We’ve been charting the angry response to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s private meeting with AIPAC, at which he promised to stand up for the rightwing Israel lobby group wherever and whenever. The other day a wide array of NY Jews (including many liberal Zionists) wrote to the mayor to denounce his meeting. And The Nation editorialized that AIPAC is hardly representative of US Jews, and de Blasio was “wrong to pander” to the organization. Why did he do it? The Nation said it was Pavlovian:
Deplorable? Yes. Surprising? Hardly. Perhaps the most depressing feature of this ritual of abjection is its predictability—the fact that for decades, this has been standard operating procedure for many American politicians, even ones who are steadfast on core progressive issues like de Blasio. Office-seekers learn to assume early in their career that if they don’t pledge fealty to AIPAC, retribution will be swift and their political life could be a short one. So rather than test the limits of the lobby’s power, most of them go along.
Meantime, the creative folks at We Will Not Be Silent are going to be protesting outside City Hall on Wednesday, with new messages directed at de Blasio. They quote some of his choice lines from that secret meeting:
“You have a friend and an ally at City Hall. That City Hall will always be open to AIPAC. When you need me to stand by you in
Washington or anywhere, I will answer the call and I will answer it happily, because that’s my job.”…
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s promise to defend Israel, made to AIPAC behind closed doors, is inflammatory and an affront to all people who defend the human rights of the Palestinian people.
Many New Yorkers are speaking out in response to what is deemed an unacceptable, pandering relationship to AIPAC…
We will let Bill de Blasio know he is on the wrong side of history…
Stand together in NYC…
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
City Hall, NYC
Broadway and Chambers Street
3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
The organizers also quote de Blasio’s assertion to AIPAC, “Part of my job description is to be a defender of Israel.”