Speaking of the Lobby, the joint congressional session at which Bibi presided was a sideshow compared to the four-day extravaganza across town at the annual “Policy Conference” of AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Tel Aviv’s premier front organization was in its glory. Bibi had made a stop there the day before to touch base with his American agents. Obama had dropped by the day before that to reaffirm his obeisance and to inform these apparatchiks of Zion about what he had actually said at the State Department a few days earlier—“not what I was reported to have said.” And what was that, pray tell? More doubletalk, adding up to precisely nothing. The nervous AIPAC attendees needed reassurance of this fact, lest they entertain the mistaken idea that Obama had wandered off the reservation.
Did you know that Ronald Reagan declined to appear before AIPAC in 1988? Did you know that Bill Clinton was the first president who accepted an invitation to speak before AIPAC while still in office? I didn’t before reading this informative article by Grant Smith, director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy. Did you know that President John Kennedy declined to meet Israel’s first PM, David Ben-Gurion, at the White House in 1962, opting instead for a private meeting at the Waldorf Astoria? I didn’t before reading this article in that interesting “neoconservative” receptacle, Commentary magazine.
Amazingly, AIPAC remains an unregistered agent of a foreign government. For that matter, so does Commentary. In days of yore, wasn’t the Communist Party USA made to register as an agent of Moscow? Why shouldn’t crusading Zionist organizations and their benighted ideologues do the same when propagandizing on behalf of Tel Aviv and its Likud agenda? It only seems fair and would not restrict free speech. On the other hand, if Israel were amenable to becoming the 51st state, no registration would be required. But in that case, Israel would be limited and entitled to only two Senators.
Future AIPAC conventions should be a hoot. For the first time, there was a counter-convention called Move Over AIPAC organized by the liberal group Code Pink: Women for Peace. Alas, only a few hundred attended. The delegates at AIPAC numbered 10,000, including the 350 US Senators and Representatives in attendance. Nonetheless, the Code Pink/Move Over AIPAC crowd was not bashful and carried on a number of demonstrations. One of their members heckled Bibi from the gallery during his appearance before Congress and landed in the hospital for her trouble. But it was a start and can only get better next year.
My favorite happening involved interviews of the AIPAC faithful by journalist Max Blumenthal. I don’t know where Max is coming from or going with this, but he seems to be a concerned citizen who likes to ask embarrassing questions that invariably evoke embarrassing answers. Max’s modus operandi is to visit various “pro-Israel” get-togethers playing the part of an innocent bystander seeking wisdom. He lets people speak for themselves. He calls this hysterical YouTube installment “Feeling the Ignorance at AIPAC 2011.” Be sure and watch it at least until Max interviews a man wearing a sandwich board painted with the words “Recovering Zionist.” It’s a start.