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AIPAC and Bill Kristol turn up the pressure

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Things continue to hot up on the Netanyahu speech, which is only five days away now. Pressure is building on the political establishment to prevent a train wreck for the Israel lobby.

First, the Obama administration announces news that national security adviser Susan Rice and UN ambassador Samantha Power will represent the White House at AIPAC next week– the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s policy conference.

And how does Bill Kristol of the Emergency Committee for Israel respond?

Two weeks ago, Kristol pressed Hillary Clinton to attend the Netanyahu speech if she knows what’s good for her. The lobby wants full attendance at the Netanyahu speech. Buzzfeed reports on an AIPAC board member’s email urging members of the organization to lobby two suburban Washington, D.C., congresspeople to make sure they go to the Netanyahu speech: Chris van Hollen of Maryland and Gerald Connolly of Virginia.

Notice how AIPAC speaks of the “critical importance” of the speech “to your constituents in the pro-Israel community.” And AIPAC even gets Connolly’s party wrong, identifying him as a Republican. Just goes to show, party doesn’t matter to the lobby. It’s all the pro-Israel party. From that email:


The message:
– Whatever the circumstances of the invitation, the Prime Minister is coming to Congress to address an issue of existential importance to Israel and of critical importance to the United States and its allies throughout the world. Your presence at the speech is critical to gaining an understanding of this crucial issue that will come before Congress for action.

– Having Democrats not attending the speech will simply exacerbate and extend the partisan nature of the discussion. We ask you to show bipartisan support for the US-Israel relationship by attending the speech.

– Your attendance is of critical importance to your constituents in the pro-Israel community.

Please communicate your position and then contact all of your friends who support the pro-Israel community to communicate their position as well. To be effective, we need a large response. If they do not hear from us, they will assume the issue is not that important to us.

Liberal Zionists are still hoping that the speech won’t happen. They seem to want a big embarrassment for Netanyahu so his party will lose face in the Israeli elections.

Below is the liberal Zionist group J Street’s new ad, saying that “leading American Jews” think the speech is a bad thing because it drives a partisan wedge between Republicans and Democrats in their support for Israel. J Street seems to want a miracle, that Netanyahu will change the venue of his speech, and it says:

“Most Israelis agree, [the speech] hurts Israel and hurts America.”

Gosh I didn’t know I was supposed to care about Israeli public opinion. That’s a country that overwhelmingly supported the Gaza slaughter last summer. Oh and Walter Jones won’t be going, the inspiring congressperson from North Carolina. But it looks like my congressperson, Sean Patrick Maloney, will be. The orthodox community in Kiryas Joel, NY, wrote him to tell him not to attend.

Saying Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not the spokesman of Jewish people and “Neither he nor his state represent world Jewry,” the mayor of the Hasidic Village of Kiryas Joel has urged Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney not to attend the prime minister’s address next week at a joint session of the US Congress.

Maloney responded noncommittally:

“Congress has traditionally set aside partisanship to come together to promote the safety and security of our strategic ally, and I strongly disagree with Speaker Boehner’s partisan and poorly timed decision. I continue to hope that all parties can make adjustments to ensure all supporters can be in attendance at this joint meeting of Congress.”

Thanks to Katie Miranda and Adam Horowitz.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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20 Responses

  1. amigo on February 26, 2015, 6:04 pm

    America, ask yourselves, Who the hell do these people think they are.Issuing edicts to your elected reps,Treating them like chattel.Time you put your foot down and made a few phone calls.

  2. Blownaway on February 26, 2015, 7:07 pm

    This will be seminal in US Israel history but not in the way most people think or hope. This will cement the dominance of Israel in the relationship. The U.S. is already falling all over themselves to look conciliatory. Powers/rice will go and bow before the lobby and beg forgiveness. Whorey Reid is already on his knees preparing to please Netanyahu. This will be the ultimate humiliation for the US

    • W.Jones on February 26, 2015, 8:56 pm

      Just consider the most likely: Netanyahu will get reelected through a right coalition because the Israeli public is steadily moving to the right. And we are looking at a second joint session celebration:×350.jpg

    • Kay24 on February 26, 2015, 10:01 pm

      I agree. Netanyahu/Israel has been trampling the US for too long, and now has made it’s low level servants in Congress even turn against their own President. The world must have a good laugh at our expense. We are on our knees groveling and pleasing the Butcher of Tel Aviv.

      Aren’t we supposed to be the world’s biggest superpower? Then why are we being used like a door mat by Netanyahu?

      • pabelmont on February 27, 2015, 8:36 am

        We are NOT being used as a door-mat by Netanyahu or by Israel.
        No, no, no. Netanyahu does not write the checks.

        We are being used as a door-mat by all the oligarchs: big-oil, big-defense, big-ZION (yes!), big-banks, big-pharma, big-health-insurance, big-Monsanto, etc. ad naus.

        Big-Zion (not Israel) uses us as a door-mat. Netanyahu is big-Zion’s cheerleader, not itself. He does not write the checks!

  3. Sulphurdunn on February 26, 2015, 8:39 pm

    Bibi snubs democrats and most of them will still attend his live performance. That is truly pathetic. What is tragic is living in a country where the choice is between voting for one of these bootlicking imbeciles or a goosestepping republican imbecile.

    • David Doppler on February 27, 2015, 8:43 pm

      It is funny, Sulphur, as you summarize it. The bootlickers vs the goosestepping imbeciles. But the table is set for someone (they’re not all imbeciles) to speak with a little passion, demanding something from the Israelis. Like how about a Prime Minister that didn’t guaranty positive reverberations from invading Iraq. A prime minister who isn’t bought and paid for by Sheldon Adelson. A prime minister who isn’t serving up Neocon KoolAid. A prime minister who doesn’t insist on war with Iran, and would sacrifice Israel’s relationship with the US to get it. Someone who would speak with passion and then who dismisses all the, “oh so you’re a [Anti-Semite, Self-hating Jew, America-hater, terrorist coddler, denier of Israel’s right to exist, whatever subject changer]” with a stern “don’t start!”

      Or maybe, “Oh, so you’re [an over-ripe Neocon? a lying lie monger? a fearful warmonger? a toady for Sheldon Adelson? Go, take his money. And don’t ever darken my door again.”

      The Netanyahu/Likud/Neocon power illusion is evaporating: “I’m melting! I’m melting! Oh, what a world, what world. All of my beautiful wickedness.” It just takes a spunky girl intent on doing the right thing with a bucket of water to destroy it.

  4. Clif Brown on February 27, 2015, 12:04 am

    I’m happy to see that my Rep, Jan Schakowsky, will not be attending the speech. Did this have anything to do with my calling her office yesterday to request it? Aw, let an old man have his delusion!

  5. Marnie on February 27, 2015, 12:41 am

    If they don’t stand together and refuse to be in BenN’s presence, this crap will never end. I feel mournful for the entire world. The US is playing the part of the SoI’s whore; I see it but I can’t quite believe it. If you thought BenN disrespected the US President and the American people before, how much worse will it be after? How long will it be before the national anthem is replaced by Hatikva? He was invited to speak to the American audience to tell them their elected president doesn’t know a damn thing about what he’s doing and is endangering the world by not bombing the daylights out of yet another muslim country. Remember when BenN made some comment to the effect that he didn’t think B. Obama understood American values or something like that (only to be one-upped by Guiliani who said B. Obama doesn’t love America). This is the equivalent of a verbal lynching. I’ve never been so disgusted or ashamed. And the men and women who said they wouldn’t attend should have kept that to themselves and just not shown up. I can’t for the life of me understand why some people show their hand instead of protecting it. For crying out loud people (politicians) show some backbone! If you love the SoI so damn much, live there, permanently. If not – you best remember who you work for and represent – it isn’t the third world hillbillies that have plundered, pillaged, murdered and stolen Palestine.
    The chickens sure have come home to roost.

  6. eGuard on February 27, 2015, 4:01 am

    About being a strategic and most important ally, I think London might want to say something too. At least UK soldiers were actually fighting and dying next to US soldiers.

  7. Kay24 on February 27, 2015, 6:01 am

    Here is why Rep. Jan Schakowsky is not going for that miserable speech (she still adores Israel though, she says it is in her DNA)

  8. Kay24 on February 27, 2015, 6:29 am

    Thanks for sharing Walid. I am concerned for the safety of those young people. We know how the armed terrorists can react violently for no valid reason. Wish I could understand what was being said.

    • Walid on February 27, 2015, 6:42 am

      Mustafa Barghouti on the phone was saying that these weekly demonstrations over 10 years have succeeded in recapturing tens of thousands of dunams that Israel had stolen but that more importantly, these weekly demonstrations have galvanized the people of the West Bank and of Gaza into joining in peaceful resistance to the occupation and that now that Palestinians have involved the ICC, we should expect to see more concrete action towards the occupiers.

      The soldiers were unable to fire their tear gas grenades on the Palestinians as much as they would have wanted to because the wind was blowing the gas back towards the soldiers and into the Israeli settlement.. As you saw, there were dozens of journalists, photographers and Israeli and European activists among the demonstrators.

      • Kay24 on February 27, 2015, 12:22 pm

        I guess the journalists and members of the media, plus the activists, would have forced the soldiers to be cautious, and stifled their desires to react violently.

  9. Marshall on February 27, 2015, 9:40 am

    I didn’t realize the Kiryas Joel people were anti-Zionist (or at least anti-Likud). Aren’t they Satmars? Is this just about the current government’s anti-Hasidic moves, or are they out-and-out anti-Zionists?

  10. Atlantaiconoclast on February 27, 2015, 10:40 am

    Never forget that Kristol’s Weekly Standard led the way for the stupid war in Iraq. That war was not for oil, but for Israel. This should be everyone’s mantra. The war for oil meme has got to go.

    • Kay24 on February 27, 2015, 8:42 pm

      One would think that anyone with a conscience would be ashamed to be seen again by the world, after their lies, manipulations, and being horribly wrong about Iraq.

      I guess when you are doing the bidding of the mothership, and pushing for wars, shame is the last thing on your mind. The same pro zionist neocons, are circulating once again, some with Jeb Bush, and singing the same song, this time about Iran.

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