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AIPAC and Jim Moran, the Courtesy Man

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When I was a kid there was a Ford dealer in Chicago by the name of Jim Moran. He was a hell of a salesman. Ran those late-night television ads for his dealership, Courtesy Motors. Jim Moran, the Courtesy Man, back in the 50’s Chicago’s largest and undoubtedly most profitable Ford dealership.

But the Jim Moran who’s getting fried by the Washington Post is a different guy. This Moran is a congressman from Virginia and Amy Gardner’s headline, Moran Upsets Jewish Groups Again (my underline) sounds like upsetting Jewish groups was Jim’s main stock in trade.

Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.) has again come under fire from local Jewish organizations for remarking in a magazine interview that the "extraordinarily powerful" pro-Israel lobby played a strong role promoting the war in Iraq.

In an interview with Tikkun, a California-based Jewish magazine, Moran said the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is "the most powerful lobby and has pushed this war from the beginning. I don't think they represent the mainstream of American Jewish thinking at all, but because they are so well organized, and their members are extraordinarily powerful -- most of them are quite wealthy -- they have been able to exert power."

Which is exactly right.

AIPAC runs neck and neck with the AARP and more than a little ahead of the NRA. If you don’t think that’s powerful, you haven’t been paying much attention to Washington or international politics. The Summary from John Mearsheimer’s and Stephen Walt’s T he Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy states;

It is not surprising that Israel and its American supporters want the United States to deal with any and all threats to Israel’s security. If their efforts to shape U.S. policy succeed, then Israel’s enemies get weakened or overthrown, Israel gets a free hand with the Palestinians, and the United States does most of the fighting, dying, rebuilding, and paying.

But even if the United States fails to transform the Middle East and finds itself in conflict with an increasingly radicalized Arab and Islamic world, Israel still ends up protected by the world’s only superpower.

This is not a perfect outcome from the Lobby’s perspective, but it is obviously preferable to Washington distancing itself from Israel, or using its leverage to force Israel to make peace with the Palestinians.

AIPAC isn’t eager for you to know that. But in light of the Mearsheimer-Walt introductory paragraph about their sources (along with their relentless footnoting) there’s little controversy about their conclusions.

Some readers will find this analysis disturbing, but the facts recounted here are not in serious dispute among scholars. Indeed, our account relies heavily on the work of Israeli scholars and journalists, who deserve great credit for shedding light on these issues. We also rely on evidence provided by respected Israeli and international human rights organizations. Similarly, our claims about the Lobby’s impact rely on testimony from the Lobby’s own members, as well as testimony from politicians who have worked with them. Readers may reject our conclusions, of course, but the evidence on which they rest is not controversial.

So, I find it offensive that WaPo finds it useful to add the adverb ‘again’ to Rep. Moran’s supposed upset of Jewish groups.

Liberal groups and conservative groups are regularly upset by the shenanigans in Washington. Latino groups and Catholic groups, autoworker groups and health care groups, Vietnam veteran groups and gun owner groups, police and fireman groups all try to give their lawmakers heat—but only the Jewish groups are so quick to scream racist or call attention to the Holocaust when their ethics are questioned.

Why is Jim Moran ‘again’ being called on the carpet as if he were a serial anti-Semite?

Moran's remarks were criticized by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington and the National Jewish Democratic Council. Ronald Halber, executive director of the first group, said Moran's remarks are anti-Semitic and draw on ugly stereotypes about Jewish wealth, power and influence.

"He uses several age-old canards that have been used throughout history that have brought violence upon Jews," Halber said this week. "He uses clearly anti-Semitic images such as Jewish control of the media and wealthy Jews using their wealth to control policy."

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http://www.jim-freeman.com

Jim Freeman's op-ed pieces and commentaries have appeared in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, International Herald-Tribune, CNN, The New York Review, The Jon Stewart Daily Show and a number of magazines. His thirteen published books are (more...)
 

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I can't believe you dudes are not all over me ... by Jim Freeman on Monday, Sep 17, 2007 at 4:30:56 PM
I hope AIPAC continues it's rampages against t... by Archie on Tuesday, Sep 18, 2007 at 2:35:08 PM
I wish that were true, Archie. Unfortunately, it&#... by Jim Freeman on Tuesday, Sep 18, 2007 at 5:03:54 PM
In the long history of the Jews, there have always... by syed mahdi on Wednesday, Sep 19, 2007 at 8:49:20 AM