Gutsy progressive congressman Alan Grayson leads a double life

US Politics
on 38 Comments

Since defeating an incumbent in Florida’s Republican-heavy 8th congressional district last year, Rep. Alan Grayson has emerged as one of the progressive movement’s most vocal champions. His attacks on Republican obstruction of healthcare reform and staunch opposition to escalation in Afghanistan have earned Grayson effusive praise from many liberal bloggers and activists.

Even before his election, Grayson gained recognition from the Wall Street Journal for being a "fierce critic of the war in Iraq" who sported a "Bush Lied, People Died" bumper sticker on his car. Recently, Grayson to CNN, "People want to see a congressman with guts. And America likes to hear the truth."

Grayson has battled for the public option and opposed the wars Obama has inherited from Bush. Of course, these positions are upheld by a broad swath of congressional Democrats and, at least in the case of the public option, are supported by a majority of Americans. But when it comes to the Israel-Palestine conflict, Grayson is fully programmed by AIPAC and the pro-war, pro-settlements wing of the Israel Lobby.

In an interview in March with the Philadelphia Jewish Voice, Grayson revealed two meetings he held the previous week with AIPAC Executive Director Howard Kohr. In the interview, Grayson explained how Kohr helped to "educate" him about Israel-related issues, then misquoted the Abba Eban line, "The Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity."

GRAYSON: I met with Howard Kohr, the head of AIPAC [American Israel Public Affairs Committee], twice last week.

PJV: And what was the gist of the conversation?

GRAYSON: The gist of the conversation was that Iran is a tremendous threat to Israel and needs to be stopped. And I agree with that.

PJV: And what about what is going on in the Gaza Strip; was there any conversation about that?

GRAYSON: Yes, we talked about that. I think what AIPAC often tries to do is to educate Members of Congress who frankly follow this a lot less closely than I do. In my case, I read Haaretz and the Jerusalem Post online four or five times a week, so I am pretty familiar with the circumstances and why the war took place. As a famous Israeli once said, the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

Grayson’s January 8th statement explaining his vote in favor of Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip read like a mimeograph of those released by other AIPAC-friendly members of Congress. However, its introductory line stood out: "Congressman Alan Grayson, one of three incoming Jewish members of Congress, issued the following statement on the situation in Gaza."

Why did Grayson feel compelled to advertise his religion in a statement in favor of a war that would ultimately kill 1400 people, including at least 400 women and children, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza? Grayson lately voted to condemn the Goldstone Report that confirmed these figures. And why does Grayson toe the AIPAC line on Israel’s wars while fervently opposing the wars America wages in the Middle East to supposedly stamp out Islamic terror? Americans would like to the hear the truth.

38 Responses

  1. Philip Weiss
    December 1, 2009, 9:54 am

    he’s just like my congressman, John Hall, in Hudson Valley, NY. Mr. anti-Iraq war, and totally for the Israeli assault on Gaza

    • potsherd
      December 1, 2009, 10:51 am

      The ultimate example is Russ Feingold.

      • Chaos4700
        December 1, 2009, 1:13 pm

        I value my net anonymity, but… don’t I know it.

  2. Richard Witty
    December 1, 2009, 10:06 am

    The truth is that their positions are the best, most just ones.

    Their positions are NOT pro-likud, but they are pro-peace and pro-Israel.

    They accurately describe the assault on Israeli civilians over an 8-day period before Israel responded militarily as the cause of the war (and it was an intended war), and they most likely expressed regret at the excess of response, but NOT at the presence of response.

    They are NOT of the far left. They are of the left-center, pragmatic.

    They are also CLEAR that their goal is a two-state solution, and do not indulge in the ambiguity of the BDS talking points, that FAIL to define whether the goal of BDS is the elimination of Israel as Israel, or the two valid points that Barghouti articulated (67 borders with consented adjustment, and full application of the AND democratic component within Israel).

    • Citizen
      December 1, 2009, 10:31 am

      Like all US congressman except Kucinich, Paul, and Baird, Grayson tows the pure status quo hasbara line–the recipe for disaster remains the same. The USA is Israel’s bitch–or the tail wags the dog–both metaphors work.

    • Chaos4700
      December 1, 2009, 1:13 pm

      The truth is that their positions are the best, most just ones.

      Said like a true fanatic.

      • Citizen
        December 1, 2009, 4:00 pm

        He’s really something, huh? As NAZI as they come, a zionazi wolf in progressive sheep’s clothing. He just doesn’t see any connection between those innocents who died in the Shoah, including his in-law relations, and the innocent Palestinians who have been made to pay for it. Two wrongs don’t make a right, except in Witty’s addition. Great accountant he is; I’m sure the people who perished in the Shoah
        will spit on his grave from above.

      • yonira
        December 1, 2009, 6:11 pm

        Serious question,

        can someone be for the 2 state solution and not be a Nazi?

      • America First
        December 1, 2009, 6:42 pm

        Speaking of accounting, it seems the Clintons’ new in-law is a mini-Madoff:

        link to

        And I would’ve thought the sordid Lewinsky affair would’ve warned Chelsea off romantic entanglements with Jews. But the kid is with Goldman Sachs, and the Clintons have always been greedy SOBs.

      • Mooser
        December 1, 2009, 7:47 pm

        sordid Lewinsky affair”

        I’m with you, America First! As a solid-rock-ribbed curturally normative Americans, I don’t got nothin to do with nothin “sordid” not nowhere, not no-how and no time!
        But I’m nothing in the upright department compared to you, of course. You’re like a whole American Gothic all in yourself.
        Hey, have I ever mentioned that you give me a big pain, right here!
        You have got to be the biggest first-class drip I ever struck in all my puff.
        Well, here’s luck to your endeavors and don’t let the jedeofacists get the jump on ya’!

      • Citizen
        December 3, 2009, 11:42 am

        Hey, you don’t know how the world works. Check out Trump’s daughter. Take your pick, it’s a dilution of real people (European white derivatives, or real blood jews–take your pick), or it’s the historical Jew-WASP (more or less) elite way; itself a partnering of wealth and influence. It’s not new. Check out Weimar Germany, or the USA for about the last 70 years, especially the last
        50 years. Or, you could go back to biblical times…. It’s not so much different.
        The only things that is constant is that it’s all at the expense of the (goy) masses. They never wake up. Due to stupidity, (manipulated )ignorance, and also that they actually believe one should turn the other cheek.

      • Citizen
        December 3, 2009, 11:46 am

        Yeah, well, Mooser, Clinton’s daughter has no problems with being married
        to an agent of Goldman Sachs. I guess you don’t either.

      • potsherd
        December 3, 2009, 12:10 pm

        Funny thing – MSM in the US reports that Chelsea Clinton is going to marry this guy.

        Israeli media goes wild – Clinton is going to marry this JEW!

        It does seem to be Jews who care so much about who is Jewish.

    • James
      December 1, 2009, 2:05 pm

      “pro-peace and pro-Israel”

      impossible to be both at the same time…. may as well through in pro-zionist as well, as it makes just as much sense as the first part, which is none at all for anyone paying attention to the reality on the ground…. words are cheap….

      • Chaos4700
        December 1, 2009, 3:06 pm

        Yeah, it’s rather like claiming to be pro-peace and pro-ethnic cleansing, isn’t it?

      • montereypinegreen
        May 6, 2015, 1:10 pm

        It’s all part of their propaganda. “Peace” by definition means when Israel owns everything and Arabs are either dead or locked up in ghettoes. That’s the kind of peace Israel wants.

  3. bob
    December 1, 2009, 10:07 am

    I had no idea Grayson was Progressive Except for Palestine.

    Thanks for the update.

    It seems, truly, that in order to be included within the accepted political and media spheres, don’t go against the Lobby on Israel.

    Id like to see a follow-up on how does his personal background influence his PEP point of view.

    • Citizen
      December 1, 2009, 10:42 am

      He’s VERY progressive on everything but Israel and he also voted in favor of the
      hate crimes bill, coming here soon to this blog.

    • Chu
      December 1, 2009, 11:48 am

      I saw his vote on the Goldstone Report and wondered why he would oppose it, given his well positioned stand on many issues. Now I see why he opposed it; the tribe comes first. Perhaps his vote will change the more he gets established in Congress. In the least, his efforts on making the Fed accountable is great work.

      But, why is the protection of Israel’s crimes so important for Congress? Is it solely based on the tremendous sums of cash that come from Jewish donors in the American political spheres?
      Since Israel was based on illegal occupation and terrorism from its conception, their governments don’t see any problem with continuing the the status quo. Their current problem is that the NY Times and other American news agencies will no longer be able to cover for their crimes, given the accessibility to the global internet news that is ever expanding.
      When Israel stops the occupation and complies with international law, then they should be defended by Congress. Until then, we’ll get more Greyson types, which look good on the surface, but are tarnished when you look at their moral integrity.

      • Kathleen
        December 1, 2009, 1:45 pm

        opposed the Goldstone report what a racist

  4. jan_gdyn
    December 1, 2009, 10:42 am

    Would be really great if Max could interview Grayson.

  5. Citizen
    December 1, 2009, 11:13 am

    Grayson is the 12th richest congress person; which is why he can Play Beck while in congress, a tool of nobody except Israel. Here’s a view of the 2010 elections, counting Jews (is that bad or good?), which speculates that the overrepresentation of Jewish congress people may drop from 44 to 41:

  6. Psychopathic god
    December 1, 2009, 11:46 am

    is Grayson informed of the several dozen ‘operations’ Israel launched against Iran while Israel was Iran’s friend, operations whose planned outcome was the looting of the Iranian treasury in favor of Israel’s military-industrial combine, or whose purpose was the assassination of Iranian diplomats and other representatives of the Iranian people?

    Ronen Bergman brags of Israel’s perfidious acts against Iran in The Secret War with Iran.

    A few days ago a character named Steven Emerson, an Islamophobe, was granted the privilege of 30 minutes on C-Span’s Washington Journal. One of the questions Tweeted to Mr. Emerson was this: “Has the CIA ever considered stopping the funding and military training of our future enemies? ”

    The moderator pointed the question: “Is there a connection between people that we’ve trained as our allies one decade and the next decade they turn on us, come back to bite us?”
    Emerson’s answer: “Of course….”

    Israel bled Iran dry while Israel and Iran were “friends and allies.” Now Israel is pulling out all the stops to destroy Iran.

    “…allies one decade and they next decade they turn on us…”

    Why should Americans think that Israel will treat the United States any differently a decade from now, than Israel treats Iran, its former ally?

    “…allies one decade and the next decade they turn on us…”
    “Of course.”

    link to

  7. homingpigeon
    December 1, 2009, 12:55 pm

    As important as BDS is the shunning of PEP politicians. AIPAC will permanently smash a politician who does not toe the Likud line. Meanwhile the community of conscience does not hold these prostitutes to account. Many who have clear understanding of the Israel/Palestine situation will still vote for Zionists because they are “progressive” on everything else and thus the “lesser of two evils.” This will continue until we loudly and conspicuously avoid the artisans of death in the two established parties and vote for third party candidates. I recommend Libertarian.

  8. Kathleen
    December 1, 2009, 1:16 pm

    Grayson’s stance on the I/P conflict is not much news in regard to most Jewish Reps. Most are progressive on so many issues and then take a hard turn wrong when it comes to Israel. Blinded…simply blind.

    Wonder if Grayson will ever talk with someone like Flynt Leverett about Iran. I want Leverett to present his studied insights to our supposed Reps.

    Leverett’s new site is incredible
    link to

  9. Kathleen
    December 1, 2009, 1:18 pm

    So Grayson is concerned about unnecessary killing, aggression, and war except when it comes to Israel. Pathetic but not surprising

  10. Citizen
    December 1, 2009, 1:25 pm

    Grayson went straight to the top AIPAC leadership to get his views on the I-P situation, and he agrees the Palestinians are hopeless, and they are to blame for the misery of Gaza.
    He also supports an Israeli attack on Iran, which he says we should back to the hilt.
    Funny how he such a radical attacking the root cause of so many of our institutionalized ills, e.g., in health care and monetary policy–but when it comes to Israel he totally avoids the root problem. His views are exactly like AIPAC’s. It’s as if there is no issues as to that approach at all. Let’s curb the out-of-control USA government, including as to our foreign policy in Iraq and Afghanistan, but let’s support an Israeli attack on Iran and the continued slow Israeli suffocation of the Palestinians.

  11. Kathleen
    December 1, 2009, 1:58 pm

    Congressman Alan Grayson’s Statement on Gaza
    January 8, 2009 6:09 PM

    (Washington, D.C.) – Congressman Alan Grayson, one of three incoming Jewish members of Congress, issued the following statement on the situation in Gaza.

    “The circumstances confronting Israel are remarkable and clear. Hamas has been firing or allowing the firing of rockets into Israel, killing and maiming Israelis and threatening and disrupting their lives on a regular basis. This is unacceptable. Israeli civilians must not suffer from rocket attacks from or permitted by Hamas. Any country would seek to end attacks like this on its citizens. Military action is always a last resort, but in this case it is apparently necessary.

    The humanitarian crisis is of deep concern, and it is important to note that Hamas’s behavior has been especially brutal. By using Palestinians as human shields, the group is needlessly multiplying the casualties in the area. If Hamas had an interest in minimizing the loss of life, its leaders would not be putting civilians in harm’s way or firing rockets at civilian targets. That is just not a way to solve the thorny set of problems confronting all people in the region.” # # #

    WASHINGTON CONTACT: Julie Tagen, 202-225-2176

    THEN VOTED TO CONDEMN THE GOLDSTONE REPORT. So telling. Really sorry to hear this about Grayson/

    Wants honesty and truth when it comes to Iraq, Afghanistan, health care and then takes a hard turn wrong on the Goldstone Report. What a fucking hypocrite and racist

    • Chaos4700
      December 1, 2009, 3:41 pm

      Consequently, this utter hypocrisy and weakness in the Democratic party is why we won’t see actual honesty and truth about Iraq, Afghanistan and health care. The Democratic Party simply chases those campaign dollars wherever they lead them.

  12. Linda J
    December 1, 2009, 3:03 pm

    David Swanson out’s Grayson on his sleazy fundraising:

    I got an email two days ago from Congressman Alan Grayson. It said that Dick Cheney is still on the loose. Dick Cheney’s not behind bars yet. Dick Cheney must be held accountable. Send me money! People sent him over 1/2 million dollars. Ordinary people. Small donations. Because they’re thrilled that he’s getting on cable television and he’s saying colorful things. Saying direct, aggressive things about his political opponents. Refusing to apologize and back down and cower. As far as it goes, that’s a good thing. But I was actually excited about this email. And I asked what it was they were going to do to hold Dick Cheney accountable and put him behind bars. And I found out what it was that Congressman Grayson was going to do. Does anybody know? He’s going to go on TV and call Dick Cheney a vampire. You know, I hate to say it like this, but this is an idea that has no teeth (laughter). It doesn’t do a God-damned thing! There is no future Vice-President that’s going to worry about committing crimes because in the future some guy might call him a vampire. It just doesn’t have an impact. You know, when you’re dealing with members of Congress, it’s such a low bar. Nobody does anything right, including just rhetoric. You’ve got to encourage them and tell them to play offense. Just don’t play defense. I’m not necessarily opposed to supporting Alan Grayson, but for God’s sake try to get some actions behind the words.

    (whole article here: link to
    Swanson labels this bit of his article “There’s a Hunger Out There” — problem is with Dems all acting like Grayson, the hunger will be a famine shortly.

    We need a third party!

    • Citizen
      December 1, 2009, 4:10 pm

      Nice to hear Beck and Grayson want some action responsible to the best interests of the American people as a whole (sans special interests). Problem is neither one tells
      the truth about our Israel First foreign policy and are continued huge blank check to Israel. Imagine if we cut off aid to Israel along with bringing our troops home from the 700 plus bases around the world? The health care and SS banks would be overflowing, helping our own, and not making the life of the Third World masses miserable. Gee, what a vision.

      • Citizen
        December 1, 2009, 4:11 pm

        are=our (continued, etc)

  13. America First
    December 1, 2009, 6:27 pm

    Sarkozy also leads double life (French-Catholic statesman, tribal loyalist Jew with warped ethics):

    Director Polanski’s Release From Swiss Prison Aided By French President Sarkozy

    link to

  14. James
    December 1, 2009, 7:17 pm

    gutsy? no gutless….

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