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‘Like the NRA, AIPAC sows fear in the halls of Congress’ — Dem consultant

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The media is not shy about the gun lobby; so you surely know that former NY mayor Michael Bloomberg has lately pledged $50 million to a new group that will take on the gun lobby from the family standpoint. The above video is terrifying; I can’t even watch it to the end. It shows what can happen when good children in a nice house play hide and seek and find daddy’s gun.

John Aravosis, a Democratic political consultant, states that the National Rifle Association (NRA) is “vicious” and so “Bloomberg’s intent is to be just as hard-nosed in response.” Aravosis explains his own activism:

I’ve always said that I have two models, mentor-movements really, for my advocacy work: The NRA, and AIPAC.

When I worked on the Hill, both groups knew how to sow fear in the halls of Congress. It’s what other should aspire to. It’s what gay rights advocacy, the ones on the ground, aspire to. And it’s what the anti-gun-violence movement should do as well.

I’m all for the ad campaign, but I’m of course focused on Aravosis’s parallel. The NRA is powerful but at least politicians can run against it. Bloomberg is spending a fortune against it, Obama took the NRA on explicitly. He lost but he didn’t mince his words. I did a cover story for the New York Times Magazine about the NRA years ago. I.e., blue-state liberals bash it all the time.

No one talks about AIPAC that openly, in the mainstream anyway.  And even if J Street slays AIPAC, among Democrats, it’s just going to be more aid to Israel. We saw this hard-nosed orthodoxy when Mark Halperin on MSNBC attacked Rand Paul for his alleged anti-Israel positions, saying they are outside the pale of American politics. What has Rand Paul even said to deserve it? (I believe these are his crimes: he doesn’t want to attack Iran, he has said we should reconsider our aid package to Israel.)

Can you imagine an ad anything like Bloomberg’s gun ad involving the Israel lobby– a sensational video highlighting the costs of the special relationship? I can think of stuff they could say.

Read Steve Walt in Haaretz:

“We don’t give France and Britain $3 billion a year, and we don’t have people flying planes into buildings because of them…  I think most researchers who have looked carefully at bin Laden’s career and his thoughts would argue that his concern for Palestine was a key motivation for him. Not the only one, but one of them.”

Can you imagine an ad about the special relationship featuring bin Laden’s comments about Palestine?

Thanks to Jordan Michael Smith.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of

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15 Responses

  1. traintosiberia on April 19, 2014, 1:23 pm

    .””AIPAC!” was the forceful one-word answer of Congressman Michael Capuano when we asked him, “Why was the Iran clause forbidding war on Iran without Congressional approval taken out of the recent supplemental for the Iraq war funding?” I nearly fell out of my chair at his reply – not because this was news but because of who had just said it. Capuano is a close ally of Nancy Pelosi, her fixer and enforcer. That was last Friday morning when a small delegation from Cambridge and Somerville, MA, were visiting the Congressman, known for his bluntness, as part of the nationwide UFPJ (United For Peace and Justice) home lobbying effort during the Congressional recess.” …..

    “A few weeks earlier we had gone to the offices of Senators Kennedy and then Kerry to discuss the war. (My intention was to call their attention to to which the Kennedy aide was sympathetic and the Kerry aide predictably hostile.) I raised the question of AIPAC directly with Kerry’s aide, inquiring about its hawkish influence on Kerry and other Senators. Suddenly the aide was quite engaged. Leaning forward, he said: “That will never be discussed publicly. That will never be discussed publicly.” Clearly even Kerry’s office is unhappy with the pressure that comes from AIPAC.”

  2. Citizen on April 19, 2014, 1:33 pm

    Senator Warren has a book coming-out any day now, skewering Wall St-SEC/Fed/Treasury crowd, as old white boys club.

    Wouldn’t you like to hear her secret opinion about AIPAC?

  3. Citizen on April 19, 2014, 1:35 pm

    “Can you imagine an ad about the special relationship featuring bin Laden’s comments about Palestine?”
    You mean something like this?

    Or this?

  4. seafoid on April 19, 2014, 1:46 pm

    Joe Nocera’s Gun Report blog is a very simple but very damning analysis of guns in the US.

  5. Dutch on April 19, 2014, 2:36 pm

    “Can you imagine an ad about the special relationship featuring bin Laden’s comments about Palestine?”

    Sure, easily. Just make one, and let it go viral.

  6. American on April 19, 2014, 3:09 pm

    I am totally for main stream media ads just as scary aimed at Israel and the I-Lobby.
    Quote OBL on I/P inspiring the WTC attack.
    Show the several America peace activist for Palestine shot in the head by the IDF and Rachel Corrie being bulldozed, there are still videos of them on youtube. Caption them off with the many Israeli jokes about “Pancake Rachel”.
    Do an ad with the Netanyahu video in which he tells a young Israeli that America will do what Israel tells it to do.
    Do an ad showing the Israeli IDF’s Rabbi quotes on how it is allowed and even recommended to kill goys and Arabs and their children lest they grow up to confront the Jews. And how the souls of non Jews are inferior to Jews. Caption: Is this an shared value with America?
    Do ads during next election featuring the I-people like Adelson and Hamin who are contributing to candidates with their statements on being a single issue person and that issue being Israel. And how Adelson regrets he served in the US military instead of Israels.
    Do ads on candidates past statements at AIPAC conferences like Hillary pledging ‘whatever US blood and treasure it takes in defense of Israel.” And how as Hoyer said, ‘it is mandatory that every US congressperson understand their ‘duty’ to Israel.
    Do an ad on the Lobby and money showcasing someone like the Kirk example below and asking ‘how many pieces of silver’ did it take for you to start saying congress should only listen to Israeli intelligence and not US intelligence?
    Do an ad on the Hagel sentate hearing featuring some of the statements and questions on his lack of ‘loyalty to Israel’ disqualifying him as a Sec of US Defense.
    Do some ads with former US congresspeople who said ”if Americans knew what the Lobby was doing in America they would rise up against the government”.
    Do an ad on what Truman actually said about the creation of the zionist state of Israel being against all American principles of democracy.
    Do an ad featuring the survivors of the USS Liberty who know the attack was not an ‘accident’ by Israel and how it was covered up by the US government.
    Do an ad featuring what Carter did in giving Egypt and Jordon billions in US aid to make peace with Israel and how they now call him a anti semite.

    There is sooooooooooo much out there straight out of the mouth of Israel and its politicians it would be hard to choose just a few…its a 64 year treasure trove of endless treason, subversion, betrayals, deceit, stealing, spying, lying and attacks on US democracy and its patriots by an ungrateful, mafia like parasitic cult who holds the US and all Americans in utter contempt for our most unparalleled in history generosity to them.

    Perhaps one day some deep pocket patriot will step forward and blitz the public with the bare facts on Israel and the Lobby owned US congresspeople.
    He might have to go to the supreme court to win the right of free political speech on Israel.
    But if that day ever comes Israel and the Lobby and their US politicians are dead in the water forever.

    I suggest when this happens the sponsors consider naming their PAC ‘The Emergency Committee for America’.

    • American on April 19, 2014, 3:12 pm

      ”… a piece I posted on this blog on the same day that Ali and Eli published their piece in Salon that suggested his motivation may relate to campaign finance, specifically the fact that he,Mark Kirk, has received more financial support from PACs associated with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) than any other member of Congress during the last 12 years. According to, “pro-Israel” groups gave Kirk’s campaigns (rounded to nearest $1,000):
      $95,000 in 2002
      $136,700 in 2004
      $315,000 in 2006
      $445,000 in 2008
      $640,000 in 2010 (when he ran for Senate)

    • puppies on April 20, 2014, 2:33 am

      @American – Deserves a lot of thought.
      There is no need for a deep-pocket patriot if there are enough of us and there is no necessity for any previous requirement for patriotism, as long as we want to go against the Zionists; that is, of course, if we of modest means are numerous enough to pay for such a campaign and the huge collateral expenses to be able to get it out.
      The problem, though, is possibly that you may lead the public to the water but getting it to drink is a whole nother story; “if that day ever comes Israel and the Lobby and their US politicians” are still a long way from being “dead in the water forever”. If you imagine that the uninformed public is uninformed just because John Q Public does not hear the right news on Fox or NBC, imagine again. There is an incredible lot of ignoble cowardice around, cowardice to confront one’s publicly and conveniently upheld nice principles. Do you really think that that huge mass of people is totally clueless, that the people forgo informing themselves when any one of the daily opportunities of a peek behind the curtains comes their way, when the worst contradictions are so glaringly evident in anything said by the powers in charge? These people are not stupid, you know, not more than average. Their self-image and their conscience are safe as long as their nose is not being rubbed in the do-do. They will remain frozen as long as they can pretend to themselves that this (very desirable) campaign is “one side of the story”, the other side being provided courtesy of AIPAC, press and USGov; so they’ll avoid unpleasant discussions or their kid not being invited to schoolmate’s bar mitzvah or perhaps loss of advancement on their job or some such thing. Yes, we can kill for a couple red cents if it may be made to sit comfortably with our self-image.
      What is needed to reverse this kind of trends is blood in the water, enough blood to smell. Only then will the other piranhas all start biting, all together, and believing they have been doing that for many years already.

  7. James Canning on April 19, 2014, 6:40 pm

    Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians was a significant factor in motivating Osama bin Laden to attack the US. The Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 also was an important factor.

  8. Kay24 on April 19, 2014, 9:40 pm

    Would Mayor Bloomberg take on AIPAC as he has bravely done with the NRA?
    We all know the answer to that. The US has been held hostage by the NRA and AIPAC in various degrees, and we suffer the consequences. Our children are being killed by crazy gunmen, who are able to carry deadly weapons in our streets, that should really only be carried by our armed forces, and the Palestinians children are brutally murdered, by terrorists who carry weapons paid for by the US.
    Here is a list of Congress people, who are responsible for the putting Israel above the interests of their own country, and judging by the amount of campaign donations, the top receivers of AIPAC donations, are devoted protectors of Israel. Bob Menendez, who happens to be my senator, recently went against his own President, in support of Israel’s warmongering with Iran. I am glad I never voted for him.

  9. Citizen on April 20, 2014, 8:41 am

    The Israel First crowd in Congress and AIPAC are still pushing for Israel Visa waiver, but our intelligence crowd in government remain concerned about Israeli spying:

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