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AIPAC’s Visa Waiver defeated

The House of Representatives left DC for the year just hours ago, and with it they left behind a terrible bill. The US-Israel Strategic Partnership Act included admission for Israel into the US Visa Waiver Program, which would have codified in US law the right for Israel to discriminate against US citizens on the basis of religion or ethnicity.
And now that bill is dead!
Jewish Voice for Peace supporters, working in coalition, played a critical role in this victory:
·     Over the past few months, JVP chapter-led delegations met with their members of Congress in 23 cities to argue against the bill
·     Over 10,000 thousand JVP supporters signed a petition to the State Department
·     Hundreds more participated in call-ins
And it worked! Congress just let the bill die without even a vote on the floor of the House or Senate.
The significance of our win cannot be overstated.
As you know, Arab and Muslim Americans are systematically targeted for harassment, detention, searches, delays, and deportation when trying to enter Israel. Including Israel in the Visa Waiver program with 37 other countries would have tacitly approved and rewarded Israel’s discriminatory practices.
The influential Israel lobby group AIPAC made the bill one of its top priorities for 2013, but it didn’t even get out of committee. AIPAC lost this fight. They lost their fight against diplomacy with Iran. And they lost the fight on bombing Syria.
The lesson here? We can fight AIPAC, and we can win.

How the Israeli lobby works in the United States

“…Several years ago, I found out how AIPAC worked, directly…”

Arab News One of the most influential lobbying groups in America, it is often argued that no politician can be elected into office without AIPAC’s support. No president can take the White House without affirming unbreakable allegiance to Israel, and attendance at the annual AIPAC meeting is mandatory. Once in office every member of Congress is expected to act, vote and defend the state of Israel on almost every issue, or face the consequences.

Originally called the American Zionist Committee for Public Affairs, the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) was an offshoot of the American Zionist Council, changing names in 1963. With a sole purpose to advocate for the state of Israel, AIPAC ought to be listed with the US government as a Foreign Agent; instead, the Committee continually denies receiving any funds from Israel.*

What are AIPAC’s tactics? How do they get away with controlling so much of government of the United States, and thus veto power at the United Nations? Several years ago, I found out how AIPAC worked, directly.

During the 1990s, I was actively involved in a major US symphony orchestra as a financial donor and artistic liaison, having studied classical piano for fifteen years and forever a frustrated pianist. Close to the conductor, main players, and several board members, another more significant contributor became a good acquaintance. She, like the conductor, was an ardent Zionist – her family sent to the concentration camps in Austria during the war. Throughout the years my professional involvement in Middle Eastern affairs was never brought up, and despite our opposite views on Israel we nevertheless were on good terms before 9/11.

After 9/11, the atmosphere in America became highly charged. My friend Sarah (not her real name) lost no opportunity in blaming Arabs for every attack in the US, for not only 9/11 but also every violent act before or since. Before we ended our relationship, she explained how AIPAC controlled Congress.

Several years earlier Sarah had been a leading AIPAC representative. Confident in America’s ability to go after the Arab “terrorists” who wanted to destroy Israel and the West, she explained how the wars in the Middle East were due to AIPAC’s influence. She knew the system from the inside because she was a part of it.

AIPAC watched every political race in every election, she explained. Whether local or national, AIPAC had dossiers on every candidate, grading each according to their loyalty to the Israeli state. Once the newly elected moved into their new offices in Washington DC, Sarah would lead a delegation of AIPAC members to the capital city to pay them a courtesy visit. The new Congressmen and women would welcome the lobby, AIPAC merely expressing good wishes for their new terms. The meeting would last less than 20 minutes, nothing but pleasantries and a photo-op having passed.

Upon leaving the team would then add, “Anything you need to know about the Middle East, contact us. We’ll provide whatever information you need. Here is our telephone number and someone will get back to you right away.”

No laws were broken, no monies were exchanged, and no threats were implied. The novice politician had someone to call at anytime day or night to learn about the pressing issues of the Arab world. The ongoing issues of the region meant the new Congress member had to become rapidly informed. If no one else was available – and they never were – AIPAC was ready.

Settled in to office, a fortnight later Sarah would bring a second delegation back to Washington to “see how they were getting along”. Again, they would offer on-call expertise on the Middle East 24 hours a day, and invite them on an all-expenses paid trip to Israel to witness the “terror” Israelis suffered every day. Upon their departure, this time AIPAC would present a check for a few thousand dollars “as a donation” to the Congressman’s office.

At this point, strict lobbying rules would kick in and every contribution would have to be carefully noted. However, the implicit message was left that there would always be more money where that sweetener came from.

The more allied they were to the Jewish state, the more benefits the politicians would receive. It was easy to deliver promising post-Congressional careers to those who were overtly pro-Israeli, but the harder work went to the more neutral members. With no counterefforts by any Arab or Muslim groups, AIPAC’s massaging of the message on the Middle East dominated: They were highly reactive to calls, instantly available, ready to provide support and receptive to all requests for analysis. AIPAC has an almost exclusive ability to control the narrative because until there is an equally well-organized, heavily staffed, dedicated and immediately responsive alternative, empty words and promises leave any contrary explanations far behind.

“After our second visit, an AIPAC member would then follow-up every week to remind the Congressman that we were available,” Sarah continued. “We were constant, polite and as regular as clockwork.” The methodology so well crafted, AIPAC could not fail.

After a few months, a third visit raised the stakes. Senior AIPAC delegates would visit the office, this time with a metaphorical gun in one hand and cash in the other. Funds could never be presented directly lest laws are broken. Instead, having studied the Congressman’s family, friends, hobbies, chosen causes and voting record, AIPAC would add financial incentives to make the more reluctant “see the light” for its services.

“Your eldest daughter is going to college next year isn’t she? That’s expensive. Perhaps a full scholarship could be arranged,” Sarah illustrated. Or, “Your wife lost her position last year? Maybe we can help secure a new career for her” in a law-firm, think-tank or other environment where AIPAC maintained leverage. If not direct, other benefits important to the Congressman would be dangled. The point was lost on no one.

Skirting laws, AIPAC’s largesse was provided with heavy expectations. A Congressman knew that if he did not vote in favor of Israel in the next Bill, his perquisites would be dropped. Moreover, it was evident that support for his re-election bid was either guaranteed, or -if not pro-Israel enough – not only withdrawn but an organized campaign would ensue to make sure he was defeated.

AIPAC works with a heavy but quiet fist. It has been using propaganda and threats for decades because it works. Having tried unsuccessfully to influence the British government in the 1940s, the Zionist body switched to manipulating the US Congress because it was an easier more malleable target, as the officials admitted themselves.

Thanks to the multi-million dollar multi-generational policy of organization coupled with implied blackmail, every US Senator and Representative will at the very least look the other way when Israel continues to violate international laws, occupy and steal Palestinian territory, illegally blockade Palestinians and bomb innocent civilians. The alternative is the end to a political career.

Just ask President Jimmy Carter or Ambassador Charles “Chas” Freeman.

* Editor’s Note: Funding from a foreign gov’t/entity is not absolutely required to be considered a foreign agent.  The FARA statute says:

“(1) any person who acts as an agent, representative, employee, or servant, or any person who acts in any other capacity at the order, request, or under the direction or control, of a foreign principal or of a person any of whose activities are directly or indirectly supervised, directed, controlled, financed, or subsidized in whole or in major part by a foreign principal, and who directly or through any other person—(i) engages within the United States in political activities for or in the interests of such foreign principal;

(ii) acts within the United States as a public relations counsel, publicity agent, information-service employee or political consultant for or in the interests of such foreign principal;

(iii) within the United States solicits, collects, disburses, or dispenses contributions, loans, money, or other things of value for or in the interest of such foreign principal; or

(iv) within the United States represents the interests of such foreign principal before any agency or official of the Government of the United States; and

(2) any person who agrees, consents, assumes or purports to act as, or who is or holds himself out to be, whether or not pursuant to contractual relationship, an agent of a foreign principal as defined in clause (1) of this subsection. ”

For a list of other institutions in the Israel lobby see: Introduction to the Israel Lobby

AIPAC: The Voice of America

There can be no doubt, at least as far as Middle East Policy is concerned, that AIPAC is the Voice of America.

Although I have heard AIPAC pronounced in two distinct ways, one of which is A-PAC, I have chosen to pronounce the acronym with the same initial sound as in the word ‘aisle’. To me, this pronunciation is more appropriate, because the use of the A for America sound is subtly misleading. The organization has nothing to do with A for America, it is all about I for Israel.

In the graphic illustration near the end of this video, had the mathematical relationships been absolutely accurate, either the Orange would have filled the screen or the pea would have been invisible. The discrepancy between the power AIPAC wields, compared to the rest of the American population, is immense, and that power benefits one nation: Israel.

A closer look at how the members of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee exercise a grotesquely disproportionate amount of power over the foreign policy of the United States.

My thanks to YouTube7hevo1d for the Dollar Drain animation — and to David Dees for his incisive graphics —

While I was checking the final edit of this video, the Israelis gave the world yet another stark reminder that they are not fit to control a collection of bumper cars, let alone a land they have stolen from others, much less an arsenal of over 200 nuclear weapons. Clearly, Israel does not want peace with the Palestinians or anyone else in their region, yet the membership of AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, support, aid and abet these criminals in their disregard for the lives of others. They have done their best to suppress the Goldstone Report on the 2008/9 attack on Gaza, and now, no doubt, they will side with Israel in their latest atrocity. I am referring to the attack of May 31st, 2010, on the Gaza Flotilla which was attempting to bring much-needed humanitarian aid to the Palestinians in their beleaguered, fenced-off, Apartheid Prison called The Gaza Strip.

Do these Israelophants, the members of AIPAC, realise just how the rest of the world views them, Israel, and, because of the connections, the United States and its citizens? If they don’t, then I can tell them: With deep suspicion, dismay and an increasing lack of respect, because, it seems, Americans are incapable of running their own country, decently, by electing officials who don’t take bribes or other favours, but who have the interests of their own constituents in mind when they vote on how their taxes should best be spent. And no half-way decent public official would vote to invade another country, in order to steal its oil and other resources, under the pretext of protecting their own security, and Israel’s from thousands of miles away. A majority of the current membership of the United States congress are, in fact, traitors to their own nation, because they have indicated, time and time again, a desire to put the protection of the Apartheid State of Israel ahead of considerations for the safety and security of the realm to which they have been pledged their allegiance: The United States of America.

Treason from Within
“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and he carries his banners openly. But the traitor moves among those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the galleys, heard in the very hall of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor — he speaks in the accents familiar to his victims, and wears their face and their garment, and he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation — he works secretly and unknown to undermine the pillars of a city — he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to be feared.”
Cicero, 42 B.C.

Because of the uncertainties and ambiguities associated with U.S. aid to Israel, arriving at a precise figure for total direct U.S. aid to Israel probably is not possible. Parts of it are buried in the budgets of other government agencies—mostly the Defense Department—or in a form not easily quantifiable—such as the early disbursement of aid, allowing Israel a direct gain and the U.S. Treasury a direct loss of interest on the unspent money. The figures quoted in the video have been taken from the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, November 2008, pages 10-11; subtitled Congress Watch.…

Other references on aid to Israel:

Attack on the Liberty

Five Dancing Israelis Arrested on 9/11

Activists Occupy AIPAC with message to Congress: No War On Iran


Inside Story US 2012 – What role does the pro-Israel lobby play?

Ten reasons why AIPAC is so dangerous

by  on February 28, 2012 121

Graphic from the Occupy AIPAC website –

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is one of the most powerful lobby organizations in the country. AIPAC’s clout helps fuel a never-ending cycle of violence in the Middle East.

1. AIPAC is lobbying Congress to promote a military confrontation with Iran. AIPAC – like the Israeli government – is demanding that the U.S. attack Iran militarily to prevent Iran from having the technological capacity to produce nuclear weapons, even though U.S. officials say Iran isn’t trying to build a weapon (and even though Israel has hundreds of undeclared nuclear weapons). AIPAC has successfully lobbied the U.S. government to adopt crippling economic sanctions on Iran, including trying to cut off Iran’s oil exports, despite the fact that these sanctions raise the price of gas and threaten the U.S. economy.

2. AIPAC promotes Israeli policies that are in direct opposition to international law. These include the establishment of colonies (settlements) in the Occupied West Bank and the confiscation of Palestinian land in its construction of the 26-foot high concrete “separation barrier” running through the West Bank. The support of these illegal practices makes to impossible to achieve a solution to the Israel/Palestine conflict.

3. AIPAC’s call for unconditional support for the Israeli government threatens our national security. The United States’ one-sided support of Israel, demanded by AIPAC, has significantly increased anti-American sentiment throughout the Middle East, thus endangering our troops and sowing the seeds of more possible terrorist attacks against us. Gen. David Petraeus on March 16, 2010 admitted that the U.S./Palestine conflict “foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel.” He also said that “Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of U.S. partnerships with governments and peoples in the [region] and weakens the legitimacy of moderate regimes in the Arab world. Meanwhile, al-Qaeda and other militant groups exploit that anger to mobilize support.”

4. AIPAC undermines American support for democracy movements in the Arab world. AIPAC looks at the entire Arab world through the lens of Israeli government interests, not the democratic aspirations of the Arab people. It has therefore supported corrupt, repressive regimes that are friendly to the Israeli government, such as Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak. Events now unfolding in the Middle East should convince U.S. policy-makers of the need to break from AIPAC’s grip and instead support democratic forces in the Arab world.

5. AIPAC makes the U.S. a pariah at the UN. AIPAC describes the UN as a body hostile to the State of Israel and has pressured the U.S. government to oppose resolutions calling Israel to account. Since 1972, the US has vetoed 44 UN Security Council resolutions condemning Israel’s actions against the Palestinians. President Obama continues that policy. Under Obama, the US vetoed UN censure of the savage Israeli assault on Gaza in January 2009 in which about 1400 Palestinians were killed; a 2011 resolution calling for a halt to the illegal Israeli West Bank settlements even though this was  stated U.S. policy; a 2011 resolution calling for Israel to cease obstructing the work of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees; and another resolution calling for an end to illegal Israeli settlement building in East Jerusalem and the occupied Golan Heights.

6. AIPAC attacks politicians who question unconditional support of Israel. AIPAC demands that Congress to rubber stamp legislation drafted by AIPAC staff. It keeps a record of how members of Congress vote and this record is used by donors to make contributions to the politicians who score well. Members of Congress who fail to support AIPAC legislation have been targeted for defeat in re-election bids. These include Senators Adlai Stevenson III and Charles H. Percy, and Representatives Paul Findley, Pete McCloskey, Cynthia McKinney, and Earl F. Hilliard. AIPAC’s overwhelmingly disproportionate influence on Congress subverts our democratic system.

7.  AIPAC attempts to silence all criticism of Israel by labeling critics as “anti-Semitic,” “de-legitimizers” or “self-hating Jews.” Journalists, think tanks, students and professors have been accused of anti-Semitism for merely taking stands critical of Israeli government policies. These attacks stifle the critical discussions and debates that are at the heart of democratic policy-making. The recent attacks on staffers at the Center for American Progress is but one example of AIPAC efforts to crush all dissent.

8. AIPAC feeds U.S. government officials a distorted view of the Israel/Palestine conflict. AIPACtakes U.S. representatives on sugar-coated trips to Israel. In 2011, AIPAC took one out of very five members of Congress—and many of  their spouses—on a free junket to Israel to see precisely what the Israeli government wanted them to see. It is illegal for lobby groups to take Congresspeople on trips, butAIPAC gets around the law by creating a bogus educational group, AIEF, to “organize” the trips for them. AIEF has the same office address as AIPAC and the same staff. These trips help cement the ties betweenAIPAC and Congress, furthering their undue influence.

9. AIPAC lobbies for billions of U.S. taxdollars to go to Israel instead of rebuilding America. While our country is reeling from a prolonged financial crisis, AIPAC is pushing for no cuts in military funds for Israel, a wealthy nation. With communities across the nation slashing budgets for teachers, firefighters and police, AIPAC pushes for over $3 billion a year to Israel.

10. Money to Israel takes funds from world’s poor. Israel has the 24th largest economy in the world, but thanks to AIPAC,  it gets more U.S. taxdollars than any other country. At a time when the foreign aid budget is being slashed, keeping the lion’s share of foreign assistance for Israel meaning taking funds from critical programs to feed, provide shelter and offer emergency assistance to the world’s poorest people.

The bottom line is that AIPAC, which is a de facto agent for a foreign government, has influence on U.S. policy out of all proportion to the number of Americans who support its policies. When a small group like this has disproportionate power, that hurts everyone—including Israelis and American Jews.

From stopping a catastrophic war with Iran to finally solving the Israel/Palestine conflict, an essential starting point is breaking AIPAC’s grip on U.S. policy.

About Medea Benjamin

Medea Benjamin is cofounder of and She is one of the organizers of Occupy AIPAC, which will take place March 3-5 in Washington DC.

Israel Controls USA

On FB :

Brilliant, and I do not care how un-PC it is, this is a brilliant video. Even if you find some of this offensive, you cannot say that its assessment of America is anything short of poetry. America, the nation that had it all… now flushing itself down the toilet. It is a mind-numbing, awe-inspiring fall from grace. If the world’s fate were not so intertwined with the fate of this latest imperial manifestation, it would make for the greatest black comedy ever. It is hard to know whether one should laugh or cry. God bless America, she sure as hell is gonna need it.


It wasn’t easy, finding Jim Traficant. Without the help of the American Free Press, (AFP), we never would have found him. Traficant of Youngstown Ohio was running for his old Congressional seat. What sort of campaign could he be running? After all, we’d seen the Greta von Susteren Fox News interview (Sept. 9, 2009, just a few days after Traficant was released from prison). Here’s some of what Traficant had said, “I believe that Israel has a powerful strangle hold on the American government. They control…the House and Senate. They have us involved in wars of which we have little or no interest. Our children are coming back in body bags. Our nation is bankrupt over these wars, and if you open your mouth, you get targeted. And if they don’t beat you at the polls, they’ll put you in prison… It’s an objective assessment that no one will have the courage to speak about. They’re controlling much of our foreign policy. They’re influencing much of our domestic policy. Wolfowitz as Under Secretary of Defense manipulated President Bush #2 back into Iraq. They pushed definitely, definitely to try and get Bush, before he left, to move into Iran. We’re conducting expansionist policy of Israel and everybody’s afraid to say it. They control much of the media…”
WAS IT POSSIBLE somewhere in Ohio someone could say such things and not be ostracized, denounced, trounced? Actually, no. There really was no campaign. Few in the political business dared have anything to do with him, donate to him, invite him, quote him. Only a maverick Tea Party organizer offered him an evening campaign event. Otherwise, the popular sheriff and then Congressman was pretty much shunned. And yet he came in a close third on Nov.2, 2010, with over 30,000 votes.


Feeling the Ignorance at AIPAC 2011


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