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AIPAC on an island: ‘Politico’ report says Israel lobby alone in pushing for war in Syria

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on 45 Comments
Screenshot of the homepage, September 6, 2013.

Screenshot of the homepage, September 6, 2013.

AIPAC is planning to go “all out” to push for a U.S. attack on Syria, but according to reports in Politico it appears they will be doing it alone. Rep. Alan Grayson, who has been leading the charge against authorizing an attack, estimates that constituents calls are “100-to-1” against the resolution, but the Israel lobby group plans on sending 250 lobbyists to the hill next week to push for military intervention (with their eye on Iran):

The powerful pro-Israel lobby AIPAC is planning to launch a major lobbying campaign to push wayward lawmakers to back the resolution authorizing U.S. strikes against Syria, sources said Thursday.

Officials say that some 250 Jewish leaders and AIPAC activists will storm the halls on Capitol Hill beginning next week to persuade lawmakers that Congress must adopt the resolution or risk emboldening Iran’s efforts to build a nuclear weapon. They are expected to lobby virtually every member of Congress, arguing that “barbarism” by the Assad regime cannot be tolerated, and that failing to act would “send a message” to Tehran that the U.S. won’t stand up to hostile countries’ efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction, according to a source with the group.

“History tells us that ambiguity [in U.S. actions] invites aggression,” said the AIPAC source who asked not to be named. The source added the group will now be engaged in a “major mobilization” over the issue.

But who else will be joining them? A separate report from Politico says that most of the groups that were set up in the wake of 9/11 to promote the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are sitting this one out, or have disappeared all together. The only groups actively mobilizing to pressure Congress in support of an attack seem to be the lobby:

It remains to be seen if any other center-left groups will come out in support of Obama’s request for action in Syria. The liberal groups organized around the Iraq and Afghanistan wars would be unlikely to abandon their anti-war politics at Obama’s demand. Several of those outfits, such as the veteran-led and the grassroots group MoveOn, announced their opposition to striking Syria on Wednesday.

The hawkish groups that existed back in 2008 were overwhelmingly on the right. As much as an attack on Assad’s Syria might be in line with the larger goals of foreign policy hawks, it’s not as if Obama has even partially embraced the broader agenda of 2008-vintage groups such as Freedom’s Watch . . .

As of mid-week, that left several major Jewish political organizations – including the Republican Jewish Coalition, the National Jewish Democratic Council and AIPAC – in what several strategists described as a lonely and uncomfortable position of endorsing military action against Syrian dictator Bashar Assad without much help from other advocacy-group allies.


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45 Responses

  1. amigo
    September 6, 2013, 11:03 am

    And if The Congress supports this and Syrian Civilians are slaughtered by US bombs then later the zios will claim they did not push for this.

    The gullibility of onlookers is getting lesser by the day.Israel,s thin veil is developing holes.

    • Krauss
      September 6, 2013, 4:00 pm

      What pisses me off is that people read that report and think “oh it’s the Jews pushing this”.

      Those warmongering douchebags don’t speak for me or hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of other Jews. Why appointed those bastards? I didn’t see an election coming. They just had a massive power grab and fooled the entire world, including many Jews, that they speak for them. They don’t.

      What they should’ve done is do a democratic poll among their actual paying members, do you support a Syrian strike? We know the Israel Firsters at AIPAC would have cleared the vote, since their members are nimwits and 5th columnists. But the Democratic Jewish Council could easily have lost a serious poll/vote if they had made it large enough and allowed equal time to both sides.

      Btw, notice the absence of J Street in his report.
      They are still sitting on the fence. They actually seem to have a brain and realize there’s no clear-cut to end this and a military attack will not bring a serious solution to the conflict, which even Dempsey and the generals concede.

      • ritzl
        September 6, 2013, 4:33 pm

        @Krauss The ptb already lost a vote on Israel, at the Democratic Party Convention, and we saw what happened. It was ignored in the most public and undemocratic way possible.

        Great questions though.

      • American
        September 6, 2013, 10:34 pm


        The Jews need to do the same number on their so called leadership that Americans are currently doing on their politicians. When I saw this I had one of those…’did I dream this?..moments cause I know I said long ago that the worse thing for US Jews would be for them to go to war with majority Americans opinion if Americans ever reared their head on something critical to them like this Syria deal.

        “We believe it is important for American Jews to state out loud what Israelis are understandably constrained from saying: Congress should work with President Obama to craft a measured but powerful military response to the Assad government’s use of chemical weapons against its own people, and to ensure as best as it can that even the worst consequences of such an attack are anticipated and, if possible, ameliorated,” Jane Eisner, the editor-in-chief of the Forward, wrote Wednesday in a strongly worded editorial calling for U.S. intervention.”

  2. irmep
    September 6, 2013, 11:04 am

    The last time AIPAC faced odds this bad was 1984. The Israeli government wanted tariff-free access to the American market, in exchange for basically nothing. 74 US industry groups were lobbying hard against trade concessions. 22 relatively small groups and AIPAC were lobbying for it.

    AIPAC obtained the classified compendium of US industry negotiating points from the ITC, via Israeli Minister of Economics Dan Halpern, and used their data against them in a lobbying and PR campaign. The FBI investigation (espionage/theft of government property) went nowhere. AIPAC lobbyists swarmed Capitol Hill.

    Some, like Ester Kurz, who handled the classified info in 1984, will be lobbying for war on Syria.

    It is reasonable to expect any and all AIPAC dirty tricks will be unleashed to make sure Congress defies American public opinion on the war resolution.

    • Citizen
      September 6, 2013, 12:32 pm

      @ irmep
      Yes, that’s how the US entered its very first FTA in 1985. FTA’s sent how many US jobs abroad forever? The US-Israel FTA, like the current bill wending its way swiftly through Congress that will VISA waiver Israelis coming here, and discriminate against US (mostly Muslim American & those critical of Israel) visitors going to Israel, remains totally non-reciprocal–Israeli exports to here come in customs free, while Israel gets to select which US industry products it wants to subject to Israeli customs fees or taxes. Congress knows how the US got bamboozled thanks to Jewish spies here who gave US negotiation data to Israel, but Congress has never fixed the one-way street every time its up to be fixed.

  3. Chu
    September 6, 2013, 11:18 am

    100 – 1.

    but where are the protests on Washington? They protested in London but is there evidence of it here? Why no serious debate on the floor? London protests seemed a significant warning to the parliament.

    No public debates on Syria, please, we’re American!

    • AppleFolsom
      September 6, 2013, 2:49 pm

      It is my view that Americans are working the phones as well as contacting their Congressional representatives via email. It is far more effective to participate in the political process than march in the streets. It is also my view that a large public protest is perhaps not a wise idea given the tensions. To make its voice heard (and adhered to) the US Public needs to work the political process in a meaningful and sustained way via channels that provide impact on Congress.

  4. Walid
    September 6, 2013, 11:29 am

    I was under the impression that AIPAC is there to obey and serve Israel’s interests, so if AIPAC is pushing for an all out attack on Syria, Israel’s hand has to be in it somehow and AIPAC isn’t really alone on this.

    • ToivoS
      September 7, 2013, 6:09 am

      Good question. One thing that might be going on here is that Obama is asking AIPAC to lobby Congress on his war with Syria. If the Whitehouse is pressuring them then they might be doing this against their own better instincts. Of course, they wouldn’t go against Israel’s wishes so it is safe to assume that war is what Israel also wants.

  5. dbroncos
    September 6, 2013, 11:40 am

    Dozens of lawmakers are “undecided” as to how to vote. I see them waiting until the last minute, avoiding the wrath of the Lobby by voting “yes” and hoping their constituents won’t notice and that the Syria showdown will be out of news cycle in less than a week after the vote.

  6. American
    September 6, 2013, 11:50 am

    ”The woman whose opinion lawmakers are relying on to go to war in Syria is also a paid advocate for the war-torn country’s rebels.

    On Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry encouraged members of the House of Representatives to read a Wall Street Journal op-ed by 26-year-old Elizabeth O’Bagy — an analyst with the Institute for the Study of War — who asserted that concerns about extremists dominating among the Syrian rebels are unfounded.

    “Contrary to many media accounts, the war in Syria is not being waged entirely, or even predominantly, by dangerous Islamists and al-Qaida die-hards,” O’Bagy wrote for the Journal on Aug. 30. “Moderate opposition groups make up the majority of actual fighting forces,” she wrote.

    But in addition to her work for the Institute for the Study of War, O’Bagy is also the political director for the Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF), a group that advocates within the United States for Syria’s rebels — a fact that the Journal did not disclose in O’Bagy’s piece.

    In an interview with The Daily Caller, O’Bagy said that despite her title as the group’s political director, she is paid as a contractor.

    She insisted that she is not involved in the political lobbying that SETF does. “They kind of have two departments within the Task Force — one focused on working with the government on the Hill on advocacy and then the other working inside Syria and directly implementing government contracts,” she said.

    O’Bagy’s relationship with SETF is a serious conflict of interest, according to David Reaboi, vice president for strategic communications at the Center for Security Policy.

    “While there’s been a lot of worthwhile effort to expose activists considered pro-Assad or pro-Hezbollah — or, at least, to consider their analysis as coming from an interested party — O’Bagy seems to pass herself off as an impartial observer of the situation. Her access to Congress, intelligence services and to think tanks should be regarded as what it really is, which is a reflection of the Syrian rebels’ cause and aspirations,” Reaboi said.”>>>>>

    Take out AIPAC, take out all the foreign interest lobbist, paid and otherwise–and let God sort them out.
    Press release by the American Tar & Feathers Brigade.

    • marc b.
      marc b.
      September 6, 2013, 1:39 pm

      I heard O’Bagy on NPR this morning. what is she, twelve years old? She argued at the conclusion of the interview that strikes are imperative at the very least because of the negative potential ‘psychological impact’ that ‘no reaction’ would have on both ‘regime supporters and opposition supporters.’ in other words, the Syrians need to be bombed for their own good, violence being the only language arabs understand. this is the language of masochism, not international relations, Syrians masochists setting the stage for their own beating.

    • marc b.
      marc b.
      September 6, 2013, 1:58 pm

      ugh. and the Institute for the Study of War, too. one arm of the Kagan clan of bloated ignoramuses. nothing like the death of a few arabs to put a spring in your step.

  7. anthonybellchambers
    September 6, 2013, 11:53 am

    Listening to the impassioned pleas at the G20 conference today of both President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron against the use of chemical weapons, it is inexplicable why they were both so silent when the Israeli army used white phosphorus AS A CHEMICAL WEAPON in Gaza, in 2008/9, when according to the UNHRC over 300 children under the age of 16 were killed by the IDF.

    No legal or other action has been taken to date against Israel for what was clearly a war crime that violated the Geneva Conventions. Yet, it is now that very state, and its American lobby, AIPAC, that is driving the clamour for a cruise missile strike against Syria.

    Let the world see both Syria and Israel brought before the International Criminal Court for war crimes against civilian populations.

  8. gingershot
    September 6, 2013, 12:30 pm

    BREAKING BREAKING BREAKING – can’t hardly believe this from the JPOST (link at bottom)

    Top Obama aide: No US military action without okay from Congress

    (JPOST says it’s on NPR’s Morning Edition – I’m gonna go try and find it right now
    Quote is from deputy national security adviser Tony Blinken on National Public Radio.)

    US President Barack Obama does not intend to authorize US military force in Syria if lawmakers vote against his proposal seeking action amid allegations of chemical weapons use by Syrian President Bashar Assad, a top aide said on Friday.

    “The president of course has the authority to act, but it’s neither his desire nor his intention to use that authority absent Congress backing him,” deputy national security adviser Tony Blinken told National Public Radio.

    That’s IT – as reported already by ABC News there already is a Majority ‘NO Syria Strike’ 217 person vote in the US HOUSE – and there have already been reports that there AREN”T GOING TO BE ANY DO-OVERS


    • annie
      September 6, 2013, 12:37 pm

      here’s what he said.

      Speaking with reporters as he was about to end his three-day overseas trip, Mr. Obama repeatedly refused to say whether he would abide by the congressional vote he asked for authorizing the use of force against Syria if lawmakers say no.

      “You’re not getting any direct response,” he said. But Antony Blinken, his principal deputy national security adviser, told NPR that while the president maintains he has the authority to act regardless of Congress, “it’s neither his desire nor his intention to use that authority absent Congress backing him.

      ‘not his desire or intent’ isn’t quite the same as saying he won’t do it without congressional approval. plus i read somewhere this morning obama might do it with only senate approval, and not wait for the house vote after the 16th. i will go look for that link.

    • Justpassingby
      September 6, 2013, 12:43 pm

      Only problem is that the Congress WILL back a war.

    • annie
      September 6, 2013, 1:09 pm

      this just in ginger:

      QUESTION: But your deputy national security adviser said that it is not your intention to attack if Congress doesn’t approve it. Is he right?

      OBAMA: I don’t think that’s exactly what he said, but I think I’ve answered — I’ve answered the question.

      • gingershot
        September 6, 2013, 1:33 pm

        OK thanks a lot for the clarifications/new data, Annie – woah – the PLOT is thickening, huh?

        Personally I cannot imagine Obama going ahead and ordering attacks in the face of the coming negative House vote. To me that will look so unimaginably BAD that it just won’t pass the smell test

      • MRW
        September 6, 2013, 3:39 pm

        My NPR has CBC on for an hour each night. Two nights ago a member of the French National Assembly said that they would charge Obama with war crimes if he struck without UN Security Council approval.

        Major General (ret.) Robert Shales op-ed in WashPo this AM. Read it. It’s sockeroo.
        A war the Pentagon doesn’t want

      • ritzl
        September 6, 2013, 4:44 pm

        We’re really getting into coup territory, imo.

        In a question of war, that US voters overwhelmingly oppose, as seemingly does the Congress, the President is willing/going to do it anyway. The President is unequivocally telling Congress its role in these decisions does not matter. Strictly unconstitutional at THE most fundamental level.

        It may have been OK/overlookable with Libya where there was a lot of ambivalence. But not this go.

        Someone here said that it’s not over yet. That Congress may swing back to approve a war with Syria and avoid this constitutional crisis, but as of now Obama is playing a dangerous and potentially unforgivable/impeachable game.

      • Xpat
        September 6, 2013, 11:39 pm

        They understand that the United States is the only liberal democracy that has never been ruled by its military.

        How can we trust anything this military idiot says?

      • RoHa
        September 7, 2013, 12:51 am

        Where do they get this nonsense from?

  9. Citizen
    September 6, 2013, 12:45 pm

    If Dick and Jane can’t get off their ass and protest this hypocritical strike on Syria before it happens, they deserve to remain deaf and dumb tools of Zionist Israel. Just saying.

  10. American
    September 6, 2013, 12:58 pm

    Please everyone sign this petition too…….gotta love Danny Glover . And his balls in
    coming straight out in naming AIPAC for what it is and is doing. The more we show support for those who correctly call out AIPAC as the subversive org it is , the more widespread ‘anti- AIPAC ‘ will be and the sooner we can get rid of it.

    ”By now you know that the majority of Americans are against the proposed U.S. bombing of Syria, including a majority of Democrats, a majority of Republicans, and a majority of Independents. You know that MoveOn has formally taken a position against bombing Syria, after 73% of MoveOn members voted to do so. That’s huge.

    But we’re up against one of the most powerful political forces in America, the America-Israel Public Affairs Committee, which Administration officials told the “New York Times” was the “the 800-pound gorilla in the room” that would ensure Congressional support for the war. [1] AIPAC supporter Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, who is the head of the Congressional Black Caucus, told CBC members to “stay quiet” about Syria. [2] We can’t have too much help in opposing such a powerful political force.

    That’s why I’ve worked with Just Foreign Policy and the Win Without War coalition (of which MoveOn is a member) to set up a petition at Avaaz calling on Congress to vote no on the war. We want to engage the huge membership of Avaaz, which is worldwide.

    Can you help us reach Avaaz members with our anti-war message? You can sign and share our petition here:

    *Tell Congress: Vote NO on Bombing Syria *

    We hope to accomplish three things with our petition:

    1. Pull Avaaz into the fight against the Syria war.

    2. Raise awareness of the Win Without War statement.*

    3. Give people around the world a way to participate.* (Anyone in the world can sign an Avaaz petition, you don’t have to live in the U.S.)* *

    Sign and share our petition here:
    *Tell Congress: Vote NO on Bombing Syria

    *Thank you for all you do to help bring about a more just foreign policy,

    Danny Glover, Actor and Director
    Just Foreign Policy

  11. BillM
    September 6, 2013, 1:13 pm

    Obviously, AIPAC isn’t completely alone. The “Syrian opposition” groups in the United States, which are funded by money from the Obama Administration, are also lobbying Congress hard to enter the war.

  12. American
    September 6, 2013, 1:29 pm

    One of the lead US traitors in the AIPAC stable, Jane Harmon, is on cable news pitching Syria strike for Israel—–talks about “Israel support for strike and “Israel interest and says those who dont vote for it are cowardly and not ‘leaders”.
    Keep up the good work Jane.

  13. David Nelson
    David Nelson
    September 6, 2013, 1:36 pm

    The Lobby is now caught in the headlights. If they back down and do not press for US military action, the untouchable lobby will have been defeated. If they succeed in getting this war started, they get all the blame for the war and its destructive effects. Lose lose for Israel.

    • American
      September 6, 2013, 1:52 pm

      ‘If they back down and do not press for US military action, the untouchable lobby will have been defeated. If they succeed in getting this war started, they get all the blame for the war and its destructive effects’…..D Nelson

      They wont back down. If the Lobby wins this what eventually happens to it depends on how well the public remembers their part in this when election times come and politicans are once again making their loyalty to Israel part of their campaign pledges.

  14. David Nelson
    David Nelson
    September 6, 2013, 1:52 pm

    What IS the objection to bringing Syria before the International Criminal Court?

    If the US government utilized the Court in such a high profile case, would that then expose the US government itself to the rulings of the court? Will it expose Israel? Is this why the US government is not suggesting this route instead of immediately resorting to cruise missiles?

    “Punishment” could come from the court, couldn’t it?

    (some questions for those knowledgeable in law)

  15. HarryLaw
    September 6, 2013, 2:21 pm

    Hollande say’s he will wait for UN results and US congressional approval.

  16. DICKERSON3870
    September 6, 2013, 4:15 pm

    RE: Rep. Alan Grayson, who has been leading the charge against authorizing an attack, estimates that constituents calls are “100-to-1” against the resolution, but the Israel lobby group plans on sending 250 lobbyists to the hill next week to push for military intervention (with their eye on Iran)

    ALSO SEE: “Rep. Alan Grayson: Syria Intelligence Manipulated”, By Steven Nelson,,

    Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., who is aggressively lobbying against a military strike on Syria, says the Obama administration has manipulated intelligence to push its case for U.S. involvement in the country’s two-year civil war.
    Grayson made the accusation in an interview published Wednesday by The Atlantic and offered more detail in a Thursday discussion with U.S. News. He says members of Congress are being given intelligence briefings without any evidence to support administration claims that Syrian leader Bashar Assad ordered the use of chemical weapons.
    Grayson said he cannot discuss the classified briefings, but noted details in the administration’s public, non-classified report are being contested.
    The White House released its four-page public report Aug. 30, arguing that Assad’s government killed 1,429 people on Aug. 21 with a planned chemical weapon attack. Evidence cited in that report included “intercepted communications involving a senior official intimately familiar with the offensive who confirmed that chemical weapons were used.”
    Grayson, however, says “the claim has been made that that information was completely mischaracterized.”
    He points to an article published by The Daily Caller that alleges the communications actually showed Syrian officers were surprised by the alleged chemical weapon attack. The communications, according to unnamed sources paraphrased in article, were intercepted by Israeli intelligence and “doctored so that it leads a reader to just the opposite conclusion.” . . .


    • DICKERSON3870
      September 6, 2013, 4:18 pm


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      Send a letter to your members of Congress calling for peace not war on Syria! We plea with President Obama and Congress to seek an immediate ceasefire, begin regional peace talks and provide humanitarian aid to the over 2 million refugees fleeing the violence.
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  17. bilal a
    bilal a
    September 6, 2013, 4:17 pm

    JWV claims roughly less than one half of one percent of Iraq-Afghanistan War casualties were Jewish service members, not sure what percent claimed for pro war lobbying dollars:
    Second Annual National Service Honoring the Jewish Fallen Heroes of Iraq and AfghanistanApril 2012

    Washington, DC – The National Museum of American Jewish Military History (NMAJMH) under the auspices of the Jewish War Veterans of the USA (JWV) lists at present over 45 Jewish service people who have given their lives in defense of our country in Iraq and Afghanistan

    American Deaths ,Iraq 4488
    US – Afghanistan 2265
    Contractor Employee Deaths – Iraq 1,487
    320,000 Vets Have Brain Injuries
    18 Vet suicides per day?

  18. Betsy
    September 6, 2013, 5:00 pm

    meanwhile, the US mainstream media pays almost no attention to the underlying ecological, political-economic forces that will almost surely be the key drivers of what comes from the current crises — like the devastating drought in Syria over past decade, with it’s terrifying links to climate change

  19. dbroncos
    September 6, 2013, 8:24 pm

    On Fox News, Laura Ingram, who is against the Syrian campaign, challenges Robert Kagan.

  20. just
    September 6, 2013, 8:30 pm

    It’s refreshing to watch even this particular part of the terrible agenda of the Lobby exposed.

    Too bad for them– maybe now the American people of all cultures/religions will wake up for a new day– a new day where we actually live up to our Constitution, laws, and self- proclaimed morality.

    I sometimes wonder if the Congress and some of our American citizenry might be opposing the assault on Syria for the wrong reason. I hope that I am wrong, but many could be merely opposing Mr. Obama in this, just as they do in anything he does- (right or wrong)- because of the predominant color of his skin, and their dislike for him as a person.

    Thank heavens that Mitt is not President, nor Santorum, McCain, Bachmann or Newt.

    What would the Republicans or the American people say if any of them were in charge and rallied for war with Syria?

  21. amigo
    September 6, 2013, 8:53 pm

    i just sighned and watched new signature every 10 seconds,

    Very impressive.

  22. radii
    September 7, 2013, 12:23 am

    this time is different – the parasite that is the israeli lobby will really feel the heat this time as they are pushed all alone out into the harsh light of day … when israel uses banned white phosphorus on the Palestinians (some of which were children) the hypocrisy meter goes off the charts as they try to claim their push for America to fight another war for them is not about their regional superpower goals

  23. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    September 7, 2013, 1:17 am

    If, as the WashPost reports, most congressmen in the house of representatives are opposed or leaning to opposition, Aipac will very likely lose this fight and should therefore limit their efforts to a purely ideological fight: “The US must stand up against weapons of a certain nature’ and this argument should be made forcefully for it is one which should be argued and deserves airing. Calling in chips (and the usual armtwisting) on this fight looks to me like a losing proposition.

    • Xpat
      September 7, 2013, 7:59 pm

      If anybody can achieve the impossible and somehow bring anti-Semtism back to the USA, it has to be our good friends at AIPAC.

    • eljay
      September 7, 2013, 8:27 pm

      >> … Aipac … should therefore limit their efforts to a purely ideological fight: “The US must stand up against weapons of a certain nature’ and this argument should be made forcefully for it is one which should be argued and deserves airing.

      Syria’s use of CWs is alleged. Israel’s and America’s use of CWs is proven. AIPAC should therefore limit their efforts to a purely ideological fight: “A world that believes in justice and accountability must stand up against weapons of a certain nature” and this argument should be made forcefully for it is one which should be argued and deserves airing.

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