A source close to AIPAC provided The Jewish Press with a lengthy explanation for why AIPAC was sitting out the Hagel debate.
The celebration by the pro-Hagel sycophants suggesting that AIPAC’s long standing policy of not lobbying on nominations is somehow meaningful is truly evidence of how little they understand the organization or the pro-Israel community. AIPAC didn’t have to endorse Cynthia McKinney’s opponent for the pro-Israel community to know that she was hostile to Israel and favored terrorists and totalitarians and despots over democratic allies.
To understand how AIPAC feels about people like Hagel and Cynthia McKinney, all one has to do is open their eyes. The organization’s longstanding policy not to rate or endorse candidates is the same as not lobbying on nominations.
Chuck Hagel’s record on issues important to the pro-Israel community is dismal. He spent years literally bragging about it, and now he says there is not a shred of evidence to show that hostility. That comment is as sincere as his apology for his attacks on gay rights and on openly gay Americans. Likewise his slurs suggesting American Jews, who along with tens of millions of non-Jewish Americans are part of America’s the pro-Israel lobby, are somehow less than completely loyal to America, is truly disgusting and evidence of bigotry.
So what organizations was Schumer thinking of that don’t oppose the Hagel nomination? Maybe he meant J Street or Jewish Voice for Peace.
Then again, Schumer also predicted after his White House meet-up with Hagel that the nominee would wow the crowds at the confirmation hearings. Schumer said then, “he’s going to allay the concerns of many people.” True, but the senator probably did not mean allay the concerns of those who feared Chuck Hagel might become the U.S. secretary of defense.
And there’s this: while Schumer described himself as having given a meaningful tutorial to Hagel on the anti-Semitic associations with dual loyalty and the pain caused by stereotyping, when Schumer – falsely – assured his audience Wednesday morning that “no major Jewish organizations oppose Hagel,” he then explained who did.
“The main fight on Hagel is coming from the neocons, who you know well. And they resent Hagel’s apostasy on Iraq,” Schumer said. “You may remember — the neocons helped push Iraq — and Hagel was one of the first Republicans to say Iraq wasn’t working. And he was right. But that’s where it’s coming from.”
Ah, yes, the evil neocons. Isn’t that a derogatory code word for a particular religious minority group?
About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.
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