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George Soros on AIPAC

George Soros has written an excellent article in the New York Review of Books, “On Israel, America and AIPAC.” He calls on Israel and the US to deal with Hamas. He says:

AIPAC’s mission is to ensure American support for Israel but in recent years it has overreached itself. It became closely allied with the neocons and was an enthusiastic supporter of the invasion of Iraq. It actively lobbied for the confirmation of John Bolton as US ambassador to the United Nations. It continues to oppose any dialogue with a Palestinian government that includes Hamas. More recently, it was among the pressure groups that prevailed upon the Democratic House leadership to drop the requirement that the President obtain congressional approval before taking military action against Iran. AIPAC under its current leadership has clearly exceeded its mission, and far from guaranteeing Israel’s existence, has endangered it.

He takes on the American Jewish Committee’s attacks on critics of Israel, which were praised by Bill Clinton, as I noted earlier. On behalf of the AJC, Alvin Rosenfeld attacks as anti-Semites Jews such as Tony Judt and Richard Cohen, and gentiles as well. Soros says:

Whether the Democratic Party can liberate itself from AIPAC’s influence is highly doubtful. Any politician who dares to expose AIPAC’s influence would incur its wrath; so very few can be expected to do so. It is up to the American Jewish community itself to rein in the organization that claims to represent it. But this is not possible without first disposing of the most insidious argument put forward by the defenders of the current policies: that the critics of Israel’s policies of occupation, control, and repression on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem and Gaza engender anti-Semitism.

The opposite is the case. One of the myths propagated by the enemies of Israel is that there is an all-powerful Zionist conspiracy. That is a false accusation. Nevertheless, that AIPAC has been so successful in suppressing criticism has lent some credence to such false beliefs. Demolishing the wall of silence that has protected AIPAC would help lay them to rest. A debate within the Jewish community, instead of fomenting anti-Semitism, would only help diminish it.

Hooray for Soros! I don’t know that it will have much effect. It’s interesting that Bill Clinton is already undermining Soros, who has been one of the main benefactors of the Democratic Party through and other contributions. So, Soros‘ concern about whether the Democratic Party can liberate itself from AIPAC is well founded.

AIPAC supporters are already returning fire, see for example this article in Forward.

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