Bibi Gadzooks Congress

Wednesday, June 1, 2011 6:39 AM

Taki’s Magazine

The only good thing which could result from Bibi Netanyahoo's speech to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on Tuesday, May 24th, 2011 is that it may open people's eyes after a very long nap. If so, it will have served a useful purpose. A lot of intelligent Americans and Europeans are in denial. They have generally viewed criticism of Israel from any quarter with suspicion and skepticism. If one brings up the larger topic of Zionism, its shadowy history and its adverse consequences to the Middle East and the West, they become even more suspicious. 

But the Likud kingpin's magnificent con job--and the unseemly performance of a servile Congress in embracing it--should give every true-blue American, who has not been brainwashed, a wake-up call. What exactly is going on here, and why? It could be a turning point. The question is, has the leadership of “the lone surviving superpower” abdicated its responsibilities to the American people and humanity? Has it simply offshored American foreign policy in toto to Tel Aviv? Such appears to be the case, and it is downright embarrassing. 

This is a huge topic which has been examined over the years by one expert after another who are far more qualified than myself. Despite these warnings and exposés, the momentum has been all one way, in the wrong direction. The sycophantic cheering in Congress confirms the worst. That spectacle was appalling. There can be no excuse for such grotesquerie. Don't members of Congress and Senators have any self-respect? Do they have any brains? Do they know the true history of the conflict? Do they care, one way or the other? Can they really be that ignorant? Or was it just a gag?

There is a simple explanation. It has become increasingly apparent that the White House and Capitol Hill are not dealing with a foreign policy issue when it comes to the Middle East. They see it differently, and by necessity have seen it differently for decades. When it comes to the so-called "Middle East peace process" and Israel, we are dealing with raw, domestic American politics and the quest for election, reelection and career advancement. Nothing more. That is the reason for the bipartisan, Capitol Hill pander-fest of May 24th.  

Please note that it was Speaker of the House, the honorable John A. Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, who invited Netanyahoo to speak before Congress in joint session. Republicans cannot afford to be left behind. They are most eager to get in on the action. Indeed, the Israel Lobby is the short-hand explanation for the foreign misadventures of the crackbrained, "neoconservative" G.W. Bush Administration, also known as the Cheney Regency. Washington politicians have never been motivated by the quest for oil. They are motivated almost entirely by the chance to get elected and reelected, irrespective of what is right and wrong or the legitimate, best interests of Uncle Sam. 

The surefire ticket to success in Washington is to be in the good graces of the Israel Lobby, in all its multilayered manifestations, most especially when it comes to campaign contributions and a good press. The relationship is part racketeering and part quid pro quo. It is a mutually beneficial scam. In sum, what passes for American foreign policy in the Middle East is now little more than a business calculation. The honorable members of Congress are not ignoramuses, first blush appearances notwithstanding. But they are opportunists; some shameless, many just unthinking. In any event, they are in the bag.

Speaking of the Lobby, the joint session of Congress at which Netanyahoo presided was a sideshow compared to the four-day extravaganza  across town at the annual "policy conference" of AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Tel Aviv's premier front organization was in its glory.

Bibi had made a stop there the day before to touch base with his American agents. Obama had dropped by the day before that, to reaffirm his obeisance and to inform these apparatchiks of Zion about what he had actually said at the State Department a few days earlier--"not what I was reported to have said." 

And what was that, pray tell? More double-talk, as was self-evident, adding up to precisely nothing. The nervous AIPAC attendees needed reassurance of this fact, lest they entertain the mistaken idea that Obama had wandered off the reservation. 

Did you know that Ronald Reagan declined to appear before AIPAC in 1988? Or that the first sitting U.S. President to do so was Bill Clinton? I didn't, before reading this informative article by Grant Smith, director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep).

Did you know that President John Kennedy declined to meet Israel's first PM, David Ben Gurion, at the White House in 1962, opting instead for a private meeting at the Waldorf Astoria? I didn't, before reading this article in that interesting "neoconservative" receptacle, Commentary magazine. Did Reagan and Kennedy know something Clinton and Obama didn't? If so, what? 

Amazingly, AIPAC remains an unregistered agent of a foreign government. For that matter, so does Commentary. In days of yore, wasn't the Communist Party USA made to register as an agent of Moscow? Why shouldn't crusading Zionist organizations and their benighted ideologues do the same, when propagandizing on behalf of Tel Aviv and its Likud agenda? It only seems fair, and would not restrict free speech.

On the other hand, if Israel were amenable to becoming the 51st state, then no registration would be required. But in that case, Israel would be limited and entitled to only two Senators.

Future AIPAC conventions should be a hoot. For the first time, there was a counter-convention called Move Over AIPAC organized by the liberal group, CODEPINK:Women for Peace. Alas, only a few hundred attended. The delegates at AIPAC numbered 6,000, and by some reports 10,000--not counting the 350 U.S. Senators and Representatives in attendance!

Nonetheless, the CodePinkMoveOver crowd made a dent. They were not bashful and carried out a number of demonstrations. One of their brave members heckled Bibi from the gallery during his appearance before Congress, and landed in the hospital for her trouble. All in all, it was a start, and can only get better next year.

My favorite happening was the interviews of the AIPAC faithful by journalist Max Blumenthal. I have not taken the time to figure out where Max is coming from or where he is going with this, but he seems to be a concerned citizen who likes to ask embarrassing questions, which questions invariably evoke preposterous answers. Most entertaining.

Max's modus operandi is to visit various "pro-Israel" get-togethers, playing the part of an innocent bystander seeking wisdom. He does not press his views upon the interviewees. He lets people speak for themselves. He does not let on that they appear to be out of their minds.

This You-Tube installment he calls "Feeling the Ignorance at AIPAC 2011". Just hysterical. Be sure and watch it at least until Max interviews a gentleman who is  wearing a crude sandwich-sign painted with the words "Recovering Zionist". That speaks volumes. An oasis of sanity. It's a start.         

--Copyright 2011 Patrick Foy--