Photo Credit: Haim Zach / GPO
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the AIPAC Conference in Washington DC, March 6, 2018

Americans for Peace Now (APN) on Wednesday launched an online petition calling on the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) to “condemn and disinvite Netanyahu.”

“Benjamin Netanyahu has forged an alliance with racists,” states the petition, adding, “AIPAC should condemn him, not make him a featured speaker at its policy conference.”

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Earlier this month, AIPAC issued a statement supporting the American Jewish Committee (AJC), condemning the Prime Minister for his role in forging a technical alliance between Habayit Hayehudi and National Union and Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power). Netanyahu’s stated goal in this move was to prevent the loss of right-wing Jewish votes should these parties fail to cross the 3.25% vote threshold.

AJC stated that it “does not normally comment on political parties and candidates during elections, but the views of Otzma Yehudit are reprehensible.”

APN, which, like J Street, are beyond the AIPAC pale, is trying to cash in on AIPAC’s and AJC’s decision to get involved in Israeli’s elections, a move which has been criticized by members of its own right flank. Its petition reminds signers that “AIPAC recently condemned Otzma Yehudit as a ‘racist and reprehensible party’ with which AIPAC has a ‘longstanding policy not to meet.’ The very next day, AIPAC announced it was ‘honored’ to host Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the man whose efforts likely will result in this vile party gaining representation in the Knesset.”

At which point APN attempts rather crudely to enlist the Jewish-American lobby in an all-out assault on the Jewish State:

“If AIPAC wants to stand against Kahanists being mainstreamed into Israeli political life, it will need to repudiate the man responsible for bringing them in. Don’t let Netanyahu use AIPAC’s podium to send a pre-election message to Israelis that pro-Israel Americans tolerate normalizing racists.”

All of which should teach both AIPAC and AJC a lesson about diverting their lobbying efforts from Washington DC to Jerusalem. They should heed the advice of Itamar Ben-Gvir, an Otzma leader, who said that AIPAC should not get involved in Israeli elections, make Aliyah instead and, once they live in Israel, express their opinions and participate in Israel’s elections directly.

As of Thursday morning, the APN petition has been signed by 1,038 individuals.

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