The Washington Post on Tuesday had an article in their “Washington Sketch” section about AIPAC. For those of you who don’t know, AIPAC is the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee that has been in the news lately regarding a couple of employees of AIPAC who are being investigated for allegedly providing the Israeli government with classified U.S. materials. But what struck me the most about this article was the way it’s author, Dana Milbank, described how congressmen and senators from the U.S. government came to the convention. She noted that:

“The annual meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee has long produced a massive show of bipartisan pandering, as lawmakers praise the well-financed and well-connected group.”

Unbelievable! This is journalism? Sounds more like smearing to me…”pandering”? It makes it sound like these guys (and gals) of the U.S. legislative branch are under the thumb of AIPAC and will bend to their every wish. I’m not stupid…I realize that here in Washington, D.C. money gets you many things…prostitutes, drugs, the ear of U.S. lawmakers and presidents. But I object to the language that Ms. Milbanks uses. It sounds to me like she’s painting the old stereo-typical picture of “The Jews have all the money. The Jews own all the media. The Jews own everything.”
Now, I have nothing against AIPAC and I think they’re doing some very good work. But I wish they would show some common sense when it comes to their convention. I have nothing against them throwing money around…hell, every PAC does that. But in this day and age when the AUT of Britain has just recently voted to ban academic connections with two universities in Israel (a ban which they then rescinded not more than two days ago thankfully) and there is a general anti-Israel bias in the media (for proof of that I point you to HonestReporting) I think AIPAC should try and be a little more discrete in their convention and in their posturing. I’m certainly not advocating going back to pre-WWII German/Europe days of just hiding and hoping everything will get better (that will just eventually lead to another 6 or so million Jews slaughtered…and don’t even think it can’t happen here!). However, I do wish that Howard Kohr, the executive director of AIPAC, would choose his phrases a little more carefully. Kohr noted in his speech Sunday that

your presence here today sends a message to every adversary of Israel, AIPAC and the Jewish community that we are here, and we are here to stay!!

I realize that harsh language has its time and place. I also realize that taunting your enemies is one of the surest ways of encouraging them to attack you. At this time AIPAC needs a slightly lower profile while the FBI does it’s thing. When the FBI has closed the investigation then it would be a good time for AIPAC to be more visible . Right now, being overtly visible and flaunting it is a sure way to bring trouble. Let the leaves settle first.
As for Ms. Milbank, all I can say is your words have done enough to reinforce the sterotypical picture of Jews controlling everything in this world. If that were truly the case the only question I have for you is “Where’s my share of the profits?” As Rabbi Pinky would say…”You minuval!”

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