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Monday, March 04, 2013

Speaking of the anti-Israel lobby...

A group called the 'US campaign to end the Israeli occupation' is dragging the ad above around Washington DC this week, following delegates from the AIPAC convention as they attempt to lobby Congress.
“At a time when the sequester is cutting billions of dollars from programs to help those in need, it is grotesque that AIPAC is lobbying Congress this week for ever-increasing amounts of military aid to Israel, especially as these U.S. weapons are used by Israel—in violation of U.S. laws—to abuse Palestinian human rights,” stated Josh Ruebner, National Advocacy Director of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

A three-day mobile truck ad has been tasked with following AIPAC attendees during their conference as they lobby Members of Congress for more weapons for Israel.

But, the ad show, planned to be showcased on Monday, will be set up at three Washington D.C Metro train platforms looks at the U.S. budgetary trade-offs taking place at the expense of the country’s local community needs.

“We see visual media as an essential tool in communicating marginalized social justice issues to a mainstream audience. We hope that this ad campaign will spur U.S. taxpayers to question more actively where their money is being spent at such a critical time,” said Ahmad Barclay, Lead Information Architect with Visualizing Palestine.


AIPAC’s conference will focus instead on pushing for a Congressional legislation that would designate Israel as a “major strategic ally” of the United States. If enacted and adopted, the legislation will give Israel a status that no other nation on earth enjoys with America.

It is also reported that the legislation will make it easy for Israel to obtain a U.S. approval for a strike against Iran.
I doubt that any legislation is going to make it 'easy' to obtain a green light for a strike on Iran. Congress isn't the commander in chief of the US armed forces, and an order to stand down (or not stand down) in the face of an Israeli attack against Iran would not come from Congress. Moreover, it's no secret that the US can do a far better job of destroying Iran's nuclear capability than we can, and the hope here is that the US will do so, because it's in the US's interest to do so.

As to the major strategic ally status, I could not find this anywhere online, but if I recall correctly, Menachem Begin raised the issue with Ronald Reagan 30 years ago, so it's not exactly new. 

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