The fury of the “pro-Israel” lobby lately has truly been something to behold.
By MJ Rosenberg – www.informationclearinghouse
It has abandoned bipartisanship by setting up front organizations like the so-called Emergency Committee for Israel, which is running ads across the country calling on voters to defeat Democratic members of the House and Senate for signing a letter urging President Obama to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
With all the problems average Americans are facing, the lobby is so out-of-touch that it thinks that hard-hit Pennsylvanian voters (the ads runs most often in the Keystone State) will actually cast their votes based on the lobby’s litmus test of who is and who isn’t hawkish enough on Israel.
Then there is the American Jewish Committee, which has now issued an unusual second political poll this year. The first, issued in March, was its traditional annual poll of American Jewish opinion on matters foreign and domestic.
This second poll, issued just before the congressional elections, is more limited and clearly is designed to demonstrate that Jewish voters are deserting President Obama because of his efforts to bring Israelis and Palestinians to the peace table. (The AJC press release carries the title: “AJC Poll Shows Jewish Disapproval of President Obama Rising.”)
Actually, the poll’s intent is to create the shift it claims to portray, a shift that is, in fact, not happening because, as Republican Whip Eric Cantor said on October 2, American Jews are voting Democratic, as they always have, because “Jews are prone to want to help the underdog.”
But not the American Jewish Committee, the most established and establishment of lobby organizations which, under its current leadership, is a bastion of neoconservative war-mongering and has put its once-respected polls to the service of the GOP.
The good news is that Eric Cantor is right: American Jews (not him) are liberals and Democrats. But the “pro-Israel” establishment just follows lockstep behind Prime Minister Netanyahu who wants Republicans to win in November (he has a history of supporting the GOP) and President Obama gone in 2012.
One, they are tired of even Obama’s timid pressure on settlements and (2) they want a President who will give Israel permission to bomb Iran. George W. Bush said “no” to that scheme as has Obama. But President Palin or Huckabee? They know that they would say “bombs away” in a heartbeat.
That is why they are running these ads. That is why the American Jewish Committee (AJC), has become a Republican cutout. It’s all about the Middle East: preventing Israel from achieving peace with its neighbors and preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons, not through diplomacy but war.
And check out this ad the “Emergency Committee for Israel” is running against a Democratic Congressman in Connecticut. (They are using the same ad against a host of Democrats). Happily, it won’t work. But it does demonstrate what this game is all about. And it’s not jobs, jobs, jobs.
MJ Rosenberg, Senior Foreign Policy Fellow, Media Matters Action Network. Since 1998, M.J. Rosenberg has been the Director of Policy Analysis for Israel Policy Forum (IPF). He heads the organization’s Washington, D.C. office and writes IPF FRIDAY, a widely-circulated weekly opinion column which focuses upon U.S. Middle East policy and the Arab-Israeli conflict.
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