On Wednesday, the day after Barack Obama secured enough delegates to become the presumptive nominee for President of the United States, both he and his vanquished opponent, Hillary Clinton, spoke at a conference hosted by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
The organization bills itself as "America's Pro-Israel Lobby," and "A Voice for the U.S.-Israel Relationship." It claims to be a "100,000-member national grassroots movement" that has "worked to help make Israel more secure by ensuring that American support remains strong."
Nancy Pelosi, John (hic) Boehner, Junior Bush, Condi Rice, et alia) yucking it up with AIPAC mucky-mucks.
I'm puzzled. This is, ostensibly, an American organization and one would think that AIPAC would advocate positions that further American interests. But, just breezing through the web site, one detects a pronounced Israel-first bent.
For example,in the About AIPAC section of the web site, a list of AIPAC Achievements brags about how AIPAC secured $2.42 billion dollars in "military aid and refugee assistance" for Israel, "[s]trongly urging the [Bush] administration to take its decision to designate Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist group," "[p]rohibiting U.S. aid and contacts with the Hamas-led P[alestinian] A[uthority]." In short, AIPAC seems to write US policy toward Israel and Palestine.
There is no deference toward American interests; judging from the web site, AIPAC is completely unapologetic in its assertion that Israeli interests are paramount and non-negotiable. I find it incredibly offensive.
And, apparently, I'm not the only one. AIPAC is surrounded by controversy. In 2006, a report written by John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt for the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, argued:
"The overall thrust of US policy in the region is due almost entirely to US domestic politics, and especially to the activities of the 'Israel Lobby...no lobby has managed to divert US foreign policy as far from what the American national interest would otherwise suggest, while simultaneously convincing Americans that US and Israeli interests are essentially identical."plight of the Palestinians, who have, for 60 years, been systematically humiliated and abused, goes on unrestrained.
This enigmatic, blind and total support for Israel by the highest officials of both major parties, and by every American president since Harry Truman is outrageous. Barack Obama and John McCain have both already kow-towed.
I don't understand it. I resent it.