Alison Weir of If Americans Knew has published a piece on Tom Campbell’s back pages–the former California congressman who is now running for Senate. Note that Campbell obviously had realist bona fides back in the day, but has utterly abandoned his pro-Palestinian position. Campbell’s collapse is remarkably similar to Obama’s progress during the same period. Obama threw Khalidi and Abunimah under the bus; Campbell is throwing Weir under the bus. This is a story quite simply about corruption by the Israel lobby, of both parties.
Weir begins with a stage she shared with Campbell in 2001:
During his speech, Campbell described a telling incident during his Congressional career. The lobby had pushed Congress to give additional money to Israel on top of its uniquely immense annual allotment. Campbell proposed that this extra money be used instead to avert the de-funding of a program that worked to prevent blindness in Africa.
Campbell said that many of his fellow Representatives privately told him they thought this was a wonderful plan, complimented him on his courage in proposing it, and said they didn’t’ dare vote for it. In the end, just 12 others cast affirmative votes….When it was my turn to speak, I described what I had seen in the Palestinian Territories, showed my photographs, and read a sort of letter I had written to the American people. To my surprise, I received a standing ovation from, it appeared to me, everyone in the room. One of the first on his feet was Tom Campbell. Afterwards, a friend asked him if he would write an endorsement of my presentation, which he graciously did. Later, when I founded If Americans Knew and we created a website, we placed his comment in the "About Us" section.Now, nine years later, this endorsement is being used to attack Campbell.
Articles discussing it have appeared on numerous blogs and websites, including those of Commentary and National Interest; a Sacramento radio host and the Weekly Standard have interviewed me about my "relationship with Tom Campbell." Some fanatically pro-Israel bloggers seem exceedingly focused on it, and on me.The reality is that I haven’t seen or spoken with Tom Campbell since the 2001 event.In the years since, I’ve been saddened but not surprised, given the reality and power of the pro-Israel machine in our society and media, to see him backpedaling on what seemed to be genuine efforts toward practical and principled positions. While he has not denied his endorsement of my talk, he responds to queries, "I never stated agreement with any statement made by Alison Weir."Like virtually anyone who wishes to attain major office, Campbell emphasizes his bonafides on Israel, stating:· He has never voted against military aid to Israel;· He would support an Israeli military attack on Iran (even though it is Israel that possesses nuclear weapons, refuses to sign the non-proliferation pact, is in violation of a multitude of UN resolutions, and regularly attacks its neighbors);· He supports recognizing Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and moving the US embassy there; even though Jerusalem was to have been a shared city for the Muslims, Christians, and Jews who long inhabited it and for whom it is sacred, and even though a large portion of Jerusalem is, according to international law, Palestinian land illegally annexed by Israel. All previous US presidents have refused to do this.· He is even more pro-Israel than Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer, (which, if it is true, is a notable accomplishment.)
…[U]ntil more Americans across the political spectrum wake up and make their desires known, the Israel lobby and its dedicated bloggers may ease their collective mind. Indications are that both parties are, once again, sewn up.