AIPAC request for U.S. backing of Israeli strike on Iran gets Senators’ support

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) annual policy conference is coming up this weekend, and one of their top priorities is to secure U.S. backing for an Israeli strike on Iran. Today, the AIPAC ask was taken up by two Senators who have been in the lead on pushing for aggressive U.S. policy on Iran: Lindsey Graham and Robert Menendez. 

Think ProgressHayes Brown has the story:

Two hawkish Senators want to set U.S. policy in favor of prematurely pulling the “military option” trigger against Iran, pledging American backing of absolutely any strike by Israel against Iran and its nuclear program.

Brown quotes the key part of the legislation:

Urges that, if the Government of Israel is compelled to take military action in self-defense, the United States Government should stand with Israel and provide diplomatic, military, and economic support to the Government of Israel in its defense of its territory, people, and existence.

As Brown notes, while the resolution is not a Congressional authorization to use military force, it does “serve as an official announcement of U.S. policy to support any Israeli strike.” 

Iran expert Gary Sick tells Open Zion‘s Ali Gharib why the resolution is so problematic. “Initiating a war is the gravest step any nation can take,” he said. “This legislation would effectively entrust that decision to a regional state. Such a decision is an American sovereign responsibility. It cannot be outsourced.” Gharib adds that “while non-binding Congressional resolutions don’t directly make policy, the language therein often manifests itself both in later, binding legislative efforts and, more frequently, in the public discourse.”

What the Think Progress report doesn’t mention is that the Graham-Menendez resolution is exactly what AIPAC will push for at its conference, which begins on Sunday. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency‘s Ron Kampeas reports:

[AIPAC's] agenda will focus on the Congress enacting legislation that would designate Israel a “major strategic ally” of the United States — a relationship not enjoyed by any other nation — and on facilitating a U.S. green light should Israel decide to strike Iran. Should the measures being considered by the Senate and the House of Representatives pass, it would constitute the most explicit congressional sanction for military action against Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons program.

Here’s an easy prediction to make: the Graham-Menendez resolution will get ample support in Congress. AIPAC tells Kampeas that they will be bringing 13,000 activists to the conference, similar to last year’s “record break[ing]” number. Next Tuesday is when the lobbyists will swarm Capitol Hill.

Last year, an AIPAC-backed resolution that critics derided as a “blank check for war”  was introduced ahead of the AIPAC conference. That resolution was meant to align U.S. policy with Israeli policy on the Iranian nuclear energy program. The bill called on the U.S. to prevent Iran from attaining nuclear-weapons “capability”–a nebulous term. The House of Representatives passed the Iran “capability” bill in March 2012, but it took a bit more time for the Senate to pass it, due to Kentucky Senator Rand Paul’s objections. Still, the Senate passed the “capability” bill in September 2012, and AIPAC celebrated, as M.J. Rosenberg noted at the time:

AIPAC applauds the Senate for rejecting a policy of containment of an Iranian nuclear weapons capability and calling for an increase in sanctions against the world’s leading state sponsor of terror.

Expect a repeat of last year’s legislative performance after the AIPAC conference closes out. 

About Alex Kane

Alex Kane is an assistant editor for Mondoweiss and the World editor for AlterNet. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.
Posted in Iran, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, Middle East, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics

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

  1. ritzl says:

    Isn’t this how WWI started? Everybody “greenlighted” everyone else.

    Fools. Criminals. And while traitors is overused, this sure seems to be one step inside that line.

    • lysias says:

      Over time, and studying the matter more and more, I’ve become persuaded that Germany and Austria-Hungary bore the primary responsibility for WWI. And certainly Germany greenlighting Austria was a critical step in the process that led to war. The German military, we now know, was making war preparations two weeks before Austria delivered its ultimatum to Serbia, and we also now have documentary proof that people in power in the German government thought that an Austrian attack on Serbia was inevitable after the delivery of the ultimatum, and that there would then be a 90% chance of a European war.

      The other powers may have been too quick to turn to a military response, but I’m not sure they had much of a choice.

      In any case, wherever you place the blame for WWI, if we greenlight an Israeli attack on Iran, we will be putting ourselves in the position of Germany in 1914, and Israel in the position of Austria.

      By the way, it was known, including by the German government (as well as by the chief of the Austrian General Staff), that, if Franz Ferdinand succeeded to the Austrian throne, he would oppose a war. It makes you wonder why Franz Ferdinand was allowed to pay an official visit to Sarajevo on the Serbian national day. So one bird was killed by the assassination — Franz Ferdinand eliminated — and there was hope that a couple more would be: the Serbian threat to Austria eliminated; Russia and France humiliated; German paramountcy over the European continent established. Only it didn’t work out that way.

    • marc b. says:

      yup, another menendez intent on parricide. this would likely be the end of the american empire, and the catalyst for world wide depression. but thems small potatoes when compared with the psychological well being of netanyahu.

    • while traitors is overused

      I disagree. Treason is exactly the right descriptor for what we see here.
      Hang ‘em high.

  2. bob says:

    Ali Gharib
    With prominent liberal Democrats already signing on, AIPAC’s lobbying heft will likely propel a bill that, in Congressional sentiment at least, commits the U.S. to active support of a potential Israeli attack that experts think could have consequences as grave as further destabilization in the region, adverse global economic consequences, and even a hardening of Iranian resolve to get a weapon.

    ……

    At my last job, AIPAC complained when a colleague wrote that the group’s tactics were pushing the U.S. toward a new Middle East war. Make no mistake: though non-binding, this Graham-Menendez resolution—announced as an AIPAC initiative before being introduced in Congress—is a pro-war effort. During now-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s confirmation hearing, the nominee’s years-old remarks about the influence of the pro-Israel lobby on Capitol Hill were seized upon: “Name one dumb thing we’ve been goaded into doing by the Israeli, Jewish lobby,” one Republican demanded. If only Graham had given Hagel an extra few weeks to hand him this shining example. – See more at: link to thedailybeast.com

  3. Citizen says:

    Now if only we Americans could separate Heidi Klum’s beautiful German ass from the Holocaust. Not likely, because Joan Rivers is in charge of official US foreign policy. What, you think those in charge are the hillbilly ducks with the ZZ top beards? LOL.
    When’s the last time you heard the heavily bottomed Ms River pull a Vanessa Redgrave? See what I mean?

  4. Chu says:

    also:
    The Stuxnet computer virus believed to have been developed by the United States or Israel to contain threats from Iran dates back at least to 2007, researchers said Wednesday. Researchers at the leading security company Symantec say they’ve discovered an early version of Stuxnet, what they call a “missing link,” that was active as early as 2005.

    “The new finding … resolves a number of long-standing mysteries around a part of the attack code that appeared in the 2009 and 2010 variants of Stuxnet, but was incomplete in those variants and had been disabled by the attackers,” said Kim Zetter of the Wired.com website that specializes in defense and security affairs.

    link to upi.com

  5. Avi_G. says:

    First came the no-fly zones, the sanctions, then came the total destruction of a millennia-old civilization. Have you seen photos of the destroyed Museums, artifacts, and one of the world’s seven wonders, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon?

    After invading in 2003, US troops along with Halliburton contractors took to the Gardens with heavy machinery.

    So it took Zionists about a decade before they could get the US to attack Iraq, how long do you suppose before the Zios destroy another civilization?

    • Ecru says:

      There are repeated rumours that much looting was done “to order” and that US military personnel were involved. Speaking for myself, I have no problems believing those rumours, especially with so many lesser known but still valuable pieces being ignored in the museums as the looters went for the famous prizes first.

      However, just as a point of history, the Hanging Gardens weren’t destroyed by the invasion of Iraq, they’ve never been found and people still aren’t too sure what the heck they even were or even if they existed.

      As for Zionists destruction of other civilisations, you must remember that to a Jewish Zionist the only history worth preserving (read mythologising) is Jewish history, all else is so much dross. Take a look at what their “archaeologists” get up to in Jerusalem – it’s the Ahnenerbe all over again.

      • Avi_G. says:

        Ecru,

        It’s neither rumors, nor stories.

        UNESCO formally complained about the destruction of the world heritage sites of Babylon, to include the Hanging Gardens.

        link to portal.unesco.org

        • Ecru says:

          No that’s the damage to the site of Babylon, not the Hanging Gardens. It’s as if someone damaged Rome – the damage need not include the Flavian Coliseum simple because Rome, like Babylon is so large. Sites within sites you see.

  6. amigo says:

    So, Hagel is getting his first test to see if he has been reformed.

    The Lobby did not wait very long to lay down the Gauntlet.

    • gingershot says:

      Hagel will help Obama destroy AIPAC/the Neocons – and he will do it by making sure there is NOT a war against Iran

      • amigo says:

        “Hagel will help Obama destroy AIPAC/the Neocons – and he will do it by making sure there is NOT a war against Iran” GS

        I sincerely hope you are right.

        With the Lobby destroyed, Israel,s wack jobs can be defeated.It only exists because of US support.

  7. Bumblebye says:

    I read (somewhere I now can’t find) that the “major strategic ally” ruse was intended to protect funds earmarked for Israel from the sequester – which it would be at risk of losing without such a designation.

    As for Graham and Menendez, have they ever risked their hides in combat roles? And will they be putting in needless danger many military constituents wherever they (G & M) hail from?

    • lysias says:

      Lindsey Graham’s military service:

      Graham joined the United States Air Force in 1982, and served on active duty until 1988. Following his departure he stayed in the military, joining the South Carolina Air National Guard[2] and the U.S. Air Force Reserve. During the Gulf War, he was recalled to active duty, serving as a Judge Advocate at McEntire Air National Guard Station in Eastover, South Carolina, where he helped brief departing pilots on the laws of war.[3] He later transferred from the Air National Guard to the Air Force Reserve.

      In 1998, according to the Congressional daily newspaper The Hill, Graham was describing himself on his website as an Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm veteran. In reality, he never left South Carolina. Graham responded “I have not told anybody I’m a combatant,” he said. “I’m not a war hero, and never said I was. I never intended to lie. If I have lied about my military record, I’m not fit to serve in Congress,” further noting that he “never deployed.”[4]

      In 2004, Graham received a promotion to Colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve at a White House ceremony officiated by President George W. Bush.

      Graham served in Iraq as a reservist on active duty for short periods during April and two weeks in August 2007, where he worked on detainee and rule-of-law issues.[5] He also served in Afghanistan during the August 2009 Senate recess.[6]

      Through 2010, Graham served as a senior instructor for the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, U.S. Air Force.[7]

      Robert Menendez’s Almanac of American Politics bio shows no military service. (Born in 1954, he would have escaped the Vietnam draft.)

  8. HarryLaw says:

    The Israelis see that 99% US poll that sees a nuclear threat from Iran, and are convinced all they need to do is get their strategic ally [or big stupid friend as I call the US] to do what 99% of the American public thinks needs to be done. Maybe if someone were to ask the Israelis about the consequences of such an attack ,for instance the cost in US and Iranian lives and the economic collapse of Western Europe because of the closure of the Strait of Hormus, perhaps if they were honest they would reply, we don’t care, our only concern is that are neighbors are kept weak and preferably decimated from time to time, so that we can continue expanding into the whole of the Land of Israel, and to hell with the consequences.

    • lysias says:

      Hence the Argo movie, and its Academy Award.

    • marc b. says:

      if they were honest they would reply, we don’t care, our only concern is that are neighbors are kept weak and preferably decimated from time to time

      dexter filkins and his barely disguised priapism were on the radio the other day, bumbling, intoxicated over the inevitable hammering of lebanon by eretz israel. it will ‘short, even more devestating’ than ’06, he says.

    • Kathleen says:

      The Israeli’s don’t give a rats ass about American or Iranian lives.

      • Woody Tanaka says:

        “The Israeli’s don’t give a rats ass about American or Iranian lives.”

        Sure they do. They care that if they play their cards right, they can get Americans to die fighting Iran to benefit their apartheid state, just like they did in Iraq.

    • Ecru says:

      Yes but you see if Israel gets the USA to attack Iran they kill multiple birds with one stone.

      Lots of Iranians/Muslims get killed. WHOOPEE!
      Lots of Americans die NOT Israelis. WHOOPEE!
      Europe gets royally shafted (so it’s growing condemnation of Israel is neutralised) WHOOPEE!
      Anti-semitism increases around the world WHOOPEE!
      And not least – there’s cover for further ethnic cleansing of Palestine. WHOOPEE!

      All in all, it’s a big win for what is quite possibly the vilest nation on the planet.

  9. bob says:

    Also, this should find its way on this site.

    http://forward.com/articles/172014/walt-and-mearsheimer-are-ready-for-their-close-up/#.US–KKOCuNg

    Walt and Mearsheimer Are Ready for their Close-Up
    The Idea of an “Israel Lobby” Has Entered the Realm of Pop Culture

  10. Carowhat says:

    Israel is asking the US Senate to issue a declaration of war. Furthermore it’s leaving the decision in the hands of Israel. Are we nuts? Why don’t we just Fedex the (launch authorization) football to Netanyahu so he can launch our missiles whenever he likes?

  11. agenda will focus on the Congress enacting legislation that would designate Israel a “major strategic ally” of the United States — a relationship not enjoyed by any other nation

    strategic ally, what does that means. they initiate a strategy and we carry it out?

    • lysias says:

      And note that Israel has never agreed to a treaty of alliance with the U.S. Lyndon Johnson offered them such a treaty, but they refused, as it would have required them to define their boundaries.

      So it would be a very one-sided alliance.

  12. HarryLaw says:

    One thing is absolutely certain, Israel as a strategic Ally, guarantees billions of strategic enemies.

  13. lysias says:

    Urges that, if the Government of Israel is compelled to take military action in self-defense, the United States Government should stand with Israel and provide diplomatic, military, and economic support to the Government of Israel in its defense of its territory, people, and existence.

    Hitler claimed that his attack on Poland was in self-defense:

    Polen hat nun heute nacht zum erstenmal auf unserem eigenen Territorium auch mit bereits regulären Soldaten geschossen. Seit 5 Uhr 45 wird jetzt zurückgeschossen! Und von jetzt ab wird Bombe mit Bombe vergolten!

  14. American says:

    Hagel’s first speech at pentagon

    Hagel: US ‘Can’t Dictate to the World’
    In his first speech as Defense Secretary, Hagel called for renewing old alliances and building new ones

    by John Glaser, February 27, 2013

    In his first speech as Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel told an audience of US troops and defense officials at the Pentagon that the US should engage with the world instead of try to dictate to it.

    “We can’t dictate to the world, but we must engage with the world,” he said. “That engagement in the world should be done wisely. And the resources that we employ on behalf of our country and our allies should always be applied wisely.”

    Hagel was confirmed by the Senate on Tuesday in a 58-41 vote, which according to The Washington Post was “the narrowest approval ever for a defense secretary nominee.”

    Much of Hagel’s speech seemed to indirectly rebut the Bush administration’s strong-arm, with-us-or-against-us diplomatic approach, making clear also that he would not support wars he viewed as unnecessary.

    “I’ll never ask anyone to do anything I wouldn’t do,” he said, and he emphasized “renew[ing] old alliances” and “reach[ing] out” to “build new alliances.”

    Hagel also addressed impending defense budget cuts, notably leaving out the doomsday scenarios warned about by his predecessor, Leon Panetta.

    Sequestration “is a reality,” he said. “We need to figure this out.”

  15. American says:

    Well here what I want—I don’t want an attack on Iran…BUT ….if there is one I hope Iran and others retalitate and it starts WWIII….takes down the whole global economy…..burns Israel to a crisp and totally bankrupts the USA and strips us of all power. Because if we keep on doing these ‘do as we say’ preemptive wars on anyone we or Israel doesn’t like we will keep on doing it until we do start WWIII….and I’d rather get it going and over with now then leave to our children and grandchildren to cope with.

    Then we can start over……..

  16. seafoid says:

    No Israeli soldiers will lose their testicles to an IED and have to beg charities in order to get a family started when the army denies them IVF treatment. No, that is strictly for the goys. The poor Americans who fight Israel’s wars.

    link to huffingtonpost.com

    You won’t see anyone at AIPAC or in the Senate sending their kids to die in Iran either.

    No, that’s just for poor Americans.

  17. seafoid says:

    Bradley Manning is looking at spending the best years of his life in jail for trying to show America how pointless the wars in the Middle East are.

    And to go in again for Zionism- it’s insane. Zionism is insane.

    link to guardian.co.uk

    “At a pre-trial hearing on a Maryland military base, Manning, 25, who faces spending the rest of his life in military custody, read out a 35-page statement in which he gave an impassioned account of his motives for transmitting classified documents and videos he had obtained while working as an intelligence analyst outside Baghdad.
    Sitting at the defence bench in a hushed courtroom, Manning said he was sickened by the apparent “bloodlust” of a helicopter crew involved in an attack on a group in Baghdad that turned out to include Reuters correspondents and children.
    He believed the Afghan and Iraq war logs published by the WikiLeaks website, initially in association with a consortium of international media organisations that included the Guardian, were “among the more significant documents of our time revealing the true costs of war”. The decision to pass the classified information to a public website was motivated, he told the court, by his depression about the state of military conflict in which the US was mired.
    Manning said: “We were obsessed with capturing and killing human targets on lists and ignoring goals and missions. I believed if the public, particularly the American public, could see this it could spark a debate on the military and our foreign policy in general [that] might cause society to reconsider the need to engage in counter-terrorism while ignoring the human situation of the people we engaged with every day.”

    And if Zionism attacks Iran that will most likely be the death knell for the Jewish project in the region.
    Too many enemies .
    Sunni and Shia.

    link to nybooks.com

    “Petraeus’s two wars proved something significant all the same—big-unit maneuver and heavy firepower made as many enemies as they killed”

  18. seafoid says:

    This is war

    link to youtube.com

    If it is sponsored by AIPAC there will be consequences, I imagine

  19. ToivoS says:

    This is a particularly brazen effort on the part of AIPAC. The senate is being asked that the US to give to a foreign nation the decision to go to war with another country. This should be an impossible demand. AIPAC has signed off directly on this piece of legislation. I think this is a deliberate provocation. The lobby just suffered a defeat and I suspect they are now testing Obama if he wants his admin to get bloodied a second time. We have to admit that Obama did pay a price for Hagel.

    Usually when AIPAC presents legislation to Congress the admin, even for things they oppose, will remain silent and let Congress just pass it. They can always ignore it later goes the argument. This time I certainly hope is different. This legislation is so much more extreme. The lobby is now asking that the US explicitly surrender sovereignty to Israel. Obama has to come out and actively campaign against this. He should take his case to the American people. AIPAC is daring him to put them into the blinding light of day. He should accept the challenge.

    • lysias says:

      When the U.S. Senate ratified both the UN Charter and the North Atlantic Treaty (joining NATO,) it expressly reserved the right of Congress either to declare or not to declare war.

  20. yourstruly says:

    re: aipac’s initiating wwiii?

    yes, the piper gets to call the tune?

    but?

    will the american people dance to it?

    • yourstruly says:

      aipac knows that in wartime americans always rally-round-the-flag?

      so with popular support for israel waning?

      it’s get the u.s. to make war upon iran?

      or face the inevitable?

      • Carowhat says:

        A famous American scientist once told me the president could get the American people to go to war with any country with three speeches. Getting the American people to go to war with Iran on behalf of Israel would probably take only two. In fact all the president would have to do is whisper the words “war” and “Iran” in the same sentence and our congress would demand he start bombing tomorrow.

        Sometimes America is such a tool of our betters.

  21. ToivoS says:

    Here is something quite related: link to telegraph.co.uk in an article headlined Iran-hails-turning-point-as-world-powers-make-key-nuclear-concessions.

    I haven’t seen this story listed here in the US but if accurate this is a major concession. From the story the US has agreed to allow Iran to enrich U235 for its power plants and to keep the 20% U235 they have already produced. There was even some mention of relaxing sanctions. This is exchange for Iran to “suspend” further enrichment (for now? for ever?).

    If this story is correct Israel must be in a real tizzy about now. There goes the war they have lusting after for so many years. The lobby has been defied big time.

    • ToivoS says:

      I am seriously puzzled. Why is the story about the Kazakhstan negotiations with Iran such a non-story? At least here is the WaPo publicly worrying that war might have been avoided:
      link to washingtonpost.com

      The news for the last two days seems to be dominated by the sequester while very very little mention of Iran in any of the main news outlets. If Iran is making statements that they are pleased with the outcome of these talks then this is a major story. It means that the chances of war breaking out has just dropped considerably. It supports the numerous hints that the admin has dropped over the last 13 months that they were now willing to negotiate in good faith. It is only reasonable that the Obama admin wants to keep this story on the back pages because we have, it would appear, made a major concession. The least said then the less the rightwing press has anything to complain about. WaPo as is to be expected is trying to stir the pot. However, it still doesn’t look like this is a real news story.

  22. RE: The…AIPAC annual policy conference is coming up this weekend, and one of their top priorities is to secure U.S. backing for an Israeli strike on Iran. Today, the AIPAC ask was taken up by two Senators who have been in the lead on pushing for aggressive U.S. policy on Iran: Lindsey Graham and Robert Menendez. . . Here’s an easy prediction to make: the Graham-Menendez resolution will get ample support in Congress. ~ Alex Kane

    MY COMMENT: When it comes to Israel, our U.S. Senators and Members of Congress are nothing but a bunch of yo-yos! ! !

    BEHOLD ONE OF URI AVNEY’S BEST COMMENTARIES:
    “Bibi and the Yo-Yos”, by Uri Avnery, Antiwar.com, 05/26/11

    [EXCERPT] It was all rather disgusting.
    There they were, the members of the highest legislative bodies of the world’s only superpower, flying up and down like so many yo-yos, applauding wildly, every few minutes or seconds, the most outrageous lies and distortions of Binyamin Netanyahu.

    It was worse than the Syrian parliament during a speech by Bashar Assad, where anyone not applauding could find himself in prison. Or Stalin’s Supreme Soviet, when showing less than sufficient respect could have meant death.
    What the American Senators and Congressmen feared was a fate worse than death. Anyone remaining seated or not applauding wildly enough could have been caught on camera – and that amounts to political suicide. It was enough for one single congressman to rise and applaud, and all the others had to follow suit. Who would dare not to?
    The sight of these hundreds of parliamentarians jumping up and clapping their hands, again and again and again and again, with the Leader graciously acknowledging with a movement of his hand, was reminiscent of other regimes. Only this time it was not the local dictator who compelled this adulation, but a foreign one.
    The most depressing part of it was that there was not a single lawmaker – Republican or Democrat – who dared to resist. When I was a 9 year old boy in Germany, I dared to leave my right arm hanging by my side when all my schoolmates raised theirs in the Nazi salute and sang Hitler’s anthem. Is there no one in Washington DC who has that simple courage? Is it really Washington IOT – Israel Occupied Territory – as the anti-Semites assert? . . .

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – link to original.antiwar.com

    • P.S. FROM MapLight.org

      ● Pro-Israel contributions

      • Top Senate Recipients Funded

      Recipient Amount
      Mark Kirk $945,679
      John McCain $772,327
      Benjamin Cardin $446,948
      Mitch McConnell $404,700
      Carl Levin $366,278
      Robert Menéndez $343,394
      Richard Durbin $325,112
      Kirsten Gillibrand $312,687
      Mary Landrieu $294,259
      Harry Reid $261,708
      Frank Lau . . .

      SOURCE – link to maplight.org

      P.P.S. IT HAS A LOT TO DO WITH “CORN PONE”:

      . . . He [Mark Twain] quotes his childhood friend as saying, “You tell me where a man gets his corn pone (bread), and I’ll tell you what his opinions are.” Meaning that one’s opinions can be told based on where that person got their bread. . .

      SOURCE – link to english414fall2011.wordpress.com

      P.P.P.S. ANOTHER RELEVANT QUOTATION: “You can’t use tact with a Congressman! A Congressman is a hog! You must take a stick and hit him on the snout!” ~ From ‘The Education of Henry Adams’, By Henry Brooks Adams (American journalist, historian, academic and novelist, 1838-1918)
      The Education of Henry Adams by Henry Adams – link to gutenberg.org
      The Education of Henry Adams: An Autobiography (Google eBook) – link to books.google.com

      P.P.P.P.S. Henry Brooks Adams’ paternal grandfather was Pres. John Quincy Adams, and his great grandfather was Pres. John Adams.

    • P.P.P.P.P.S. ALSO FROM URI AVNERY: “AIPAC alone has now more than 200 employees in seven offices throughout the US. Almost everyone in Washington DC lives in deadly fear of it. The Lobby can dethrone any senator or congressman who arouses its anger.”

      SEE: “The Riddle of the Israel Lobby”, by Uri Avnery, Antiwar.com, 2/25/13
      Don’t expect a second term peace initiative from Obama

      [EXCERPTS] . . . Why, for God’s sake, did the Americans not do what logic dictated? Why didn’t they put pressure on our government? Why didn’t they make an offer that our leaders couldn’t refuse? In short, why no effective peace initiative?
      It could not be in the American national interest to follow a policy that made it a hate-object of the masses throughout the entire Arab and most of the Muslim world. Didn’t the Americans understand that they were undermining their clients in every Arab country – as these rulers never tired of telling them at every meeting?
      The most obvious reason was the growing power of the pro-Israel lobby, from the early 50s on. AIPAC alone has now more than 200 employees in seven offices throughout the US. Almost everyone in Washington DC lives in deadly fear of it. The Lobby can dethrone any senator or congressman who arouses its anger. Look at what is happening right now to Chuck Hagel, who dared to say the unthinkable: “I am an American senator, not an Israeli senator!”
      The two professors, Mearsheimer and Walt, dared to say it: the pro-Israeli lobby controls American policy.
      But this theory is not completely satisfying.
      What about the spying affair around Jonathan Pollard, who stays in prison for life in spite of immense Israeli pressure to release him?
      Can a world power really be induced by a small foreign country and a powerful domestic lobby to act for decades against its basic national interest?
      Another factor often mentioned is the power of the arms industry. . .

      . . . The US supplies us with huge quantities of the most sophisticated weapons. True, a lot of these come to us as a gift – but that doesn’t change the picture. The arms producers are paid by the US government as a kind of New Deal public works project supported enthusiastically even (and especially) by the Republicans. . .
      . . . Then there is the “Common History” thing. The US and Israel are so much alike, aren’t they? They have both displaced another people, and live on denial. . .
      . . . Neither Goldman nor I found a satisfactory answer to this riddle.
      Eight months before his death, I received from him, quite unexpectedly, a surprising letter. Written in German (which we never spoke) on his stationery, it was a kind of apology: I had been right all along, no American peace initiative was to be expected, the rationale remained inexplicable. . .
      . . . The letter was a response to an article I had written some days before in the magazine I edited, Haolam Hazeh, in which I asked: “Do the Americans really want peace?”
      Goldmann wrote: “I, too, have already sometimes asked myself this question. Though one should not underestimate the lack of statesmanlike wisdom of American foreign policy makers
      … I could write a whole book proving that America seriously wants peace, and another book showing that they do not want peace.”
      He mentioned America’s fear of Soviet penetration of the Middle East, and their belief that peace is impossible without Russian participation. He also disclosed that a Russian diplomat had told him that there had been an American-Russian agreement to convene a peace conference in Geneva, but that Moshe Dayan had called upon the American Jews to sabotage it. The Russians were very angry.
      Sprinkling names along the way, he summed up: “Without being quite sure, I would say at the moment that there is a combination of American diplomatic incompetence on one hand, a fear of Russian involvement in a peace on the other hand, added to the domestic fear of the pro-Israeli lobby, (which includes) not only the Jews but also (non-Jews) like Senator (Henry “Scoop”) Jackson and others. (All these) seem to be the reasons for the complete lack of understanding and results of the American Middle East policy, for which Israel will pay heavily in the future.”
      Except FOR the decline of Russian influence, every word is valid today, 31 years later, on the eve of the Obama visit. . .

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY – link to original.antiwar.com

  23. Les says:

    Chutzpah
    There are parasites. Some are rather harmless. When their host goes hungry they will also go hungry. Others are more demanding. Even a hungry host will not stop them from feasting:

    At a time when sequestration is about to take a big bite out of the Pentagon budget, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) will be sending thousands of its citizen lobbyists to Capitol Hill next week to make sure Israel is exempted from any spending cuts.

    The 13,000 expected AIPAC activists will be telling Congress not to touch Israel’s $3-billion-plus annual security assistance and to vote for legislation declaring the Jewish state a “major strategic ally.”

    That is a designation not enjoyed by any other nation, JTA pointed out, noting it may be a step toward the goal of some conservatives of divorcing assistance to Israel from all other foreign aid spending.

    AIPAC’s annual policy conference begins Sunday and culminates Tuesday with personal visits by constituents to hundreds of members of the House and Senate.

    This should be a good chance to highlight the issue of rather outrageous U.S. payments to the zionist state. Israel getting its subsidizes while local school lunch programs get cut might awake some citizens’ critique. The attempt to automatically involve the U.S. in a war that Israel’s hardliners would like to start should add to the outrage.

    Posted by b on February 28, 2013

    link to moonofalabama.org

  24. piotr says:

    (8) urges that, if the Government of Israel is compelled to take military action in self-defense, the United States Government should stand with Israel and provide diplomatic, military, and economic support to the Government of Israel in its defense of its territory, people, and existence.

    SEC. 2. RULES OF CONSTRUCTION.

    Nothing in this resolution shall be construed as an authorization for the use of force or a declaration of war.

    A bit weird. Does the resolution authorize Israel to use force or not, and does it It hinges on what does it mean is compelled etc. Also, how USA can offer military support without being authorized to use force?

    Are those intentional gaps in logic to render the resolution stupid but harmless?

  25. gingershot says:

    How come AIPAC and the Israeli Lobby always use non-Jews to take the lead in the Senate? – it speaks volumes

  26. ritzl says:

    Gharib also, correctly, notes that “But the resolutions are part of a long game.”

    As long as this pressure is present, the risk of a disastrous new war [of first resort] is also present. At a time when there are so many issues to deal with, defense and otherwise, in US policy/political circles, defuzing this risk would seem to be the optimal/rational principal objective if anything else is to get done.

    As ToivoS said above, and Stephen Walt foretold yesterday, this is immediate/coincident/point-making pushback for the defeat on Hagel. link to walt.foreignpolicy.com

    The 13,000 “asks” (asks being an important and specific lobbying concept, as opposed to expressed context/sentiment) for carte-blanche support for whatever Israel determines to be in its interest, should be viewed and called out as exactly what they are – treacherous Israel-firstdom. Enough!

    As ToivoS also said upthread, this is becoming unignorable. Where is the organized effort to get 13,000 reciprocal/negating “asks?” The AIPAC convention date is known long in advance. Letting their non-constituent “volunteers” roam the Congressional Office Buildings unopposed, like it’s the only bloc opinion out there, is a recipe for ongoing disaster.

    I’d go and “ask.” That’s 1. I’d even wear a pink shirt (well, maybe a tie). :)

  27. JennieS says:

    Urges that, if the Government of Israel is compelled to take military action in self-defense, the United States Government should stand with Israel and provide diplomatic, military, and economic support to the Government of Israel in its defense of its territory, people, and existence.

    If the Government of Israel were to be genuinely compelled to take military action in self defense there is no doubt that the US and a number of other countries would provide diplomatic, military and economic support so the resolution is redundant. What the resolution actually says is “If Israel commits the ultimate war crime by attacking another country (Iran) the US will have already agreed to be fully complicit in said crime.”

  28. yourstruly says:

    therefore the tail wags the dog?

    jonathon pollard?

    the exception to the rule?

    could it be that on its own the u.s. government supports israeli aggression?

    even though its support puts america at risk?

    because the “necessity” of our backing israel is used to justify perpetual wars & militarization?

    “defense” budgets that consume the entire federal spending pie?

    sorry, congress would like to fund health care, education, etc. etc.?

    but you know?

    national security comes first?

  29. hammersmith says:

    We have the best representation money can buy and the Israel Lobby bought them–not that Americans mind, or so it seems.

  30. bilal a says:

    Ideas for the AIPAC Gala decorations

    9/11 twin towers with planes in them, Purim costume
    Haman and his 10 sons hanging on a Pre School

    link to hipsterjew.com

  31. Kathleen says:

    Call your Reps let them know that many Americans do not want more unnecessary and inflammatory legislation pushing the US closer to a military confrontation with Iran being promoted by Graham/Menendez. Facebook, email, others to contact their Reps and ask them to vote no on this resolution.

    This no nuclear capability (no enrichment) which Iran has every legal right to enrich uranium up to 20% as signatories to the NPT. We have the country of Israel who will not sign the NPT and sits on a massive pile of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons demanding that Iran not enrich uranium which they have a legal right to do. Can it get any more absurd. Ask your Reps to say no to this resolution and ask them to persuade Israel to sign the Non Proliferation treaty

  32. Citizen says:

    Go to the url in below tweet and sign the 3 letters to tell your senators and house reps and POTUS to stop this AIPAC legislation, which effectively works to put our war trigger in Israel’s hands–you can edit the letters & its all very quick:

    Don’t Let #AIPAC prevail! Tell @BarackObama & Congress to support peace, not war with #Iran & #Palestine link to bit.ly @codepink
    Retweeted by CODEPINK

  33. Ecru says:

    Uhm, wasn’t one of the old anti-semitic canards that “the Jews” started WWI and WWII? Is “The Jewish State” and it’s insane supporters wanting to bring this one back to life as reality? I mean I know the ADL (Arab Defamation League), Dershotwit etc desperately cast about for ANY evidence of the anti-semitic bogeyman but are they really so hard up they need to help manufacture the real stuff?

  34. Meh. I see this as yet more empty saber rattling. Israel is NOT going to attack Iran. If it was, it would have done so years ago, and without publicising their intent in front of the world for years on end. The IDF are pretty nifty when it comes to harassing teenagers and pregnant women, but there is no way they’d have the guts to take on an enemy which could actually fight back.