Countries:
Israel, Lebanon
Candidates:
Barack Obama
Issues:
International Relations
 

The Greek newspaper, Avriani, ran the following headline:

“The anticipated victory of Obama in US elections signals …the end of the Jewish domination - Everything changes in USA and we hope that it will be more democratic and humane”.

Jewish groups were in uproar yesterday, as expected, with this in Haaretz.

As usual, the Jewish groups have labelled the Greek newspaper, Avriani, anti-Semitic.

I have interpreted the Avriani headline as a reference to the reality of AIPAC, and its stifling influence on Capitol Hill. The ADL themselves don't deny the lobbying power of AIPAC.

AIPAC have prevented the US from pursuing an even-handed approach in the Middle East, which has resulted in not only the blind backing of Israel's apartheid policies and the invasion of Iraq, but the continuous support of repressive Arab regimes who commit human rights violations on a daily basis.

The reality of the Middle East would be starkly different if US foreign policy resembled something akin to a Hollywood movie.

AIPAC, other right-wing Jewish and Christian hawk groups, have been so adamant in the pursuit of their interests that they have pushed the US to implement policies that do not mirror even its own interests.

By no means has the US approach to the Middle East been “democratic” and “humane”, and much credit can be attributed to AIPAC for that. The Middle East conflict would be over in a heart beat if the Americans had the ability to be objective.

If this is what Avriani is referring to, then they are not far from the truth.

The two errors Avriani have made are:

1. Wrongly lobbing all American Jews in the same category of AIPAC by blankly referring to it as “Jewish domination”. Critics of AIPAC need to be precise. It is AIPAC's domination of Capitol Hill, not necessarily Jewish domination. Whilst most pro-Israel movements are made up of Jews, there is a substantial number of American Jews disenchanted by Israel's policies and AIPAC's goals. According to Ralph Nader, the majority of American Jews oppose AIPAC's policies.

2. AIPAC's domination is far from over. I'm not sure how they have come to that conclusion. It makes absolutely no difference whether it's a Democrat, Republican, black or white man in office. AIPAC's influence is greater than the presidential seat, and if Obama's recent appointments are any indication, AIPAC isn't going anywhere.

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