Congressional staffer brags about AIPAC’s support for letter to Obama seeking retribution against Palestine

MJ Rosenberg has published what he calls a groundbreaking admission by a congressional staffer in an appeal for congressional signatures: that a letter to President Obama signed by four leading congresspeople that urges him to punish Palestine for daring to upgrade its status at the UN is supported by AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

The tradition is that AIPAC operated as a “night flower,” in Steve Rosen’s famous description, and couldn’t tolerate sunlight.

The signers of the Obama letter (whom MJ Rosenberg calls Israel Firsters) are Republicans Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, Ed Royce of California, and Dems Howard Berman of California and Eliot Engel of NY. The staffer who wrote the letter seeking other signatures works for Ros Lehtinen. Her appeal as distributed is below; here are Rosenberg’s tweets on the subject:

In a first, AIPAC letter from Congressmen demanding punishment 4 Palestine mentions AIPAC up front…

AIPAC drafted letter from 4 Israel First Congressmen, soon to be signed by House, demanding Palestinians be punished.

The letter:

Congressional letter citing AIPAC authorship
Congressional letter citing AIPAC support
Congressional letter part 2
Congressional letter part 2

P.S. It seems to have happened before, in this Eric Cantor-Steny Hoyer letter to Obama, back in ’09.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Israel/Palestine

{ 10 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. talknic says:

    Completely oblivious, the elephant in the room wades around in its own sh*te

  2. Dan Crowther says:

    I don’t get what the big deal is. Is this surprising? Help me out…

  3. Les says:

    Another reminder that the fakery of Republicans versus Democrats, doesn’t truly describe a Congress that is more importantly, buy-partisan.

  4. American says:

    This happens all the time…has been happening for decades and decades.
    The Israel people aren’t just in our government, they are in every nook and cranny of the US:..they not only distort our present, they distort our past. To illustrate how superfical and ignorant they are in their propaganda this Eric Weider Israel agent claims George Washington is his “ideal”–he evidently never read what Washington had to say about people like him and his passionate attachment to a foreign country. Perhaps the mildest thing we can say about the US Israelis is they are complete phonies and ‘pretend’ Americans .

    Council for the National Interest Foundation

    Dear Friend of CNI:

    As a supporter of CNI, the headline of “Palestine Issues Censored” would not seem unusual. After all, fighting bias by the media [ link to councilforthenationalinterest.org ]-intentional or out of ignorance-has long been part of our agenda.

    But this time it comes from a source that, at first glance, you may not expect to be within the orbit of the Israel lobby.

    In an article I just wrote

    [ link to councilforthenationalinterest.org ],

    I tell the story of a publishing company-whose magazines include “American History, Aviation History, Armchair General, “and “Civil War Times”-which rejected a small ad promoting a book by CNI’s founder, former Congressman Paul Findley.

    I investigated why Congressman Findley’s fascinating memoir, “Speaking Out: A Congressman’s Lifelong Fight Against Bigotry, Famine, and War,” was not acceptable to the publishers of “American History”. I found out that the magazine is part of a massive and lucrative empire-the Weider History Group-based on bodybuilding and related products: an empire that has been investigated and convicted for using false claims to sell potentially dangerous “nutritional supplements” and for publishing “obscene” magazines.

    The Weider History Group is run by powerful people with powerful friends in high places who’ve opposed the regulation of such supplements. It is said to be worth $1 billion.

    The chain’s CEO and publisher, Eric Weider, who personally made the decision to refuse our advertisement.

    The reason? Your Council for the National Interest is allegedly “anti-Israel.”

    You and I know, the real facts, of course. CNI is a nonpartisan organization founded 20 years ago by highly principled former U.S. Congressmen and diplomats. We oppose failed national policies that prolong the tragic violence in the Middle East, that place perceived Israeli interests over American ones, and that drain billions of dollars from the U.S. economy.

    In contrast, the Weider family foundations have been intimately involved with-and promoting-Israel and its American loyalists. The Ben Weider Foundation (Ben is Eric’s father) supported two Lubavitch institutions, a charismatic and sometimes controversial branch of Orthodox Judaism. He was an admirer of Lubavitch head Rabbi Menachem Schneerson, a religious leader who was a major force in Israel; Israeli leaders-including Menachem Begin and Benjamin Netanyahu-would often visit him when they were in the U.S. to seek his advice. A widely revered but controversial leader, Schneerson was held by some followers to be the Messiah. Less widely known is the fact that he made statements that Jews are a different and superior species to non-Jews.

    There is also a Joe Weider Foundation. Joe Weider (Eric’s uncle) is CEO and Eric Weider has been CFO and is currently President. This has given several large grants to a Los Angeles-based organization called American Friends Of Aish HaTorah. Aish HaTorah is an Israeli organization that opposes Jewish assimilation and promotes Israel in the United States. Journalist Jeffrey Goldberg, a strong Israel proponent himself, calls Aish “just about the most fundamentalist movement in Judaism today. Its operatives flourish in the radical belt of Jewish settlements just south of Nablus, in the northern West Bank, and their outposts across the world propagandize on behalf of a particularly sterile, sexist and revanchist brand of Judaism.”

    Among its multitude of activities, Aish has a program to create and equip advocates for Israel on American campuses. These “Hasbara Fellows” as they’re termed, operate on over 120 campuses.

    Joe Weider is one of six North American chairmen of The Jerusalem Fund of Aish HaTorah. This focuses on bringing political leaders, corporate executives, investors, and entertainment personages on private trips to Israel to increase their support for Israel.

    There is plenty more about the Weider History Group and their publications in my article [ link to councilforthenationalinterest.org ], “The Empire Behind World’s Largest History Magazine Chain: How American History Magazine Censored Palestine.” I encourage you to read it-and distribute it to friends and allies. In particular, I hope you’ll send it to history buffs, professors, and teachers”

    • Denis says:

      It’s a fascinating article. The California crowd here would find the extensive comments on the Weider-Schwartzenegger connection worth the read. Like they say, there is no such thing as luck in Hollywood. (Can’t believe Maria married that hyper-hormoned, cigar-chomping cretin. Guess she got what she deserved in the end.)

  5. pabelmont says:

    Why are the night-flowers getting bolder? Is it celebration of power, an attempt at (what seems unneeded) enforcement? Desperation (name of AIPAC is needed?).
    Or, as some say, “Err whut?”

    • Ellen says:

      Don’t know if this is bolder, but maybe more of the bubble symptom. AIPAC operatives wander the halls of Congress every day, all day pushing their demands and policy papers onto Congressional staffers.

      Most l staffers (if they are not already deep into AIPAC themselves) are trained to appropriately respond to any mention of AIPAC or AIPAC policy. You can get a junior staffer to immediately mindlessly spout all the “Pro Israel” propaganda on cue with the right code words.

      I’ve seen it in action.

      AIPAC is a mark of approval and support in the US Congress. This staffer knows that and is using the AIPAC seal of approval to garner more support.

      This is a good example of exactly how the US government works and puts so much time and attention to special interests outside the needs of their own constituents.

  6. radii says:

    the israel-first zionist crowd just looks for every opportunity to be obnoxious and thump their chest with pronounced hubris … what on earth happened behind-the-scenes so that now Obama, et al have allowed Bibi’s 2nd Gaza attack, more land-grabs, more illegal settlements, more bellicosity from israeli leaders, and seemingly America’s tail between its legs vis-a-vis israel again?

  7. Citizen says:

    Americans deserve the government they vote for, time and time again. Most Americans use the internet daily; it’s not like they have to rely on mainstream media anymore to size up what their government does, what it lies about, etc. All that’s needed is more real interest in our foreign policy.