# AIPAC Must Stop Bernie Sanders – at All Costs (Opinion)

‘Never Bernie’ AIPAC now sounds a lot like a pro-Trump caucus, not a bipartisan pro-Israel lobby. But it has no choice

Jonathan S. Tobin

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Feb 12, 2020 5:29 PM

This past week AIPAC found a way to alienate just about everyone in the American political world.

After the group’s decision to run Facebook ads calling out some Democrats as “radicals” and “anti-Semitic” only to apologize for doing so, both liberals and conservatives were disgusted with the pro-Israel lobby, accusing it of political bias as well as incompetence. But while there was much to criticize about its choices, maybe it’s time to acknowledge that in the 2020 election year, AIPAC has been given an impossible task with no possible path to success.

The problem facing the pro-Israel lobby is that the political climate simply isn’t conducive to the way it has carried out its mission for the last several decades. In more normal political times, it was easy for the group to act as an umbrella group uniting supporters of Israel from the right, left and center behind a common agenda of support for Israel’s government and the Jewish state’s security.

An interesting perspective, while we do get Haaretz, if one runs into a paywall, perhaps open up a different browser to read the article.

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I don’t know what abilities AIPAC has, but the theme of the article is probably right. The Dem party, and Sanders in particular, are getting more anti-Israel progressively. That leaves AIPAC no way to be bipartisan. which it traditionally has been.

AIPAC is a good example of foreign meddling in elections. I’m not a fan, even though they agree with me on a candidate.

Foreign money and foreign individuals have no business being involved in our politics.

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We meddle, they meddile.

AIPAC probably does get a lot of “domestic” or American money.

Now, too, it seems to be a big deal about “bots” and social media. Foreigners on twitter or facebook seeing to influence elections. They say it’s a big problem. I would hope people could look at social media and try to decipher, discern, decide what is true and what is “fake news”.

True, but when you have a lobby as big as this championing the national interests of a foreign power at the expense of our own it ought to raise a few more eyebrows than Twitter or Facebook users.

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This morning I looked around in the media because I noticed that CNN said very little about Bernie winning New Hampshire. I did a search on CNN and MSNBC, and both networks had practically no articles with “Sanders” in the title. The AP was even worse. Articles they did carry were mostly negative.

ABC and CBS were okay, and NPR (“the Buttigeig station”, in my own assessment) was about the middle. Surprisingly, Mother Jones was not doing much on Bernie.

The Huffington Post (which I previously avoided because they were too far left) was the best at giving a truly non-demeaning report on Bernie. Interestingly enough, they also made the same observations that I did:

Donald Trump continues to welcome having Bernie Sanders as an opponent. I am certain that all of his campaign strategists would also love to have Trump face-off with Bernie. The best strategy, of course, would be for Trump to become suddenly very respectful and polite, just letting people see the new change in him, not attacking, not belittling, not bullying Sanders. It will be extremely difficult, though, since Bernie is going to attack Trump with the truth.

Speaking of the truth, though, I would love to see a statistic on different media outlets having the words “Sanders” “Warren” and “Steyer” in their article titles. Those three candidates were the only ones to oppose anti-BDS legislation, which is clearly unconstitutional. I wish we could wrap all three of those candidates into one.

Thanks for the heads-up on this article Victoria.

Was the Russian election interference scandal mainly about social media? It seemed like that to me though I would accept any correction.

There are lists of the biggest lobbies in Washington.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/business-a-lobbying/318177-lobbyings-top-50-whos-spending-big%3Famp

I don’t even see Israel in the top 50.

I think Israel is in the $2-5 million range. Coca cola is bigger.

Hey, I am all for lobbies if it is for a good cause. Better schools or accommodations for some challenged individuals.

And as said, we do it in foreign countries too.

I highly doubt that AIPAC gets any foreign money. I do believe it would be illegal for them to do so. AIPAC, if I remember right, does sponsor free trips to Israel for congressmen, but does very little direct contributions to campaigns. Instead, they help funnel donations from deep-pocket affiliates into campaigns.

The power of AIPAC can be seen in the anti-BDS legislation which passed in the House, only 16 voted against it even though it is unconstitutional by any measure.

The American media has done a smear campaign against BDS, but all the allegations against BDS are based on one comment made by a BDS founder, and it was completely taken out of context. The founder misquoted wants Israel to be a secular state, not Muslim, Christian, or Jewish, but respectful of all religions.

We must remember that AIPAC has their hearts in the right place, generally wishing for the protection of Israeli citizens. Unfortunately, since AIPAC has become so powerful, they also want Israel to have free reign to confiscate land and resources from the Palestinians, which is against international law.

AIPAC needs to be exposed, its power has usurped the will of American people, who mostly disagree with the theft of land and resources.

Condemnation for public purposes is not prohibited by Palestinian or Israeli law, since both manifestly do it to create settlements in the West Bank.

Sheldon Adelson donates around 100M a year to candidates, and he is definitely pro-settlement, anti-BDS. He is just a start. His donations will not be listed under “Israel” even though the Israeli-born billionaire is certainly going to donate to campaigns that help Israeli settlements. I think he was the biggest donor to the Trump campaign.

Rupert Murdoch gives Trump a great deal of positive press, and his media is all AIPAC-agenda. There are many other donors who care a great deal about the AIPAC agenda, but they are all “under the radar”.

Talking to politicians, I found out that AIPAC has done major moves to be removed from scrutiny. This site, for instance, lists the donations made at the federal level:

https://www.opensecrets.org/industries/contrib.php?ind=Q05&Bkdn=DemRep&cycle=2008

You can check the years. Please note that “Pro-Israel” does not mean “Pro-settlement”, even though those are mostly true. J Street, for example, is generally against the settlements.

What I heard was that in order to stay under the radar, the big donors are keeping their donations at the state level, so it is not seen how much is going to AIPAC agenda. Clearly we can see that AIPAC is firmly in control, though, especially in the way that legislation is written by AIPAC and passes very easily.

Boy! We shore gotta watch them Jewwwwwwws, don’t we. Sneakin’ under the radar like 'at 'ere.

:roll_eyes:

AIPAC may not be funded by foreign sources per se. But as the Clinton Foundation shows us, there are a lot of ways in which foreign money can be laundered into the US so as to escape scrutiny. Qatar, Saudi Arabia et al have their own lobbyists along these lines, though neither apparently carries water for their patrons as well as AIPAC does.

On the bigger topic, Sanders getting sandbagged was all too predictable. This was always going to happen given how poorly Bernie is regarded by the DNC and the Clinton/Biden factions of the Democratic Party. Now that Bernie is threatening to catch fire the way Trump did four years ago, the DNC et al are engaging in an all out assault to make sure he not only doesn’t get the nomination, he won’t even be allowed to run as a third party candidate.

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Such as Sanders you mean?

No, he was referring to my “under the radar” comment about AIPAC. (see above)

Snarky comments aside, you bring up an important point, we need to pay close attention to our sources, that they are not fueled by antisemitism. To that point, my source of knowledge about AIPAC going under the radar and focusing on the state level was a Jewish person involved in advocacy for Palestinian rights.

Since most states have the unconstitutional anti-BDS legislation, it is pretty clear that AIPAC has a presence in those states.

I will agree that restricting criticism of Israel does seem to flout your constitution whatever I think of some of the other points you raised both here and elsewhere. The idea of any state being so sacrosanct it cannot be critiqued without legal penalties falling on the heads of those doing it troubles me.

Yeah, they put all their bets on Hillary whose foundation and other actions were corrupt. Like Biden, Buttigeig, Klobuchar today, Clinton was the “moderate” candidate, which translates something like “I accept donations (bribes) from all you corporations and lobbyists, including and especially AIPAC, to do your bidding”. Thus we have a president who is escalating animosity with Iran, equating criticism of the Israeli state with antisemitism on college campuses, and assassinates a foreign general (for “appeasing some senators”) while most of congress sits and does nothing to stop it.

He won’t run as a third-party candidate. That’s very interesting that you brought that up, though, because I heard an NPR reporter ask that very question. Were they pinning him down on that question so that if the DNC succeeds in getting the media to demolish him, he will have already made a commitment to avoid such a move?

The two major parties are totally corrupt.

Right now, the three greatest rights West Bank Palestinians have are the right to citizenship in the largest Palestinian state. which is Jordan, the right to work for Israeli wages in Israel and the right to be protected by Israeli security.

You’ll get no argument from me on that point.

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