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Congressional Democrats Need To Break The Toxic Bonds With AIPAC Immediately



A few days ago, I was writing about a corrupt senator who might be forced out of office and speculating on people who might run for the seat. I didn’t say a single negative word about him, unless noting that he’s very wealthy (without comment) is considered negative. But he called a friend of a friend and cursed me out for being a “self loathing Jew.” I figured I must have said he’s an AIPAC guy but I just went back and looked at the post and, although he is an AIPAC guy, I didn’t mention that. It really wasn’t a post about him; it was about the corrupt non-Jewish senator. Since every single person in the post is an AIPAC person, I didn’t even bring up AIPAC at all. So I’m not sure why he thinks I’m a self-loathing Jew. I have some problems by being self-loathing— Jewish or otherwise— isn’t one of them.


On the other hand, I absolutely do loathe AIPAC. Jeremy Ben-Ami is the president of J-Street, a pro-Israel advocacy group, that isn’t pro-fascist, pro-Likud or pro-Netanyahu. A couple of weeks ago he wrote a long Twitter thread:


“Last week AIPAC circulated a mail piece dedicated to one of the ‘gravest threats’ they’re confronting. Not Netanyahu’s judicial coup. Not escalating terror & violence. Not even Iran’s nuclear program. The grave threat? Us. J Street. How did we get here?


“Sadly, over time, AIPAC has embraced an increasingly distorted vision of what it means to be ‘pro-Israel’— one more aligned with the goals of the Netanyahu government and the American right than with the Jewish, democratic values of most Jewish Americans (+ Israelis themselves). My personal love for Israel is grounded in family. My dad fought for Israel’s independence. My grandparents helped build Tel Aviv. I want to see Israel as a thriving, safe, democratic homeland living up to the values of its Declaration of Independence: Justice, Equality, Peace.


“Yet AIPAC says it's ‘outrageous’ and ‘false’ for folks like me to consider ourselves ‘pro-Israel.’ There's no room for genuine concern over eroding democracy, endless settlements, racist rhetoric and the growing toll of maintaining a permanent, unjust, undemocratic occupation. Their right-wing version of ‘pro-Israel’ has nothing constructive to say about the genuine concerns of so many pro-Israel Americans at this moment. Nothing to say about the mass movement of Israelis warning that democracy is slipping from their grasp, desperate for US support. So all AIPAC has left is scaremongering, division and lies. They sent a full four pages of it about us. It’s a strategy ripped from the playbook of the hard right, Fox News and Trump World (just ask the former digital director of Trump’s RNC, who AIPAC hired).


“Just as AIPAC has endorsed extremist leaders like Ted Cruz and Jim Jordan—and over 100 members of Congress who voted to overturn the 2020 presidential election— so too are they embracing their political tactics. For the record: J Street supports security assistance to Israel, backs Iron Dome, opposes the Global BDS Movement and welcomes Israel’s growing acceptance in the region (read our full endorsement criteria here.)


“We also think the US government must do more to support Israel's pro-democracy movement, deter settler violence, stop settlement growth, uphold international law and end the occupation. Both Israelis and Palestinians deserve lasting peace, self-determination and freedom. That view now represents the center of the Democratic Party. Our endorsees makeup over 50% of all Democrats in the House and Senate, as well as President Biden himself.


“AIPAC may try to write this position off as ‘fringe’— but none of our endorsees have tried to overturn an election, strip away women’s reproductive rights, nor embraced white nationalist rhetoric. At J Street, our Jewish, democratic values come first. AIPAC closed their fundraising letter by saying, ‘J Street and AIPAC represent diametrically opposed visions for the US-Israeli friendship.’ On that, at least, we agree. We stand unapologetically with the pro-democracy protesters who have been in the streets of Israel for months now, standing up for the kind of liberal democracy they want their country to be. We stand with Israeli peace, justice and coexistence groups working for a better future. That AIPAC has nothing to say about the pro-democracy cause and the genuine concerns of so many Jewish Americans— and would prefer to spend their millions attacking J Street— truly says a lot more about them than about us.”


I see AIPAC as a enemy of American (and, for what it’s worth, Israeli) democracy and I think the U.S., Israel and the world would be better off it AIPAC— and the reactionary billionaires who fund it— ceased to exist this afternoon). I can relate to J Street and recognize they’re trying to do some good things, but I’m not involved with them and don’t endorse them. I believe that Israelis and Palestinians are equally deserving human beings. When I visited Israel and the West Bank, I found myself liking the Palestinians I met far more than the Israelis I met, for whatever that’s worth.


On Friday, Chris McGreal, reporting for The Guardian from NYC, wrote about the feud between AIPAC and J Street. “The vitriolic dispute,” he wrote, “reflects a deepening divide among American Jews about what it is to be pro-Israel. But it also comes as AIPAC’s once-unchallenged influence in Washington has been diminished by its unwavering backing for Netanyahu over the past decade or more, including siding with the Israeli leader against President Barack Obama, and by growing support for the Palestinian cause within the Democratic party as Israel further entrenches its occupation. AIPAC’s standing was also damaged when, for the first time in its history, it broke with its claim to be bipartisan last year and began directly funding political campaigns against critics of Israeli government policies. It was accused of being ‘morally bankrupt’ for endorsing Republican members of Congress who tried to block President Biden’s presidential election victory.”


Many corporate and more conservative Democratic Party congressional leaders— led by Hakeem Jeffries— are unabashedly pro-AIPAC and have worked with AIPAC and right-wing offshoot DMFI against progressives. Jeffries should not be allowed to ascend totes speakers chair next year if he continues kowtowing to AIPAC


The liberal Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz two weeks ago described AIPAC as “the pro-Netanyahu, anti-Israel lobby” and accused the group of flying in 24 Democratic members of Congress “so that Netanyahu could mollify them with lies.”
“Effectively, the organization has become an operational wing of Netanyahu’s far-right government, one that peddles a false image of a liberal Israel in the United States and sells illusions to members of Congress,” it said.
The leaders of Israel’s pro-democracy movement, which has led months of mass protests against the government’s moves to weaken the power of the judiciary, accused AIPAC of blocking the visiting Democratic members of Congress from meeting the protesters.
“It is about time AIPAC realizes that there are no longer any buyers for the fake picture of Israel it’s trying to sell,” said the authors, who included the former deputy head of Israel’s national security council and former officials in the prime minister’s office.
“AIPAC is trying to offer an alternative reality and is effectively turning from a pro-Israel organization to one that promotes the anti-democratic overhaul and the de facto annexation of the West Bank, led by Netanyahu and aided by the most extreme, racist and violent elements of the Israeli far right.”

Last cycle, AIPAC and DMFI— often with the conivance of Jeffries, Josh Gottheimer (Blue Dog-NJ) and Sam Bankman-Fried helped defeat progressive Democrats Donna Edwards (MD), Marie Newman (IL), Andy Levin (MI), Nina Turner (OH), Daniel Lee (CA), Erica Smith (NC), Cristina Garcia (CA), Jessica Cisneros (TX), Nida Allam, Kirsten Engel (AZ), and Amy Vilela (NV). Their m.o. is going into blue districts with immense sums of Republican money and spending it to support Republican-lite candidates like Henry Cisneros (TX), Don Davis (NC), Steven Irwin (PA), Shontel Brown (OH), etc.

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3 Comments


Guest
Sep 03, 2023

Again, CALLING FOR the party to do... something... but refusing to mention that you voters must be the force that makes them do... whatever it is.


Suggesting that it would be a good idea isn't enough. YOU must make it happen... by UNelecting all who refuse to do... whatever it is.


And, since NONE of the party will ever do... whatever it is, it is up to YOU to flush the lot of them and coalesce a new movement.


By refusing to do THAT... you guarantee that... whatever it is... will NEVER be done. By refusing to do THAT, you make it clear that you really don't give a flying fuck about... whatever it is.


So... either quit bitching about...…

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Guest
Sep 03, 2023

FWIW, it isn't just AIPAC washing nazi money to "grayson" less shitty democrap candidates.

It's the DxCCs and the DNC and the party and the party oligarchy and all the money that owns them all.


That does not subtract from this able condemnation of AIPAC and the parallels drawn between our own nazi party, our own governmental corruption, disfunction and growing authoritarianism... and the burgeoning nazified israeli government under fuhrer bibi.

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AIPAC, a laundromat for republican money


https://www.jta.org/2022/08/24/politics/robert-kraft-makes-1m-donation-to-aipacs-super-pac-while-george-soros-pours-1m-into-j-streets and a vehicle for netanyahoo and his cronies.


Omar's got it right


https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/aipac-omar-israel-congress-anti-semitism/

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