Congress Went to Israel On AIPAC's (Many) Dimes But There Was No Lobbying On the Iran Deal, Nope, No Siree Bob, None At All

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Largely unnoticed by the mainstream press, the daily atrocities of the Israeli Occupation go on - killings, arson, settler impunity, destruction of farmland, indefinite detention, humiliations unending - as does the subsidizing of those atrocities by an estimated $10 million a day in U.S. funds. That generous support is largely the result of ceaseless lobbying, bullying and anti-Semite baiting by the uber-Zionist American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), whose motto is, "Israel = good.  Everyone else = enemies of Israel" - and whose influence is vast enough it's been argued AIPAC should have to register as a foreign power. With only weeks until the Congressional vote on the nuclear deal with Iran, AIPAC's fear-and-war-mongering efforts have gone into overdrive: They have flown in dozens of Zionist activists to lobby Congress, their new sub-group Citizens for a Nuclear Free Iran has spent $40 million on national anti-Iran ads that have been deemed "wantonly over-the-top"across the U.S., they have repeatedly used wildly incendiary rhetoric and red-herring anti-Semitism charges to rant against the possibility of peace, and they just took 58 freshman House members - 22 Democrats and 36 Republicans - on a junket to Israel.

Junkets as influence-peddling mechanisms are nothing new for AIPAC. But given the upcoming vote on Iran, the painstakingly timed trip has been called out more than usual. So has the reportedly record $1.7 million AIPAC has spent on Congressional lobbying that some charge is essentially setting up the lies of Israeli leaders and their GOP allies in opposition to majority support for the Iran agreement among both Israelis and Americans. Legislators going on last week's trip, paid for by the American Israel Education Foundation, the so-called charitable arm of AIPAC, were careful to keep straight faces while presenting it as a fact-finding mission; House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) cited this country's "unbreakable bond with our ally Israel" and the chance to get "a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities in the Middle East today, along with American interests in the region.” AIPAC officials likewise gravely promised that "no lobbying of lawmakers will take place," while oh-so-carefully screening destinations to ensure legislators saw only what Israel wanted them to see and heard what they wanted them to hear - namely, Zionist leaders repeatedly, relentlessly declaring the existential threat in "letting the hungry Iranian tiger out of his cage" and thus the Iran deal is "bad," but gosh don't forget they sure wouldn't try to tell anyone how to vote. Unsurprisingly, many legislators returned from their propaganda jaunt firmly proclaiming the Iran deal is "not good enough for the world," because clearly war, no matter how senseless, is always better for the world. Along with many other Jews, 340 rabbis publicly disagreed this week, writing an open letter to Congress expressing support for the agreement and blasting AIPAC's "false and dangerous" message that Jews believe it should be scrapped. Sorrowfully, they cited a fundamental tenet of Judaism that, God knows, both Israel and AIPAC have too long and too bloodily violated: “Seek peace, and pursue it” (Psalms 34:14).

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