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After big loss, AIPAC goes… Progressive!



As you all know, AIPAC spent a lot of political capital opposing President Obama on Iran sanctions and it lost. Eli Lake says that the lobby “botched its biggest fight in years” because it tried to keep the U.S. government aligned with the Israeli government by pressing the Democratic Congress to go rightwing. But the Democrats buckled when Obama said it was a matter of national security not to add more Iran sanctions. Republican Bob Corker summarized AIPAC’s problem to Lake:

Corker said AIPAC now “finds itself twisted in a knot.”

“Obviously they are trying to navigate keeping access to the administration and candidly their support of Israel and their support of the Democratic Party. They find themselves in a very tough spot,” he said.

AIPAC’s problem is that the Jewish community is split. Many support Obama’s J Street liberal Zionism that wants a battle with Netanyahu. AIPAC is on the right, supporting Israel and Netanyahu.

But AIPAC is taking action. It posted the job above on February 5. From Jewish jobs site, AIPAC seeks “a progressive outreach director:”

The National Progressives Outreach Constituency Director will work to promote pro-Israel advocacy among progressive political leaders and activists across the United States from AIPAC’s national headquarters in Washington, D.C. The Constituency Director will … implement a national progressives outreach strategy, coordinate regional Progressives Outreach activities, and conduct outreach efforts directly in certain parts of the country. The National Outreach Program promotes pro-Israel activism and education among leaders of various constituencies, including Progressives, African Americans, Hispanics and Religiously-Motivated Pro-Israel Christians.
Roles and Responsibilities [include]…

Develop and execute a national Progressives Outreach strategy to be implemented across AIPAC regions.
Develop and maintain relationships with influential progressive leaders in the national capital area…

Adam has tweeted out the job application.

Thanks to Scott McConnell.

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27 Responses

  1. Whizdom
    February 13, 2014, 12:57 pm

    Maybe ScarJo is available.

  2. Les
    February 13, 2014, 1:09 pm

    The job opening is of course not for a progressive but for someone who can bring in people who imagine themselves “progressive.”

  3. American
    February 13, 2014, 1:31 pm

    ”AIPAC’s problem is that the Jewish community is split.”..

    Dont think it has anything to do with that. AIPAC has never been bothered by that because it knows other Jews have no money,meaning political clout.
    Taking a second look at the events—>the Dems and the Repubs ‘first’ jumping on the Iran wage the dog bill. And then the Dems ‘jumping off’ and now the Repubs also ‘jumping off’ the bill (at the request of AIPAC) I am revising my opinions.
    While I think Obama’s speech about ‘our national security re Iran diplomacy’ scared off some Dems—-I also think that AIPAC might have already seen where this was headed, for a’ public fight’ between Obama and AIPAC and its US congress.
    When it comes down to the US President speaking on US Security vr. a Lobby and a congress with a 9% approval rating as it is, the pubic is going to support the Prez, even the part of the public who resent his being a black President.
    Therefore I am not so sure we can credit the Dems with bucking the Lobby for the Prez—the Dems may have gotten the same back off message as the Repubs.
    AIPAC might have known, and probably did know, that Obama was going to phrase the Iran negotiations as a US Security issue and knowing that didnt want this fight to escalate and get any more hotter in the US public than it already was.
    The split among the Jews doesnt appear to the general public ,it only appears to Jews and in venues like MW, only the fight between Obama and Israel and congress appears to the general public.
    I also dont believe Obama is influenced by the J-Street crowd—to believe that we would have to believe he was in the dark about the real Israel and I/P till J-Street and the anti and lib zio crowd showed up to educate him.
    And furthermore there is no incentive for Obama to be taking direction on I/P or Iran from the lib Jews because that is not where the political money comes from.
    So whatever he is doing or up to it isnt coming from there.

    I think AIPAC learned something from the surprising public outcry and pushback on bombing Syria and is pulling back for the time being till they can find some way to start pushing it again without attracting the attention they have been getting over it.

    • UpSIDEdown
      February 14, 2014, 11:12 am

      AIPac did not tell the Conservatives to stop that is just a lie, I read that article but was not fooled into believing the only reason our traitors backed off was because they told them to, It was Obama saying out loud to the world that adding more sanctions is not in Americas national securities interests. Believe me the second that came from his lips it scared the crap out of our traitors. How can you go against a President who says something as strong as that… FINALLY!

      • gingershot
        February 15, 2014, 10:54 am

        I agree with you UpSIDEdown – Obama and Biden did the same thing back in Fall of 2012 during the Re-Election with Bibi threatening to warm up the F16s and F15I’s for an attack on Iran to try to install Romney as his puppet – Obama had the tool Biden eventually come out and tell Romney and his Neocon-Stuffed cabinet – ‘why not just say you want war if you want war’ – that SHUT THEM DOWN then too – this is their 2nd use of the tactic and it works like a charm

        A second level of cards to play would be to threaten to explain to the American people how the traitors of the Israeli Lobby (Wolfowitz, Ledeen, Feith, Perle, Cheney, etc) ‘False Flagged’ the US into a war against Iraq with the Ledeen/Mossad ‘Niger Uranium Forgeries’ and CALL FOR THE PROSECUTIONS OF ANY TRAITORS convicted of these crimes against the US (and yes, up to and including Bush/Cheney)

        Just EXPLAIN to the American people what the Israeli Lobby and Israel have done to the US – that would be a DISASTER for Israel

        It’s calling the Israeli Lobby/Neocon bluff – just SHOW the American people what Israel and her bought Congress are REALLY all about.

  4. petersz
    February 13, 2014, 1:44 pm

    Looks like Noam Chomsky is right after all. AIPAC is not that powerful and cannot go against the military industrial complex or the President.

  5. hophmi
    February 13, 2014, 2:30 pm

    It’s been taking action for at least the last year and a half.

    • Whizdom
      February 13, 2014, 3:03 pm

      There might be a shift in the nature and character of the AIPAC donor base. Some big right leaning donors are going straight to the new big PACS, or starting their own, bypassing AIPAC. Some left centrist donors are appalled by the pro occupation, pro military action against Iran positions taken by AIPAC in the past. And they are looking at a future post peace process, either with a rejectionist, isolated Israel, or a complex re-setting of Israel’s priorities post agreement. Also, post Netanyahu, one way or another, his government’s days are numbered, the coalition will collapse at the first concession to the peace process, or the first rejection of it.

    • Philip Munger
      Philip Munger
      February 14, 2014, 12:58 am

      Nathan Guttman’s article hophmi links to is pretty good. The quotes from AIPAC figures hoping to re-brand AIPAC as liberal seem to expose their unreality in regard to the task at hand. The article includes a link to two youtubes that were produced as part of some sort of a re-branding effort. The second one, excerpts from a 1956 interview Edward R. Murrow held in Israel with David Ben Gurion, is fascinating. How anyone can seek to brand Ben Gurion in that interview as being anything other than callously insincere after publication and availability of his papers, comes from Sarah Palin worship land, or a Ziocaine-fed province of that place. Even worse, the graphics splashed over the screen during the Murrow-DBG interview show poor editing and lack of awareness of how to connect to millennials.

  6. Kathleen
    February 13, 2014, 3:19 pm

    Aipac stepping back to reload and come forward with new ammunition, threats, squeeze on campaign money etc. Folks should be turning up the pressure on our Reps ….NO NEW NEW SANCTIONS ON IRAN. Aipac and Jinsa are sure to come up with some new new legislation that will be focused on undermining direct negotiations with Iran.

    Don’t sit back and wait…keep the pressure on.

  7. Kathleen
    February 13, 2014, 3:36 pm

    Aipac, Jinsa and these guys will keep pushing for a military confrontation with Iran.

    “Will Israel in fact be forced to stand alone? Many informed Israelis, including those who are by no means supporters of Netanyahu or on the right side of the political spectrum, are now convinced he will have to, after witnessing last month’s appalling spectacle of President Obama squirming out of his pledge to retaliate against the regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad if Assad crossed a “red line” by using chemical weapons. We were each in Israel recently, and it’s clear that the confidence of some current and former senior security officials that Obama would strike Iran has evaporated. We’ve also spoken with Arab government officials, and none believes any longer in the credibility of a U.S. military threat. In fact, it’s hard to find any serious person in allied capitals​—​or in enemy capitals​—​who takes Obama at his word when he talks about keeping “all options on the table” to prevent a nuclear Iran. Everyone assumes that President Obama will find any excuse the Iranians give him to leave the military option right there, on the table​—​and that if the Iranian regime doesn’t give him a plausible excuse, President Obama will find one anyway.”


    • UpSIDEdown
      February 14, 2014, 11:32 am

      Does it really matter that Obama was at least humane enough to as you said squirm out of the red line? The facts were known and just maybe Obama didn’t want to kill people for a lie and he knew it was all a sham So anyone with compassion would forgive him and really in the end all that matters is there was no military strike, and Obama didn’t let the lie of Assad using chems matter instead he realized he would lose face by not striking seems to me and anyone else who cares about the life’s of the innocents He did the right thing and surprisingly he at least is fighting back even if its small its more then any other President has since Regan refused to agree with Israel and sell arms to Saudi and before Regan said no… Kennedy tried and had he lived who knows where this Country would be today…

  8. MHughes976
    February 13, 2014, 3:40 pm

    The ‘split in the Jewish community’ may be important in that it gives Democratic politicians the cover, the fairly vocal support from Jewish sources, that they need in order to resist anti-Obama pressures. Also important, I think, is (what I take to be) the decision by very powerful forces that Iranian oil must be brought back on stream. I think that the wider public is beginning to sense that this needs, if the world economy is to recover fast, to happen. And there’s not enough campaign money in all the world to make people vote for higher oil prices. Of course the moral fibre of us in the West, with our conscience so fickle and our fixation on oil price so great, is nothing to boast about.

    • piotr
      February 13, 2014, 5:08 pm

      I think that “the very powerful” forces are quite a bit broader. First, China and Russia set a red line: no attack on Iran. Second, the sanctions on Iran not only knocked out 1-2 millions of barrel per day in supply, but decreased one of the major markets. A lot of oil exporters import about half of their exports, a populous market like Iran is important. EU is hit by high energy prices AND weak demand for their exports. Third, the weakness of Iran is making Saudi Arabia and Israel aggressive with impunity, and many forces in the West (plus Russia and China) dread the possibility of extremist take-over in Syria.

      • MHughes976
        February 15, 2014, 10:11 am

        And I think people are beginning to see that the various (sometimes fantastic)supposed alternatives to ME oil, like Iowa corn, are way more expensive than what they are supposed to replace.

  9. Whizdom
    February 13, 2014, 4:34 pm

    And Hillary is inevitable. RJC is a fantasy and a bust. If you were AIPAC what would you do?

  10. philweiss
    February 13, 2014, 4:49 pm

    A friend suggests these as questions for applicants to ask AIPAC:

    Do I have to check my support for equal rights at the door?
    Do I have to tell African Americans that bigotry directed at African emigrants from MKs isn’t so bad?
    Do I have to tell Latinos that good walls make good neighbors?
    Do I have to tell Progressives to be patient; change is coming?
    (Do I have to keep a checklist and check off all the AIPAC-targeted groups and do I get bonus points for spying on them like the ADL and the Amcha Initiative have done?)
    Do I have to remind Jodi Rudoren it’s disputed and not occupied while visiting her office in a stolen Palestinian home?
    Do I have to support a “Jewish state” when I wouldn’t abide a “white, Christian” state?
    Do I have to defend the anti-Palestinian bigotry of Netanyahu, Bennett, Lieberman, and others?
    Do I have to storm out of the Knesset when facts about unequal water distribution are presented?
    Do I have to call the apartheid charge a calumny against Israel even though there’s a two-tier legal system in the West Bank?
    Do I have to conflate criticism of Israeli policies with anti-Semitism?

    • Hostage
      February 13, 2014, 5:22 pm

      Do I have to call the apartheid charge a calumny against Israel even though there’s a two-tier legal system in the West Bank?

      It’s true that there is a two-tier legal system in the West Bank. But that situation derives from the two-tiered civil status that exists under Israel’s own domestic legal regime. Even if Israel annexed the territory, abolished the IDF civil administration, and conferred citizenship on the Palestinian inhabitants, that would not ultimately change their second-class legal status:

      Despite prohibitions under international humanitarian law (IHL), Israel has applied its domestic laws throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory since 1967. Notably, existing planning and construction laws were annulled and replaced with military orders, and related civil powers transferred from local authorities to Israeli institutions, with ultimate discretion resting with military commanders. The application of Israeli domestic laws has resulted in institutionalized discrimination against Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory to the benefit of Jewish settlers, both Israeli citizens and others. Exclusive benefits reserved for Jews derive from the two-tiered civil status under Israel’s domestic legal regime based on a “Jewish nationality,” which entitles “persons of Jewish race or descendency” to superior rights and privileges, particularly in land use, housing, development, immigration and access to natural resources, as affirmed in key legislation. Administrative procedures qualify indigenous inhabitants of the Occupied Palestinian Territory as “alien persons” and, thus, prohibited from building on, or renting, large portions of land designated by the Government of Israel as “State land”(para 206)

      — See page 57 of the Goldstone Mission report,

      • Kathleen
        February 14, 2014, 9:29 am

        Israel’s institutionalized discrimination…racism…apartheid is not used lightly is it?

    • eGuard
      February 14, 2014, 8:50 am

      Not that pessimistic, Philip. The Obama’s J Street liberal Zionism that AIPAC is going for is exactly your Mondoweiss members list. You know, when subscribing to the NY Review of Books + God is enough.

      Beinart, MJRosenberg, Rudoren, Friedman: no “liberal Zionist” can do wrong. They’ll all answer your questions PC, and then go back to their Zionism: let them bomb Palestinians one week, not three.

  11. Nevada Ned
    Nevada Ned
    February 13, 2014, 7:47 pm

    A job with AIPAC as National Progressives Outreach Constituency Director?

    Maybe Eric Alterman ought to apply.

    He’s well qualified for the job: he writes a column for The Nation, knows lots of progressives, and tried hard to smear Max Blumenthal’s recent book, Goliath, as an “Israel-hater’s handbook”. Without success. Of course, AIPAC was also without success in its recent attempt to arrange a US/Israeli attack on Iran.

  12. W.Jones
    February 13, 2014, 8:07 pm

    Are there actual issues AIPAC and JStreet differ over? AIPAC doesn’t say it likes settlements, right? JStreet complains about the occupation and AIPAC does not very much. The US vetoed an antisettlement resolution JStreet supported in the UN. AIPAC is more anti-Iran, but they both are, right?

    Anything else they really differ over?

  13. Daniel Rich
    Daniel Rich
    February 13, 2014, 8:36 pm

    Blackwater’s hiring ‘International Oppressive Outreach Consistency Directors.’ Pays big $$. Free target practicing on ‘live’ local objects. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by not applying.

  14. Kathleen
    February 13, 2014, 11:33 pm

    Israel to Implant 9-Storey Ultra-Orthodox Seminary in Palestinian East Jerusalem

  15. Philip Munger
    Philip Munger
    February 14, 2014, 12:47 am

    Is this a new job slot, or are they seeking to fill a vacancy? Is there a way to get a complete job description?

    • puppies
      February 14, 2014, 5:41 am

      The fact that they advertise instead of just getting in touch discreetly with likely candidates (that Alterman fake most likely, hat tip to Nevada Ned) is just mind-boggling. What good may it do AIPAC to trumpet their infiltration department? It’s like the Achaians advertising in Trojan papers a tender for a wooden horse with 12 secret seats inside.

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