It's so powerful that the Bush Administration is currently telling Jews in Israel that they can't live in parts of Jerusalem and Samaria, because they really belong to the Marxist Fatah terrorist group that the US has lavished billions on and whose leader, President Bush has praised effusively, despite Fatah's role in the murder of both Israelis and Americans.
No other country in the world gets this treatment from America.
Condoleezza Rice hasn't traveled to Turkey 22 times to tell it to get out of Cyprus. In 2003 Turkey received a 1 billion dollar economic assistance package. In response Turkey blocked the US entry into Iraq crippling the war effort and is doing its part to destabilize Iraq with occasional invasions and bombings. That's because Turkey was holding out for 32 billion. Washington had been prepared to go only as high as 26 billion.
In 1992-93, the US turned over over 1500 tanks and over 50 fighter planes to Turkey, yet without being attached to any US veto over how Turkey fought terrorism... as is always the case when it comes to Israel.
Clearly we can see how powerful AIPAC is.
When Bush arrived for the AIPAC dinner, his speech told AIPAC delegates Israel would have to make sacrifices and concessions. When was the last time a President came to a major lobbying group and told them they have to make sacrifices? Yes folks, that's how powerful AIPAC is.
Today under the All-mighty AIPAC, which as all good disciples of Walt and Mearsheimer know controls American foreign policy, the US is pressuring Israel to divide its own capitol. Clearly AIPAC's power has no limit.
Yes the US gives Israel billions in foreign aid. The US also gives Egypt, Jordan and a raft of Muslim countries billions in foreign aid. Israel got 2.1 billion in military aid in 2003. Egypt got 1.3 billion in military aid. Israel is pro-American. The majority of Egypt's population thinks America is the Great Satan. Israel has provided the US with classified Soviet equipment, intelligence, reliable points of operation and an unshakable alliance. Egypt has provided the US with another third world Muslim dictatorship to sink money into, albeit one that doesn't even have any oil. Egypt began receiving foreign aid in exchange for ending its ties to the USSR. Today Egypt gets foreign aid in exchange for not allying with America's enemies, despite the fact that it gives nothing back.
Do you want to know how really powerful AIPAC is?
The US has pumped billions into the Palestinian Authority, a hive of terrorism, corruption and greed. In 2007 alone the US kicked in over half a billion to the Fatah run PA. 150 million of it came in cash. The PA received “the highest per capita aid transfer in the history of foreign aid anywhere,” according to former World Bank country director for Gaza and the West Bank, Nigel Roberts. Do you know where a good deal of that money keeps going? Look at the dead Israelis. That's your answer.
That's how powerful AIPAC is. That's how in control AIPAC is.
When he was running for office Bill Clinton promised Jewish voters that he would move the embassy to Jerusalem, the capitol of Israel, as is the case with the US embassy in every country. He lied. Then Bush promised the same thing. He lied too. On and on, Clinton and Bush have prevented the embassy from being moved. Both Clinton and Bush created "peace plans" that would split up Jerusalem. That's how powerful AIPAC is.
The same folks who rant on about AIPAC talk about US foreign aid to Israel. They don't talk about the price of that military aid. The US holds veto power over Israeli military action, even in self-defense.
In 1967 the US didn't have that power and when Egypt, Jordan and Syria gathered to make war on Israel, they were hit first. The Johnson administration fumed over the Samu Incident and took Jordan's side. But Israel was free to strike first and disable the armies of 9 Arab nations that had been gathered to destroy it.
In 1973 US foreign aid was high and the US had veto power. This time Israel was not allowed to strike first. This time the enemy struck first on Yom Kippur and Israel was nearly cut in half and overrun. Israeli soldiers fought desperate pitched battles, outmanned and outgunned, including some of the bloodiest on the Golan Heights where handfuls of brave soldiers and officers put up a last ditch resistance against Assad's Republican Guard, kissing cousins of Saddam's Baathist regime in desperate battles that made names like Zvika Greengold and Shmuel Askarov into legends. By the time the Nixon administration realized it had gone too far and began sending aid, there would have been no Israel if not for those brave men who stood and fought the enemy against all odds. And when Israel began to turn the tide, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger flew off to negotiate a cease fire while rejecting Israel's request to first settle the status of POW's, something that would have saved Israeli soldiers in captivity from brutal torture and mutilation.
And yes AIPAC was around then too. Since then the US has repeatedly pushed plans that would have Israel turn over the Golan Heights high ground that those men fought and died for to Syria.
Yes, AIPAC is all powerful indeed.
The US pours billions into foreign aid for Israel's enemies. The US pays the salaries of Fatah's milita thugs who shell Israeli towns and carry out drive by shooting attacks on Israeli families driving home at night. Behold the might of AIPAC.
US Congressmen blame Israel for the Gulf War, fought to liberate Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The war that left Israel helpless in the face of Saddam's attacks, warned by the Bush Administration that any Israeli planes that tried to take out Saddam's missiles, would themselves be fired on by Coalition warplanes. Because nothing could be allowed to interfere with the Arab support for the war. Behold the might of AIPAC.
Today the power of AIPAC is legendary, referred to as the Israeli lobby, the Zionist lobby when its opponents are trying to be disingenuous, the Jewish lobby when they aren't. It's been described as more powerful than the NRA, yet the NRA has been triumphant while Israel is being progressively carved up.
There are a hundred lobbies, particularly industry lobbies, from the telecommunications industry, agribusiness, oil, pharmaceutical, that routinely get everything they want along with huge grants. Americans pay more for their medications, are subject to more corporate abuses and have less recourse than ever before. From Eminent Domain used to seize homes for private business interests to the Orphan Works Act which will make casual corporate appropriation of art and photos a fact of life to Mandatory Arbitration which denies the most basic individual right to legal recourse, corporate lobbies have never had it so good. And their success shows how laughable the idea of the all-powerful AIPAC really is. compared to the real power they wield and the results they have to show for it AIPAC isn't a tiger, it's a kitten.
Beyond the usual appropriations of foreign aid, much of which are used to fund defense contractors in the same Congressional districts that approve them, what exactly does AIPAC have to show for it all? The answer is damned little. Today the US is pushing the knife down across Israel. The Bush Administration has ignored its own commitments to Israel which justified Israel's withdrawal from Gaza. Today Gaza is shelling Israel from the old Jewish towns and the burned out rubble of destroyed synagogues and Condoleezza Rice is making yet another trip to pressure Israel into turning the West Bank and half of Jerusalem over to another bunch of terrorists and murderers.
Yes AIPAC is all powerful indeed.
AIPAC's power comes not from its effectiveness, but the myth of its effectiveness, a myth rooted more in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, than in any tangible results. The myth of the All-Powerful Jew who is at once weak, is a repetition of the same bigoted cartoon of the hooknosed Jew and his all powerful influence that animated the propaganda of both German Nazism and Soviet Communism.
When WW1 was fought the anti-war movement claimed that the Jews were behind it. The anti-war movement on the far right and left has dusted off those claims again, as they commonly do, except this time they have a name that's shorter and punchier than the Elders of Zion. AIPAC. It even comes with its own acronym.
The same bunch of liars, loons, nuts, idiots and crazed bigots who crawl with Jewish obsessions the way a stray dog crawls with lice, develop the same material that is then upsold and mainstreamed for the Washington Post, the Atlantic, the New Yorker and Salon, by way of the Huffington Post and DailyKos. Their myth of the All-Powerful AIPAC is the myth of the All-Powerful Jew, a myth that liars and bigots, radical socialists and far right nationalists have always needed to explain their own miserable inadequacies and failures and to give the mob something to bay about.
The military industrial complex is a vague diffuse thing. But the Jew is a very real image. Shout that the Military Industrial Complex controls America and you need a book to understand it. Shout that the Jews control America and you can leaf through the book and get right to the hating.
Yet if Israel controls America, the reasonable person must ask why Israel's territory keeps shrinking, why the US holds Israel to standards that no other country is held to, why every other country is free to fight terrorism, while Israel's terrorists are funded, armed and trained by the US.
If the Israel lobby was only a fraction as powerful as its enemies say it is, families in Israeli towns wouldn't be shelled by terrorists whose salaries are paid by Washington D.C. If AIPAC was the all-devouring force its enemies describe it as, Israel would be able to build houses in its own capitol without having to ask Condoleezza Rice for permission. At the very least the US embassy might actually be in Israel's capitol, instead of Rice flying to Israel with another plan to carve up that same capitol for those same people shelling Israeli towns on the US dollar.
There is no All-Powerful AIPAC. AIPAC is nothing but a shortcut, a way for politicians to cheaply impress Jewish voters and solicit Jewish donations and votes. For its membership AIPAC is a lazy way to show concern. For its officers AIPAC is a means of meeting and greeting politicians while holding rubber chicken dinners. AIPAC is not helpless, but neither is it any more than a crossroads where politicians promise what they don't intend to deliver and give eloquent speeches they take back after a week in office... serving the same function as so many other lobbies do.
For antisemites, the acknowledged and the unacknowledged, AIPAC is something far more potent-- the very essence of the Jewish myth, the tentacled Jewish octopus reaching its way into every office and organ of government. For them AIPAC is the Jewish Bigfoot come to life and rampaging across Washington D.C., strangling Congressmen, compelling obedience and forcing George Bush to phone Sharon every time he needs instructions. Old bigotries don't go away and the power of antisemitic myths is not banished by electric lights and cable modems. It's simply distilled, cooked, boiled in the lunatic mind and poured out to fit the mold of a new generation.
Behold the All-Powerful AIPAC.
But let us step away from that myth for a moment and return to Zvika Greengold, born in a Kibbutz named after the Ghetto Fighters who fought their own last stand against the Nazis, fighting alone in a single damaged tank against brigades of Syrian armor.
That night, the information officer finally gets through to command HQ and asks for instructions for the following day. Silence.
"What?" he hears… "You're still alive?"
Taken aback, but recalling the last wishes of his late brigade commander, he replies slowly, "Yes, we're still alive" and replaces the receiver.
That is the real Israel and that is the real Jew who shell-shocked, battered and beaten has fought his way through thousands of years of recorded history to be here today when the Pharaohs and Emperors, Tyrants, Caliphs, Kings and conquerors who have trampled us have come and gone. The world calls on the phone, unable to believe that this "fossil of history" is still alive, despite everything.
"Yes, we're still alive," the Jew says and replaces the receiver, turning to face whatever may come in the long night.