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AIPAC’s Gabfest: Israel Lobby Shows Off Its Power

by William Hughes Wednesday, Mar. 14, 2007 at 12:36 PM
liamhughes@comcast.net

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) was in Washington, DC, for a three-day gabfest. Leaders of both the Democratic and Republican Parties were slated to make appearances at the event held at the Washington Convention Center. The Israel First Lobbying group is known for its dominating influence over the U.S. Congress and the presidency. Outside the Center, on March 12, 2007, activists made their voices of protest heard.

       AIPAC’s Gab...
protesting_aipac.jpg, image/jpeg, 452x254

“[Israel’s Ariel] Sharon has him [President George W. Bush Jr.] wrapped around his little finger.” - Brent Scowcroft

Washington, DC - Leave it to the controversial pro-Israel Lobby, “AIPAC,” the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, to attract a crowd of very vocal protesters. On March 12, 2007, it was in its second of a three-day annual gabfest, held in this city’s Convention Center. On its web site, AIPAC bragged that 5,000 activists would show up for the event, which generally draw “half of the Senate and a third of the House” members. I’m sure that this was a conscious understatement. If it really wanted to do it, AIPAC could demand that the whole bloody U.S. Congress make an appearance. Only a handful of members would dare to decline. The demonstrators, numbering over one hundred, led by the DC Antiwar Network, (DAWN) and activists from seven other groups, lined up outside of the Center, between Mt. Vernon Place and 7th and 9th Sts. NW. They rallied for two hours from 6 PM to 8 PM. (1)

Malachy Kilbride is one of DAWN’s leaders. He said: “AIPAC has too much influence over the U.S. Congress. They are supporting the illegal occupation of Palestine and the Apartheid regime of Israel...What the Israelis are doing there is abhorrent to most Americans...We are protesting...the dehumanizing conditions that the Palestinians have to live in, in places like the Gaza Strip, where people are living in a prison.” Activists David Kirshbaum believes: “AIPAC has disproportionate, inappropriate power over the U.S. Government..It’s like they are buying democracy.” Eric Anderson said: “AIPAC is just one face of occupation, repression and ethnic cleansing...It seems to get a red carpet treatment from our government...Our representatives (citing Sen. Barbara Mikulski of MD) seem to serve AIPAC more then they serve the voters.”

According to the AIPAC’s web site, expected Congressional heavy hitters slated for the event were: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA); Majority Senate Leader, Harry Reid (D-NEV); GOP Senate honcho, Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House GOP czar, John Boehner (R-OH). Naturally, the Warmonger-in-Chief, V.P. Dick Cheney, will make an appearance. I suspect that the wily old fox has an “I Love Israel” speech embedded in his heart defibrillator. Cheney might even let the crowd know, with a blink and nod, not to worry about a Presidential pardon for his ex-gofer, that scheming Neocon and now convicted felon, “Scooter” Libby. (2)

Demonstrator Alison Weir said: “We give Israel million per day...[The American taxpayers] would be horrified to even see what is done {with that money}...in the West Bank and Gaza.” Mark Braverman told me: “As an American Jew, I’m here to protest AIPAC’s control of Congress. It is a very self-destructive course for America to be supporting Israel unconditionally.” Louis Wolf said: “I believe that AIPAC has really taken over Washington...the political process.” Carol Moore said: “Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine has to end and AIPAC is the group that makes it happen.” Doug Eyde emphasized: “I’m here to protest AIPAC...and their role in creating wars...All the major candidates serve Israel.” Jean Acton, who was at Jenin, in the Occupied West Bank, on April 3, 2002, after it was assaulted by the Israeli Occupation Forces, said: “From where we stood, you could smell the dead bodies...Israel really wants the Palestinians to leave their own country.”

For me, AIPAC’s annual convention is about humiliation. Other Special Interests, like “Big Oil and the “Gun Lobby,” wouldn’t think of doing anything in this gaudy kind of way. The Zionists, on the other hand, enjoy publicly dragging the Christian politicians here, Republicans and Democrats alike, and making them crawl, like trained puppies. It’s kind of insidious--the bowing down--the dubious confessions of fealty to the raving Likudnuts. I’m outraged by this silly AIPAC spectacle, where a clique, advocating for a foreign entity gets to show off its power over our elected representatives. It also deeply offends the “Spirit of ‘76.”

Ms. Laci Barrow is an activist with the Coalition for Justice and Accountability (CJA). She said: “I’m here tonight to show solidarity with the other protesters against AIPAC’s hijacking of our Congress.” The Rev. Philip Wheaton is an Episcopal priest from DC. He said: “Bishop Desmond Tutu went to Israel recently and he said that Apartheid in Israel was ‘worse’ then it ever was in South Africa...This is really a horrible situation...I think the tail (Israel) is wagging the dog (the U.S.).”





What I’m sure won’t be discussed at this Pro-Israel love feast was the fate of the 34 U.S. servicemen, who were maliciously slaughtered on the USS Liberty by the Israelis on July 8, 1967; the late Rachel Corrie, a peace and justice activist, who was killed by a 9 ton Israeli bulldozer, at Rafah, on March 16, 2003; Jonathan Pollard, a Zionist fink, who betrayed our most valuable military secrets to Israel; the serial lies of Libby, and how he and other Neocons, like Douglas Feith, Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz, helped to push the U.S. into the illegal and immoral Iraqi War, and now want the U.S.--Perle in particular--to attack Iran and the bizarre case of those “Five Dancing Israelis” on 9/11 (3). And, don’t hold your breath waiting for a conscience-stricken Zionist Cartel to pay back to the American taxpayers, with interest, the 0 billion-plus, it has extracted from our national treasury since 1967. Trust me! None of the above issues will be on AIPAC’s Israel-First agenda. (4)

Meanwhile, the year 2006 was another hell on earth for the Palestinians trapped in Occupied Gaza and the West Bank. (5) You wouldn’t know it, however, by asking Israel’s hawkish Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert. He pompously barked: “Nobody dies from being uncomfortable.” This is the same Far Right Extremist who had no scruples about dropping over one million cluster bombs on Lebanon, in the summer of last year. Both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have charged Israel with “War Crimes” as a result of its outrageous conduct in Gaza and Lebanon. (6) In addition, a gutsy Professor, William Fletcher, who praised ex-President Jimmy Carter’s book, “Palestine Peace Not Apartheid,” warned: “Israel is a rabid state,” which is “capable of a maniacal act, like “unleashing a nuclear weapon.” (7) On top of all that, in a recent raid on the town of Nablus, the Israeli Occupation Forces were accused of using a Palestinian youth as a “human shield.” (8)

Keep in mind, that Zionist Israel, via its powerful Lobby, sucks three to four billions of dollars in aid (freebees) out of the treasury each year, thanks to a mostly shameless and cowardly U.S. Congress. (9) According to “Mother Jones” magazine, (Nov/Dec, 2006 issue), we also now know the names of some of the U.S. arms manufactures, who have been making hundreds of millions of dollars in profits by selling WMD to the Israelis. They are: Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, United Technologies, Boeing, Textron and General Dynamics. Also, the study by Professors Stephen M. Walt and John J. Mearsheimer detailed the “harmful effects” the Israel Lobby has had on our “national interest.” (10)

Ms. Athena Viscusi, an activist, was carrying a poster displaying a picture of Rachel Corrie at the rally. She said: “I’m just another taxpaying mom who doesn’t want her taxes going to buy equipment, like the one..the bulldozer...that killed...Corrie.” David Barrows said: “AIPAC is serving the illusion of empire...If you are violent with your neighbors [like Israel has been] you will never be safe.” Brian Hennessey said: “I’m here to take back our Congress...AIPAC is fundamentally for Israel...We just aren’t in charge of our foreign policy anymore.” Ross Pourzal stated: “I’m protesting because AIPAC is draining money from the U.S. treasury and from taxpayers like me to finance occupation and brutality in the Middle East; and particularly, because AIPAC is promoting war with Iran.” Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss is a spokesman for the Neturei Karta International, “Jews United Against Zionism.” He said: “AIPAC stands for a rebellion against God...What they are doing is against the Torah...AIPAC should be stopped...And the state of Israel should be...peacefully dismantled.”

Finally: Thomas Jefferson warned: “No people can be both ignorant and free.” Americans must wake up and choose between restoring the Republic or letting these ego-tripping AIPACers continue to push us around. I say: Down with AIPAC! Long Live the Republic!

Notes:

http://www.wrmea.com/archives/May-June_2006/0605031.html

1. http://www.dawndc.net/

2. http://www.dailyscare.com/1093/scripted_libby_trial_ends_on_cue_what_can_happen_next

3. http://www.counterpunch.org/ketcham03072007.html

4. http://usa.mediamonitors.net/content/view/full/32357

5. http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/cgi-bin/blogs/voices.php/2007/01/04/will_jimmy_carter_s_book_liberate_the_pa

6. http://baltimore.indymedia.org/newswire/display/13767/index.php

7. http://baltimore.indymedia.org/newswire/display/14183/index.php and http://www.blacklistednews.com/view.asp?ID=909

8. http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/834937.html

9. http://www.wrmea.com/

10. http://ksgnotes1.harvard.edu/Research/wpaper.nsf/rwp/RWP06-011/%24File/rwp_06_011_walt.pdf See, also http://www.wrmea.com/archives/May-June_2006/0605031.html

© William Hughes 2007.

William Hughes is the author of “Saying ‘No’ to the War Party” (IUniverse, Inc.). He can be reached at liamhughes@comcast.net.

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