AIPAC’s pitch to student leaders – ‘you have leadership potential, and AIPAC can make that journey easy’

Israel/Palestine
on 26 Comments

One of the most impressive moments of the AIPAC conference was when they brought out 193 university student council presidents onto the stage. It seemed like a brilliant strategy to me; each of those presidents represented a relationship that AIPAC was building for the future. I'm sure there will be high percentage of those presidents who go on to very influential futures.

The following is a bit of insight into how AIPAC goes about building those relationships. It was sent to us by an intern in a Congressional office in the Houston area. They attended an "official briefing on the U.S.-Israel alliance" that AIPAC held for congressional interns. It was focused on how to become "a leader of campus" and as the author points out "making the students feel special and powerful."  The names of the participants have been changed.

I was asked if I wanted to go, and although hesitant, I said yes. I wanted to attend out of curiosity, and through the description, I thought (from the description of the event) that it would be an event where they gave students information on how to hone in their leadership skills.

I walked in at 1:25, and found several people sitting down, all females, at an oval conference table, and to my right, a young girl stood by a table with snacks and name tags. I introduced myself and she gave me a brief questionnaire to fill out, and told me to get myself snacks and drinks.

The questionnaire asked for contact information, such as phone numbers and emails. I believe the first question was something like, ‘How interested are you in the Israeli-American relationship?’ The choice was ‘very, little, not at all’. I circled ‘Very.’ The next question was something like, ‘How interested are you in helping out AIPAC (or was it joining? I can’t remember.)’ I put down my own answer “maybe.” I looked up at the girl and told her, it depends on what AIPAC is doing. She smiled and said, “go right ahead.” The third question was also about AIPAC, but I can’t remember what it is. However, I put down a “maybe” to that one too.

I took a seat at the table, and we all made small talk, as we waited for other interns to show up. I kept text messaging Keith frantically, to see where he was. It was 1:45, and still no sign of him. I found out that of the seven people that were there, one Intern was from Senator Bailey Hutchinson’s office. No surprise there. She’s very pro-Israel. There was an Israeli girl there too, who was interning at the Israeli embassy. Everyone else was working for AIPAC in one way or the other. The girl by the snacks was a student from A&M, and she was the Intern for AIPAC, and would subsequently get up to the podium to make a small speech.

The AIPAC Intern, (I’m so bad with names), said 13 people did RSVP, but that perhaps the weather was keeping them away. After Keith walked in, they decided to go ahead with the program, and not wait any further for the others. No one else showed up during the event.

The AIPAC Intern, talked about how disappointed she was with the Texas A&M college culture, describing “everybody there is closed-minded and conservative.” At one point she said, ‘if you asked them their opinion on something, you would get the same answer from everybody.’ She said other things to the same effect, that there is no diversity of thought at A&M. (The AIPAC workers presented themselves as middle-of-the- road, and pointed out that many of its members left AIPAC accusing it of being too liberal, i.e. not being pro-Israeli enough. This exodus from AIPAC happened during one of the Israeli-Arab wars.)

They stressed over and over again, that AIPAC was an American organization, “to be American is to be pro-Israeli,” and also, to be pro-Israeli is to be pro-American. AIPAC is high off of its “power.” It sounded cheesy, listening to them, but the reality is, that they are very powerful.

The AIPAC intern said that she was disappointed to know there weren’t any pro-Israeli groups on her campus, so she started one. And she said that when she started one, she got her Congressman’s attention, and he congratulated her on the efforts. She said, she was surprised to learn, that if you are with a pro-Israel group, or are pro-Israel, people will listen to you, and most importantly you will have the ears of policymakers, and more importantly the ears of the “powerful” policymakers.

Now I’d like to know who the Congressman for the A&M area is, that he took his time out to congratulate a student for opening up a student group, because that’s not something very extraordinary in itself.

She said that no other student organization can give their students access to such powerful people, and that politicians pay attention to your opinions for real, not just listen and then forget. She said something like, ‘As you embark on your own political journey and political careers, it’s important to keep in mind, that being pro-Israeli can help you tremendously.’

My reaction: uhhhhhhhhh….ok. I looked around at the others, but that comment didn’t faze them, it only seemed strange to me. I looked over at Keith, and tried to read his face, but was unsuccessful.

The AIPAC intern asked us how many of us use email, cell phones and text messaging. Everyone raised their hands. She said, if there were no Israel, then you wouldn’t have these three modern devices to use, because they were invented in Israel, by Israelis. She said that Israel is very important when it comes to technology, and if Israel every ceases to exist, she cannot imagine what the repercussions would be. She said Israel has invented many other modern technology to use, and is in the process of building, but she did not have enough time to go into detail here.

Then an AIPAC lady got up and gave her little speech. I must say, it was good. She started off with having us imagine, to when we were little and our teacher took us out to the playground. Then she asked a question, “How did you know it was time to go back in?” The audience answered, ‘the teacher told us to.’ She said, ‘In Israel, a siren sounds, and the teachers have 13 seconds to take the children back in to safety.’ She stressed how important it was that we tell our congresspersons, to sign the aid package to Israel, and increase the aid. She said that to us, in the audience, 2.5 billion dollars a year is a lot, but that is only 20% of the total defense budget of Israel. And only Israel knows how tough it is to live with daily rocket attacks coming from neighbors bent on destroying them. She also said that the 2.5 billion in aid that Israel receives is 1-2 percent of the total foreign aid the United States gives. Now this is incredulous, she goes on to say that with that money, Israel purchases M16s, along with other things, and hence helps out the American economy.

Keith had a lot of questions about Israel. Like, why was that part of the world and place chosen for Israel to be created? I answered that, and said, that the Jewish people claim a right to what is Israel proper because God in their Bible promises the land to them. There was a small minority living in what is now Israel, that were Jewish, and many of the eastern European Jews, and some western European Jews started to migrate, and once they were a significantly strong number, clashes took place and the British declared that the Jews will have their own country. Then, of course fighting broke out, and the struggle continues to this day. I asked them, if what I said was right, and they said “yes,” and some nodded in agreement.

Keith also asked a very important question. He said why United States has to defend Israel, because that creates tension in that region. And perhaps, if the United States stepped out of the conflict, the Israelis will better be able to solve their problem with their neighbors. AIPAC answered, that some people in Israel believe that, too. But then, the conversation was brought back to how AIPAC does not endorse policy. It does not have policy-making decisions, nor does it dictate policy. It’s just simply put, pro-Israeli. They do not tell Israel or the United States what to do.

They were very openly pushy about Keith wanting to open up a Pro-Israeli student organization at Howard University at Washington D.C. (Keith is here for the summer.) Keith said that the idea wouldn’t catch on, because their focus is on civil rights and it is a predominantly black community. An AIPAC lady jumped in to say that Israel had to deal with its own civil rights issues, when the Ethiopian Jews were rescued from Ethiopia, and that he should open up a pro-Israel group from that angle, and he will by surprised by the interest.

Before closing the event, they stressed again and again, that we (the interns) should encourage our congresspersons to vote on the HR Bill to divest away from Iran, to vote for the aid package to Israel, and to increase the aid.

They were very pushy about the event in DC, all paid trip, in which we would get to meet “powerful” people, and make alliances for our own political careers.

Perhaps, Keith might go, he attends university there. Hutchinson’s intern seemed very interested in opening up a pro-Israel student organization, and attending the event. AIPAC said it would help. The embassy Intern will be attending university at San Marcos, and seemed interested in doing the same. They said that Houston was a city which didn’t have a lot of pro-Israel presence, and that we as student leaders can help in doing that at our campuses. She said that we would be surprised to learn how many Israeli and Jewish Professors are in the Science and Math departments at universities all across the United States. If we went to them and requested that they announce about the organization to the students, then the professors more than often, are happy to inform their students and encourage them to participate in the group.

I was surprised that they didn’t mention the “Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East,” argument, but it was all about making the students feel special and powerful.

Oh, and they also said something like, the fact that you are here, already shows, that you have leadership potential, and that AIPAC can make that journey easy.

26 Responses

  1. Mike
    May 24, 2009, 4:07 pm

    A&M's congressman is Chet Edwards, one of the few Democrats in Texas. A&M is politically conservative and from my experience teaching there for four years pretty pro-Israel for the reasons that the Republican Party is staunchly pro-israel (Christian Zionism and 9/11).

  2. Jacobwolfen
    May 24, 2009, 4:30 pm

    "One of the most impressive moments of the AIPAC conference was when they brought out 193 university student council presidents onto the stage." 193 brilliant people who will be future leaders of America. You would think they were not easily swayed by propaganda. And you would be right. But here are Phil and Adam attempting to make you to swallow swill. And many of you gladly swallow it. But the 193 don't. And they won't.

  3. Saul saw the light
    May 24, 2009, 4:58 pm

    Yes, it will take some doing to get those 193 usc presidents to see the disease that is Zionism since in the USA such perception is not rewarded–just go on up from Rachel Corrie to the naive and sheltered goy elite. We need to cut off the swill of Jacobwolfen et al if we care about the usa first, and humanism as well.

  4. AIPAC Student leader
    May 24, 2009, 5:14 pm

    Saul – another putrid voice of hatred

  5. Strahl
    May 24, 2009, 6:46 pm

    AIPAC Student leader – another opportunistic yuppie douchebag

  6. Fineline
    May 24, 2009, 7:09 pm

    When I see such visceral tripe from so call "students" I am once again reminded that youth is wasted on the young. I remember another group students cheering and clapping when Obama blew his nose during a primary speech. It was as if he had just parted the Red Sea. The simplicity and guibilign that characterizes the attitudes and behaviors of students says nothing praiseworthy about their academic mentors. And that is even more depressing, who are supposed to teach them how to think for themselves.

  7. RowanBerkeley
    May 24, 2009, 7:15 pm

    Nothing new about political bribery, except that the Anglo establishment was more discreet about it.

  8. Jacobwolfen
    May 24, 2009, 7:47 pm

    Unlike those who swallow phil swill, the 193 see right through the propaganda. Corrie was just a darwinian expression of the elitist wasp who only sees evil in Jews. If you actually cared about the USA you would vomit phil swill instead of attempting to fatten up on it.

  9. youngturk
    May 24, 2009, 8:04 pm

    The 193 are are simple young goys, full of idealism slanted away from the plight of the Pals since they were born. Hopefully, at some point they will actually look into their sister, Rachel Corrie, and their past friends, the young sailors of the USS Liberty. Jacobwolfen et al will do all they can to make them mere goy cattle for consumption in the kosher manner.

  10. LeaNder22
    May 24, 2009, 8:43 pm

    Would he sound different or would he write exactly the same if Jacobwolfen wasn't around applauding, if he would respond only to the text and not to Jacobwolfen, which he does? We are back to the winners and loosers tale, Pro-Israel means a chance to win, as indirectly being critical from this perspective must be close to ending up a looser. We've been hearing this more often lately. Someone familar hiding behind AIPAC Student Leader? Or simply a professional Kool aider, a pied piper feeding others what he is fed himselves, while defining it as "leadership". You do this for us, and we will get you into the right circles. There is of course a price to pay to advance in life, no doubt. And why not perform a couple of rituals if it helps? Conformance indeed is a good part of the ticket. Never do too much, but neither do less than exactly what you are asked for. That's what creates the uniform masses inside which all consider themselves as individuals.

  11. Jacobwolfen
    May 25, 2009, 2:57 am

    They will notice that Corrie was related to none of them. They will see that the Liberty incident was a regretable incident foir which Israel paid reparation.

  12. Senhal
    May 25, 2009, 4:32 am

    She said that we would be surprised to learn how many Israeli and Jewish Professors are in the Science and Math departments at universities all across the United States. If we went to them and requested that they announce about the organization to the students, then the professors more than often, are happy to inform their students and encourage them to participate in the group.

    I'm sure a statement denouncing such blatant political indoctrination in the college classroom will soon be released by Campus Watch.

  13. LeaNder22
    May 25, 2009, 10:39 am

    this feels somehow related, not quite but a bit, via Norman Finkelstein. A spy in every classroom. That too needs leaders and many recruits: ” target=”_blank”>” target=”_blank”>http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/california-commi… ” target=”_blank”>” target=”_blank”>http://sb4af.wordpress.com/2009/05/18/israel-lobb… "The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) once compiled a 150-page dossier on the famous author and linguistics professor, apparently to find information it could use against him, Chomsky said in an interview in late April. An ADL insider sent Chomsky the file, which included conversations, correspondence and other materials. Chomsky said it read like an FBI file. “It’s hard to nail this stuff down in a court of law, but it’s clear they essentially have spies in classrooms who take notes and send them to the ADL and other organizations,” Chomsky said. “The groups then compile dossiers they can use to condemn, attack or remove faculty members. They’re like J. Edgar Hoover’s files. It’s kind of gutter stuff.”

  14. ThorsProvoni
    May 25, 2009, 11:24 am

    In this footnote, I mention AIPAC recruitment at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

  15. antihasbara
    May 25, 2009, 2:10 pm

    How do you know Corrie was related to none of them? Rachel was an Irish American, second only to the German Americans as the largest white ethic group in the USA. And, the attack on the USS Liberty was deliberate and very quickly covered up, never getting MSM press coverage, getting only a ridiculously short investigation by US Navy standards, followed up by equally short handling by congress, also given no MSM coverage. I will take the eye witness accounts of what happened and under what circumstances of the Liberty's crew over your hasbara "incident foir." True, Israel eventually and reluctantly gave some token reparations just to cover its rear, that is, for PR purposes only.

  16. Citizen
    May 25, 2009, 2:15 pm

    Precisely, as the average German did between the world wars–with less access to factual data than is currently afforded in the USA, which makes the average American more culpable than the average German back in the day. And, Americans have long standing constitutional and bill of rights institutions, which the Germans did not have… Nor can one reasonably compare 9/11 as justification with the Versailles Treaty's impact.

  17. congressionalpage
    May 25, 2009, 2:20 pm

    The young gophers AIPAC-guided Jewish organizations send to be congressional aides also spy for the right-wing Jewish agenda controlling USA foreign policy in the Middle East in any way perceived as affecting Likud-Israel.

  18. Mooser
    May 25, 2009, 3:20 pm

    I can't tell you how many, I've lost count a long time ago as I wandered across the US, how many Gentiles I have met who think the way to riches and sucess lies through Jewish social or business aquaintance. Their worship of this canard is usually in inverse proportion to the number of Jews they have inter-acted with. It's sort of pitiable and embarrassing when I come across it. To purposely invoke it is beyond contempt, because, don't worry, it'll backfire. You ought to hear them when Jews don't deliver what they expect. They end up sounding like a mixture of Ed and Gilad Atzmon, and I don't mean his horn-playing.

  19. Strahl
    May 25, 2009, 4:07 pm

    "[...]and I don't mean his horn-playing." Excellent Mooser, heh.

  20. Mooser
    May 25, 2009, 5:19 pm

    Both Ed and Atzmon feel they have their finger on the Jewish "essence". And if there's one thing my Dad always told me, it was to use common essence.

  21. Mooser
    May 25, 2009, 5:25 pm

    We're all Marxists here, as Ed never tires of pointing out. And wasn't it Marx who said, when being shown the class of young ladies his daughter would join at an exclusive private school , told the headmistress: "Madam, in twenty years over half of these women will be divorced!" I feel the same way about the "193 future leaders" we have here. In just a few years over half of them will be kvetching "I got done down by the Jews".

  22. Jacobwolfen
    May 26, 2009, 10:57 am

    Of course you'll take comments that support your bigotry. All real proof shows the incident to be a tragic accident..

  23. Jacobwolfen
    May 26, 2009, 10:58 am

    You have just described the "Rachel Corrie" brigade. You will receive all due credit in wikipedia.

  24. Jacobwolfen
    May 27, 2009, 3:57 am

    Only the loser half. Like you.

  25. Peter
    May 31, 2009, 12:32 am

    AIPAC will tell any lie to feed the Israel addiction Email was invented by Roy Tomilson 1971 ” target=”_blank”>http://itmanagement.earthweb.com/entdev/article.p… Text Messaging by Matti Makonnen. A very modest guy from Finland who changed millions of lives. He was paid EUr 300 for this job by Sonera and now he's one of VPs in Nokia. The cell phone was invented by Dr. Martin Cooper in 1973. Cooper at that time was a vice-president at Motorola.

  26. Maidhc Ó Cathail
    May 31, 2009, 5:00 pm

    You may be interested in my take on the Israel lobby here: ” target=”_blank”>http://dissidentvoice.org/2009/05/japan’s-e…

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