Dismissing AIPAC as nothing but a support group or cheering section for Dick Cheney and Richard Perle feeds the hunger of those on the far left and far right for a bogeyman, an organization that can serve, along with Israel itself, as a kind of totemic hate object, a repository of all that is wrong. I am trying to write a book about the conventional Israel lobby and my task would be much easier if AIPAC could be summed up so glibly. But I’m afraid it can’t.
The inconvenient truth is that many of its members and board members are centrist Democrats; they are politically moderate, at least by American standards. They want the U.S. to keep Israel strong by giving it a qualitative military edge because they believe Israel’s neighbors still want to destroy it. They are deeply worried about Iran and the dangers they believe it poses to Israel and to the U.S., especially to American troops in Iraq, But they are not irresponsibly trigger happy. Even Philip Weiss, a hero of the cabal-watchers, was initially a bit perplexed when, in the first policy conference he attended, he found himself rubbing shoulders with attendees and listening to speakers who were moderate, temperate and as desirious of peace as he is (although they don’t care as much about Palestinian suffering or Palestinian rights as he does).
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Truth about AIPAC
Dan Fleshler has a good post on AIPAC: