Finally, Somebody Dares to Hit Back at AIPAC

About a month ago ads began appearing on Facebook against three U.S. Democratic congresswomen: Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Betty McCollum. Alongside their photos a petition appeared claiming that “radicals in Congress are threatening the U.S.-Israel relationship,” and that this threat was “more sinister” than that of Hamas, Hezbollah and ISIS.

Tlaib and Omar are Muslims and so it’s clear why from a racist perspective they are “radical” by their very essence. McCollum was on the list of existential threats because of a bill she proposed seeking to prohibit countries that receive American aid from using it to arrest children. The bill was proposed in light of the extent of interrogations and arrests of Palestinian minors by Israel, sometimes using violence and threats.

– Haaretz Weekly Ep. 65

Israel’s ready for corona – but not for women in powerHaaretz Weekly Ep. 65

One might assume that ads in which American legislators are depicted as ISIS would have been placed by the Republican Party. But no, the ads were posted by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the American Jewish lobby group that purports to be apolitical. It’s hard to imagine a more apolitical issue than opposition to the abuse of children. But apparently, to AIPAC, if the children are Palestinian, each of their little bodies is a potential terror cell and their legal and moral rights disappear.

The ads were removed following a public outcry, but they show the true face of AIPAC, which spends tens of millions of dollars a year on promoting clearly right-wing policies. AIPAC supported the U.S. invasion of Iraq, opposed the nuclear agreement with Iran, worked enthusiastically against the ban of products from the settlements, among other things. Like the right wing in Israel, AIPAC uses baseless claims of anti-Semitism to repel criticism of the occupation and the settlements, while it is happy to ignore open anti-Semitism when it comes from the Christian right wing.

This is an apolitical agenda the way Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s agenda is apolitical, and about as good for Israel as he is.

And so Senator Bernie Sanders’ announcement that he would not appear at this year’s AIPAC conference because the organization provides a platform “for leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights, was entirely justified. Moreover, it is precisely the kick that politicians on the American left needed to help smash the false veneer surrounding the gloating AIPAC organization.

Every election year, candidates – both Republican and Democrat – come to the AIPAC convention to garner its leaders’ support. They would rather not get on the wrong side of an organization that is prepared to invest millions against its adversaries and in favor of its friends, and AIPAC wins legitimization for its dangerous position and its false image as apolitical.