Thursday, March 7, 2019
“It’s all about the Benjamins baby!”
It's true that AIPAC itself makes no political contributions: it merely "suggests" that favored candidates for office enjoy the largess of wealthy Jewish (and Evangelical) supporters – and those supporters write substantial checks to favored candidates and their superPACs. (I can't help thinking that part of the problem with Omar's remark was that "Benjamin" sounds like a Jewish name.) Pelosi forced an apology for that one, even though much of the uproar was motivated by prejudice against Muslims.
"Allegiance to a foreign country"
Dual loyalty is a "Jewish stereotype" that, frankly, I'd never heard of before. I do remember people questioning whether John F. Kennedy would be more loyal to the Constitution or the Pope, but somehow I missed the part about Jews and Israel. (Granted, my Hebrew school taught more Zionism than Hebrew, so I guess it's plausible.) Notwithstanding all that, "allegiance" was a very poor choice of words.
Congressional support for Israel, not limited to Jewish members, is more a conditioned response than a true allegiance. The US has supported Israel since 1948, usually with ample justification; but Netanyahu's Israel has become a different country. The Palestinian "territories" are governed like the bantustans of apartheid South Africa, and Bibi is forming political alliances with open racists — not just the closeted ones. This is happening with the encouragement and support of American conservatives, not all of whom are Jews.
The rebuke of Ilhan Omar seems to be intended as a warning to other young, progressive Democrats who might have the temerity to suggest American support for Israel might become a little more conditional. I hope they don't knuckle under: it really is time for a change.