built a hospital for victims of the Syrian war, which Netanyahu visited, and he even spoke to a Syrian – cheers; the whole world is knocking down Israel’s door – applause; we will never abandon Israel’s security – the hall rumbles. “BDS is BS,” and this bullshit was praised as well, even though Netanyahu devoted a large portion of his speech to BDS, which was a bigger gift than the organization could have dreamt of.

Behind Netanyahu sat a young American woman who rose to cheer him when everyone else did. I said to myself, Why exactly did she get up and cheer? For the ongoing occupation? For the undermining of Israeli democracy? For the ever prevalent racism in Israel?

“I’m pro-Israel, I’m AIPAC,” says the organization’s slogan. Pro-Israel? The organization’s critics claim that it sometimes acts against U.S. interests; that it also acts against Israeli interests. Yes, it has caused Congress to pass resolutions congratulating Israel on the 40th anniversary of the Six Day War. AIPAC also prevented the sale of air defense systems to Saudi Arabia, as well as any weapon to any Arab state. No fewer than 259 Congress members and 79 senators signed the organization’s petition condemning aid for the Palestinian Authority.

Bravo, AIPAC. Seek out the conservative right among American Jewry. But long ago, Israel should have said, “No, thanks.” Not every show of loud and pushy, even crazed support is a display of friendship. Sometimes caring and friendship mean criticism. But that is not in AIPAC’s playbook. [Continue reading...]

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Comments

  1. This and the preceding article are of high interest for my reading yet, as is becoming quite a common occurrence at WinC, the “continue reading” can only be had by subscribing to the source e.g. Haaretz or FP- as fine both of these sources may be –I have no interest in subscribing to either to satisfy my interest. in your posted article.Are your postings now a platform to subscribe for these and other sites…? if so -how sad!

  2. To BillVZ, this is only my take on the subscription incoming tide before the tsunami, but it seems to be the trend of the news outlets. Sometimes, they let one sneak a peep, but not often. The N.Y.Times now has a policy of 10 peeks, then either you subscribe or you have to await the next calender month for your next 10 free peeks. I believe this what one calls “being left out in the cold” or “odd man out”. Face it, if you’re on a limited low income, you have to make choices, so as you tighten your belt to make ends meet, you also have to give up what once was free. Of course, if you’re flush with the where with all, then it’s not a problem. After all, these poor humongous outlets, have got to pay their overworked C.E.O.s those big bucks, because it’s the American way today. I’m not sure I’ve explained this clearly, but, as I said to begin with, this is my take.