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AIPAC, Glenn Beck, British Thugs, and your congressman.

What aipac, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the US-based  lobby that supports the policies of the Israeli government, has proved lately is that there are no lines it will not cross in its determination to preserve an unjust status quo in US support for Israeli militarism. Much like the Israeli government itself, there are no allies that are off-limits. Still, the chances that your congressional representative will be sitting at aipac conference coming up next week is quite good, even if your rep may have supposedly liberal credentials.

I wrote at Mondoweiss of some of the rightwing fools that will be featured at the aipac conference. Included is a British anti-Muslim fanatic, Douglas Murray, who has said of the fascist “English Defense League” (EDL) should be welcomed as a ““grassroots response from non-Muslims to Islamism ”.  EDL’s specialty is street thuggery. Rather amazing this fellow can even be permitted entry to the US, much less embraced by an organization enjoying such political support in DC.

Beyond the list at the aforementioned article, aipac continues its long-term relationship with the extreme Christian Right here in the US.  In July, Rev Hagee‘s group Christians United for Israel (CUFI) will be having its big event in DC, and featured there will be at least three key aipac players featured.  Jonathan Kessler, who serves as AIPAC’s Leadership Development Director. Also Malcolm Hoenlein, who is the Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (and sits on AIPAC’s executive committee). Jeff Mendelsohn serves as AIPAC’s National Outreach Director will all be there.

The keynote speaker for the CUFI event is Glenn Beck. I don’t think i need to remind anyone here of Beck’s extremism and penchant for the strangest of conspiracy theories. So why in the world would an organization that pretends to be moderate and bi-partisan do so much to promote such an affair? Isn’t the promotion of such events a blow to reasoned debate on the issues?

More importantly, why in the world is it all too likely that your congressperson be attending a dinner that mixes up with such people? How much respect does aipac deserve when it lends its support to the likes of Glenn Beck, Douglas Murray, and so many others?

We desperately need a new foreign policy.  This will not come from aipac and its clinging to an old status quo of support for the twin evils of militarism and racism.

It is up to us then to expose AIPAC for what it is, it is not merely supporting “good relations with Israel”, but it is supporting a deeply unjust system that makes peace impossible, and the only way to preserve such a system is by military force and brutal repression.  It is logical then that it would be heavily weighted in favor of the reactionary elements. That is why the “Move Over AIPAC” Summit beginning on May 21st and protests of the AIPAC Policy Conference  is such an important development. This is our opportunity to demand an end to politicians pandering to this extremist group and instead support a US foreign policy where people and human rights matter. The organizers and endorsers Move Over AIPAC dare to believe it is possible for the US to have a foreign policy that is not the end result of a cold calculus of potential political contributions from the few, but to believe that someday it will be the fruit of rooting our policies that values a peaceful and just world for all of us.

—Jim Harris is a founder of the “Stop AIPAC” website that supports and documents protests of AIPAC around the country in support of peace in the Middle East

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jim harris

jim harris