15:56 GMT +3 hours27 June 2016
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File photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference in Washington

People Vs. AIPAC: Mighty Pro-Israel Lobby Loses Grip in US

© AP Photo/ Pablo Martinez Monsivais
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The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) will hold a high-profile conference starting this weekend attended by many powerful American politicians. The meeting promises to become the most interesting event in a history of the political lobby, author and journalist Max Blumenthal told Loud & Clear’s Brian Becker.

AIPAC is considered to be the “main arm of the pro-Israeli lobby” in the US, has long seen unconditional bipartisan support in the US Congress. The lobby has long attempted to impose its will on US leaders in questions of foreign policy. For instance, it carried out a costly and ultimately unsuccessful campaign in the US to urge the American establishment to oppose the Iran nuclear deal, Blumenthal said. But this year, he pointed out, AIPAC has seen a decline in its political support.

“AIPAC is being challenged in the way it has never been, by coalescence of BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement and by very unpredictable presidential campaign,” Blumenthal said to Becker, pointing to the ongoing presidential run in the country.

AIPAC now faces the possible win of two independently-minded candidates from Democratic and Republican sides, he said referring to Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.

“Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side has support from grassroots donors. He’s got millions of dollars from thousands and thousands of contributors and none of them have anything to do with AIPAC,” he said. “Trump is a self-funding candidate that does not really rely on kind of donors that AIPAC and pro-Israel lobby had hoped to dictate foreign policy on the Republican side.”

Another indication that the trends are reversing for AIPAC is a sea change in public opinion among American Jews toward Israel. Israel, as a culture presenting itself as an exponent of Jewish interests around the world, has lost points by openly suppressing Palestinians and occupying Arab lands in the West Bank.

“The fact is that Israel has an extremely right wing government since 2009,” Blumenthal asserted. “It’s taken an adversely religious, messianic overtone. It’s seeking to impose a kind of “McCarthyism” campaign of censorship on campuses across the country and across the West.”

The fundamentalist position is “anathema” for the liberal Jewish mind and mentality prevailing among the Jewish community in the US, he said, citing polls indicating that the US Jewish population is turning away from the current Israeli administration.

“Most young Jews don’t see Israel as a country committed to peace, don’t support Benjamin Netanyahu and don’t think he’s serious about a two-state solution,” he said. “The Israeli lobby is losing its bipartisan support and it’s losing Jewish grassroots. Liberal Jews overwhelmingly support Bernie Sanders – and you see the same amount among young Arab Americans and Muslim Americans. This is AIPAC’s nightmare.”

A recent petition, launched by the BDS movement, calling on Bernie Sanders not to attend AIPAC meetings, has shown that the political climate is changing. Despite the AIPAC’s fierce opposition and attempts to suppress those who support BDS, the petition has gained 20 thousand signatures, showing that people stand for equal rights, and, more specifically, equal rights for Palestinians, according to the journalist.

“It’s clear what the AIPAC agenda is. It’s not to find a solution to Israeli-Palestinian crisis. It’s to criminalize dissent against the special relations with Israel across the United States and across the West,” he said. “The Israeli lobby has become a major threat to free speech in the West.”

The Israeli government’s assault on free speech in the countries like the UK, France and Canada has been successful because AIPAC is dealing with “people who have something to lose,” such as politicians, according to Blumenthal. But dissent has gone beyond the rank and file of ordinary people, angry with the Israeli policy of oppressing Palestinians. Given that “Israel has no strategy of ending conflict with the indigenous population of Palestine,” the violence and dissent will intensify, Blumenthal said.

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Tags:
Israeli-Palestinian conflict, AIPAC, Benjamin Netanyahu, Bernie Sanders, Israel, United States
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  • Mayoh
    That is true!!!... And America also need a ZIONIST CONTROL ACT, for total and radical separation of JEWS, from the State. DOUBLE CITIZENSHIP has to be eliminate, JEWS already have a country since 1948, so they need to make oath of allegiance to one of them. (This apply to Russia too, you got a lot of Zionist infiltrate in the country too) You can not serve two Master at the same time. Matthew 6:24
  • Max Blumenthal is Clinton advisor Sidney Blumenthal's son.
  • cast235
    Up to this day, Israel been lucky. But Israel been warned by everyone. Don't ignore the world,. The world is against that going on against Palestine.

    Russia is a good friend to Israel, but IF U.N task it as peace keeper, Russia is too much. Of course it won't go attacking Israel. Both are good friends, and could talk it nicely.
    Perhaps, it should be easier if Russia try to help find peace. Talk to Hamas Hezbollah , Palestine and try to freeze hostilities. There still time to redeem oneself. No matter what, no one could beat the world.
  • ivanwa88
    Max is part of the right wing establishment in US for him to write this article means the green light has been given to lay bear the truth and defang Israel warmongers once and for all.

    There is no question Israel wants to destroy Iran and become the US of the ME. With Russia's resurgence and intervention in Syria that is now impossible! there is no doubt Putin has assured all parties a nuclear attack on Iran will not be tolerated!!? thus US is forced to take a more potent defanging position on the ultra aggressive warmongering Israeli leadership.
  • FlorianGeyerin reply toivanwa88(Show commentHide comment)
    ivanwa88,

    Much of the world and me,lol, are rather bored with Israel and its lobby with the continual wailing and whining about being the perennial victims of ' anti semitism'.

    Many of us really do not care about ' anti semitism' and regard it as a result of the deficient and imperious 'behaviour by the chosen few' for thousands of years.
  • michael
    I wonder if there is a similar apparent move away from israel by 'liberal jews' in other countries as well?
  • siberianhusky
    The IsraeHell state with its obsession of Jewish purity and territory expansion is at par with policies of past Uncle Adolf's idea of a "Greater Germany and blonde and blue eyed Germans." in the world.
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