To: Robert V. Keeley
* * * * *
"Look What You've Done!"
AIPAC Congratulates Itself on the Slaughter in Lebanon
By JOHN WALSH
16 August 2006
"My fellow American," Howard Friedman, President of AIPAC,
begins his letter of July 30 to friends and supporters of
AIPAC, "Look what you've done"! After warning that "Israel
is fighting a pivotal war for its life," by which he means
Israel's wanton slaughter and all-out destruction in
Lebanon, Freiedman condemns "the expected chorus of
international condemnation of Israel's actions" and
Europe's call for "a cease-fire immediately." Then he
exults: "only ONE nation in the world came out and flatly
declared: Let Israel finish the job. . That nation is the
United States of America--and the reason it had such a
clear, unambiguous view of the situation is YOU and the
rest of America Jewry." (All emphases in the original here
and below.) Here I must take issue with President Friedman
since I bet that most Jewish Americans, in contrast to the
AIPAC crowd, were horrified by the slaughter in Lebanon.
In fact if anyone other than President Friedman wrote
this, he would be accused of fabricating a Jewish plot and
labeled a nutty conspiracy theorist and scurrilous
"How do we do it"? President Friedman asks a little
further on. The answer is "decades of long hard work which
never ends." Not only is it hard work--but it's eternal.
However, President Friedman is not content with
generalities and gives us some of AIPAC's trade secrets.
Here are two notables:
"AIPAC meets with every candidate running for Congress.
These candidates receive in-depth briefings to help them
completely understand the complexities of Israel's
predicament and that of the Middle East as a whole. We
even ask each candidate to author a 'position paper' on
their views of the U.S.-Israel relationship--so it's clear
where they stand on the subject." (Would it not be great
to see these "position papers"? I wonder how many
candidates would release them? And what do the candidates
get for all this effort? A pat on the back?)
"Members of Congress, staffers and administration
officials have come to rely on AIPACs memos. They are VERY
busy people and they know that they can count on AIPAC for
clear-eyed analysis.. We present this information in
concise form to elected officials. The information and
analyses are impeccable--after all our reputation is at
stake. This results in policy and legislation that make up
Israel's lifeline." (Another way to read this is that the
pea-brained hillbillies who make up most of the Congress
can be led by the nose if the memos are simple enough.
Testimony to this fact enters my mailbox, as I write, in
the form of a must-read interview with Noam Chomsky, which
details just how distorted the discussion of Israel and
the war on Lebanon has become in the U.S.)
President Friedman's letter continues with more
headliners: "Unfortunately, our work has just begun"!
"Hizballah must be defeated." And finally, "The war is a
diversion"!!!! This last section argues that the war in
Lebanon is a "distraction," to "divert attention away from
Iran's nuclear weapons program"! (In case you haven't
noticed President Friedman loves exclamation points, which
leads one to wonder whether a good dose of lithium might
not be in order.) But this "analysis' is hopelessly
confused since Israel started the war on Lebanon using a
minor border skirmish as an excuse - as Chomsky points out
in the interview alluded to above. It leaves one wondering
about AIPAC's analyses. Are they "clear-eyed" as Friedman
claims, or wild-eyed?
President Friedman closes with the exhortation: "Now is
the time for us, American Jews, to stand up and tell our
elected officials that they must demand Iran halt its
pursuit of atomic arms." In other words, next stop Iran if
AIPAC can swing it. And in that lies a great danger. The
Bush administration is losing ever more of its base and
only the neocon establishment and AIPAC remain securely in
its camp. (Even some of the born-agains are deserting.)
With the November elections coming, Rove and Bush
desperately need AIPAC support, and so they may be even
more susceptible than usual to its demands for going after
Iran. Indeed this is a dangerous time.
John Walsh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org_.
He thanks President Friedman for much of the material in
this article, which is taken directly from his latest
fundraising letter to AIPAC supporters and members.