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Congressman Ted Lieu, are you really in bed with AIPAC?

on 42 Comments

Dear Congressman Lieu:

Thank you for meeting with seven members of Jewish Voice for Peace on Thursday July 30th.  You were gracious, warm and respectful of our alarm over the possibility that our Congress would actually scuttle a document in which both Iran and the United States agreed to move toward friendship instead of warring enemies.  We left feeling happy that you and our little delegation were on the same page.

Imagine our surprise when the next day we saw your press release announcing that you had accepted an offer to visit Israel.  Israel?!  The nation most vehemently opposed to the peace agreement!  The next day!?   Was it something we said? Or did you know in advance that you, the only congress person from Los Angeles, would accept that divisive invitation?

I believe you did know.

You say you were invited.  By whom may we ask?  Is it AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) which is paying for this glorious week? AIPAC is the Koch brothers of the Jewish right wing. It is the Dick Cheney, the Rumsfeld, the Mitch McConnell, the Tom Cotton of the hysterical segment of American Jewry.  Since AIPAC and its clones, by their own admission, is determined to wipe Iran off the face of the earth, if this peace deal is voted down AIPAC may very well succeed.  It’s no secret that AIPAC’s members contribute mega-millions to political candidates. It is certainly no secret that AIPAC considers the candidates who win those campaigns bought and owned.

I never thought of you as one of them.

I almost forgave you for hiring as your Legislative Director Andrew Lachman, a former President of Democrats for Israel and a relentless mouthpiece for AIPAC. Is he the one who arranged this inappropriate trip?

Israel’s right wing leadership survives just as our right wing does by fueling the paranoia of its people.  They endlessly repeat the language that keeps fear alive.  The terrorists are coming!  If we don’t get them first they are going to nuke us!  You know the drill.  In our own country with a population that basically wants peace, the people elected the right wing government with which we are now stuck.

The same is true of Israel.  Its people long for peace.  They don’t want again to see their children slaughtered, their houses burned to the ground, their neighborhoods turned to rubble.  They don’t want to spend years fleeing from grotesque oppression. Jews have been there, done that. For Israelis the thought of having a country of their own would give them a safe haven. Peace, they thought, was what Israel was created for.  I was in Israel in 1953 and you could feel the enthusiasm for a free society, for a constructive future, for peace.  An end to violence was the dream.

But the Israeli Right had other plans. Those other plans are what Israel and the entire region is stuck with.

Despite the fact that a large segment of its population long to move beyond it, Netanyahu, Lieberman and the Likud Party wont budge. They squelched Israel’s chance at a genuine democracy years ago. They lied, expanded the settlements, destroyed Palestinian homes, fanned the flames of fear and paranoia, just as the right wing does here.  That’s how they stay in power.  Even so Netanyahu won the recent election by only a hair. The world has had it with Netanyahu.  There is, however, one group he can count on. The American Congress.  How ironic can it get!

I have known you for many years, Congressman Lieu. The thought that you would vote against this chance for peace vs. certain war is appalling to me.  I so regret that you did not see fit to open our meeting last Thursday with the fact that you were going to Israel.  If I had known, I would have mentioned it at once.  I would have asked if this trip means you have made your decision, and our visit is superfluous.  We progressives constantly insist on transparency.   We are right.  Honesty, truth, transparency …call it what you will…is the core of democracy.

Where was your transparency?

Speaking as a Jew, I share the pain of my fellow Jews watching toxic groups like AIPAC and war hawks like Netanyahu corrupt our legacy.  We are a small group….13 million worldwide.  The overwhelming majority believes passionately in peace. In fact, the Jewish Journal recently polled Jewish Americans on the Iran deal, 48% were for it, only 28% against.

We work tirelessly for equality.  We are everywhere to end racism, injustice.   We are and always have been our brother’s keeper. Jesus Christ, a Jew, said it first. No one was more passionate about peace and compassion than he.

Bottom line.  How are you going to vote?  Are you going to let yourself be bought by AIPAC, or are you going to let them know that this trip doesn’t mean you’re rolling over. We await your response.

Have a nice trip.

Lila Garrett

Lila Garrett
About Lila Garrett

Lila Garrett is a radio broadcaster who hosts Connect the Dots on Pacifica's KPFK in Los Angeles. Previously, I was an Emmy-winning television writer, producer and director.

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42 Responses

  1. Mooser
    Mooser on August 11, 2015, 11:05 am

    “The same is true of Israel. Its people long for peace. They don’t want again to see their children slaughtered, their houses burned to the ground, their neighborhoods turned to rubble. They don’t want to spend years fleeing from grotesque oppression. Jews have been there, done that. For Israelis the thought of having a country of their own would give them a safe haven. Peace, they thought, was what Israel was created for. I was in Israel in 1953 and you could feel the enthusiasm for a free society, for a constructive future, for peace. An end to violence was the dream. “

    So did the Palestinians finally leave those poor Israelis alone?

    • Hello
      Hello on August 11, 2015, 1:10 pm

      I agree with Mooser, the quote he/she mentions is quite problematic. It’s victimizing Israelis, instead of the real victims, the Palestinians.

      • tree
        tree on August 11, 2015, 3:51 pm

        I agree with Mooser, the quote he mentions is quite problematic. It’s victimizing Israelis, instead of the real victims, the Palestinians.

        It’s also whitewashing the early racism and inequality of Israel from its very beginnings. All that ethnic cleansing, the imposition of martial law against Its Palestinian citizens, the land and home confiscations, and all the home demolitions were done under the “Left” government, controlled for the first 25+ years by the Labor Party.All that existed in 1953 when she visited, but she didn’t see it.

        She’s blaming all of Israel’s problems on the Right, but the Right only came to power because Labor was not only discriminating against non-Jews but also against its Mizrahi Jewish citizens as well, and Likud took advantage of the Mizrahi dissatisfaction over that. None of the core values of Israel have changed over time; they have simply gotten more transparent, and peace and equality are NOT those values.

        We work tirelessly for equality. We are everywhere to end racism, injustice. We are and always have been our brother’s keeper. Jesus Christ, a Jew, said it first. No one was more passionate about peace and compassion than he.

        Maybe this was just intended to be boilerplate, sucking up to Lieu, but we really have to get over this ‘Jews are more righteous than other people’ attitude. Some Jews work tirelessly for equality. Most of them don’t, and many of them have little to no problem with inequality if they are on the upside of the scale.

        This is no different than any other group of people, surprise, surprise, and to keep claiming that that “the Jews” (the “We” in her statement) are more attuned to ending racism and injustice is simply engaging in another stereotype. Positive stereotypes are just as much stereotypes as negative ones are. And can be just as toxic, especially to those who are not a part of that positively stereotyped group. If you believe in the stereotype that “the Jews” care more than other people about justice and equality, then your prejudice gets in the way of comprehending how unjustly the Palestinians have been treated since the very beginnings of Zionism.

        I appreciate Lila Garrett’s letter to her representative and her interest in working for more equality and less racism in Israel and the US. But I would also wish that she would sincerely examine her own stereotypes about herself and her Jewishness. Take credit for your own work and beliefs and don’t falsely credit them to others solely because they share your religion/ethnicity.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on August 11, 2015, 4:30 pm

        Well, I think I may have been misreading it a little. But I still don’t see why that sort of stuff even needs to be there. What purpose does it serve?

      • Hello
        Hello on August 11, 2015, 9:10 pm

        @ tree, I fully agree, for a Mondoweiss article I think this sounds pretty right-wing.

    • Keith
      Keith on August 11, 2015, 3:48 pm

      MOOSER- “So did the Palestinians finally leave those poor Israelis alone?”

      Indeed, the Palestinians must be typical Jew-hating Goyim who irrationally failed to welcome peace loving Jews into their midst. What is an Ashkenazi to do? Move back to the Bronx? Wouldn’t those Arabs be sorry then, losing such peaceful and accommodating neighbors! It would serve them right! Oh, how I would love to see their faces when all of the Zionists gave their 30 days notice to vacate! Don’t go! What will we do now? Please take some olive trees as a going away present! Promise to write?

    • Chu
      Chu on August 11, 2015, 4:04 pm

      You know those Pals – they are so “ho-hum” about the death of loved ones.

    • diasp0ra
      diasp0ra on August 11, 2015, 5:08 pm

      Why must we always pander in our appeals?

      In the 50s Israel was bringing it’s A game in racism, ethnic cleansing (which lasted years) and putting any non Jew under martial law.

      This fantasy that Israel was somehow a wonderful democratic land before 1967 needs to die. Israel was built on ethnic cleansing. It was founded on our tears. The whole Israeli seat of power, Givat Ram, was built on an ethnically cleansed Arab village (Sheikh Badr). The bones and blood of Palestinians are under every Israeli politicians feet.

      Repeat after me: Israelis have their houses because millions are deprived of theirs.

      This is true from even before Israel’s independence, dancing around this point is what has given Israel the green light to do what it has been doing for decades.

      • annie
        annie on August 11, 2015, 5:40 pm

        Israelis have their houses because millions are deprived of theirs.

      • Dutch
        Dutch on August 12, 2015, 3:02 pm

        Israelis have their houses because millions are deprived of theirs.

  2. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson on August 11, 2015, 11:56 am

    RE: “Dear Congressman Lieu: Thank you for meeting with seven members of Jewish Voice for Peace on Thursday July 30th. . . Imagine our surprise when the next day we saw your press release announcing that you had accepted an offer to visit Israel.” ~ Lila Garrett

    MY COMMENT: My sympathy, Ms. Garrett. Perhaps the article below will help lift your spirits.

    “Michele Bachmann: Obama Fulfilled End Times Prophecy With Iran Deal, So Celebrate!” ~ by Brian Tashman, rightwingwatch.org, 8/10/2015 1:25 pm

    In an interview with Religious Right radio host Jan Markell this weekend, former Rep. Michele Bachmann once again claimed that President Obama is ushering in the End Times, this time citing the nuclear agreement with Iran as proof of the arrival of the Last Days.

    Bachmann claimed that the unanimous UN Security Council vote to approve the agreement was “the most important national security event of my lifetime” because it fulfilled the prophecy of Zechariah 12:3 that all the nations of the world will unite against Israel, “with the United States leading that charge.” She added that God and “heaven’s armies” will use groups like AIPAC to defeat the deal in Congress and in doing so “prove to the world His power and His strength.”

    “There are consequences to doing things like this against God’s covenant land, there are horrible consequences,” Markell said. “Then you throw in some other things such as the Supreme Court decision back in late June and a lot of other things. Judgment isn’t just coming; judgment is already here.”

    • AUDIO – https://soundcloud.com/rightwingwatch/bachmann-end-times-prophecy-fulfilled-by-iran-vote-at-un-security-council

    Bachmann told listeners that they should feel “encouraged” by the fact that they are living in the End Times, explaining that these dark times are actually the best time to be alive since that means the world will soon come to an end.

    “The prophets longed to live in this day that you and I are privileged to live in,” Bachmann said.

    • AUDIO – https://soundcloud.com/rightwingwatch/bachmann-celebrate-the-end-times

    Predicting the arrival of nuclear war, Bachmann said that Iran will position its future cache of nuclear weapons in Cuba in order to aim them at the U.S.

    • AUDIO – https://soundcloud.com/rightwingwatch/bachmann-cuba-may-house-iranian-nukes

    SOURCE – http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/michele-bachmann-obama-fulfilled-end-times-prophecy-iran-deal

    P.S. Sometimes I feel like blowing my brains out! If I only had a gun! ! !

    • JLewisDickerson
      JLewisDickerson on August 11, 2015, 12:06 pm

      P.S. A MIDSUMMER EVENING’S MUSICAL INTERLUDE, proudly brought to you by the purveyors of new Über-Xtreme Ziocaine™ Ultra CR (Controlled Release) Transdermal Patch: Let The Good Times Roll!

      Life is sad, believe me, Missy,
      When you’re born to be a sissy
      Without the vim and verve.
      But I could change my habits, never more be scared of rabbits
      If I only had a gun.
      I’m afraid there’s no denyin’ I’m just a dandelion,
      A fate I don’t deserve.
      But I could show my prowess, be a lion not a mowess
      If I only had a gun
      Oh I’d be in my stride, a king down to the core
      I would roar the way I’ve never roared before
      And then I’d rrrwoof! and roar some more
      I would show the dinosaurus who’s king around the forres’
      A king they better serve
      Why with my regal beezer I could be another Caesar
      If I only had a gun

    • Mooser
      Mooser on August 11, 2015, 1:14 pm

      “There are consequences to doing things like this against God’s covenant land, there are horrible consequences,” Markell said. “Then you throw in some other things such as the Supreme Court decision back in late June and a lot of other things.”

      And when you “throw in some other things”, anybody can see that the schlmazeldammerung is on the way!

      • JLewisDickerson
        JLewisDickerson on August 11, 2015, 11:21 pm

        The only thing worse than hearing Elliott Abrams refer to “the covenant” is hearing Michelle Bachmann refer to it.
        Oh I’d be in my stride, a king down to the core,
        if I only had a gun! ! !

        P.S.
        Katharina Blum: “I’m a little scared.”
        Suspected terrorist: “Scared of what?”
        Katharina Blum: “If I knew that, I wouldn’t be so scared.”
        The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum (1975) – http://dvd.netflix.com/Movie/The-Lost-Honor-of-Katharina-Blum/60026724?trkid=5966279

      • JLewisDickerson
        JLewisDickerson on August 12, 2015, 2:19 am

        RE: “And when you “throw in some other things”, anybody can see that the schlmazeldammerung is on the way!” ~ Mooser

        A.Word.A.Day — schlimazel – Wordsmith.org
        http://wordsmith.org/words/schlimazel.html
        schlimazel or shlimazel (shli-MAH-zuhl) noun. Someone prone to having extremely bad luck. [From Yiddish, from shlim (bad, wrong) + mazl (luck). A related term …

        Dämmerung – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dämmerung
        Wikipedia
        Dämmerung may refer to: The German word for twilight. …

        P.S. It is fascinating to watch The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum (1975) in relation to both 9/11 and Charlie Hebdo.

        The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum, or: how violence develops and where it can lead (1975) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lost_Honour_of_Katharina_Blum_(film)

    • Scott
      Scott on August 11, 2015, 8:55 pm

      Thanks for the link JLD. I sometimes think Christian Zionists don’t really exist because I never encounter them. But, alas. Michele Bachmann, was, is (?) an important figure, once led the polls in the GOP primaries. In 2008 was it? Or the next round?

      • ckg
        ckg on August 12, 2015, 11:21 am

        It was four years ago. From the 6/21/2011 Washington Times:

        Fresh off her well-received performance in last week’s GOP presidential debate, Rep. Michele Bachmann now tops the field of candidates in a new Zogby poll of Republican primary voters. The poll found Mrs. Bachmann garnering 24 percent of the vote, well-ahead of businessman Herman Cain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who each received 15 percent support.

    • CigarGod
      CigarGod on August 12, 2015, 10:26 am

      As a brilliant writer here at Mondo once said: – Someone pour me a whisky and hand me a revolver –

      • JLewisDickerson
        JLewisDickerson on August 12, 2015, 10:14 pm

        Kid Cudi – Dennis, Hook Me Up With Some More Of This Whiskey! [EXPLICIT LYRICS]

    • ckg
      ckg on August 12, 2015, 11:14 am

      Thanks JLD. This morning Salon published a piece about this Bachmann interview. Michele Bachmann’s creepy End Times fantasies: Why the religious right yearns for World War III

      • CigarGod
        CigarGod on August 12, 2015, 11:34 am

        Well done Salon article.

      • JLewisDickerson
        JLewisDickerson on August 12, 2015, 10:34 pm

        Cornerstone John Hagee 2015 Prophecy for Tomorrow Christ has Returned to Jerusalem

      • JLewisDickerson
        JLewisDickerson on August 12, 2015, 10:37 pm

        Hagee: Jews Make Deal With Antichrist During End Times

        John Hagee says Jews will make a deal with the Antichrist during the End Times; David Reagan says 2/3 of them will die

      • JLewisDickerson
        JLewisDickerson on August 12, 2015, 10:44 pm

        ■ Mark Your Calendar! New End Times Prediction

        Published on Apr 15, 2014
        Pastor John Hagee is warning members of his megachurch to prepare for the end of the world because a “blood moon” eclipse on Tuesday is signaling that the End Times could be beginning.

      • JLewisDickerson
        JLewisDickerson on August 12, 2015, 10:51 pm

        ■ JOHN HAGEE: THE END TIMES ARE HERE – 10 SIGNS

        Published on Jan 19, 2013
        Outline on the major events happening in the world around us!

  3. eljay
    eljay on August 11, 2015, 12:11 pm

    Ted Lieu replies: “Can’t talk…much too busy…fellating donkey.”

  4. Steve Grover
    Steve Grover on August 11, 2015, 12:34 pm

    “Congressman Ted Lieu, are you really in bed with AIPAC?”
    Another fine example of:
    #ANTIZIONISTSDONTMATTER
    #ANTIBDSERSDONTMATTER
    The fact that Congressman Lieu didn’t tell them he is coming here hits it out of the park.

  5. aiman
    aiman on August 11, 2015, 12:44 pm

    As is the whole US Congress. This is to be expected in corporatised democracy. Either change the system or celebrate the brands (lib-left).

  6. Kay24
    Kay24 on August 11, 2015, 1:04 pm

    Good questions. Perhaps similar letters should be sent to all the other shameless Americans who accepted this freebee trip to zio land. Will they all come back brainwashed and forever loyal and do the bidding of their masters, even against their own President and country?

    • echinococcus
      echinococcus on August 11, 2015, 7:01 pm

      Similar letters? Meaning Zionist propaganda? How is more Zionist propaganda supposed to help?

      • Kay24
        Kay24 on August 12, 2015, 7:19 am

        No, I mean the letter by the author Lila Garrett questioning Sen. Lieu’s acceptance of this ridiculous junket trip to Israel.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus on August 12, 2015, 11:09 am

        I mean the same, Kay. It may question the trip, but it is fiery Zionist propaganda. This is precisely the kind of thing not to associate with.

  7. mariapalestina
    mariapalestina on August 11, 2015, 1:52 pm

    Ted Lieu is my U.S. Congressman, and I have been commenting daily on his Twitter & Facebook pages. He posts every day about what he is doing, where he is going, where he has been, who he is meeting with. Several weeks ago he even asked his constituents for advice as to whether he should vote for or against the President’s Iran deal. (Overwhelmingly he was advised to support it. ) He has never mentioned his trip to Israel, before, during or after, though I and others have posted comments asking for his thoughts about Israel and whether he has been influenced by those he met there.

    I imagine Lieu, like Chuck Schumer, is busy searching his soul. Ted Lieu is a freshman Congressman and unlike the man whom he replaced in Congress, Henry Waxman, who was firmly committed to supporting Israel, Lieu is no doubt concerned that he could make the wrong choice (for his career, that is.)

    I am not optimistic.

  8. Les
    Les on August 12, 2015, 10:35 am

    Juan Cole

    AIPAC is a foreign lobby

    President Obama should ask Atty. General Loretta Lynch to begin proceedings to make AIPAC register.

    http://www.juancole.com/2015/08/aipac-register-foreign.html

  9. Lanny V Stricherz
    Lanny V Stricherz on August 12, 2015, 1:47 pm

    Ms Garret, I don’t know why you make such a big deal out of one more member of Congress being a zionist lackey. The last time I checked the US Senate, which couldn’t agree on the time of day, day of the month or month of the year and rarely on the year, votes 100-0 on nearly every issue that the zionists bring to the Senate. Our South Dakota Freshman Senator, Mike Rounds, went to Israel for an interview with Netanyahu, Peres and the kneset as his first stop two years ago, after announcing his candidacy for the Senate. He then appointed a lobbyist for AIPAC as his chief of staff after he was elected.

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