Israel Firster

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 31 Comments

From today’s New York Times:

Corrections: March 8

Published: March 8, 2012


Because of an editing error, an article on Wednesday about a large lobbying effort on Capitol Hill Tuesday by delegates to the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee referred incorrectly to the organization, known as Aipac. It is a pro-Israel lobbying group that works in the United States to advance Israel’s interests. It does not work directly for the state of Israel or its government.

From the article “Pro-Israel Delegates Have Washington’s Ear on Iran“:

Andrew Groveman, a real estate developer from Memphis, was leading the group of delegates from an Israel lobbying group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, through meetings on Capitol Hill. “As you know,” Mr. Groveman said, “we always have three points.”

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31 Responses

  1. pabelmont
    March 8, 2012, 12:35 pm

    Gosh. the NYT thought that AIPAC (“Aipac” ?? Hunh ??) (a/k/a American Israel Public Affairs Committee” and the abbreviation is AIPAC or A.I.P.A.C., not Aipac)
    was a representative of — Israel?? How could they have made such a mistake, I mean a boo-boo? There are, after all, things that polite people simply don’t say!

    Things polite people don’t way. Received wisdom. Political (in)Correctness. Stuff you’ll be stomped on if you say. “PSS”: Politically Suppressed Speech. And like that.

    • Woody Tanaka
      March 8, 2012, 1:25 pm

      “Gosh. the NYT thought that AIPAC (‘Aipac’ ?? Hunh ??) (a/k/a American Israel Public Affairs Committee” and the abbreviation is AIPAC or A.I.P.A.C., not Aipac)”

      I assumed that that was a British affectation. Like when Madonna adopted the accent to try to sound non-dumb.

      • ahmed
        March 8, 2012, 7:12 pm

        It’s the style at some newspapers that if an acronym is longer than four letters, it’s renderedlike that; so NATO, but Aipac or Unicef.

      • Woody Tanaka
        March 9, 2012, 11:05 am

        I was unaware of that. Thanks, Ahmed.

  2. Kathleen
    March 8, 2012, 12:37 pm

    Grant Smith of IRMEP history of Aipac’s ability to slide out of registering under the Foreign Agents Registration Act

    Scott Horton’s interview with Hillary Mann Leverett. Hillary states that Netanyahu has extracted a very dangerous agreement with Obama based on Iran getting rid of their enrichment program all together. That the fact that Iran signed the NPT and that there is no solid evidence to verify that Iran is enriching uranium beyond what they are legally able does not matter.

    • Robert
      March 8, 2012, 1:13 pm


      Just a quick response to Hillary Mann Leverett’s comments. They don’t seem to make sense to me. While I have the utmost admiration for the Leverett’s knowledge and ability to close-read the news and communiques, I think that Hillary may be over-interpreting this.

      Obama and the US Military know that it’s truly not in our best interest to attack Iran. The nub of Hillary’s point is that if Iran *doesn’t change it’s course*, that is, if it continues to do what it’s doing now, then an attack might be down the road, perhaps after the election.

      BUT, it still wont be in our best interest then either! So put me down for Obama factoring in a plan to weasel out of his “commitment” to Netanyahu after the election, and coming up with another good reason not to bomb Iran. I would suspect that Obama would inform the Iranians of that, too. Just stay enriching uranium within the terms of the NPT, and we won’t bomb. If there is an attempt at illegality, then we (might) bomb.

      • Kathleen
        March 8, 2012, 4:12 pm

        my take on what she said is that the debate the pressure, the behind the scenes agreement is focused on pressuring Iran to give up their legal right to enrich uranium all together and more seriously an attack on Iran will be based on this.

      • Thomson Rutherford
        March 8, 2012, 5:51 pm

        Robert and Kathleen, I think you are both right, and your opposing views express the crux of the matter for U.S. policy and diplomacy going forward. Which view wins out will depend on which Administration faction dominates Obama’s political receptors: the neocons or the realists. Unfortunately, the liberal left has little influence in this arena.

      • Les
        March 8, 2012, 6:46 pm

        Liberal and Left are two different positions in today’s world and even then we must ask, Liberal compared to what, and Left of what?

      • Kathleen
        March 9, 2012, 9:29 am

        “Unfortunately, the liberal left has little influence in this arena”
        The “liberal left” in congress has been pressured or were all ready blind in their support of Israel no matter what they do for decades. That would go for the alleged “liberal left” in the Jewish community also. Well except in the last five or so years when folks like Phil Weiss and others have decided to turn on the light in their heads

  3. seethelight
    March 8, 2012, 1:21 pm

    Whoa! That’s a big mistake for the NYT. Apparently the reporter who wrote the article, Jodi Rudoren — the future Jerusalem bureau chief — and the copy editor who missed it, apparently haven’t completed their in-house hasbara training course. Hopefully, they never will.

  4. yourstruly
    March 8, 2012, 1:28 pm

    whether defined as an israel lobby or as a pro-israel lobby AIPAC stands for three things, israel first, israel first, israel first.

    • yourstruly
      March 8, 2012, 1:38 pm

      btw, based on there being two 15 yr olders interviewed in the nyt’s report, did jewish schools around d.c. bus their students to the AIPAC conference?

      • lysias
        March 8, 2012, 2:33 pm

        The two 15-year-olds quoted are from New Rochelle, outside New York City, and Memphis. If they were bused in, it was from a lot further away than the D.C. suburbs.

      • Kathleen
        March 8, 2012, 4:44 pm

        Many of the students that Aipac bussed in came across the street to see what was going on with the protest. Some important debates went on. Some great listening and exchanges.

    • Daniel Rich
      March 9, 2012, 12:51 am

      @ yourstruly,

      You made me spill my tea over my keyboard.

      • yourstruly
        March 11, 2012, 12:51 am

        sorry about that.

  5. seethelight
    March 8, 2012, 1:32 pm

    Just re-read the NYT correction. Last sentence: “It (Aipac) does not work directly for the state of Israel or its government.”

    Which I take to mean, therefore, that Aipac works indirectly for Israel. Otherwise, why use the modifier “directly” in the correction?

    Reporter Jodi Rudoren was right the first time. The NYT may be sorry for giving her the J’sem post if her original “Aipac lobbies for Israel” line indicates her desire to be a real journalist in the region and not the Likud puppet that Ethan Bronner is.

    • lysias
      March 8, 2012, 2:37 pm

      Ethan Bronner is still reporting from Israel/Palestine. Indeed, his article in today’s NYT, Mideast Din Drowns Out Palestinians, is actually datelined Ramallah (unlike his recent article about the Israelis shutting down two Palestinian TV stations in Ramallah, which was datelined Jerusalem).

  6. seafoid
    March 8, 2012, 2:40 pm

    “It (Aipac) does not work directly for the state of Israel or its government.”

    It works for a select group of Israeli and American sociopaths while 30% of Jewish Israeli kids go to bed hungry every night.

  7. Oscar
    March 8, 2012, 3:10 pm

    Hahaha. You can bet that the Aipac dude frantically speed-dialed his direct contact at the NYT to get that correction out straightaway! Hilarious. Welcome to the beat, Jodi!

  8. piotr
    March 8, 2012, 3:48 pm

    Unlike US Congress, Aipac does not work directly for Israel.

    Sorry, correction.

    Like US Congress, Aipac works to advance Israel interests. There!

    This is actually a pretty good phrase.

    • Kathleen
      March 8, 2012, 4:42 pm

      Aipac officials caught red handed allowing Israeli officials to access US classified intelligence on Iran etc. Not working for Israel… no one believes that.

  9. Kathleen
    March 8, 2012, 4:41 pm

    Aipac “It does not work directly for the state of Israel or its government.” Really no one believes that and the facts just do not back up that lame claim.

    Aipac Rosen/Weissman espionage investigation and 9 time delayed and then dismissed trial.

  10. ahmed
    March 8, 2012, 7:17 pm

    An even more telling correction:
    Correction: March 8, 2012

    A picture caption with an earlier version of this article explained imprecisely the activity of the Israeli soldiers shown. While the soldiers were indeed firing rifles at stone throwers in the West Bank town of Al Ram last month, the rifles contained rubber bullets. The article does not recount the soldier’s activity.

  11. piotr
    March 8, 2012, 9:32 pm

    My private theory is that AIPAC (or the entire phenomenon of which AIPAC is but a part) is more sinister than simply an agent of a foreign country.

    Israel is a small country with a huge lobby. Lobby is the tail that wags the dog. And the tail, as everybody knows, has many admirable features, but brain is not one of them.

    Lobby requires a state of permanent crisis to justify its permanent importance, donations, salaries, think tanks, conferences etc. By the way of contrast, an actual state can survive, thrive even, without permanent crisis. In a benign case the crisis is faked. “Dear Piotr, now more then ever Israel needs your help. Donate, write to you Congresscritter, harrangue local jihadist on campus, all of that is needed in the current situation which is very dire indeed.”

    The less threat Israel gets the more intense faking has to be, and now it can actually lead to a major war with USA on collision course with Russia and China.

    To me, lobby is a brainless creature that totally dominated Israel and to a degree, USA. And this creature is manipulated by Iran for domestic (Iranian) purposes. The principle can be seen in a video about bull fighting. Torreador flicks the cape, the bull charges. A turn, a flick, another charge. Torreador stops, looks into bulls eyes. And again, a turn, a flick, a charge. Bull horn passes inches from torreador’s hip, OLE! We love you, our torreador! (Check videos from Carmen.)

  12. yourstruly
    March 9, 2012, 12:10 am

    the lobby as a self-perpetuating creature that plays both the u.s. of a. and israel for the dummies they are?

  13. Daniel Rich
    March 9, 2012, 12:50 am

    @ Les,

    “Stay in the middle of the circle and all will be well.” – Lao Tzu – Tao Te Ching

  14. Daniel Rich
    March 9, 2012, 12:56 am

    This is what a person looks like after they’ve been hit by those rubber bullets. WARNING gruesome images;_ylt=A0oGdVoom1lPRAQA.hdXNyoA?p=shot%20by%20rubber%20bulklet&fr=mcafee&fr2=piv-web

    • Chaos4700
      March 9, 2012, 8:26 am

      It should be noted that as bad as injuries from rubber bullets are, what Israel fires are not rubber bullets (i.e. bullets crafted mostly from rubber) but rubber-COATED bullets, still made mostly of metal. A rubber bullet will be incredibly painful and leave a nasty bruise, and may break the skin but generally won’t penetrate your body. A rubber-coated bullet does just about everything a real bullet does except crushing and spreading out or fragmenting like a standard hollow point bullet. It’s not uncommon for an Israeli soldier to shoot an unarmed person in the face with a “nonlethal” “rubber” bullet and end up sending the bullet into their brain.

  15. Thomson Rutherford
    March 9, 2012, 5:28 pm

    On the subject of Israel Firsters, allow me to mention that at WaPo’s website today there is an op-ed entitled “Obama vs. Israel,” by that arch-neocon, WaPo’s champion Israel Firster, Dr. Charles Krauthammer.

    Here are excerpts that capture the gist. The link is below.

    After ostensibly tough talk about preventing Iran from going nuclear, the Obama administration acquiesced this week to yet another round of talks with the mullahs.

    These negotiations don’t just gain time for a nuclear program about whose military intent the International Atomic Energy Agency is issuing alarming warnings [???]…. If the administration were serious about achievement rather than appearance, it would have warned that this was the last chance for Iran to come clean and would have demanded a short timeline….

    This re-engagement comes immediately after Obama’s campaign-year posturing about Iran’s nukes. Speaking Sunday in front of AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee), he warned that “Iran’s leaders should have no doubt about the resolve of the United States.” … Obama garnered much AIPAC applause by saying that his is not a containment policy but a prevention policy. But what has he prevented? … Prevention is halting and reversing the program. Yet Iran is tripling its uranium output ….

    So what is Obama’s real objective? “We’re trying to make the decision to attack as hard as possible for Israel,” an administration official told The Post in the most revealing White House admission since “leading from behind.”

    Revealing and shocking. The world’s greatest exporter of terror … is approaching nuclear capability — and the focus of U.S. policy is to prevent a democratic ally threatened with annihilation from preempting the threat?

    Indeed it is. The new open-ended negotiations with Iran fit well with this strategy of tying Israel down. As does Obama’s “I have Israel’s back” reassurance, designed to persuade Israel and its supporters to pull back and outsource to Obama what for Israel are life-and-death decisions…. — contradicting the intended impression he’d given AIPAC that he was offering special protection to an ally under threat of physical annihilation.

    To AIPAC he declares that “no Israeli government can tolerate a nuclear weapon in the hands of a regime that denies the Holocaust, threatens to wipe Israel off the map, and sponsors terrorist groups committed to Israel’s destruction” and affirms “Israel’s sovereign right to make its own decisions . . . to meet its security needs.”

    And then he pursues policies — open-ended negotiations, deceptive promises of tough U.S. backing for Israel, boasts about the efficacy of sanctions, grave warnings about “war talk” — meant, as his own official admitted, to stop Israel from exercising precisely that sovereign right to self-protection.

    Yet beyond these obvious contradictions and walk-backs lies a transcendent logic: … Obama wants to get past Nov. 6 without any untoward action that might threaten his reelection.

    For Israel, however, the stakes are somewhat higher: the very existence of a vibrant nation and its 6 million Jews. The asymmetry is stark. A fair-minded observer might judge that Israel’s desire to not go gently into the darkness carries higher moral urgency than the political future of one man, even if he is president of the United States.

    [my emphasis added]

    For Dr. Krauthammer, Israel’s inherently “higher moral urgency” trumps any other considerations, moral or otherwise, that citizens of the world might have. When he sees ‘daylight’ between them, Krauthammer will always side with Israel over the U.S.

    P,S. – Since, for his own Zionist reasons, Dr, Krauthammer is always so sour on Obama, may I in future be excused if I refer to him as Dr. Sauerkraut-Hammer? Also, I hope that Dr. Krauthammer, being a psychiatrist, might somehow help me understand why I have acquired lately a worrisome tendency to avoid foods marked ‘kosher.’

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