Just when Washington is calming down from the AIPAC circus, on Friday critics of the Israel lobby will be holding a national summit to re-assess the special relationship between Israel and the U.S. at the National Press Club.
It’s an all-day affair, and among the speakers are Janet McMahon; Karen Kwiatkowski; Mark Perry; Stephen Walt; Grant Smith; Michael Scheuer; Cynthia McKinney; Justin Raimondo; Paul Pillar; Scott McConnell; Ray McGovern; Allan Brownfeld; Jeff Blankfort; and Geoffrey Wawro…
It’s quite a lineup of writers and thinkers who have been unsparing critics of the lobby’s influence over US policymaking. And I’ll be on a panel myself, talking about the media, how it’s changing and why.
I know that some in the Palestinian solidarity camp aren’t enthused about this gathering, regard it as American nationalist; for my part, this is how I came to the issue. Folks like Raimondo, Walt and McConnell forced me to look at Israel/Palestine from an antiwar national-interest perspective. That’s still an important part of my perspective; as Pete Seeger told HUAC, “I love my country very deeply.” Though I wish there were Palestinians on these panels, I am sure that human rights will be an important theme.
It’s going to be a fascinating day. And Washington should be hungry for us after the locusts of AIPAC have carried off so many congresspeople. Let’s see how much press we get. I will be sure to report on the event myself.