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On Syria, AIPAC, The 800 Pound Gorilla, Risks Looking Like A Chimp ! | MJ Rosenberg

On Syria, AIPAC, The 800 Pound Gorilla, Risks Looking Like A Chimp! | MJ Rosenberg
http://mjayrosenberg.com/2013/09/07/on-syria-aipac-the-800-pound-gorilla-risks-looking-like-a-chimp

I called a friend on Capitol Hill to refresh my memory about what the AIPAC push is going to look like:

First come the phone calls from constituents who are AIPAC members. They know the Congressman and are nice and friendly and just tell him, or whichever staffer the constituent knows, just how important this vote is to him and his friends back in the district.

Then the donors call. The folks who have hosted fundraisers. They are usually not only from the district but from New York or LA or Chicago. They repeat the message: this vote is very important.

Contrary to what you might expect, they do not mention campaign money. They don’t have to. Because these callers are people who only know the Congressman through their checks, the threat not to write any more of them is implicit. Like the constituents, the donors are using AIPAC talking points which are simple and forceful. You can argue with them but they keep going back to the script. Did I mention the rabbis? We only have a few in our district but we get calls from all of them and from other rabbis from around the state.

Then there are the AIPAC lobbyists, the professional staffers. They come in, with or without appointments. If the Congressman is in, they expect to see him immediately. If not, they will see a staffer. If they don’t like what they hear, they will keep coming back. They are very aggressive, no other lobby comes close, They expect to see the Member, not mere staff.

Then there are the emails driven by the AIPAC website, the editorials in the one Jewish newspaper we have in our state. And then the “Dear Colleague” letters from Jewish House members saying how important the vote is for Israel and America. They also will buttonhole the Members on the House floor. Because my boss is not Jewish, he tends to defer to his Jewish colleagues. It is like they are the experts on this. And, truth be told, all the senior Jewish Members of the House are tight with AIPAC. Also, the two biggest AIPAC enforcers, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and his Democatic counterpart, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, are fierce AIPAC partisans, and they make sure to seek out Members on the floor to tell them how they must vote. On anything related to Israel, they speak in one voice: AIPAC’s.

Pretty intimidating, no?

Obviously no one on the peace side has resources like this.

And that is why AIPAC should win. If it doesn’t and if the Members of Congress who voted “no” are re-elected anyway, then the #1 tool AIPAC has going for it will be broken. That is the belief that it is invincible because of the campaign donations its directs both to those who support it and to defeat those who don’t.

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