I'm a Jewish-American. But the American is the part I emphasize, because while I am proud of my heritage, my country comes first, not my ethnicity.
The American-Israel Public Affairs Committee is a very powerful lobby on Capitol Hill and throughout the years, they have effectively advocated on Israel's behalf, and have done a magnificent job in making sure that Israel is a secure, safe, and free state.
But AIPAC has gone off the deep end in recent years. They supported a stupid war in Iraq, which endangered both American and Israeli security, they are advocating for a war with Iran, and they have advocated the US cutting off relations with all Arab governments, including the Palestinian authority.
Regardless of these policies, what ticks me off about AIPAC is that they think they speak for the Jewish community in the US. And politicians in Washington, court AIPAC as though an endorsement from its leadership would lead to the monolithic Jewish vote coming behind him.
This id ridiculous. Jews are the most anti-war religious group in the country, and are very liberal, one of the most solidly Democratic groups in the country.
Barack Obama was talking about the situation in the Middle East a couple of weeks ago and in an off-the-cuff remark, noted that no one is suffering more than the Palestinian people. This was not intended to mean that Israelis who are suffering in the conflict are not equal to the suffering og Palestinians, and AIPAC knows that is what Senator Obama meant.
But AIPAC is interested in holding onto its power. Senator Obama is a new kind of politician, one who is not likely to be beholden to powerful, moneyed interests because he has enormous grassroots support. AIPAC is afraid that they may no longer be able to influence policy because they can't control Senator Obama like they have Senator Clinton, who uses exact codewords of pandering to the pro-Israel community in a cynical attempt to win votes.
I am a huge supporter of Senator Obama, who realizes that in the Middle East, the only solution, is strong support for people everywhere, and that the only side in the Middle East conflict that deserves our support is the side of peace, cooperation, friendship, and progress.
Jews around this country will come to support Senator Obama, because his message of hope and empowerment perfectly aligns with Jewish beliefs.
AIPAC does not speak for me. And it doesn't speak for all Jews, not even most. And politicians better start understanding that there's a lot more money out there to raise from the vast majority of Jews if you speak directly to them, not elitist lobbyists in Washington, DC.