Letter to the NY Times:
I served on one of Aipac’s committees for more than 20 years when I headed two national American Jewish organizations, the Synagogue Council of America and the American Jewish Congress.
Since the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s creation in 1951, when it was headed by Isaiah L. Kenen, the organization was referred to by everyone in the Jewish community as “the Jewish lobby for Israel.” And to this day, Jewish establishment organizations constitute virtually Aipac’s entire organizational membership.
The suggestion by some senators and conservative groups opposed to former Senator Chuck Hagel’s nomination as defense secretary that his reference to Aipac as “the Jewish lobby” is “hurtful to Jews,” as reported in a Jan. 8 news article, is not only untrue but also a cynical exploitation of the issue of anti-Semitism for the narrowest political purposes.
That said, “the Jewish lobby” may indeed be the wrong name for Aipac and its satellites. Senator Hagel’s skepticism of military solutions to all problems resonates far more authentically prophetic Jewish values than the reflexive support offered by the Israel lobby to the most extreme militaristic policies of this Israeli government.
President, U.S.-Middle East Project
New York, Jan. 8, 2013
And Mondoweiss recalls this from four years ago in the Israel newspaper Haaretz:
Every appointee to the American government must endure a thorough background check by the American Jewish community. E