AIPAC and Foreign Agent Status?

-

gideon meir.jpg
(Israeli Ambassador to Italy and former Foreign Ministry Deputy Director General for Public Affairs Gideon Meir: AIPAC can help so much it hurts)
Even the best informed of us can be just real dumb on Friday mornings. I never knew that AIPAC was NOT compelled to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
Apparently, the criminal investigation of two AIPAC employees, Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, has many in the US-Israel policy community worried that a conviction would compel FARA registration for the organization. I had not seen this debate previously.
One would think that it was obvious that AIPAC was an agent for Israel’s interests and thus would have to register as such.
Then again, to take the alternative position, I guess that there can be “undirected” agents of interest and that AIPAC members are simply advocating policies that they feel are good for the United States with regards to Israel — without direction from Jerusalem.
There is some sense in this. If I wanted to advocate on behalf of smarter U.S. policy towards Cuba, towards Japan, towards Palestine, or towards the United Arab Emirates, then I should be able to do so without a need to register as an agent of foreign interests — particularly since I am taking no direction from those foreign interests.
This is fascinating and explains a mystery that has bothered me for some time.
Pat Choate‘s famous book, Agents of Influence: How Japan’s Lobbyists Manipulate America’s Political and Economic System, has an appendix listing all of the known lawyers and lobbyists operating in Washington on behalf of foreign interests.
But Israel is one of the very few nations not listed. One might have surmised that Pat Choate had enough trouble taking on the Japan lobby at that time that he didn’t want to take on the Israeli lobby as well — but the reason seems to be that AIPAC was not required to file as a foreign agent and thus would not be listed in the book’s appendix.
There are others who can weigh in on whether or not AIPAC is taking instructions from Israel’s government and political leaders. If former Prime Minister Netanyahu is giving orders from his Likud seat, or Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is making requests of AIPAC in its roster of political action efforts, then AIPAC should be registered appropriately. It’s an interesting question.
But one thing that I can report from my trip to Israel last year is that there are some in the Israeli government who do not want to own AIPAC’s actions and advocacy.
Then Israeli Foreign Ministry Deputy Director General for Public Affairs Gideon Meir (and now Israel’s Ambassador to Italy) told me that “AIPAC does not represent the interests of the Israeli government. This organization may mean well but these diaspora organizations — in order to keep and retain their members — present battles in black and white and see only two sides. I have to deal with five sides — or seven sides — to a problem; and sometimes AIPAC and these diaspora groups undermine our efforts.”
This would argue against AIPAC registering as a foreign agent. But if memos came down the pike that Israel is giving AIPAC clear instructions, then the requirement of registration should be implemented.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

35 comments on “AIPAC and Foreign Agent Status?

  1. Israel Lobby Archive says:

    In June of 2008, the DOJ declassified a secret episode relevant to this discussion. AIPAC exists in its current form BECAUSE the US government ordered its parent organization to register as Israel’s foreign agent:
    http://www.irmep.org/ila/azcdoj/
    In hindsight, it is incredible that an organization set up by an employee of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs has managed to go so long without complying with the law.
    But as Lawrence Franklin recently said, AIPAC and its activists are “beyond good and evil” and above the law.

    Reply

  2. Prabhata says:

    I’m dismayed that Steve Clemons claims not to know that AIPAC was not registered under FARA, and that Israel controls AIPAC, regardless of whether memos come out or not.
    Why isn’t AIPAC registered? Take a guess, and don’t look for a difficult answer, but go for the easy one. I’ll help you. AIPAC gives lots of money to U.S. politicians, from the smallest city council to all big fat Washington D.C. friends. If AIPAC registered, all that money would dry up. Now who would want that?

    Reply

  3. Pissed Off American says:

    Heres Zathras, in a racist rant……
    “You don’t acclaim someone like Yassir Arafat as your leader for 30 years and use suicide bombers as a weapon, especially against civilians, and expect the American public’s sympathy”
    Israel has heen murdering Palestinians now for six decades, and we are expected to give Israel our “sympathy”. The picture you paint of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict is dishonest, racist, biased, and ignorant. But carry on, Zathras, you are right in vogue with the times.
    http://www.ifamericansonlyknew.org/

    Reply

  4. Jerome Gaskins says:

    Zathras,
    “Islamism”? That makes no sense, for Islam is not some group of politicos looking to change a policy or two. It is a religion, just like Christianity and Judaism are. Do you and others have trouble thinking of it as such? Why this penchant for renaming something as old and as important as it?
    Have you (general) forgotten that, without the influence of Islam the Muslims of the day would have more warmongering and have little time or demeanor to devote to the study of the sciences? How would we have developed what we depend on today, in so many ways, if we did not have he concept of zero to complete our number systems?
    The fact is that declaring Islam to be other than a practice of peace is insulting, disrespectful and blissfully ignorant of the truth. Because the terrorists we are interested in now are middle eastern and the face of Islam is most often middle eastern as well, and the primary middle eastern religion is Islam, it does not follow that Islam is a terrorist religion any more than vultures being birds makes all birds vultures.
    You (again, generally speaking) should know that in your heart, but for some reason you feel compelled to disrespect an entire religion that has adherents in every country on the planet. You should not do this. You do not tolerate this kind of disrespect toward christians or jews, even though there are many terrorists that adhere to both religions.
    Let’s keep things straight: Islam is a religion, at least as worthy of respect as is Christianity, Judaism or Buddhism. It already has a name, and that is Islam. It’s adherents also have a name, and that is Muslim.
    When you talk about terrorism, you are not talking about Islam, any more than you are talking about vultures when you mention birds. When you talk about terrorists, you are talking about the destroyers of Murrow building and the founders of “state” of Israel as well as those who destroyed the World Trade Center and the USS Cole. It wasn’t Itszak Rabin who oversaw the Palestinian massacres. It wasn’t Pres. Clinton who sanctioned the Oklahoma City bombing, and it’s not a muslim from Indonesia or Poland or the US that is sanctioning the actions of the terrorists that claim to be operating under the banner of Islam.
    Please, let’s keep this straight.

    Reply

  5. Pissed Off American says:

    Wednesday, November 22, 2006
    Ritter, israel, aipac
    Scott Ritter from this speech on YouTube, Oct 16, 2006 (my transcription, my errors):
    “One of the big problems – and here comes the grenade – is Israel. The second you mention the word ‘Israel’, the nation of Israel, the concept of Israel, many in the American press become very defensive. We’re not allowed to be highly critical of the state of Israel.
    The other thing we’re not allowed to do is discuss the notion that Israel, and the notion of Israeli interests, may in fact be dictating what America is doing. That what we’re doing in the Midle East may not be to the benefit of America’s National Security, but to Israel’s National Security.
    But we don’t want to talk about that – because of of the great success stories out there is the pro-Israel Lobby which has successfully enabled itself to blend the two together – so that when we speak of Israeli interests, they say ‘No – we’re speaking of American interests’
    It’s interesting that AIPAC and other elements of the Israeli Lobby don’t have to register as agents of a foreign government. It’d be nice if they did, becuase then we’d know when they’re advocating on behalf of Israel, and when they’re advocating on behalf of the USA.
    I’d challenge the New York Times to sit down and do a critical story on Israel, on the role that Israel plays in influencing American foreign policy. There’s nothing wrong with Israel trying to influence American FP – let me make that clear. The British seek to influence our foreign policy. The French seek to influence our foreign policy. The Saudi’s seek to influence our foreign policy. The difference is that when they do it, and they bring American citizens into play, these Americans they take the money of a foreign government, once they advocate on behalf of a foreign government, they register themselves as an agent of that govt so we know where they’re coming from. That’s all I’m asking the Israelis to do – let us know where you’re coming from. Stop confusing the American public that Israeli interests are necessarily America’s interests.
    continues at……..
    http://wotisitgood4.blogspot.com/2006/11/ritter-israel-aipac.html

    Reply

  6. Pissed Off American says:

    Leaders Fear Probe Will Force Pro-Israel Lobby To File as ‘Foreign Agent’ Could Fuel Dual Loyalty Talk
    By Ori Nir
    Forward
    December 31, 2004
    WASHINGTON – As the Department of Justice intensifies its investigation of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Jewish communal leaders fear that the goal of the probe is to compel the powerful lobbying organization to register as a “foreign agent” representing the government of another country.
    Widely regarded as one of the most influential organizations on Capitol Hill, Aipac is registered with Congress as a lobbying group. Under American law, registering as a foreign agent would require Aipac to provide significantly more detailed information about its aims and activities to the government – thereby robbing the group of a key weapon: the ability to operate behind the scenes.
    Such a change would severely weaken the organization’s influence and fuel charges of dual loyalties against Jewish groups, communal observers said.
    “I think that from the start, this is what [the investigation] was all about,” said Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League. “It doesn’t take very much to start an investigation – all it needs is a legitimate complaint by somebody that there is a violation of the law.”
    continues at………
    http://www.ifamericansknew.org/us_ints/pg-foreignagent.html

    Reply

  7. America First says:

    (There are others who can weigh in on whether or not AIPAC is taking instructions from Israel’s government and political leaders)
    http://www.tnr.com/blog/spine?pid=90096
    SOROS AND ISRAEL:
    Marty Peretz
    I’ve just read George Soros’ predictable piece on Israel and on AIPAC in the current New York Review of Books whose also predictable commentary on the Jewish state began long ago with Noam Chomsky. (The Review stopped publishing Chomsky on Israel when Isaiah Berlin told its editor, Robert Silvers, that it was either he or Chomsky who would appear in its pages, not both.) In any case, Soros’ has written an intriguing and ignorant article to which I will respond on my return home. I let him off the hook the last time with his sloppy pleas of innocence and his pathetic editing of his own prose. After all, many survivors of the catastrophe must have taken ethical sharp corners to live. They also seem to be afflicted by some remorse or, at least, mixed emotions, Not Soros, who seems to think his survival in Hitler’s and Horthy’s Hungary was a triumph rather like his conquest of a nation’s currency or a successful call on a public security. Since he has picked the scab off his own wound this time, I will not be so kind this time.
    So, while I am on my way to Florence to convene with the ghost of Savanarola, the renaissance inquisitor, I hasten to confess that I am in Israel to receive my ideological instructions from the same people who instruct AIPAC. So what I write will really be authoritative.

    Reply

  8. Pissed Off American says:

    “Then again, to take the alternative position, I guess that there can be “undirected” agents of interest and that AIPAC members are simply advocating policies that they feel are good for the United States with regards to Israel — without direction from Jerusalem.”
    Well, thats a big steaming pile of horseshit.

    Reply

  9. Pissed Off American says:

    “Even the best informed of us can be just real dumb on Friday mornings. I never knew that AIPAC was NOT compelled to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.”
    Perhaps you should read the comments on your own blog occassionally. It might serve to fill some of these voids in your knowledge.

    Reply

  10. Carroll says:

    Carroll: I hope you’re right. My gut tells me otherwise. Two words: John Hagee. Until he’s not invited to AIPAC conventions, how much can we expect?
    Posted by Matthew at March 23, 2007 05:51 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Heheh…when the Hagee evangelicals see their religious beliefs start degrading their everyday real lives they will run away like jackrabbits. Trust me, I have already seen some examples of it. You would be amazed how quick they lose their religion when it starts to cost them personally.
    If it was announced that tomorrow they would go to God in the great sceniro you would find 90% of them hiding under their beds.
    But speaking realisticaly, it will take some event or hardship to break up most the cult..so I don’t know whether to hope for that event or hope to avoid it.

    Reply

  11. Carroll says:

    You know what’s really interesting to me is fifty or less years ago a statement like Abram’s, who is not an obscure figure in goverment, would have sparked a firestorm of outrage…
    Here is what Abrams said in the Commentary….
    “Outside the land of Israel, there can be no doubt that Jews, faithful to the covenant between God and Abraham, are to stand apart from the nation in which they live. It is the very nature of being Jewish to be apart-except in Israel-from the rest of the population.”
    So here we have one of the top anti-semite accusers who publicly promotes and declares his belief in exactly what Jews have been accused of thruout the centuries. But if we point out a single Jew as a fifth column, whatever that means, we are going to..gasp!.. cause another holocaust. So we let the Abrams continue to do their damage in America.
    My favorite self hating Jew is always good at showing this idioticy:
    http://www.philipweiss.org/mondoweiss/2007/01/dual_loyalty_wh.html

    Reply

  12. Matthew says:

    Carroll: I hope you’re right. My gut tells me otherwise. Two words: John Hagee. Until he’s not invited to AIPAC conventions, how much can we expect?

    Reply

  13. Carroll says:

    Posted by Zathras at March 23, 2007 03:17 PM
    >>>>>>>>>
    I think you are behind the public curve on this. I have watched public opinion on it for some time, on the net and in real life around me, and every time your average American gets exposed to the actual facts on Pal-Isr they start viewing Palestine as more the underdog. The Lebanon bombing by Israel was the last straw for a lot of people, especially among progressive voters. And Carter’s book, at least here in the South, had a huge impact on conseratives because they now view the conflict as Israel keeping the war going to “steal Palestine land”..and the land stealing issue strikes a chord with Southern conseratives.

    Reply

  14. Matthew says:

    MP: If you think anything that has been offered to the Palestinians so far has been analgous to basically “spliting the baby,” then you must believe that King Solomon offered one quarreling mother a hand and the another the remainder of the baby and called it “even.” Ilan Pappe has shown that Zionists forcibly emptied Palestinain villages long before the creation of the PLO or Hamas. America–and the Western World–didn’t care and didn’t do anything. If the Palestinians hadn’t done anything, they would have still been mowed down like grass. My point stands.

    Reply

  15. MP says:

    Steve writes: “But one thing that I can report from my trip to Israel last year is that there are some in the Israeli government who do not want to own AIPAC’s actions and advocacy.”
    Steve, my understanding is that Rabin found AIPAC to be a major obstacle to his plans. I can’t give you chapter and verse, but I’m sure MJ Rosenberg could.

    Reply

  16. MP says:

    Mathew writes: “Zathras’s analysis is probably accurate. I would just expand it: It didn’t matter how much Palestinians suffered at the hand of the Zionists before (1) they supported the Soviet Union; (2) had “sympathy” for Saddam Hussein (who actually protected them–unlike America); and (3) engaged in the first act of suicide bombing. The only weakness of Zathras’s analysis is that he implies that had the Palestinians, who were poverty stricken and dispossessed, acted differently, America would have supported them. Baloney.
    Except that these weren’t the first acts of terrorism, either. It wasn’t until 1988 that the PLO adopted the two-state solution, which of course, is also the UN solution.
    My response: Examine the fate of Native Americans and enslaved African-Americans. Some people just get screwed. Attributing responsibility to the victim makes us feel better about ourselves. Problem is, it’s not accurate.
    Hardly analogous. The first offer to the Palestinians was: split the baby. Earlier offers were: You take most of the baby. Even now, the probable solution, if one is ever achieved, is to split the baby. How this is in any analogous to the situation of a group who were enslaved and forceably brought to another continent and used and sold as property, etc., is beyond me.
    And how this is analogous to a native population who were invaded by a foreign people who had never lived on the land, who had no extant communities from antiquity living on the land, who had no traditions connecting it to the land, and who simply slaughtered the native population, etc….is beyond me.
    There is a common-sense argument for America to be even-handed in this conflict. It would be much better for America, the world, and Israel. AIPAC impedes, or at least severely restricts, that approach and should be opposed for that reason.

    Reply

  17. DrSteveB says:

    The simple answer is that it is American Citizens (not Israeli citiziens or the Israeli government) who are AIPAC funders, backers, supporters, etc… miguided, ignorant, counerproducitve, blind, dual loyalty, etc. American citizens

    Reply

  18. Matthew says:

    Zathras’s analysis is probably accurate. I would just expand it: It didn’t matter how much Palestinians suffered at the hand of the Zionists before (1) they supported the Soviet Union; (2) had “sympathy” for Saddam Hussein (who actually protected them–unlike America); and (3) engaged in the first act of suicide bombing. The only weakness of Zathras’s analysis is that he implies that had the Palestinians, who were poverty stricken and dispossessed, acted differently, America would have supported them. Baloney.
    My response: Examine the fate of Native Americans and enslaved African-Americans. Some people just get screwed. Attributing responsibility to the victim makes us feel better about ourselves. Problem is, it’s not accurate.

    Reply

  19. Solomon2 says:

    It’s been over a decade since I’ve been to a function where both AIPAC and Israeli embassy guys showed their faces, but I can tell you that AIPAC is not (or at least wasn’t then) an arm of the Israeli government. Not even clandestinely. Too many arguments between them for this to be believed.
    It is not even a “political action committee” in the Washington sense of the term. The simple fact is that AIPAC is an independent organization of Americans who support Israel.
    That is in sharp contrast to the various lobbying groups in the D.C. area that really are registered foreign agents. (Some have even tried to claim diplomatic immunity.) I have a neighbor who works for one of the Saudis’ firms. The money must be very good because he holds the record for the highest price paid for a house in my neighborhood.

    Reply

  20. Zathras says:

    I have nothing to add to the discussion about AIPAC registration as a foreign agent, but I note that some of the posters here seem to be under the impression that exposing AIPAC’s influence, what Israel is allowed to “get away with” and so forth will somehow lead the American public to adopt the Palestinian cause.
    That is not about to happen, certainly not now and probably not ever. It wouldn’t happen if AIPAC disappeared tomorrow. You don’t acclaim someone like Yassir Arafat as your leader for 30 years and use suicide bombers as a weapon, especially against civilians, and expect the American public’s sympathy; you don’t first align with the Soviet Union, then with Saddam Hussein and finally with Islamism and expect Americans to think of you as the good guys. Even among Americans who follow foreign policy and often find Israel’s conduct exasperating, those who actually sympathize with the Palestinians and especially with the Palestinian leadership are probably a minority.
    Americans could, I think, be at length persuaded that their own country’s interests demand that the Israeli government conform to American policy, to the point of not taking steps that preclude negotiations over the West Bank’s future, rather than the other way around. It wouldn’t be easy, but I think it is possible. Getting Americans to agree that right and justice in the Middle East are on the Palestinian side isn’t. That case could be argued until its advocates’ lungs burst without getting anywhere — AIPAC or no AIPAC.

    Reply

  21. Carroll says:

    Regarding whether AIPAC acts on Israel’s instructions or Israel on AIPAC’s I think it is clear that AIPAC has been acting for the right wing in control of the Israeli goverment. But Israel is dependent on AIPAC and AIPAC is the shadow goverment for Israel in the US.
    As far as I can observe AIPAC has three main goals; to insure US money keeps flowing to Israel, to put pro Israel politicans in office so they can basically write all legistation relating to Israel and the ME, and to keep the occupation of Palestine and war of terror going until Israel wins it’s domination of the ME thru US force.
    I think the question of AIPAC is bigger than just AIPAC or CANF or other foreign lobbies. All these lobbies claim they are “American” lobbies because their members have American citizenship and they do the American-“hyphen” thing. They use the false claim that what is good for this other country is good for America and the spreading democracy mantra.
    So, what to do?…they operate winthin the system and congress controls the system and money controls congress. We will be lucky if we can defang these lobbies before something worse than what we have seen so far happens, otherwise a cleansing won’t come until America rises, if it can, from the ashes of Steve’s very apt poem of the day.
    One thing is certain, a country that devotes so much of it’s resources and goes off acting, even in part, on interest that aren’t really it’s own will not last.

    Reply

  22. Emily says:

    When has AIPAC become the “less popular” at all? LOL!
    When AIPAC tells an American politican (Republican, Democrat, Green, etc.) to jump, the terrified politico not only asks “How High”, but begs to know what else we can do for Israel’s sake!
    Make AIPAC register as a foreign agent. It is acting on behalf of Israel which is why Israeli government officials show-up at AIPAC dinners and fund American politicians to visit Israel to get their marching orders vis-a-vis Mideast policy.

    Reply

  23. yahaddasayit says:

    I thought that is a frequently addressed concern of P O’d American for the last couple of years(on a seemingly daily basis). Some people just get no respect.

    Reply

  24. Steve Clemons says:

    Thanks Marky — I read Juan Cole all the time, well…nearly all of the time. I just missed this issue and wasn’t focused on it. But thanks for referring Juan,
    Steve Clemons

    Reply

  25. Marky says:

    Steve,
    Juan Cole has written extensively about this very issue. I’m sure you could find some easily with a search, or just write him.

    Reply

  26. Matthew says:

    asdf: Are you implying that Steve Rosen is a martyr for the First Amendment now? And by the way, WaPo/NYT couldn’t get half of Congress to show up at their annual convention (assuming we had them)? When did AIPAC become the “less popular Israel Lobby”?

    Reply

  27. asdf says:

    And that just one of the controversial results this case could have.
    It could also set the precedent that it is illegal to *receive* national defense information… say by opening up your favorite newspaper if it reports on Abu Graib…
    Prosecuting those whole leak to the newspaper is one thing, prosecuting those who receive the leak at the newspaper is another… prosecuting those whose read the newspaper under the espionage act would be nuts, but is possible under the interpretation the government is using here.
    http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/2006/04/aipac_case_draws_growing_atten.html
    http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/2006/02/govt_presses_aipac_prosecution.html
    And with people like Addington this may be the whole point. Why try and create this precedent with the beloved WaPo/NyT reporters (Like say, Judith Miller… ok, bad example) when you can go for the less popular Israel lobby?

    Reply

  28. Matthew says:

    AIPAC register as a foreign agent? This news is just too good to ever happen.

    Reply

  29. charlie says:

    it’s always fun to see Pat Choate’s book.
    It would be interesting to compare Japan government spending on influence vs. Japan Inc spending, and then do the same with Israel. At the end of the day, I’d suspect that because of groups like AIPAC, Isreal Inc. spending is way lower than you would expect. Given the current bad PR that Isreal is facing, I’d suggest they start spending more. AIPAC is fine, but it is not a general sell to the American people that Isreal is a warm, cuddly country.

    Reply

  30. Shady says:

    Can anyone find a bio or name for the executive director, pres. or ceo of AIPAC on their web site? Who is working there? What are their backgrounds? The public has a right to know.

    Reply

  31. epv says:

    AIPAC should, of course, be registered as a foreign agent.
    Israel is playing the Americans for fools– and, has been doing so for a long time. It has taken an imbecile like Bush to unwittingly show, because he has sanctioned Israel’s War Crimes & Crimes Against Humanity– cheering when innocent Palestinians & Lebanese are in the process of being exterminated by the terrorists in the IDF.
    The American people are forced to give-up over $3 BILLION US taxpayer dollars per year to the Isreali War Machine for weaponry & armaments alone. Israel is the only nation in the Middle East with Nuclear Weapons– and, continually breaks U.N. resolutions (or has the U.S. veto any demand that Israel comply with basic standards of human rights) with impunity.
    No other nation on the planet would be allowed to get away with what Israel gets away with:– spying (espionage); attacks upon U.S.S. Liberty with no consequences; taxpayer dollars which are never repaid for weaponry; etc. etc. etc.
    AIPAC’s Steve Rosen got top-U.S. national security secrets from traitor Larry Franklin and passed them onto Israel… Yet, the MSM is silent upon this:– think about the hysterical howling which would have taken place, had this treasonsous espionage been committed, by let’s say, an Arab country.
    AIPAC silences critics via the use of dirty tricks- they call anybody who criticizes extreme right-wing Likud Party policies which are fascist in nature: “anti-semitic”- and, they act on behalf of Israel and against the interests of the United States of America.
    “We the People” should NOT have such entanglements as we have with Israel– it is not in our nation’s best interest. Our Founding Fathers warned us that such unhealthy relationships would lead to our downfall… And, indeed it is doing so.
    Israel wants the U.S. to wage war with Iran, just as they clamoured the war-drums (and provided false “intelligence”) for this miserable failure in Iraq. It’s not in the best interests of the American people– and, AIPAC should be treated as any lobby group from China, Japan, France, Saudi Arabia, etc.– with suspicion!

    Reply

  32. adam says:

    Steve,
    Do you think the influence that AIPAC has on our government is positive or negative?
    Also, how harmful or beneficial is our friendship with Israel to our national interest?

    Reply

  33. DonS says:

    Please tell me its a straw man. The non-registration of Israeli front groups like AIPAC, masquerading as other than they are, has been a travesty for the 40 years I’ve been aware of it.
    Its one of those spin offs of the dual loyalty question that the neos and their predecessors like to hide in plain site by using the anti smemtic boogeyman to zap those who have the temerity to question.
    “Special relationship” and all that: keep out!

    Reply

  34. pauline says:

    AIPAC Undermining America and Israel’s Best Interests
    by Randy Shaw, Mar. 21, 2007
    The current issue of J., the Jewish news weekly of Northern California, has an illuminating article on the misguided agenda of AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The article describes AIPAC’s “consensus issue” as Iran’s alleged nuclear threat, and states how Dick Cheney and others won applause by linking the Iraq war to combating the “menace that is posed by the Iranian regime.” But AIPAC members appear to have forgotten that the chief enemy of Iran was Saddam Hussein, who the U.S. overthrew to install an pro-Iranian Iraqi government. And Iran’s other chief opponent in the region was the Taliban of Afghanistan, also overthrown by the Bush Administration. With half the US Senate and more than half of the House attending AIPAC’s dinner, you would think that someone would have offered the group a recent history lesson.
    While progressives frequently criticize AIPAC, nobody has accused the group of being politically naive. But that’s the only conclusion that can be reached after many of the group’s members gave huge applause to the Bush Administration warmongers who linked the Iraq war and “surge” to the struggle to contain Iran.
    Bush’s role in eliminating Iran’s enemies is undisputed, but the media has failed to connect the Iraq war to White House claims that the Iranian “threat” is escalating. Nor have many politicians. For example, longtime Iraq war backer Hilary Clinton announced last week that American should keep troops permanently in Iraq, precisely because of this alleged threat from Iran.
    But the media may finally be catching on. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote a scathing column on March 20 describing how the Iraq war has empowered Iran. In “Iran’s Operative in the White House,” Kristof wondered if Dick Cheney is “an Iranian mole,” given how much his agenda has helped Iran.
    As Kristof puts it in describing the U.S. invasion and the pro-Iranian policies that followed, “If Iran’s ayatollahs had written the script, they couldn’t have done better—so maybe they did write the script.”
    Kristof has never been accused of being an Israel-basher. And he does not connect his analysis of how “we fought Iraq and Iran won” to AIPAC’s recent convention.
    But what in heavens has happened to Israel’s hawkish wing both at home and in the United States? Has the same intellectual debilitation that has destroyed the conservative movement in America struck hard-line, pro-war Israel backers as well?
    The United States failure in Iraq, and Israel’s acknowledged disastrous war in Lebanon, shows that on Middle Eastern strategic issues, neither AIPAC nor Joe Lieberman speak for America or Israel’s best interests.
    As Kristof puts it, “our national interests are as vulnerable to incompetence as to malicious damage.” By continuing to endorse the US war in Iraq, and America’s propping up of a pro-Iranian, anti-Israel government, AIPAC has descended to a level of strategic incompetence likely surprising to even its harshest detractors.
    http://mparent7777.blogspot.com/2007/03/aipac-undermining-america-and-israels.html

    Reply

  35. ... says:

    it is interesting when you have an organization that apparently doesn’t represent the interests of israel, or the american jews( according to many).. obviously they represent the interests of something, but perhaps that would be giving away too much, so best to keep it secret!

    Reply

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *