AIPAC
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Washington's siddende polititiske elite gik amok da det amerikanske kongressmedlem Ilhan Omar (D-MN) offenligt bemærkede at amerikansk-israelske forhold "drejer sig omkring the Benjamins" - som er slang for $100 sedlerne, refererende til penge som er skovlet til de amerikanske politikere af American Israel Public Affairs Group (AIPAC).

Omar blev med det samme beskyldt for antisemitisme - af Republikanerne, og kort tid derefter af medlemmer af hendes eget parti - og bullied til at undskylde. Hun er og er måske ikke forudindtagen imod jøder, men selv hvis hun er, så var det ikke hendes virkelige forbrydelse.


Kommentar: Denne artikel er delvis oversat til dansk af Sott.net fra: The first rule of AIPAC is: you do not talk about AIPAC


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.

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.