News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: The pro-Israel Stranglehold on the US Government

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The pro-Israel Stranglehold on the US Government

Via Helena Cobban's blog, Just World News, comes this analysis of the role that the pro-Israel lobbysist play in determining Mideast foreign policy. ...

Is it okay to kill innocent Palestinian men women and children and not have the MSM report one instance of it? Be that as it may, I imagine that Israel wouldn't even have this problem if they'd given the 500,000 or so Palestinians who lived in what is now called Israel had been given either 1) land of their own or 2) a share in the government founded by Israel and its European/American backers.

To tell you the truth, however, all this talk does is to make it appear as though Israel is so important that every other consideration needs to be taken off the table. I suggest that the brunt of the Mearsheimer/Walt paper is that the US should simply treat Israel's problems the same way it does every other foreign nation.

This might mean 1) not covering Israel's ass every time a reprimand is made against it by the UN, 2) asking Israel to come clean about its nuclear program, 3) identifying how many US taxpayer dollars support that nuclear arsenal, and 4) getting Israel to abide by international law and return to pre-1960s borders, among some other things.

Cobban quotes Mearsheimer and Walt:

AIPAC’s influence on Capitol Hill goes even further. According to Douglas Bloomfield, a former AIPAC staff member, ‘it is common for members of Congress and their staffs to turn to AIPAC first when they need information, before calling the Library of Congress, the Congressional Research Service, committee staff or administration experts.’ More important, he notes that AIPAC is ‘often called on to draft speeches, work on legislation, advise on tactics, perform research, collect co-sponsors and marshal votes’.

The bottom line is that AIPAC, a de facto agent for a foreign government, has a stranglehold on Congress, with the result that US policy towards Israel is not debated there, even though that policy has important consequences for the entire world. In other words, one of the three main branches of the government is firmly committed to supporting Israel. As one former Democratic senator, Ernest Hollings, noted on leaving office, ‘you can’t have an Israeli policy other than what AIPAC gives you around here.’ Or as Ariel Sharon once told an American audience, ‘when people ask me how they can help Israel, I tell them: “Help AIPAC.”’
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