Many of the left and liberal side refuse to accept AIPAC's political significance. Some, such as Stephen Zunes, believe that AIPAC is a powerless puppet and Israel a docile servant of US imperialism. But one doesn't need to be a fanatical Israel Lobby denier to poke holes in the theory that lays US misadventures in the Middle East primarily at AIPAC's door. Mearsheimer and Walt are ideologues of imperialism with a deeply flawed understanding of US politics -- the words 'corporations,' 'finance' and 'capitalism' are simply not part of their lexicon.  Others are differently myopic. If one were to believe James Petras, the billionaires who put Bush in the White House in 2000 with the best funded campaign in US history were taken for a ride by a cabal of secret Israeli agents such as Wolfowitz, Perle and Feith, who sent the US into a losing war that nearly bankrupt the US, damaged the prospects of the its oil majors and threatened the worldwide advances of American corporations, all out of their commitment to Zionism.  That America's billionaire class came back for a second round and supported Bush in 2004 as well must be chalked up to their masochism and the desire to lose even more money.  Zionism is a loathsome ideology, and AIPAC is a powerful organization. Nevertheless, the tunnel vision that sees Zionism as the major determinant of US politics is a new permutation of the classical right-wing knife-in-the-back myth.  To those who buy this fairytale understanding of US politics, stripped off corporate power, the military-industrial complex, petrodollars, conflicts of accumulation and the class war, all I can offer is a pack of premium Enron shares at a discount.He then gives a working example involving a Mitchell Plitnick from "Jewish Voice for Peace."
Rejecting this tunnel vision does not however justify the cowardly refusal of liberal and left anti-war groups to challenge AIPAC. Unfortunately, the left-liberal camp includes many who use theoretical complexity as an excuse for practical inaction.
April 22, 2007
Gabriel Ash on tails, wags and dogs
Here's Gabriel Ash in Dissident Voice (and all over the internet) on the influence or not of AIPAC. In the article he says that whilst he doesn't see the influence of AIPAC or the Israel lobby as decisive in determining America foreign policy this does not excuse liberal and left opinion for its cowardice over exposing the influence that it does have. He puts it so much better than me: