Soros: AIPAC is Hurting Jews & Israel's Prospects for Peace

In the NY Times Review of Books, Geroge Soros writes,

AIPAC is protected not only by the fear of personal retaliation but also by a genuine concern for the security and survival of Israel. Both considerations have a solid foundation in reality. The same two factors were at play in the United States after September 11 when President Bush declared war on terror. For eighteen months thereafter it was considered unpatriotic to criticize his policies. That is what allowed him to commit one of the greatest blunders in American history, the invasion of Iraq. But at that time the threat to our national security was greatly exaggerated by the Bush administration. Condoleezza Rice and Vice President Dick Cheney went so far as to warn that the threat would manifest itself in the form of a mushroom cloud. In the case of Israel today the threat to national security, even national survival, is much more real. Israel needs the support of the United States more than ever. Is this the right time to expose AIPAC’s heavy influence in American politics? I believe this consideration holds back many people who are critical of the way AIPAC conducts its business. While the other architects of the Bush administration’s failed policies have been relentlessly exposed, AIPAC continues to be surrounded by a wall of silence.
I am not insensitive to this argument. It has held me back from criticizing Israeli policies in the past. I am not a Zionist, nor am I am a practicing Jew, but I have a great deal of sympathy for my fellow Jews and a deep concern for the survival of Israel. I did not want to provide fodder to the enemies of Israel. I rationalized my position by saying that if I wanted to voice critical views, I ought to move to Israel. But since there were many Israelis who held such views my voice was not needed, and I had many other battles to fight.
But now I have to ask the question: How did Israel become so endangered? I cannot exempt AIPAC from its share of the responsibility.

Read on…

7 thoughts on “Soros: AIPAC is Hurting Jews & Israel's Prospects for Peace

  1. Angst about Israel’s survival, imo, is often a deflective concern, a bizarro-attempt at ignoring the real problem of our community: lack of chesed to the outsider in our midst.
    While viewing the practices of Israeli Jews at check-points, patrols, and various other bureaucratic-civil functions that deal with their Arabic brethren, one might never know that our faith is centered and geared towards service towards this world’s beleaguered, oppressed and down-trodden. One would never know from such a perspective the purpose of our synthetic nation-of-ethics.
    Any org, or individual, that ignores this fact is anti-Holy.
    And you don’t need to be “Observant”, just reasoned and moral, to see that fact embodied in present-day-Israel, or even Jews at large.
    The survival of Jews, and Israel, depends upon our realization of this situation. To ignore it is to ignore our eventual demise as a moral community, quickly transformingi nto a selfish, degenerative nation embodying anti-Holiness on a pathological level rarely seen on our planet.

  2. “the most insidious argument put forward by the defenders of the current policies: that the critics of Israel’s policies of occupation, control, and repression on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem and Gaza engender anti-Semitism.”
    this anti-Zionism = anti-Semitism thing has come full circle. now anti-Zionists can get away with some of the laziest arguments ever simply by pre-empting the anti-Semitism charge. classic strawman.
    Example: “now I’ll prolly be called an anti-Semite, but Israel should give up it’s Jewish identity and embrace the Hamas-led state on its border while they’re at it, etc, blah blah blah…”
    Sore-ass: you may not be an anti-Semite, but that doesn’t mean what you have to say about Israel is in any way helpful or important.

  3. Rob writes of “the real problem of our community: lack of chesed to the outsider in our midst.”
    He’s right, but the problem is even deeper It is not just a matter of ignoring the immoral ethos of the occupation. In my experience, if one is trying to show why continued rule over another people is not in Israel’s interests, a surefire way to alienate many Jews –especially Diaspora Jews– is to mention the “M” word. Morality is perceived as a value for suckers, for the naive.
    It’s one thing to discuss the demographic dangers of the occupation, or the dangers to Jewish democracy, or security issues. Those topics are within the realm of acceptable discourse. Not the M word. Not the way soldiers behave at checkpoints…
    How did morality become an emblem of weakness instead of a sign of strength?

  4. I think I missed something, other than being a fat cat billionaire who made much of his fortune speculating in the currency markets, why is Soros worth listening to?

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