Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. A generous donor is matching all donations of $100 or more! So please donate now to double your punch!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Conference on the Israel Lobby

Following the heavy coverage of AIPAC’s (the virulently pro-Israeli government lobby) multi-day annual Washington convention in March, the mainstream media might have been interested for once in covering alternative viewpoints like those discussed at the April 10th conference “The Israel Lobby: Is it Good for the US? Is it Good for Israel?” (Israellobbyus.org). Fairness and balance in reporting should produce at least some coverage of such an event.

Organized by the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, which was launched about thirty years ago by a British Army Officer who served in World War II and two retired U.S. Ambassadors to countries in the Middle East (wrmea.org), the day-long program at the prestigious National Press Club should have been intriguing to reporters. After all, are they not interested in important, taboo-challenging presentations on a critical dimension of U.S. foreign and military policy?

The presenters were much more newsworthy than most of the speakers at the AIPAC convention who redundantly restated the predictable AIPAC line. “The Israel Lobby: Is it Good for the US? Is it Good for Israel?” had presenters ranging from the courageous, principled columnist, Gideon Levy of Israel’s best and most serious newspaper, Haaretz; Princeton Professor emeritus of international law and the former UN Special Rapporteur for Palestinian territories, Richard Falk; former members of Congress, Paul Findley (R-IL) and Nick Rahall (D-WV); author and an Israeli general’s son, Miko Peled; Dr. Jack Shaheen, the award-winning author documenting stereotypes of Arabs and Arab-Americans in Hollywood and the U.S. media; and even a former AIPAC supporter M. J. Rosenberg (mjrosenberg.net) who witnessed the power of AIPAC money as both a congressional staffer and later an AIPAC senior staffer in the nineteen eighties.

Gideon Levy, the dean of Israeli Journalists, who knows first-hand the situation on the ground in Israel and occupied Palestine, referred to Israel’s intensely intrusive pressure on the U.S. during Iranian nuclear negotiations. He offered the phrase: “United States of Israel,” and said, “many times when someone looks at the relations between Israel and the United States, one might ask, who is really the superpower between the two?”

Mr. Levy described Israel as a society that “lives in denial, totally disconnected from reality” that “lost connection with the reality in its backyard, it totally lost connection with the international environment.”

The veteran journalist stunned the packed audience when he said that “the two state solution is dead.” With the Israeli occupation going “deeper and deeper,” he pointed to the “systematic dehumanization of the Palestinians,” Israelis presenting themselves as occupying victims and the belief by many Israelis that they “are the chosen people” and “have the right to do what we want,” as the basis for the occupation.

The serious, continuing breaches over decades of international law by Israel and its backer, the U.S. government, were described by Richard Falk who felt the brunt of these powers during his six-year term as the UN Rapporteur just for connecting the facts to the laws, and noting widely acknowledged continuing violations of UN resolutions and the Geneva Conventions.

Former Congressman Paul Findley spoke of politicians cowering before AIPAC because of the “anxiety over being accused of anti-Semitism.” AIPAC is a leading anti-Semitic organization against the Arab peoples and the thousands of innocent civilian Palestinians and Lebanese children and adults slaughtered by the U.S.-armed Israeli armed forces. (See Doctor James Zogby’s remarks about ‘The Other Anti-Semitism’, delivered Hebrew University in Israel in 1994.)

AIPAC, knowing that the Israeli military was engaged daily as brutalizing occupiers, has never openly disavowed its support for such destruction of innocent humans and human rights even when the videotaped devastation horrified the civilized world. AIPAC was conspicuously silent during the illegal U.S. invasion and violent sociocide of Iraq—a nation that did not threaten the U.S.

A surprise speaker was the just defeated 38-year veteran of the House of Representatives, former Congressman Nick Joe Rahall. Apparently, now extricated from AIPAC’s Congressional clutches, he is now free to stand tall for human rights and speak freely and describe the congressional obeisance to the Israel lobby from the inside.

Unfortunately, there was no panel representing either U.S. taxpayers, who foot the bill for the billions of dollars spent yearly, nor the U.S. soldiers who have been sent to kill or be killed in military invasions and other attacks backed by this self-defeating Israeli-U.S. government alliance that just worsens the insecurities in the Middle East, spreads into savage sectarian struggles and portends more boomerangs against peace and justice in the world.

So, where were the reporters of the mainstream media? Where was C-SPAN during a week when Congress was on a holiday and their cameras were not preoccupied by Capitol Hill activities—its foremost priority? Apparently, the American people were only to see and hear the extreme views of AIPAC that do not even command the support of a majority of American Jews who do favor a two-state solution, along with a majority of Arab-Americans.

It is true that a few members of the mainstream media RSVP’d to attend this conference, but they did not show up or write anything about it before or after.

Nonetheless, thanks to the Internet, you can see the entire one-day conference online.

In the meantime, how about a little retrospective evaluation, by those so authorized, in the New York TimesWashington PostWall Street JournalAssociated Press and Reuters to make better judgements about providing balanced news  the next time around. As for the absentee “fair and balanced” Fox News—well, what do you expect?

Ralph Nader’s latest book is: Unstoppable: the Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State.

More articles by:

Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! 

October 23, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
The Middle East, Not Russia, Will Prove Trump’s Downfall
Ipek S. Burnett
The Assault on The New Colossus: Trump’s Threat to Close the U.S.-Mexican Border
Mary Troy Johnston
The War on Terror is the Reign of Terror
Maximilian Werner
The Rhetoric and Reality of Death by Grizzly
David Macaray
Teamsters, Hells Angels, and Self-Determination
Jeffrey Sommers
“No People, Big Problem”: Democracy and Its Discontents In Latvia
Dean Baker
Looking for the Next Crisis: the Not Very Scary World of CLOs
Binoy Kampmark
Leaking for Change: ASIO, Jakarta, and Australia’s Jerusalem Problem
Chris Wright
The Necessity of “Lesser-Evil” Voting
Muhammad Othman
Daunting Challenge for Activists: The Cook Customer “Connection”
Don Fitz
A Debate for Auditor: What the Papers Wouldn’t Say
October 22, 2018
Henry Giroux
Neoliberalism in the Age of Pedagogical Terrorism
Melvin Goodman
Washington’s Latest Cold War Maneuver: Pulling Out of the INF
David Mattson
Basket of Deplorables Revisited: Grizzly Bears at the Mercy of Wyoming
Michelle Renee Matisons
Hurricane War Zone Further Immiserates Florida Panhandle, Panama City
Tom Gill
A Storm is Brewing in Europe: Italy and Its Public Finances Are at the Center of It
Suyapa Portillo Villeda
An Illegitimate, US-Backed Regime is Fueling the Honduran Refugee Crisis
Christopher Brauchli
The Liars’ Bench
Gary Leupp
Will Trump Split the World by Endorsing a Bold-Faced Lie?
Michael Howard
The New York Times’ Animal Cruelty Fetish
Alice Slater
Time Out for Nukes!
Geoff Dutton
Yes, Virginia, There are Conspiracies—I Think
Daniel Warner
Davos in the Desert: To Attend or Not, That is Not the Question
Priti Gulati Cox – Stan Cox
Mothers of Exiles: For Many, the Child-Separation Ordeal May Never End
Manuel E. Yepe
Pence v. China: Cold War 2.0 May Have Just Begun
Raouf Halaby
Of Pith Helmets and Sartorial Colonialism
Dan Carey
Aspirational Goals  
Wim Laven
Intentional or Incompetence—Voter Suppression Where We Live
Weekend Edition
October 19, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jason Hirthler
The Pieties of the Liberal Class
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Day in My Life at CounterPunch
Paul Street
“Male Energy,” Authoritarian Whiteness and Creeping Fascism in the Age of Trump
Nick Pemberton
Reflections on Chomsky’s Voting Strategy: Why The Democratic Party Can’t Be Saved
John Davis
The Last History of the United States
Yigal Bronner
The Road to Khan al-Akhmar
Robert Hunziker
The Negan Syndrome
Andrew Levine
Democrats Ahead: Progressives Beware
Rannie Amiri
There is No “Proxy War” in Yemen
David Rosen
America’s Lost Souls: the 21st Century Lumpen-Proletariat?
Joseph Natoli
The Age of Misrepresentations
Ron Jacobs
History Is Not Kind
John Laforge
White House Radiation: Weakened Regulations Would Save Industry Billions
Ramzy Baroud
The UN ‘Sheriff’: Nikki Haley Elevated Israel, Damaged US Standing
Robert Fantina
Trump, Human Rights and the Middle East
Anthony Pahnke – Jim Goodman
NAFTA 2.0 Will Help Corporations More Than Farmers
Jill Richardson
Identity Crisis: Elizabeth Warren’s Claims Cherokee Heritage
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail