AIPAC's Heavy Hand
03.19.2007 05:59 | DISPATCHES
On March 13 Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic leadership deleted a provision from the Supplemental Appropriations bill which forbade funds for military operations against Iran unless authorized by Congress.
On her Iran Nuclear Watch blog, Cara Ong wrote: "The move, not so coincidentally, coincides with AIPAC's annual conference, which Ms. Pelosi addressed. . . [but] Congressional sources say she is attempting to finesse the move by saying that the language will be placed in some other piece of legislation." Congressional Quarterly, as quoted by ThinkProgress, reported that she "quietly promised Appropriations Committee Democrats that she would soon bring the measure up as a stand-alone bill.
"The Democratic Speaker of the House feels compelled to stealth-legislate. Hillary Clinton, The New York Times reports, finds herself emphasizing, during the March 12 reception she gave at the conference, "as she has before, that 'no option is off the table' if a confrontation escalates with Iran."
The power of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee is awesome to behold. After the first Gulf War, Israel felt neglected because the US ignored its claims that Saddam Hussein was no danger. AIPAC then went into high lobbying gear to ensure it would always have the ear of the US in the future.
But who's its driving force advocating on Israel's behalf?
Back in June 2006, Michael Massing reviewed John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt's controversial article, "The Israel Lobby," for The New York Review of Books. In his piece, entitled "The Storm over the Israel Lobby," he revealed exactly who, at that time, determined AIPAC's agenda:
". . . power rests with the fifty-odd-member board of directors. . . corporate lawyers, Wall Street investors, business executives, and heirs to family fortunes. Within the board itself, power is concentrated in an extremely rich subgroup, known as the "minyan club." And, within that group, four members are dominant: Robert Asher, a retired lighting fixtures dealer in Chicago; Edward Levy, a building supplies executive in Detroit; Mayer "Bubba" Mitchell, a construction materials dealer in Mobile, Alabama; and Larry Weinberg, a real estate developer in Los Angeles [also known as the "Gang of Four"]."
There you have it -- the inner sanctum of ZOG (white power advocates' Zionist Occupied Government): a lighting fixtures dealer, a building supplies executive, a construction materials dealer, and a real estate developer (and his wife Barbi). Sorry, White Power. No wizened bankers, no Mossad types, no one-eyed veterans of the Stern Gang. Yet, by controlling the campaign-contribution purse strings, they strike fear into the hearts of Democrats, as well as Republicans.
Postscript: Gregory Leavey reports in Salon that, at the policy conference, "No AIPAC leaders mentioned war with Iran in the speeches, receptions or panel discussions" he attended. "At times this put them at odds with the grass-roots delegates; Marvin Feuer, AIPAC's director of policy and government affairs, was verbally attacked by a conference attendee as 'weak' when he downplayed military options against Iran during a Q&A session."
In a surprise move, AIPAC has, instead, thrown its weight behind severe sanctions in order to "put crippling economic pressure on the Islamic republic" in hopes of forcing a regime change. At least, it's better than bombing.