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View Diary: Does Palin Have an Israel Problem? (85 comments)

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  •  Well (9+ / 0-)

    Palin makes time to meet with the entire board of AIPAC?

    Was it, by chance, a damage control exercise?

    Despite the fact that some folks here like to pretend that AIPAC is some non-partisan interest group (they love pointing out it is not technically a PAC and not formally a wing of the Republican Party), everyone in DC (and St. Paul) knows it is an extremely right-wing group that moves a hell of a lot of money.

    Right now, the McCain camp has Palin AVOIDING all questioning.  However, they clearly feel that AIPAC is a friendly audience, one they can safely bring Palin in front of.  Once there, she can swear off her loony associations as just playing to the mindless masses, and assure AIPAC that she'll follow McCains lead in keeping the bombers flowing to Israel and the bombs flowing to the rest of the Middle East.

    And, of course, once she's done that, McCain hopes his money situation will improve, and all else will be doable.  I don't know that it will improve, but this clearly the belief.  Ever Republican I've ever met above the rank of foot-soldier is obsesses with the idea of "jewish money."  McCain is no different.

    •  They're obsessed with it (7+ / 0-)

      for the same reason Republicans have long been obsessed with "trial lawyer" money and "union" money -- they think if they can take it away from the Democrats, the party will be left helpless and they'll get their GOP 1000 year Reich.

      This was Tom DeLay's entire political program.

    •  I call BS (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      AIPAC has more Democratic members than Republican members.  This post fails.

      "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided." --Barack Obama, June, 2008

      by oldskooldem on Wed Sep 03, 2008 at 11:40:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You make a good point (7+ / 0-)

        Despite the best efforts of the Republican machine and the neocons, the Jewish community remains overwhelmingly Democratic -- even AIPAC's membership.

        Which may in itself explain why Palin went out of her way to stroke the board yesterday. McCain's team thinks he has an opening to pick off Jewish votes (and donors) but his team is worried that Palin could screw it up.

        Still seems excessive to me, but I guess I can see the logic: If McCain loses Florida, it's game over. So at all costs he has to keep Obama's margins down in South Florida (i.e. the Lower New York).

        I just wish some other lobbies -- Children's Defense Fund, SEIU, Sierra Club -- had that kind of clout.  

        •  Speaking of BS (0+ / 0-)

          oldskooldem is shoveling the same BS about AIPAC that he has for the past three years on this site.  It is his right to be a member of AIPAC and to defend that organization.  It is not his right to misrepresent it.  If AIPAC ever represented the views of the majority of American Jews or even American Democratic Jews, it no longer does so.  Most Jewish Democrats on this site have come to recognize that fact -- that realization was part of the impetus for the creation of J Street.

          As I mentioned to weasel below, even if the majority of AIPAC's members continue to be Democrats, AIPAC's aganda is not shaped by its rank and file members or even by its advisory board (as Michael Massing's article in the New York Review of Books revealed a couple of years ago).  An even more current picture of the way that AIPAC has aligned with the Rebuplican party line in recent years was given in an interview by Peter Stone with Amy Goodman on this morning's Democracy Now.

          Reel Bad Arabs: a crash course on Orientalism

          by Rusty Pipes on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 10:39:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        viedunchat, Rusty Pipes, heathlander

        Thanks for highlighting the idiocy that some people will go to.

        As I pointed out, everyone in Washington knows AIPAC is an extremely right-wing group.  So, while Palin goes and kowtows to AIPAC, Biden disses them, pointing out that they don't speak for all or even most Jews.  The players know where everyone stands, even though it is at times de rigeur to pretend that we have no idea here. See Biden's commnents.

        •  Even if the majority of AIPAC's members (0+ / 0-)

          are Democrats, the majority of its largest donors (and most influential members of its board) are Republicans.  As Michael Massing mentioned in his article in the NY Review of Books, a small group on AIPAC's board, "the Minyan Circle", is responsible for setting AIPAC's policy (not the majority of its members or the variety of Jewish organizations on its advisory board):

          AIPAC claims to represent most of the Jewish community. Its executive committee has a couple of hundred members representing a wide spectrum of American Jewish opinion, from the dovish Americans for Peace Now to the militantly right-wing Zionist Organization of America. Four times a year this group meets to decide AIPAC policy. According to several former AIPAC officials I have talked to, however, the executive committee has little real power. Rather, power rests with the fifty-odd-member board of directors, which is selected not according to how well they represent AIPAC's members but according to how much money they give and raise.

          Reflecting this, the board is thick with corporate lawyers, Wall Street investors, business executives, and heirs to family fortunes. Within the board itself, power is concentrated in an extremely rich subgroup, known as the "minyan club." And, within that group, four members are dominant: Robert Asher, a retired lighting fixtures dealer in Chicago; Edward Levy, a building supplies executive in Detroit; Mayer "Bubba" Mitchell, a construction materials dealer in Mobile, Alabama; and Larry Weinberg, a real estate developer in Los Angeles (and a former owner of the Portland Trail Blazers). Asher, Levy, and Mitchell are loyal Republicans; Weinberg is a Scoop Jackson Democrat who has moved rightward over the years.

          The "Gang of Four," as these men are known, do not share the general interest of a large part of the Jewish community in promoting peace in the Middle East. Rather, they seek to keep Israel strong, the Palestinians weak, and the United States from exerting pressure on Israel. AIPAC's director, Howard Kohr, is a conservative Republican long used to doing the Gang of Four's bidding. For many years Steven Rosen, AIPAC's director of foreign policy issues, was the main power on the staff, helping to shape the Gang of Four's pro-Likud beliefs into practical measures that AIPAC could promote in Congress. (In 2005, Rosen and fellow AIPAC analyst Keith Weissman left the organization and were soon after indicted by federal authorities for receiving classified national security information and passing it on to foreign (Israeli) officials.)

          McCain and Palin go to AIPAC to get approval from its  leadership and major donors.  They don't worry about AIPAC's rank and file members.

          Reel Bad Arabs: a crash course on Orientalism

          by Rusty Pipes on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 11:50:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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