Petition urges Sanders to snub AIPAC, hotbed of Clintonism and neoconservatism

US Politics
on 21 Comments

A petition has been started urging Bernie Sanders to reject the invitation from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, to speak at the leading rightwing Israel lobby group in ten days. Max Blumenthal writes:

AIPAC has invited Bernie Sanders to participate in its 2016 Policy Conference in Washington DC. Voice your support for justice and equality in Israel-Palestine and urge Bernie to reject this invitation. As the main arm of the pro-Israel lobby in the United States, AIPAC has sworn to promote the racist, militaristic, and anti-democratic policies of the most right-wing government in Israel’s history. Its conference this year will feature Islamophobes, anti-immigrant activists, and religious extremists. With his promise to seek a “level playing field” on Israel-Palestine, Bernie does not belong on the same stage as these figures. Urge him to reject AIPAC’s invitation and support justice in the Holy Land.

This represents an effort to politicize Israel support inside the Democratic Party. The base cries out for such a discussion; but Bernie Sanders has not really picked up the ball.

Of course Hillary Clinton will be addressing the AIPAC policy conference, and her presence there alongside Benjamin Netanyahu’s demonstrates the intersectionality (we used to say overlap) of Clintonism and neoconservatism. Countless neocons will stud the office chairs at AIPAC, including Bill Kristol, who purged “the Arabists” from the Republican Party; Dan Senor, an adviser to Marco Rubio; and Bret Stephens, the Wall Street Journal’s flash columnist.

And you will see many Clintonites on AIPAC’s list of speakers. Among them: Ann Lewis, a longtime Clinton adviser; Dennis Ross, the Israel supporter and White House ornament whom Hillary Clinton brought into the Obama administration in 2009 to correct Obama’s tilt toward the Arab world that was so alarming Israel (he is also the cochair of the Jewish People Policy Institute; which opposes intermarriage); Mark Penn, a Clinton pollster; NY Congresswomen Grace Meng and Nita Lowey, who have endorsed Clinton; and Bakari Sellers, a former South Carolina legislator who has become a highly articulate spokesperson for Clinton on CNN.

Much as Kristol purged the “Arabists” from Republican ranks, Ann Lewis worked with AIPAC to purge writers who were critical of Israel from a Clinton-linked thinktank– the Center for American Progress. There really is no foreign-policy difference between Kristol demiurge of the neocons and Lewis the Democratic enforcer except a temperamental one. They are both strong Israel supporters. And approved writers from the cleansed Center for American Progress will be at AIPAC this March: Alan Makovsky and Vikram Singh.

As you seek to absorb these facts (and we approach the tenth anniversary of the publication of The Israel Lobby, by Walt and Mearsheimer), consider that: Clinton’s former State Department consigliere Philippe Reines started a foreign policy consulting shop with former Obama officials Jeremy Bash and Andrew Shapiro that has former Bush aide Eric Edelman as another principal; the outfit consults Republicans and Democrats. Edelman is on the Rubio team and has formed a consultancy with neocons Senor and Robert Kagan. Reflect that Kagan has indicated recently that he’s voting for Hillary Clinton.

Bottom line: the Israel lobby and the neoconservatives are the establishment, the establishment is very happy with Hillary Clinton, and Clinton promised that she will bring Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House in her first month in office, in the wake of his slaughtering 500 children in Gaza. Why Bernie Sanders is avoiding this low-hanging fruit, even as he reaches for the high-hanging fruit of Clinton’s friendship with Henry Kissinger, is a mystery.

21 Responses

  1. Krauss
    March 11, 2016, 2:55 pm

    A compromise will be found. Bernie will arrange a meeting with J Street or a similar lobby organisation which also protects Jewish Apartheid but does it in less strident terms(much like the labor party in Israel).

    Of course, it is possible that he will go to AIPAC(although I’d doubt it), and if he does, there will be a revolt against him among the grassroots.

    Israel is a big issue among the journalistic left, just look at how engaged Greenwald has been lately. The intercept today is bascially the house organ of the progressive base. The nation is trying to catch up. TNR is a joke to everyone(but less of a joke than it was before, when it was a racist neocon rag).

    I also doubt Huffpost will sit silently on the issue.

    Remember: in 2008, Obama pandered so much to AIPAC that he promised “Jerusalem will remain undivided”(read: permanent Jewish apartheid of Palestinians). He later kinda-sorta walked back those comments, but it was nevertheless a revealing moment.

    So if Bernie calls it quits on AIPAC, that’s a huge evolution from 2008. But J Street isn’t enough, it’s still pro-Apartheid but with better PR. They won’t even allow Palestinians into the debate, which isn’t surprising, because they know they would get butchered in one.

    • ritzl
      March 11, 2016, 4:51 pm

      Sanders should accept and send a Palestinian in his place. Munayyer? Buttu? Tamari?

      • YoniFalic
        March 11, 2016, 5:53 pm

        I probably hate the State of Israel as much as the Palestinian mainstream, and I believe all decent human beings have an obligation to despise the State of Israel unequivocally and without reservation.

        Yet it makes sense for Sanders to say little about Israel, Zionism, and Palestine while Zionist racists and genocide-supporters become nervous. Eventually they will start attacking him as an Israel-hater or an anti-Semite.

        Then he can just say, “Hey, I’m Jewish, and I spent time on a Kibbutz.”

        The Zionist faction in the Democratic party will just look stupid or insane.

      • Mooser
        March 11, 2016, 8:30 pm

        “Then he can just say, “Hey, I’m Jewish, and I spent time on a Kibbutz.”

        No! That’ll make it even worse! That would expose Bernie as suffering from “Jewish self-hatred” and the deleterious effect of “internalized antisemitism”.
        And it isn’t just Jews who know about those things any more!

      • YoniFalic
        March 12, 2016, 1:18 pm

        I asked my wife, who is an Irish lapsed Catholic, about Mooser’s reference to Jewish self-hatred. She was completely baffled but observed that a self-critical attitude can be a good thing.

      • rugal_b
        March 12, 2016, 2:51 pm

        Self hating is not the same as self criticism or introspection. A person who hates himself is a person who has been broken by the hate towards him and his kind. It is a sign of innate weakness, the inability to defend his existence as he is, not as he is seen by those who hate him. These type of people are often low status males who occupy the absolute bottom of the social hierarchy within their group.

      • Mooser
        March 15, 2016, 7:48 pm

        “These type of people are often low status males who occupy the absolute bottom of the social hierarchy within their group. “

        So maybe a nice promotion to the middle of the social hierarchy would make us feel better about ourselves? You know, a hand up, instead of a handout, to help us redeem our self-respect.

        I mean, c’mon, “rugal_b”, you know what “low status males who occupy the absolute bottom of the social hierarchy within their group” means, in practical anthropological and social justice terms. It means you don’t get no girls.

      • rugal_b
        March 16, 2016, 2:16 am

        “So maybe a nice promotion to the middle of the social hierarchy would make us feel better about ourselves?” – Mooser

        Exactly. That’s why these losers hate themselves as a way of psychologically allying with the dominant culture and therefore gaining some level of power and influence, one of which they would never experience within their own socio political group. They want power and influence that they do not deserve, and willing to throw their own people under the bus for the opportunity. People like these are as much of a threat to your group’s well-being as the enemy itself.

      • Mooser
        March 16, 2016, 12:00 pm

        “People like these are as much of a threat to your group’s well-being as the enemy itself”

        Oh, BTW, just so we get everything straight, who, in my pathetic, Jewish-American, self-hating, internalized-antisemitism case is “the enemy itself? You wouldn’t mind telling us that?

      • Mooser
        March 16, 2016, 12:07 pm

        “That’s why these losers hate themselves as a way of psychologically allying with the dominant culture and therefore gaining some level of power and influence, one of which they would never experience within their own socio political group.”

        Well, of course, that’s perfectly true, and in exactly those terms, too!
        But on the other hand, Phil Weiss runs this blog and provides you all this space to educate him about his “Jewish self-hatred” and “internalized antisemitism”.

        So maybe there’s hope for him yet.

  2. broadside
    March 11, 2016, 8:05 pm

    “Why Bernie Sanders is avoiding this low-hanging fruit, even as he reaches for the high-hanging fruit of Clinton’s friendship with Henry Kissinger, is a mystery.”

    Absolutely right. Avoid this conference?? Hell, it’s his ticket to the White House, if he had the guts. And the perfect impetus has been handed him: Netanyahu’s latest steaming dump to the face of Barack Obama — turning down (!!) an invitation to the White House — via the press — as Biden is landing in Israel!!

    Sanders should go, all right, and read the room the riot act. “This won’t take long,” he should start. “No one should be more outraged by the conduct of Israel, its treatment of this president especially, than American Jews; no one should be more outraged than the people in this room.” Steam should be coming from his ears.

    But the speech we could all write he’ll never give. Because he’s part coward, part fraud, and because the tribe in him would never allow it.

    • Ghazi28
      March 12, 2016, 10:44 pm

      “Because he’s part coward, part fraud, and because the tribe in him would never allow it.”

      You could have just said, “Because he’s a politician”.

  3. kalithea
    March 11, 2016, 9:14 pm

    Hopefully someone will send this off to Bernie:

    AIPAC_JSTREET REPRESENT THE END OF YOUR CAMPAIGN

    This kind of special interest influence betrays everything. It’s the red line.

    Bernie will attend that conference and associate himself with JStreet and the rest of the Zionist cabal only if he never really intended to run for President.

    • echinococcus
      March 12, 2016, 6:31 am

      Of course he never intended to run for President. He announced it clear and loud at the start: he pledged not to run outside the “party” and to support the winner of the primary (yeah, guess who.)
      That’s it. Now, the large masses that any populist mountebank can easily gather with promises may have gone to his head. Surely he realizes, a bit late, that the Empress Clinton II has no chance of winning any election except by being propped as the only opposition to Satan himself, pardon, the Donald. That is more than likely to give him uppity ideas but he won’t ever oppose Zionism, or any other aspect of US imperialism.

  4. echinococcus
    March 12, 2016, 6:24 am

    Phil Weiss,

    I have no idea how one can be against AIPAC without opposing *at least as vehemently* the Labor and “liberal” Zionists and their J-Street and other organs.
    Doing that is nothing but Zionist propaganda.
    In fact, it is propaganda for the most bloodthirsty branch of Zionism: the one that started the invader state , the one that made the Nakba and the major wars.
    Labor/liberal Zionists are the most threatening enemy.
    Sanders belongs to them, without any discussion. Go through his record of voting and precise statements (no the vague generality you guys seem to relish), watch him defending the genocidal massacre in Gaza.

  5. David Plimpton
    March 12, 2016, 9:04 am

    I signed the petition mentioned in Phil’s post asking Bernie not to speak at the AIPAC conference, mentioning that I voted for him in the Maine Democratic caucuses. That and $3.50 may get you a cup of coffee.

    Anyway, I hope the petition receives a lot more than the 2500 signatures sought.

    Bernie would do better to attend, and participate in, the competing Washington Report on Middle East Affairs conference at which Phil is speaking on March 18 at the National Press Club :

    link to israelsinfluence.org

  6. rolf
    March 12, 2016, 10:51 am

    PLEASE sign this Change.org PETITION to let B. SANDERS PROVE his GENUINENESS! ; )

    1. Palestinians
    did NOT cause holocaust!

    2. Mandela:
    israel is Apartheid – until ALL humans are FREE, none of us are

    3. Benjamin Franklin 1759
    “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety DESERVE neither liberty nor safety.”

    4. Einstein
    “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”
    – so, let’s hope Sanders, who would be the first US Jewish president,
    who claims to be so humanely socially democratic,
    walks the talk, and when it comes down to it, one day,
    when the president has to choose to side with Humanity or Israel,
    Bernie will choose the former!
    He rarely voices his opinion on israel for fear of losing the presidential campaign.
    This petition is a great Test for Sanders’ genuineness!

    After all, why would Sanders’ not do it?!
    Then he would be more EXTREME than the most ardent Zionists who even AWAKENED Spiritually!
    For example:
    2016-03-11 Rich Forer link to goo.gl
    2016-02-22 David Gordis link to goo.gl

    see Bernie’s typical zionist regurgitation (fit), oops, here!
    link to youtu.be
    …which contradicts Bernie’s pro-muslim stance against islamphobia here:
    link to mondoweiss.net

    That is why this Petition is so essential & deserved! For the Peace of Humanity!

    • MHughes976
      March 12, 2016, 4:06 pm

      I really don’t think that either the Mandela or the Einstein quotes are genuine. Mandela was not far from liberal, 2-state Zionism and Einstein would have been aware that some anomalous results are to be expected.

  7. David Plimpton
    March 12, 2016, 12:17 pm

    I signed the petition mentioned in Phil’s post asking Bernie not to speak at the AIPAC conference, mentioning that I voted for him in the Maine Democratic caucuses. That and $3.50 may get you a cup of coffee.

    Anyway, I hope the petition receives a lot more than the 2500 signatures sought.

    Bernie would do better to attend, and participate in, the competing Washington Report on Middle East Affairs conference at which Phil is speaking on March 18 at the National Press Club :

    link to israelsinfluence.org
    Reply
    – See more at: link to mondoweiss.net

  8. SonofDaffyDuck
    March 12, 2016, 3:18 pm

    Everyone who reads this column should listen carefully to her vow of fidelity at the up-coming AIPAC conference. I’m sure it will be dinger!!!!

    Maybe she will explain the meaning of her promise to “take it to the next level.

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