Oakland, Ca. (Special to Informed Comment) – The American-Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) zealous financial backing of many of the 137 House Reps and Senators who voted to overturn the 2020 Election is a bad sign for American democracy. In a better ordered world, these members of Congress would all be expelled for sedition. While AIPAC endorsed the likes of Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz, they withheld support for Liz Cheney, who has been one of Israel’s greatest advocates in the Senate. So it rings hollow when they argue that their choice to endorse American politicians is solely driven by who proves to be most vocal in defending and protecting Israel’s interest. They have a different agenda now, forged by the Trump-Netanyahu bromance. As the US and Israel have moved closer to being plutocracies, AIPAC’s actual agenda is now to support both Israel and the billionaires in tandem, and to fight progressive politics even where it has little connection to Israel. That is why they have come under attack from Jewish progressives like Sen. Bernie Sanders.
How did AIPAC become so deeply invested in their alliances with the far-far right wing fringes of American politics? In part, like the Republican Party, they want to keep the world safe (and tax-free) for the rich supporters of the status quo. It also comes back around to the destructive myth they’ve perpetuated that Republicans have greater devotion to Israel than do Democrats. In my view, Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama were the best friends Israel ever had in America. That is because friends don’t let friends commit political and economic suicide, as the Israeli Right wing seems intent on doing with its dedication to incorporating 5 million Palestinians into Israeli rule while insisting on being a Jewish state
AIPAC’s mission statement sounds noble, but it’s another instance of practice deviating madly from theory. They claim:
- “AIPAC brings together pro-Israel Americans — Democrats and Republicans alike — of different races, religions and backgrounds, to pursue a shared mission: strengthening and expanding the U.S.-Israel relationship.
We are proud to be a diverse movement of passionate pro-Israel Americans. We advocate for policies that advance the vital U.S.-Israel relationship by building relationships with elected leaders on both sides of the aisle. At a time when politics is divisive, our movement stands united.
“For decades, we have built the pro-Israel movement and our political organizing arm in Washington on the premise that everyone can and should be a friend of Israel, because a strong US-Israel relationship benefits both countries,” they wrote. “We make no apologies for this position. There are many important issues on which Americans disagree – but Israel should not be one of them.”
Based on recent developments, their façade of bi-partisanship has long worn thin. Now their mission is to vote out any progressive Democrats who might question Israeli policy, even if it means supporting anti-Democratic forces in America. Last March, AIPAC issued a statement defending their dirty endorsements, essentially saying they’ll accept support for anyone who offers unqualified support of Israel, apparently even if they have conspired to overthrow the U.S. Government.
Now Israel’s premier lobby in the U.S. has dispensed with any sense of bi-partisanship by endorsing such deplorables as Jim Jordan, among others who voted to end “the Republic for which it stands,” They destroyed their mythical model last December by creating two new PACS with the freedom to contribute money directly to American campaigns. Prior to that, AIPAC had avoided direct involvement in U.S. politics for its previous 70 years.
They proudly say, “We have friends in Congress who have few, if any, Jewish constituents in their districts.” Well, duh . . . as if Israel hasn’t shifted their marketing and tourism focus away from progressive American Jews in favor of American Evangelicals. The fundamentalist Christians love Israel for their scripted role in their anxiously awaited Apocalypse, and see that as a path for eliminating the Jews, although at the heady level of eschatology. AIPAC turns a blind eye to this theological antisemitism. And they don’t mind supporting anti-abortion candidates, despite the conflict of that position with Halacha.
The symbiotic brotherhood of Trump and the Israeli far right has been destructive for both nations, as well as the Palestinians, who were all but marginalized out of existence by Prince Jared’s Abraham Accords. Now the premier Israel lobby in the U.S. has entered the fray with no pretensions about upholding democracy.