Change the Lobby


One cannot emphasize enough the stranglehold Israel's lobbying infrastructure has on US foreign policy. The events of recent weeks undoubtedly attest to this. "The special relationship" that has been historically fostered between the US and Israel in fact, is often a relationship of leverage, manipulation and intimidation, and often leads to the US supporting actions or resolutions that stand at complete odds with the interests of the American people.

The promise of change echoed the world over as people from all corners anticipated the magic moment Obama could actually change the devastating reality in which we live today. But just weeks before his inauguration, Israel unleashed the most barbaric attacks on defenseless Palestinian civilians since 1948. Civil societies expressed outrage and called for Israeli leaders to be tried for war crimes and genocide. Other nations cut diplomatic ties completely with the Jewish state. But the man of change did absolutely nothing. For weeks he was completely silent. Even in his first days in office, Obama made no mention of the Israeli genocide in Gaza. So, what of this change that he promised? What kind of hold does Israel have to silence the President of the United States?

Authors and professors, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, of University of Chicago and Harvard University respectively defined the Israel Lobby in their volume: The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy as a "loose coalition of individuals and organizations who actively work to steer U.S. foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction." What has been revealed in their work is that "The Lobby" is not a unitary organization, of a few, or many paid lobbyists who are pushing for a specific foreign policy agenda. Sure, you have that too, manifested in the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) - an organization that boasts of 60,000 active members, and who showers US congressmen with many millions of dollars in campaign contributions, all with one aim in mind, a pro-Israel, right or wrong agenda. But it's much more complex than that.

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, less known than AIPAC is a powerful lobby conduit, for it supposedly represents 52 major Jewish organizations. Based in New York, the organization simply represents an uncompromisingly pro-Israel stance, which tends to advocate Israel's suppression of Palestinians (as Israel's right to defend itself), and advocates a pro-war agenda (as was the case before the Iraq war, and later against Syria and Iran.)

These are but mere examples. What Mearsheimer and Walt describe as a "loose coalition of individuals and organizations" is in fact a vast infrastructure that has penetrated every major organization and institution, governmental and otherwise, that could in some way influence, push for or advocate Israel's interests.

When AIPAC holds its annual conferences, countless members of the House and the Senate, the executive branch, top representatives of both parties, as well as hundreds of US ambassadors flock from all over the world in an unprecedented manner to vow their allegiance to Israel. 

With the passing of time, the strength of the lobby, and the level of influence of Israel's "friends" in the Congress has grown immensely to the point that US allegiances actually jeopardize the interests of their own citizens. Even from an imperialistic viewpoint, the US has no particular interest in supporting Israel's genocidal policies in Gaza, for example, considering the fact that the US is struggling to find any semblance of 'stability' in the region that is saturated with anti-American sentiment. 

Consider what outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said in a speech in the Israeli southern town of Ashkelon on Jan 12, regarding how he influenced the US vote in the UN on a resolution pertaining to the Gaza war:

"In the night between Thursday and Friday, when the Secretary of State wanted to lead the vote on a ceasefire at the Security Council, we did not want her to vote in favor," Olmert said.

"I said 'get me President Bush on the phone'. They said he was in the middle of giving a speech in Philadelphia. I said I didn't care. 'I need to talk to him now'. He got off the podium and spoke to me.

"I told him the United States could not vote in favor. It cannot vote in favor of such a resolution. He immediately called the secretary of state and told her not to vote in favor."

"She was left shamed. A resolution that she prepared and arranged, and in the end she did not vote in favor." 

Imagine, Olmert is boasting how he, with one telephone call managed to completely turn around the entire US foreign policy agenda, no questions asked. This tells us that it's not a give-and-take relationship. 

One can learn a valuable lesson in all of this. Within the United States there is a great apparatus that has been in motion for generations. It is beyond civil society, beyond individual citizens and citizen groups, it is perhaps even more powerful than 'the man of change' himself. And if we are truly to see some transformation in the way the US now rules the world, then this war-mongering machine must be dismantled. 

- Ramzy Baroud (www.ramzybaroud.net) is an author and editor of PalestineChronicle.com. His work has been published in many newspapers, journals and anthologies around the world. His latest book is, "The Second Palestinian Intifada: A Chronicle of a People's Struggle" (Pluto Press, London).


  Category: Americas, World Affairs
  Topics: Foreign Policy, Israel Lobby In The United States, Occupation  Channel: Opinion
Views: 2714

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Older Comments:
SALEEM FROM USA said:
Another Proof of Aipac hijacking the Washington DC and Capitol Hill.
This is the real issue of National security for the US.

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/americas/2009/03/200931113340555177.html

And Aipac is the main problem US is facing internally. And Israel the other problem for the US externally. These r the 2 forces pulling down the US. In a down spiral move.

But lets see how long, will the real Americans approve of such hijacking.
2009-03-12

MUSLIM FROM UK said:
Biblical Christianity was destroyed by Saul/Paul the Jew. Who killed Jesus? (PS not the Arabs. The Zionist US Christian/Jewish is a machiavellian temporary political marriage of convenience between blindly rabid fanatics. The US Christians ignore the Jewish persecution of their Palestinian co-religionists & first converts e.g. Church of the Nativity etc, in order to seek the conversion of Jews(just look at the persecution of Jews for Jesus as well). The Jews hate Jesus & their Rabbis & say he is in Hell burning in hot excrement (naozobillah). This shows the ignorance of US Zionists & the control by the Lobby of these useful idiots. As for Palestine- it is increasingly getting prominence, just look at the international news coverage & Western politicians comments. As for among Muslims the leaders are puppets of the MIC & they are getting worried about grassroots people-power which is bubbling over. The great Islam-West debate is being globalised, stoked & informed by the Arab(read Palestinian)-Israeli dispute & their respective Lobbyists. Even AQ ideological founder was Palestinian!
2009-02-15

JOHN HENRY FROM USA said:
Biblical Christianity is Israels greatest supporter. But if there is any attempt to dismantle it, Biblical Christianity will just go underground. At which point you're troubles just doubled. Just look at history of trying to persecute Biblical Christianity and you will see what I mean.
2009-02-14

BABANDI A. GUMEL FROM U.K. said:
Whe we fully realize that ALLAH is th same God whom Adam and Abraham knew and whom Moses and Jesus worshipped,then we have no difficulty in accepting Islam and Muhammad as the Prophet of God like Jesus born miraculously without Father or the example of Adam whom Allah created without Mum and Dad or Eve Wife of Adam who had no mother.
Simple mathemetics teaches us that a unit is no more nor less than one it can never be 1+1+1 IS EQUAL to one.Similarly the belief in God the Father God the Son and God te Holy Ghost is a flagrant denial of the Unity of God and an audacious cofession in three imperfect being who unitedly or separately cannot be the true God as explained by a former Priest Prof Abdul Ahad Dawud in his Book Muhammad in the Bible.So every one knows the truth only accepting it is the problem either one s too arrogant in trying to prove that the three units equal one which is false or too cowardly to admit that three ones equl three ones meaning one has no courage to confess belief in tree gods.Romesh and others try to justify and defend the course of their acts by all means and my brother Kris Mcpherson May Allah continue to Bless Him defend the true Deen like Prof Dawud. So those who follow the Aposle the Unlettered Prophet whom they find written in the Torah and the Gospel enjoins them good and forbid them evil and makes lwful to the the good thigs and makes unlawful the impure and removes from them their buden and shackles which were upon them ;So those who believe in him honour himand help himand follow the light which has bee sent down with him these it is they that are successful.So we invite the whole mankind to the truth including President Obama who is seen as a Just courageous and truthful Leader accepted by the whole mankind a sign of good Omen trying to bring peace and unite the whole humanity.
2009-02-14

JOHN SMITH FROM USA said:
Biblical Christianity will always support Israel and if there is any attempt at trying to persecute Biblical Christianity it will just go underground and become more of a threat to Obama, the US government, and Islam.
2009-02-12

SALEEM FROM USA said:
You got it wrong dude its the other way round.
As President Carter said there is nothing wrong with lobbyist. But here we have more than what you can call just a lobby.
You got to be Naive if you say Aipac is just a lobby for an interest group. Which it is Not at All.

Israel does nothing in the middle east for USA, thats why our American boys have to go in Iraq and get their hands dirty for Israel. About 4000+ gave their life Not for USA but for Israel and Zionist and Neo con screwed up views and beliefs, which has got nothing to do with any religion of 3 major religion of middle east.

Israel and its zionist and Aipac runs the whole show at Capitol Hill it is criminal in nature thats the problem.

Aipac decides who gets to run in the election who gets the party ticket in both the parties.

Aipac has hijacked the Washington DC for real.
2009-02-12

ROMESH CHANDER FROM USA said:
Note to Saleem (USA):

You don't understand politics. In the middle east, Israel does US's dirty job of keeping the Arabs divided and fighting them. If US did not help Israel, then US will have to do the job itself which will be far more costly.

What do Arabs have to offer to US? Nothing other than OIL. So far, US has not sent any military forces to Israel to support its war making.

Israel controls Middle East for US, and that is what US wants -- control of Middle East through its proxies.

Israel does the job cheaply for US. It is a business.

Arabs would like to have their own "AIPAC" in Washington but have not succeeded, because they have nothing to offer.
2009-02-10

ROMESH CHANDER FROM USA said:
Saudi Lobby is quite successful and spends less money than the Zionist lobby. Unfortunately, Saudi Lobby does not represent Palestinians; it only represents the interests of Saudi family.

Yes, get rid of the Zionist Lobby if we also get rid of the Saudi Lobby, the Kuwaiti Lobby, the Swiss Banking Lobby, PetroSheikhdom Lobby, Turkish Lobby, Greek Lobby, Baltic Lobby, Ukranian Lobby, NATO lobby, etc.

Is Ramsay Baroud for getting rid of all Lobbies in Washington? Is anybody for getting rid of all Lobbies in Washington? I must be deluding myself.

Life is tough in this world. Stop being a crybaby. Nobody is listening. It has been 60 years now. Palestine is no longer on the radar screen of anybody, not even on the radar screen of Arabs and their governments, and not even on the radar screen of Iran. Iranians just want to keep the pot boiling; but when it gets really steaming hot, they reduce the fire underneath it. No, Iran is no friend of Palestinians, either.
2009-02-10

SALEEM FROM USA said:
AIPAC's interest are not in the interest of USA.

Secondly these private organizations are helping congressmen write bills and pass it.

Plus they (these people from New York) have hijacked the Capitol hill, both parties Democrates and Republicans and basically hijacked Washington DC and America as a whole.

These people needs to be prosecuted and should be trailed in the court of law.

Until then this land of Benjamin Franklin, Washington and Lincoln, is a hostage to these criminal minds of New york.

2009-02-10