AIPAC and Bibi: The Reckoning

Faced with what will be its biggest legislative defeat ever — the passage of the Iran deal, possibly by upholding Obama’s veto — AIPAC is lashing out, blaming Bibi.

An official from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the leading pro-Israel lobby in the US, on Thursday blasted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for harming the opposition to the Iran nuclear deal by insisting on addressing Congress on the issue in March.

“Netanyahu’s speech in Congress made the Iranian issue a partisan one,” the AIPAC official told Israel’s Walla news. “As soon as he insisted on going ahead with this move, which was perceived as a Republican maneuver against the president, we lost a significant part of the Democratic party, without which it was impossible to block the agreement,” said the official, who asked not to be named.

Of course AIPAC has plenty to own in its loss of influence too, in part by backing Bibi’s hard right policies rather than policies that support Israel’s security.

Bibi and AIPAC deserve each other.

But if they want to start taking out each other to avoid taking responsibility for how ridiculously hard right their views have become, I can live with that.

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

4 replies
  1. orionATL says:

    sounds like an organization constructing a big and very public excuse for a big failure (and conceeding that failure ante facto).

    might aipac be worried about being held responsible for its failure, by some big, big funders?

    and where does “free jonathan pollard” fit into aipac’s whine ?

  2. orionATL says:

    so what DID aipac say and do, at the time, about netanyahoo’s address to congress ?

    here is one report:
    .

    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/DC-Decoder/2015/0301/Netanyahu-speech-to-Congress-Low-point-in-Israel-US-relationship

    [… Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of the liberal Jewish advocacy group J Street, said Netanyahu was “crossing some lines that haven’t been crossed before and is putting Israel into the partisan crossfire in a way it has not been before.”

    But the largest pro-Israel lobby in the US, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, has tried to play down the partisanship.

    “AIPAC welcomes the prime minister’s speech to Congress and we believe that this is a very important address,” spokesman Marshall Wittmann said. “We have been actively encouraging senators and representatives to attend and we have received an overwhelmingly positive response from both sides of the aisle.” …]
    .

    and then there was an aipac email twisting arms to encourage attendance:
    .
    [… As I’m sure everyone knows, the invitation for this speech has been surrounded in controversy which has taken a partisan tone. With the hyped news headlines, many of our friends on the Democratic side of the aisle are under significant pressure not to attend the speech from groups who are primarily partisan in nature and see the invitation as an offense to President Obama. Of our local Members, Congressman Delaney (D-MD-6), Congressman Beyer (D-VA-8) and Congresswoman Comstock (R-VA-10) have indicated they plan to attend the Prime Minister’s speech.

    Two local members – Congressman Van Hollen (D-MD-8) and Congressman Connolly (R-VA-11) have not yet decided whether to attend or not. As these Members make their decisions, IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT THE PRO-ISRAEL COMMUNITY COMMUNICATE TO THESE MEMBERS HOW IMPORTANT IT IS FOR THEM TO ATTEND TUESDAY’S SPEECH BY THE PRIME MINISTER.

    A few guidelines for your communication with the Congressman’s office: …]
    .
    .
    http://www.buzzfeed.com/rosiegray/aipac-mobilizing-members-to-pressure-democrats-to-attend-net#.rgmwjP9o8

  3. RUKidding says:

    I’ll take a LOLs on this one. I was truly offended – and it’s hard for me to feel offended by almost anything anymore that the hard right does – by the ramming of Bibi down our throats. JMO, of course, but I totally disagreed with Bibi lecturing US Congress. I get it that the USA is Israel’s bitch, but really? You have to kick us in the nuts and publically lecture us, as well?

    GTFO, Bibi, and you too, AIPAC. pfft

    Good news day, as far as I’m concerned. AIPAC owns Bibi and Bibi owns AIPAC. One result may be the passage of the Iran deal. Good to see the egg on their faces.

  4. Don Bacon says:

    Hold the champagne.
    .
    The “Iran deal” does not mean that Iran is now an ally, and Israel not. Quite the opposite. The administration is making it clear that all Iran options are still on the table, in fact more so now that Iran has been (supposedly) nuke-neutered and the US will have better intelligence about military goings-on in Iran, thus aiding a possible US attack. Plus no potential US president looks hopeful for peace any time soon. There’s no profit in peace. Meanwhile the US is giving Israel even more stuff than usual, as compensation for not following orders.
    .
    Other countries in the world are not so constrained, and will quickly aid Iran to recover from sanctions and to become even more of an influence in its area and in the world than it already is, which is the real problem for the hegemonic US. Iran has a great deal of power in the ME and the US wants it. That’s the real issue, not the concocted nuclear issue.
    .
    Meanwhile it’s not yet a done deal in Iran, with Khamanei insisting that the parliament consider the deal and vote on it.

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