by: MJ Rosenberg on March 4th, 2013 | 11 Comments »
It’s hard to watch the AIPAC conference for more than a few minutes at a time. For me, the worst part is the pandering (and lying) by Democratic politicians eager to raise money for their next campaign.
So far, Joe Biden has been the worst. He is heavily funded by the Adler family of Miami Beach (he even brought President Obama to their home for a fundraiser), one of the big AIPAC families. Here is Biden talking about how the head of the Adler klan and another AIPAC mogul gave him his “formal education” on the Middle East. (Not to mention all that money.
And, of course, Biden (like John Kerry) knows better than his AIPAC speeches indicate. I have talked to him about Israel and Palestine.He can name the top Palestinian leaders in Fatah and Hamas and tell you the differences between their respective positions. He believes Israel needs to end the occupation and talk to Hamas. He would not dare say it publicly, although he has said it so often privately that it is amazing the media never reports it.
But Biden does what he thinks he has to because, for politicians like him (that is, pretty much all politicians), nothing is more important than keeping donors happy. Call him a hypocrite but he cries all the way to the bank.
The Republicans are different. Supporting the occupation and threatening war with Iran come naturally to them. They don’t need lobby money for their campaigns and they don’t get Jewish votes anyway. (This is not to say that they don’t like Sheldon Adelson’s money, just that as the pro-business party, they don’t need it). They support Netanyahu because they believe that the west needs to crush the Muslim world. They do not feign Islamophobia. It’s them.
The good news is that as the country gets “browner,” as the black, Latino, and Asian vote continues to grow (and moves into the Democratic party), the lobby will have a harder time keeping the Democrats in line. No matter how many free trips AIPAC gives up-and-coming minority politicians, it cannot keep up with the disdain grassroots progressive voters feel for Likud Israel. Combine them with the Democratic party’s large left and soon the Democrats tip…toward justice. That means playing the role of honest broker and peace maker, not bloviating lsrael enabler.
Does this mean the Jews will go to the Republicans. No way. Only 5% of Jews vote with Israel in mind. But the big money controlled by the lobby will. As will the whole AIPAC crowd that puts Israel’s interests above America’s.
AIPAC knows this is happening. They know its future is with the GOP. Happily, America’s future isn’t, which means the lobby will soon be on the permanently losing side.
As for Israel, the decline of AIPAC is only good news. It needs peace with the Palestinians. It does not need empty rhetoric from empty politicians. As the segregationist left the Democrats for the GOP after LBJ’s civil rights laws, so will the AIPAC crowd go to the Republicans. It is inevitable.
And it’s good news. Biden’s bloviating for Israel will soon be history.