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Aipac and Republican Jewish Coalition in Unholy Alliance to Oust Democrats

republican jewish coalition attack ad morrie amitayRepublican Jewish Coalition attack ad featuring former Aipac director

Everybody knows that the Republican Jewish Coalition is the home of some of the most scurrilous uber-Israel propaganda to ever grace the air waves and printed page regarding Democrats supposed perfidy toward the Jewish State. But fewer know about the role that Aipac (or specifically Republican Aipac leaders and activists) has played in egging on the RJC multi-million dollar campaign. Now, The Forward tells it all (well, not quite all, but enough) in Aipac Call for Bipartisanship: Too Little, Too Late?:

Leaders of…AIPAC…issued a statement…affirming their confidence in lawmakers in both parties. The statement comes on the heels of a new ad from the Republican Jewish Coalition that prominently features criticism of Democrats by Morrie Amitay, the former executive director of Aipac.

“If Democrats take over the House, unfortunately, it is safe to assume that the House’s posture towards Israel will worsen,” Amitay is quoted as saying.

Aipac’s statement comes after a months-long advertising campaign campaign by Jewish Republicans aimed at convincing voters that the Democratic Party was increasingly not pro-Israel.

Democratic operatives have quietly alleged that GOP-aligned Aipac activists have aided the effort to boost the Republicans.

I would say when one of Aipac’s most beloved former leaders is featured as the centerpiece of an anti-Dem hit job that you don’t need to “quietly allege” that Aipac is “aiding in the effort to boost Republicans.” The only question is how many current Aipac leaders are also involved. Of course, you won’t see their fingerprints on anything since they’re a little too skillful to be caught taking an overt role.

What’s only slightly shocking about this is that Aipac touts itself as bi-partisan. It claims it works with both Republican and Democrats and doesn’t take sides in partisan political conflicts. Almost everyone knows that this is a not so polite subterfuge. Aipac donors have targeted numerous elected Democrats for defeat in the past who were accused of being anti-Israel. Someone will have to help me here but I can’t recall them going after a single Republican.

So I want to know–when will Howard Dean, Hillary Clinton, Jane Harman and all the other Aipac sycophants wise up and realize that Aipac is essentially taking them for a ride. They do Aipac’s bidding in passing punitive legislation in Congress that contributes to the strangulation of Gaza and criminalization of any U.S. efforts to talk with Hamas–and what do they get to show for it? A measly T-shirt with Morrie Amitay’s mug on it spitting in their eye. Fair bargain??

And finally let’s just call Amitay’s statement what it is: a damnable lie. He has no proof whatsoever to support his claim. Whatever proof the RJC has offered in this ad campaign is so glaringly pathetic as to not be able to withstand the light of day. Any Jewish newspaper running it, even as advertising, should give free space to Jewish Democrats to rebut it.

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{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Joshua November 5, 2006, 3:41 PM

    Wow, you really didn’t do your homework this time.

    AIPAC has released a statement saying that it rejects Amitay’s comments, and that both the Democratic and Republican party are friendly to Israel and will be friendly to Israel. As they should be.

    As for politicians that AIPAC has scalped, AIPAC itself does not get involved in electoral politics. There are various pro-Israel PACs, most of which have given a majority of their money to Democrats. In fact, since 1990, the various pro-Israel PACs have given 69% of their money to Democrats. This year, the gap has closed, largely because the Republicans have finally wised up. But the breakdown is still 55% Dems, 40% Repubs, 5% other. Pro-Israel PACs have also progressively DECLINED in the rankings as to how much they give. The “Pro-Israel” PACs now rank 66th as far (Source, Open Secrets).

    Anyway, what republicans has the “Israel lobby” targeted? Among others, Charles Percy, Senator from Illinois, who was replaced by Paul Simon, one of the most progressive and liberal Senators from all of last century. Also Paul Findley, Representative from Illinois, replaced by Dick Durbin, who has moved up to the Senate and is one of the leaders of progressive democrats in that chamber. To that I say, Horray for AIPAC!

    There have been some Democrats who claim they were “targeted” by the Israel lobby. But they were all defeated in primaries and replaced with people just as progressive. This includes Earl Hilliard (D-AL), replaced by Artur Davis, and Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) replaced by Denise Majette and, more recently, Hank Johnson.

    It should also be noted that in each of these cases, the effect of “the lobby” is most likely greatly exaggerated. In each case, these politicians had to face their constituents. Zionists do not have mind-altering devices that compel voters to reject anti-Israel candidates. It is the voters themselves that made the decision, and Israel was but one issue in a myriad of issues that voters consider. Of course, to the extent Israel was an issue, it should not surprise anyone that the pro-Israel politician would be favored. American voters, like american politicians, overwhelmingly support Israel.

    But Richard, I want to hear what you have to say. Name ONE Democratic Congressman that was targeted by AIPAC and replaced by a Republican. I doubt you can find it, because it has never happened.

  • Richard Silverstein November 5, 2006, 6:42 PM

    AIPAC has released a statement saying that it rejects Amitay’s comments

    Not true. The Aipac statement (linked above) quoted by The Forward did not mention Amitay or RJC at all. It merely stated that Aipac supports both Democrats & Republicans regardless of party affiliation. Though of course the statement does not address at all the fact that Amitay, a former employee, and current leaders are actively funding the RJC $2 million initiative to target & defeat Democrats. Of course, Aipac as an organization cannot be seen to have overt fingerprints on the RJC campaign. But if you looked over the list of those contributing to the RJC ads & Aipac fatcats there is no doubt that many of the largest donors would be identical.

    As for politicians that AIPAC has scalped, AIPAC itself does not get involved in electoral politics.

    It does not do so OVERTLY. But it does so in every other way possible. What about the smear attack on Betty McCollum calling her a supporter of terrorism for not supporting the Hamas criminalization bill written & pistol whipped through the House a few months ago? That derived fr. a national Aipac leader based in Minneapolis. Look up the post here in this blog documenting the attack & its origin.

    It’s no accident I’m sure that the first African American Muslim elected to Congress faced a smear campaign fr. a select group of local Minneapolis Jews. I’m sure the same Aipac leader’s fingerprints can be found on that one as well.

    You have the mistaken idea that merely because Aipac helped defeat Charles Percy and Paul Findlay with politicians who were allegedly more liberal than them, that this somehow did a favor to American democracy. The point is that Aipac did not defeat them because their politics were not enlightened enough for the American people. It did not have a noble purpose of finding a more enlightened replacement. It savaged them because their views of the Israeli-Arab conflict were not servile enough for Aipac. These individuals had the temerity to have the strength of their own convictions and that was too much for Aipac.

    It is no accident to see the level of sycophancy in Congress toward issues Aipac holds dear. These politicians are no fools. They know that if they dare to have independent contrarian views on these issues that mighty moolah will flow to their opponents. Money talks in politics. Aipac doesn’t officially have to do a thing. It merely has to informally alert its donor network to races it considers vital. ‘Nuff said. People can take a hint. They know what to do. All it takes is a phone call or e mail from one leader to another. The rest you can read in the donor lists of the opponent.

    Democrats…claim they were “targeted” by the Israel lobby. But they were all defeated in primaries and replaced with people just as progressive.

    First, this is arguable. The candidates who replaced them were mainstream Democrats who did not always have as progressive social, economic or political views. But the one thing the replacements all had in common was that they agreed to toe the pro-Israel line in their Congressional votes. Please show me a single vote by Durbin, Simon, Johnson, Majette or Davis that contravened Aipac marching orders. Show me two & I might actually have to admit you’re not a serial abuser of the truth.

    the effect of “the lobby” is most likely greatly exaggerated. In each case, these politicians had to face their constituents.

    This is disingenuousness taken to an extravagant extreme. Certainly, they had to face their constituents with their opponents fueled by hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars contributed by Aipac leaders and supporters. Unfortunately, in this society if you have enough money you can sometimes convince an entire constituency (or a firm majority of it) that the existing representative is the worst piece of humanity imaginable. That doesn’t mean it’s true. It just means you have sufficient funds to say it over & over on TV & radio so that enough people will come to believe it.

    I need to make clear that I don’t necessarily support all the views of some of the targeted like McKinney. But I sure as hell oppose a carefully orchestrated hack pro-Israel campaign against them. If Aipac believed in democracy instead of the power of cash, they’d let McKinney, Findlay, Percy & the others compete based on the strength of their ideas. But the Aipacers have confidence neither in their own ideas or the ideas of their political allies to compete on a level playing field, so they lubricate their efforts with wads of cash.

    Name ONE Democratic Congressman that was targeted by AIPAC and replaced by a Republican.

    I didn’t say Aipac was stupid (well, actually to attempt some of the breathtakingly stupid spying they’ve been accused of was pretty stupid, but that’s another argument entirely). Of course, if they were out for a Democrat’s scalp they’d likely anoint another Dem as their chosen one. Otherwise, it WOULD look partisan & we certainly couldn’t have Aipac accused of that now could we.

    BTW, Aipac makes a big point of alleging that its leaders are composed of both Republicans and Democrats. But as Michael Massing has pointed out, the four latter day leading movers & shakers of Aipac are conservative Republicans. The organization tilts very heavily toward the Republicans in its policy proclamations & tendencies. This is natural because their ideological home has been among the neocons (or should I say vice versa?) and there are very few (if any?) neocon Dems. I guess we should call Joe Lieberman one. But I can’t think of too many others.

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