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July 29, 2014 / Fantelius

AIPAC Lobby Myth – Bribers and Bribees

- If it wasn’t for me you would never have noticed the tree. -  I didn't notice the tree. I noticed you.

– If it wasn’t for me you would never have noticed the tree.
– I didn’t notice the tree. I noticed you.

Professor Stephen Walt, co-author of The Israel Lobby, headlines his article in the Huffington Post (July 22, 2014): AIPAC Is the Only Explanation for America’s Morally Bankrupt Israel Policy.

The “only explanation” theme is repeated in the second paragraph, “no other plausible explanation for the supine (= passive) behavior of the U.S. congress.”
The professor wants us to believe that the Israel lobby makes “Washington look callous and hypocritical in the eyes of most of the world” and causes “America’s morally bankrupt policy”.

This Ph.D. in political science and professor of international affairs at Harvard University seems unaware that most of the people of the world already view America as callous, hypocritical and morally bankrupt regardless of Israel. By the way, America has not been passive during the latest attacks on Gaza. They’ve been whipping up propaganda against Hamas in every channel of information at their disposal. This condemn-the-victim-defend-the-killer tactic has been on display since Vietnam, as has America’s moral bankruptcy.

Walt explicitly supports Israel’s existence but the support is fading as Israel moves “further down the road to becoming a full-fledged apartheid state.” It would be interesting to hear his definition of “full-fledged” apartheid, as well as his justification for supporting Israel’s existence, but let’s return to the lobby myth.

Previously, Israel was regarded as USA’s unsinkable battleship in the Middle East. NATO Commander Alexander Haig and Reagan’s Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger are among those who used this expression. How did the battleship come to dictate USA policy?

It didn’t. Nothing changed. Just as torture became enhanced interrogation, kidnapping transformed into rendition and killed civilians got covered with collateral damage, the unsinkable battleship warped into a lobby group. Americans (as most people) are all too eager to believe it’s the other guy’s fault. This takes pressure off their own “good guys”. Israel also gets to function as a life-boat in case the (battle)ship ever has to be abandoned.

Shifting perspective to the Israel lobby diverts attention from the military weapons industry that receives most of the 3 billion “aid” dollars given to Israel every year.

Professor Walt refers to the Israel lobby as the “leviathan (= giant) among lobbies.” It’s not. It’s not even in the same league as the big lobbies and compared to the weapons and military lobbies it’s the errand boy. Northrop Grumman, Boeing and Lockheed Martin for example EACH spend three times as much as the Israel lobby.

The AIPAC-rules theory doesn’t account for foreign policy decisions that go against Israeli wishes. We must also ask if US politics would be any different without AIPAC. Against the track record of USA’s hypocritical and morally bankrupt actions over the years, the question seems rhetorical.

A key question that doesn’t get asked is why professor Walt and the advocates of lobby theory only deal with half the problem? Shouldn’t the bribees receive as much attention as the bribers?

Bribers and Bribees
A bribee is the taker of a bribe given by a briber. In films and TV-series the chief criminal, regardless of his lack of scruples and ease of murdering opponents, comes off as a hero in comparison with the police, politicians and government agents he bribes. The corrupt bribees are portrayed as despicable subservient cowards. In real life AIPAC bribees are barely portrayed at all. When they are mentioned, these subservient cowards are treated with sympathy. The poor congressperson must fall in line with the lobby or reelection is out of the question. That’s it?! The corrupt officials are forced to be corrupt or they won’t get reelected (and will lose their bribee benefits)?

Is it really AIPAC that has created a government of traitorous bribees crawling in obedience to a foreign power? Are the representatives of the American people so devoid of backbone that they can be bought to support aggression, apartheid and genocide?

We resist acknowledging that our government is a herd of bribees. This provides the peddlers of the Israel lobby myth eager buyers of “It’s the foreigners’ fault.” As long as 99% of the attention points to the bribers, the bribees can enjoy the spoils of their corruption and the ILobby myth can continue to hide the rot at the core of America’s morally bankrupt political system.

 

“Take a large chunk of humanity.
Fry it in greasy nationalism.
Pour over thick traditional sauce.
Add hot ethnic spice.
Serve with populist political wine.
Enjoy some sugary culture for dessert
with strong black economic coffee
as you talk about
how foreign elements upset your stomach.”
Dartwill Aquila

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