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AIPAC is Bad for Israel. It needs Competition

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Rob Kall       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   27 comments

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Yesterday, we ran an article by Scott Ritter, The Final Act of Submission on the problems with AIPAC. As a Jew, who has known concentration camp survivors and who is aware of how Jews had nowhere to go during world war two, to escape the holocaust, I am a supporter of Israel. As loyal American, I support America. But I find Israel is in the same boat as America, with policy making leadership that is really bad-- bad for Israel, bad for America, bad for the world. That said, I find AIPAC has been bad for Israel and bad for the USA. They have effectively stifled discussion of the full range of options for Israel by US legislators. I repeat. I support ISrael. I support the USA's friendship with and support for Israel. But I find Israel's current approach to dealing with Palestinians awful. I find the USA's current approach to dealing with Palestinians (or, more accurately, NOT DEALING with Palestinians) awful.

I know that the paragraph above will get me hate mail. Some will call me a zionist. Some will call me an antisemite. Too bad. This discussion needs to be opened up. I'm a member of a synagogue where probably 80-90% of the members don't like the way Israel treats the Palestinians. But fear of offending or losing the handful of members who are proud to be unyielding, unquestioning supporters of Israel hold back the 80-90% from committing the synagogue to take a position. There's no real venue for the large numbers of Jews who are not happy with the leadership of Israel, the excessive influence of extremist fundamentalist ultra orthodox Jews... so the Jews in the US allow a small percentage of ultra conservatives to speak for and lead the policy of Jews towards Israel. This needs to change.

Yesterday, Reuters reported that George Soros, another American Jew, has added his "voice to debate over Israel lobby"

Soros said: "A much-needed self-examination of American policy in the Middle East has started in this country; but it can't make much headway as long as AIPAC retains powerful influence in both the Democratic and Republican parties."


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It's time to shake the US and congress free from the fear of AIPAC. The problem is, there's good reason to be afraid of AIPAC. The most vocal opponent to AIPAC, in congress, in recent years, was CYnthia McKinney. AIPAC went after her with a passion and... she's gone. Recently, the Dems removed a clause from legislation requiring Bush to ask congress for permission before attacking Iran. This was the last straw for me. The clause was removed after Israel complained. How dare they!?! There is no way that Bush should be able to start another war without congressional approval. AIPAC has gone too far. They have over-reached their bounds. Israel deserves and should have US support and protection. But AIPAC's hubris has gown so great, it is no longer acceptable. AIPAC is bad for America as well as being bad for Israel.

The solution is for Jews to get together and raise money to fund another Pro-Israel lobbying organization, but one that is not a supporter of right wing extremists-- one that supports approaches and people who work harder towards peace, who look for solutions that don't only involve bigger and better weapons and tougher, more intolerant talk. AIPAC has become too closely tied to the Bush administration. Israel and the Jewish community would be wise to start funding and supporting alternate voices with alternate visions and solutions. The backlash against AIPAC is building. It needs competition (if readers know of any, please drop me a note, or better, mention them in comments in response to this article.

The competition should stand up to the Saudis, stand up to the Islamic groups who call for Israel's destruction. But they should also seek out groups that look for ways to make peace happen. Israel has leaders who want and need conflict to maintain their power, just like the USA has Bush and Cheney, who need supporters who live in fear, who want war. There are people in Israel who actually talk to and work with Palestinians. There are Palestinians who reach out to Israelis, trying to build bridges to peace. The Israelis are disdained. Some of the Palestinians are killed, as traitors.

 

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Continued violence, continued loud brandishing and use of weapons will never lead to peace. The approach by AIPAC, Bush and his Israeli leadership counterparts has failed and will continue to fail. It is time for new solutions. The Jews in the US who are not happy with the way things are must start the ball rolling. The wealthy Jews who support AIPAC must start funding organizations with alternative approaches. The wall of silence must be breached.

 

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Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media. He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites, OpEdNews.com

more detailed bio: 

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

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