They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel's Lobby

They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel's Lobby

They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel's Lobby

They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel's Lobby

Synopsis

The first book to speak out against the pervasive influence of the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on American politics, policy, and institutions resonates today as never before. With careful documentation and specific case histories, former congressman Paul Findley demonstrates how the Israel lobby helps to shape important aspects of U. S. foreign policy and influences congressional, senatorial, and even presidential elections. Described are the undue influence AIPAC exerts in the Senate and the House and the pressure AIPAC brings to bear on university professors and journalists who seem too sympathetic to Arab and Islamic states and too critical of Israel and its policies. Along with many longtime outspoken critics, new voices speaking out include former President Jimmy Carter, U. S. Representative Cynthia McKinney, Senator Robert Byrd, prominent Arab-American Dr. Ziad Asali, Rabbi Michael Lerner, and journalist Charles Reese. In addition, the lack of open debate among politicians with regard to the U. S. policy in the Middle East is lamented, and AIPAC is blamed in part for this censorship. Connections are drawn between America's unconditional support of Israel and the raging anti-American passions around the world- and ultimately the tragic events of 9/11. This replaces 1556520735.

Excerpt

Shortly after World War II, a small band of United States partisans for Israel marshaled self-discipline and commitment so effectively that they succeeded in ending free and open debate in America whenever Middle East issues are considered.

Their primary goal was to assure broad, substantial, unconditional, and ultimately blind support for Israel by the U.S. government. in seeking that goal, these partisans forced a severe anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bias into U.S. Middle East policy that has since raised costly economic, political, and military barriers to the American national interest. the most harmful part of this process was the disappearance of unfettered discussion of the United States’ relationship to the Arab-Israeli conflict. These biases and restrictions, though unwritten, are as effective as if they had been carved in stone. Even in the legislative chambers on Capitol Hill, the nation’s highest and most hallowed halls of debate, discussion on the Middle East is virtually nonexistent.

In a 1983 interview for the first edition of this book, the late I. F. ”Izzy” Stone, a widely respected author, commentator, and self-styled radical, told me why many of his fellow Jews work so aggressively to stifle free speech. He explained that, because Jews in Israel seem constantly at war with Arabs, Jews in America feel that they are in the same war. To them, free speech is a luxury that can be sacrificed where debate might weaken U.S. support for an Israel at war. Stone summed it up, ”When people are at war, it is normal for civil liberties to suffer.” As long as Israel is at war, most U.S. Jews “feel they have to fight and keep fighting.” Nowhere has this been more obvious than in Israel’s postSeptember 11 incursions into the occupied territories.

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