Much ink has been spilled over AIPAC and how it seems to have a stranglehold on American foreign policy. AIPAC claims that it “…works with both Democratic and Republican political leaders to enact public policy that strengthens the vital U.S.-Israel relationship.” It should be fairly obvious, even to a casual observer, that AIPAC’s goals are not so much to foster a “vital U.S.-Israel relationship” as to strengthen Israel militarily and politically. Every one of the achievements that AIPAC boasts of is beneficial to Israel and in not a single case is it even claimed to strengthen the U.S. in any way. The fact that they even use the term “U.S.-Israel” – putting the U.S. first – is an insult to our intelligence and an obvious attempt to obfuscate the fact that they consider America as naught but a tool to advance the interests of Israel.
But there are some basic issues that many people overlook. Firstly, when AIPAC lobbies for Israel, it is actually lobbying for the government of Israel. I do not believe that the government of Israel represents the best interests of the Israeli people much more than the government of the U.S. represents the best interests of the American people (or whatever is left of it). It is true that, in some cases, the policies of Israel’s leaders happen to correspond to the wishes of a majority of Israel’s people. But even when this is so, it does not mean that what they wish for is in their best interest. In some ways, the masses are like children; they need elites to make good decisions for them. This is one reason why pure democracy is such a bad idea. Is it really in the best interest of the Israeli people that their leaders force a matter that will ultimately alienate their strongest ally?
Even if the government of Israel, and by extension AIPAC, pursue policies that really are in the best interests of the people of Israel, American Jews should be asking whether those interests necessarily coincide with the best interests of American Jews. For too long it has been assumed that whatever is best for Israeli Jews is also best for American Jews. One can easily imagine a scenario where perceived allegiance to a foreign power leads to a rise in anti-Jewish sentiment in the U.S. One can also imagine increased awkwardness or danger to American Jews traveling abroad because of this. It might be asked if it is in the interest of American Jews (and gentiles) to pay more in taxes in order to support a foreign government. Ultimately we should be asking if it is in our best interest to risk involvement in unnecessary wars as a result of an unnaturally strong alliance between the U.S. and Israel. How many American Jews would be willing to have their sons and daughters die in such wars? If they are so willing, let them volunteer their own sons and daughters; they have no right to sacrifice the sons and daughters of other Jews – let alone the sons and daughters of gentiles.
AIPAC stands for “The American Israel Public Affairs Committee”. Presumably most of their members are American. As such, I don’t think it is too much to ask of them that they put their own country first. As it stands, they are careful to put American first only on the most superficial level: when they must decide which word to type first. Beyond that, it is always Israel first. When proud Mexicans fly the Mexican flag in the U.S., we tell them to return to Mexico if they love it so much. The same should be said to AIPAC. If they love Israel so much, let them move there and support it the honest way, by serving in its military, building its industry, educating its children and contributing to its general well being. To remain in the U.S. and lobby so that our government can extort our hard-earned money is a sleazy, underhanded and parasitic way to support a foreign country. It pains me that their methods now serve as a model for other nationalities. Each nation now sends its citizens to our shores so that they can proceed to vote to rob us of yet more of our earnings to support their home countries. Meanwhile, we increasingly resemble cattle that are exploited by our government for those other nations, our own home-grown kleptocrats and, ultimately, the vast international corporations that are intertwined with all the above.