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Is the Arab Spring spreading to US Congressional staffs?

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opednews.com Headlined to None 5/28/11

-          "In Judea and Samaria, the Jewish people are not foreign occupiers."

-          "In recent years, the Palestinians twice refused generous offers by Israeli prime ministers to establish a Palestinian state on virtually all the territory won by Israel in the Six-Day War."

-          "We have helped the Palestinian economic growth by removing hundreds of barriers and roadblocks to the free flow of goods and people, and the results have been nothing short of remarkable."

-          "The Palestinian refugee problem will be resolved outside the borders of Israel."

-          "They (Palestinians) continue to educate their children to hate."

-          "A nuclear armed Iran would ignite a nuclear arms race in the Middle East."

How Netanyahu received his "speech of a lifetime" ovations

Two staffers who work with the House Foreign Affairs Committee and who know the issue of Palestine very well and also how AIPAC operates on the Hill explained to this observer how Netanyahu's "speech of a lifetime" was organized by AIPAC.

  Firstly, orders were issued that nothing was to be left to chance and they essentially succeeded, but for the protesting slogans shouted by Rae Abileah before AIPAC undercover security tackled her and she ended up in the hospital, groped, injured and under arrest.

"Here is how Bibi got his "spontaneous" applause", one and then the other explained.  "AIPAC, as usual with visiting Israeli officials, edited his speech for most favorable local consumption.  Marks were made at the end of intended applause lines for Bibi to highlight them verbally.  Key Members such as Eric Cantor (R-VA), Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Harry Reid (D-NV) were designated as floor leaders and were seated in strategic locations in the Chamber.  Once Bibi began his speech the floor leaders would leap up at the indicated cue phases and begin to applaud enthusiastically. Quite naturally, others would follow either not wanting to appear impolite or to stand out and be noticed as not showing proper support for Israel and its Prime Minister.

"In addition, AIPAC staffers who prowl congressional offices daily, let it be known that videos of the Members listening to Bibi would be kept on file and insinuated that how the Member's performed during his speech to Congress would be taken into consideration when planning this summer's Jewish fundraising events.

One aide, who supports his boss's "moderately pro-Palestinian positions", defended his applause for Netanyahu with these words:  "Look, my guy could not just sit there and be conspicuous. Of course he resents being forced to fake support for Israel's insane policies that he believes harms our country. Believe me, many Members feel like him and many Hill staffers are disgusted by what we see.  But the guy needs to keep his job to work on other issues like protecting Medicare and stopping home foreclosures.  Plus not many of our constituents probably even watched him grovel on TV so it was kind of a freebie for us.  What would you have done?"

A surprising number of Congressional staffers explain that they feel they are stigmatized abroad and particularly in the Middle East as being part of the Israel lobby when they are not.  One staffer explained: "This sounds arrogant but we who work in Congress know this subject much better than the general American public and when you understand the history of Palestine and its takeover by Europeans and the continuing ethnic cleansing of the rightful owners of the land, how do you think we feel?  We feel the same as the Palestinians refugees spread all around the World feel.  We are human beings too. Arab and foreign media often lump us with the Members of Congress, whereas in reality many of us are working for change."

One lady, whose job it is to summarize and update Arab-Israeli conflict developments for her boss who is a Senator from the Midwest explained that "sometimes AIPAC sees what I write and will contact and challenge me on my work that should be between me and my boss. Everyone knows that Members of Congress are regularly pressured and targeted by AIPAC.  You should know that dozens of staffers have been fired from their jobs on the Hill during the 15 years I have been here.  I may be next."  And then she added, "But until that day comes I will continue to support the Palestinian cause and work to change our foreign policy and see that it's made in the USA and not in Tel Aviv."

Franklin Lamb is doing research in Lebanon and can be contacted c/o Email address removed

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The Arab Spring is an Arab Spring and has nothing ... by syed mahdi on Saturday, May 28, 2011 at 2:03:09 PM
It is my sincere hope that the Arab spring blooms ... by cosmic J. on Sunday, May 29, 2011 at 11:34:21 AM
We know that AIPAC has purchased from Congress pol... by Larry Kachimba on Monday, May 30, 2011 at 4:57:31 AM