portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reposts global

government | imperialism & war

The First Rule Of AIPAC Is: You Do Not Talk About AIPAC

Washington's political establishment went berserk when US Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) publicly noted that US-Israel relations are "all about the Benjamins" slang for $100 bills, referring to money shoveled at American politicians by the American Israel Public Affairs Group (AIPAC).

Omar was accused of antisemitism immediately by Republicans, shortly after by members of her own party and bullied into apologizing. She may or may not be prejudiced against Jews, but even if she is, that wasn't her real offense.

Her real offense was publicly mentioning the irrefutable fact that many members of Congress take their marching orders from a foreign power's lobbying apparatus (an apparatus not, as required by law, registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act), at least partly because those marching orders come with promises of significant donations to those politicians' campaigns.

AIPAC itself doesn't make direct donations to political campaigns. But AIPAC and other pro-Israel lobbying groups like Christians United For Israel punch well above their weight in American politics, largely by motivating their supporters to financially support and work for "pro-Israel" candidates in general elections and help weed out "anti-Israel" candidates in party primaries.

By the way, "pro-Israel" in this context always means "supportive of the jingoism of Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party," and never "supportive of the many Israelis who'd like peace with the Palestinian Arabs."
 link to www.counterpunch.org

February 18, 2019

The First Rule of AIPAC Is: You Do Not Talk about AIPAC

by Thomas Knapp

Washington's political establishment went berserk when US Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) publicly noted that US-Israel relations are "all about the Benjamins" slang for $100 bills, referring to money shoveled at American politicians by the American Israel Public Affairs Group (AIPAC).

Omar was accused of antisemitism immediately by Republicans, shortly after by members of her own party and bullied into apologizing. She may or may not be prejudiced against Jews, but even if she is, that wasn't her real offense.

Her real offense was publicly mentioning the irrefutable fact that many members of Congress take their marching orders from a foreign power's lobbying apparatus (an apparatus not, as required by law, registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act), at least partly because those marching orders come with promises of significant donations to those politicians' campaigns.

AIPAC itself doesn't make direct donations to political campaigns. But AIPAC and other pro-Israel lobbying groups like Christians United For Israel punch well above their weight in American politics, largely by motivating their supporters to financially support and work for "pro-Israel" candidates in general elections and help weed out "anti-Israel" candidates in party primaries.

By the way, "pro-Israel" in this context always means "supportive of the jingoism of Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party," and never "supportive of the many Israelis who'd like peace with the Palestinian Arabs."

One AIPAC supporter alone, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, spent $65 million getting Republicans elected, including $25 million supporting Donald Trump, in 2016. But that $25 million was only put into action after Trump retreated from his early position of "neutrality" in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, publicly prostrated himself to AIPAC in a speech at one of its events, and pronounced himself "the most pro-Israel presidential candidate in history."

But: We're not supposed to talk about that. Ever. And it's easy to see why.

If most Americans noticed that many members of Congress (as well as most presidents) are selling their influence over US policy to a foreign power, we might do something about it.

For decades, howling "antisemitism" any time the matter came up proved an effective tactic for shutting down public discussion of the "special relationship" under which Israel receives lavish foreign aid subsidies, effective control of US foreign policy in the Middle East, and lately even state (and pending federal) legislation requiring government contractors to sign loyalty oaths to Israel's government.

The Israeli lobby's power to prevent that discussion seems to be slipping, however. Why? In part because the lobby's money and political support, which used to be spent buying both sides of the partisan aisle, has begun tilting heavily Republican in recent years, freeing some Democrats to not "stay bought." And in part because the newest generation of politicians includes some like Ilhan Omar who aren't for sale (to Israel, anyway).

Decades of unquestioning obedience to the Israel lobby has drawn the US into needless and costly conflicts not even remotely related to the defense of the United States. We'll be better off when the "special relationship," and the corruption underlying it, ends.

homepage: homepage: http://www.counterpunch.org/2019/02/18/the-first-rule-of-aipac-is-you-do-not-talk-about-aipac/
address: address: CounterPunch


The Israel Lobby In The U.S. Investigative Documentary 18.Feb.2019 21:37

See Also

Episode 1 of 4 The Covert War  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CNspeQYplk
Episode 2 of 4 Managing Elites  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0n_Dke18Co
Episode 3 of 4 The Witch Hunt  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4gh2IRjKwU
Episode 4 of 4 Marketing Occupation  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtcNfD6SwC4


Censored Al Jazeera documentary exposing the Israel lobby in the United States. The documentary was never broadcast by Al Jazeera due to pressure from some Jewish groups and individuals. It was eventually leaked to a few groups, which posted some short clips. On November 2nd 2018 the first two parts finally became available to the public. Then, on November 6th, parts 3 and 4 were finally released.

Undercover reporter Tony Kleinfeld obtained exclusive interviews with persons in the organizations and groups that put forth a pro-Israel message (in U.S. federal and state governments, on college campuses and via mass media), conduct surveillance and intimidation, and obtain financial and political support for the government of Israel from American citizens and politicians.


What Did Ilhan Omar Say? 18.Feb.2019 21:38

Paul Street from_a_longer_article_entitled :

Aunt Mary would have been sickened to see the Democratic Party establishment join the white-nationalist Republicans in absurdly accusing the new Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of racist anti-Semitism for having the audacity to note the obvious fact that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) purchases influence and votes in Congress.

"What did she say?" Mary would ask me. I'd go to my "smart phone" and pull up the two supposedly "racist" Omar Tweets, together accounting for seven words: "AIPAC!" and "It's all about the Benjamins, baby."

"That's it?" Mary would ask, incredulous. "She was called a racist Jew-hater for that? The Democrats joined in the charge? What's wrong with those assholes?"

It's a good question. "What makes this whole row over Omar's remarks so utterly bizarre," writes Mehdi Hasan at The Intercept:

"is that so many leading Democrats, loudly and rightly, decry the pernicious and undeniable impact of special interests, lobbyists, and donations on a whole host of issues from the role of Big Pharma and Big Finance; to influence-peddling by Saudi Arabia; to the 'grip' that the NRA has on the debate over gun control, to quote Democratic senator Richard Blumenthal. But any mention of AIPAC and lobbying in favor of Israel? 'Anti-Semitism!'"

The Nation has published a reflection from Ady Barkan, a self-described Jewish Israeli citizen and Washington lobbyist who writes the following: "I speak from personal experience when I say that AIPAC is tremendously effective, and the lubricant that makes its operation hum is dollar, dollar bills."

The "ugly truth," Barkan adds, "is that the Israel lobby, like other powerful lobbies led by Jew and gentile alike, wields its money strategically and effectively. Outrage should be directed not at those who point this out (most often Muslims and people of color) but at the suffering of the Palestinian people and the simultaneous dependence of the Republican Party on genuine anti-Semites."