I wrote yesterday about Nita Lowey’s semi-mysterious hold on the $86-million appropriation approved by Congress recently which was meant to bolster Mahmoud Abbas’ position within Palestinian politics. My surmise was that first of all this was done at the behest of AIPAC and that it was meant as a shot across the bow aimed at Condi Rice as she prepares for the three-way (Israel, Palestine, U.S.) summit on Monday.
A journalist writing for a nation Jewish publication provided some eye-opening background. He says this move is “typical of AIPAC’s influence in Congress.” The hold was invoked before the Mecca conference, almost “reflexively.” In other words, Lowey placed the hold in the expectation that a Palestinian unity government might come out of the talks. And she wished to signal that such a government, no matter what it’s composition or platform, would NOT receive any support from the U.S. government, just as Hamas’ government has not until now. The reporter surmises that Lowey may not have even consulted AIPAC because it was something “she knew they’d want.”
Amazing. That would make members of Congress something like the Golem. AIPAC programs them with its acronym engraved on their foreheads like the word emet on the Golem’s, and they go out and do the masters bidding without even a needing specific directions to do specific acts. They’re internally programmed. What does this say about our legislative process and AIPAC’s influence upon it?
As if to buttress the point, the journalist adds, “a lot of stuff that makes AIPAC happy happens without their even asking for it.” In this particular case, Lowey knew it was common practice to “slow down any allocation for the Palestinians.” This also reminds me of your trusty pet dog who brings you your slippers in the morning and then rolls over for you to scratch her tummy. What do you think Nita’s reward might be? A scratch on the tummy? Or a few more tens of thousands in pro-Israel PAC money? Or a behind the scenes call when she wants a committee chairmanship (a la Jane Harman)?
I understand from my source that dovish groups which favor the allocation – Israel Policy Forum and Americans for Peace Now – “are pushing back.” Keep on pushing.
And on the Rosner front, those of you who read yesterday’s post will remember my critique of Rosner’s abysmally inaccuate reporting on this story. After writing to David Landau, Haaretz’s English editor, the paper retained yesterday’s erroneous article on the site. But now, they’ve put up a newer version which corrects two small mistakes which I reported to them. But of course, it still leaves a whole host of other mistakes, some even more significant. The new headline still mistakenly describes Lowey’s individual hold as a hold placed by the “U.S. Congress.” But it no longer refers to the $86 million as destined for the “PA.” Instead it more correctly notes it is meant for “Abbas.” The new article no longer claims “a number of congressmen [sic] are skeptical about the funding.” Instead it now says: “Due to the uncertainty of a few legislators, the transfer has been postponed.” Which is virtually the same intent. I’d noted to Landau that Lowey couldn’t reasonably be called a “congressman.” So they changed the word to “legislators,” but retained the unsupported charge that others beside Lowey supported the hold. The new article also retains the mistake of calling Mahmoud Abbas “chairman” of the PA, when he is “president.” Gotta watch that Rosner. He’ll carry water for AIPAC every time. Just like Lowey.