AIPAC Is Playing The Victim, But It’s Palestinians Who Are Being Silenced
So far, the theme of AIPAC’s 2019 Policy Conference has been peril, not just to Israel, but to AIPAC itself. AIPAC’s CEO accused unnamed critics of “trying to silence each of us.” AIPAC President Mort Fridman declared that, “none of us are willing to be silenced.” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer warned of forces that seek “to silence others through exclusion, disenfranchisement, or fear.”
On its face, this is odd. No American politician has suggested that AIPAC be prevented from holding conferences or advocating positions or that it face any restrictions that wouldn’t apply to other lobbies. At the same conference where AIPAC’s leaders claim that their rights to freely speak and assemble are in danger, those leaders will in the coming days host the Vice President and the leaders of both parties in both houses of Congress.
Yes, one freshman member of congress, Ilhan Omar, has suggested, flippantly, that AIPAC wields power because its supporters give politicians money, which is true but incomplete: AIPAC also wields power because of a strong cultural, ideological and religious affinity for Israel, particularly on the right.