As a secular Jew, I don’t do much praying. But this week, as the powerful pro-Israeli government lobby AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee) holds its annual policy meeting in Washington DC, I’m praying that this year marks the beginning of the end of the lobby’s grip on US foreign policy.
Medea Benjamin's points are well-taken; however, with respect to the last 2 clauses, the AID that Israel receives is mostly quid pro quo to U.S. armament firms. The Military Industrial Complex runs the foreign affairs show, and if it didn't manufacture a steady stream of enemies (the way today's corrupted Criminal Justice System criminalizes minor offenses in order to keep For-Profit prisons full) and wars to go with them, it could not "turn over" inventory.
The weapons sales are part of a sophisticated quid pro quo that keeps Militarism at the forefront of too many nations. Yes, Israel is guilty of that sin; but there's more than Israel at play here. And the key figures happen to be war profiteers. This factor doesn't alter the other items mentioned on this comprehensive and damning list.
Many thanks to Medea for this list and her courage in criticizing Israel from the perspective of an American Jew. I also admire her willingness to put her safety on the line for her beliefs. I have nothing but respect for Benjamin.
The only thing that I would add to this article is a note of appreciation for the work of Mearsheimer and Walt. They have made many of the same points and have risked their professional careers to do so.
Others may wish to add more names that should be recognized.
While this article give us a nicely concise listing of AIPAC's sins, the last paragraph shows that Benjamin has bought into the political theater of this "rift" between Obama and what's-his-name. She should know better.
"AIPAC's success is due to its ability to reward legislators and congressional candidates who support its agenda, and to punish those who challenge it. ... AIPAC makes sure that its friends get strong financial support from the myriad pro-Israel PACs. Those seen as hostile to Israel, on the other hand, can be sure that AIPAC will direct campaign contributions to their political opponents. ... The bottom line is that AIPAC, which is a de facto agent for a foreign government, has a stranglehold on the U.S. Congress. Open debate about U.S. policy towards Israel does not occur there, even though that policy has important consequences for the entire world." (Mearshimer and Walt)
AIPAC support is worth on average, $200,000 per candidate running for state or federal offices as long as they (the candidates) are cooperative. If the candidates are not compliant or cooperative, the money that is then used against them is doubled ($400,000). The AIPAC "score" is monitored closely by all running for public office.
Talk about buying influence and exerting control...AIPAC has a corner on the lobby market, to be sure. Sad to say.
And even worse, it's our money that AIPAC is using.
If Medea Benjamin and Ray McGovern had a love child, I think I'd have hope for the future. As it is, I'm glad heroes like them rise up when they're needed.
Israel's bombings of Gaza (2009, 2012, 2014) were all under the leadership of Mr. Netanyahu. AIPAC has an influence on US policy out of all proportion to the number of Americans who support its policies. When a small group like this has disproportionate power, it hurts everyone—including Israelis and American Jews. We should insist that members of Congress renounce their dual citizenships. We USAns MUST do something to avoid the frequently violent behavior of Israeli-trained local police. Their escalation of simple law enforcement to use of deadly force is beyond endurable in a free and democratic society. We plain folks have a right to avoid having our faces shoved into the cement, our arms twisted, our kidneys kneed, our necks broken, our bodies being Tased or being shot with a Glock. LEOs must not be judge, jury and executioners. Even SWAT teams breaking and entering our homes (frequently the wrong homes) using Gestapo tactics is abhorrent. Neither Benjamin Netanyahu nor Hermann Göring has rights in the United States of America.
Thanks Medea for writing and researching this information. I've always suspected AIPAC has helped to foster a very unhealthy relationship between the U.S. and the state of Israel, but am grateful to know the details.
No one can be elected to congress without AIPAC's approval. In effect, AIPAC decides U.S. foreign policy. Zionists own NYT, Wash Post, ABC,CBS, Hollywood etc. American news is filtered through a zionist prism.So enjoy!