Why I’m Not Cheering for AIPAC

Pardon me for not cheering with the RedState’s Ben Kew and other Conservative Inc. worthies that American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is now planning to pummel anti-Zionist Democrats. Apparently, the fervent Zionists at AIPAC have put together a massive war chest to purge 15 to 20 members of Congress who don’t vote in accordance with AIPAC’s wishes on issues relating to Israel.

Allow me to ask two imprudent questions, because at this point in my life asking them will have no effect on my professional future! Why should the American right be experiencing transports of ecstasy because AIPAC has decided to ruin people professionally whose views on Middle Eastern affairs don’t happen to line up with their own? As far as I can determine, most AIPAC members are hardly conservative on American issues. Many of them are liberal Democrats and others just side with any politician who take AIPAC’s obligatory positions on Middle Eastern politics.

Am I allowed to notice where lots of money earmarked for “conservative” foundations and publications originates? I bet a substantial amount flows out of the coffers of the Murdoch family, Paul Singer, and other Zionist benefactors. No, I am not opposed to organizations taking money from such donors, but the acceptance of such funding carries a price that has nothing to do with strictly American interests. Yes, I am aware that many Republican voters are Christian Zionists. Nonetheless, it’s hard to imagine these types would care specifically about supporting AIPAC in its present purging frenzy.  

Please indulge this instructive comparison: It’s all well and good that a self-described American conservative of Polish descent decides to give money to defend the honor of his ancestral homeland. It would be an entirely different matter if American donors to “conservative” causes spent billions of dollars making sure that our GOP media advanced Polish nationalism and denounced Poland’s enemies. It would be even more bizarre if well-heeled “conservative” websites called for the political removal of anyone who dared to criticize Poland.

Needless to say, such a situation of transferred nationalism does exist in this case, with the noticeable merger of our conservative establishment with American Zionist zealotry. This observation does not keep me from wishing Israelis and their government well and even sympathizing with their geopolitical difficulties. But, I submit that it’s not the job of American conservatives to be loudly endorsing the taking down of American politicians who are critical of Israel.

While I don’t agree with the stridently anti-Israeli faction in Congress, I also don’t view whipping for AIPAC as a conservative thing. That organization has an appalling record of targeting and defaming those who disagree with its views on Israel. They are not the kind of lobby I would want to be associated with, even if I hadn’t read the John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt exposé of AIPAC’s often shabby activities. In any case fighting the LGBT lobby and opposing Joe Biden’s endeavor to fill this country with illegals seem more appropriate tasks for American conservatives than fronting for AIPAC. 

What’s even more problematic about the role assumed by American conservative publicists and websites in relation to this lobbying group is the call to protect the “good” Democrats. Do we really want to be allied with Chuck Schumer, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Jerry Nadler, and Kirsten Gillibrand against the “bad” Democrats, that is, cultural and social radicals who just aren’t saying the right things about Israel?  “Let them all go to Blazes!” is my response to this loathsome choice. Jamal Bowman and AOC are not my cup of tea but then neither are their pro-Israeli woke-leftist colleagues on whom AIPAC is lavishing funds.

From an American conservative perspective, it changes nothing if some of these radicals are friendlier to Israel than other ones, a fact that often correlates with the constituencies to which these representatives are beholden. Obviously, Democratic congressmen and senators who serve large numbers of Jewish voters will take a more pro-Zionist stand than those representing an Arab-American district around Detroit, a black district in Harlem, or the environs of a state university. On other issues, however, there seems to be little if any daylight between the pro- and anti-Israeli Democrats. It’s all about an intramural quarrel between two groups on the left, in which AIPAC has thrown its considerable weight behind one side against the other.

It might be imagined that this quarreling will somehow aid the right but I’m not sure that’s the case. The major beneficiaries of AIPAC’s purging campaign will be the pro-Israeli left, which will gain more power at the expense of anti-Israeli leftists. The other major benefactors of the purge being undertaken will be AIPAC’s helpers in the conservative establishment, who will be given more money from the usual sources for their customary obsequiousness. None of this aids the American right in battling back against the left. But, hey, as long as AIPAC and its fans are happy, writers for RedState want us to rejoice.

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