Saturday, March 17, 2007

Interesting look at Cheney at AIPAC

There are many views of the Jewish lobby in the US.

TO some they are a secret government. To some a good friend to the US. To some meddlesome and narrow minded.

Many views, some more paranoid than others.

But it is here, and through the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, we have a view of this lobby bloc.

AIPAC has had it's annual conference in Washington. Many luminaries appeared and talked.

Informed Comment looks at some of the reactions to one speaker in particular, Dick Cheney, the US's Veep. From one participant:
I was one of the reporters noting the relatively cool reception for Cheney's remarks, an impression I confirmed later in extensive conversations at the conference. (Similar accounts appeared in Ha'aretz, the Forward and the Jerusalem Post.) There were whole chunks of the Iraq portion of Cheney's Iraq speech that were met with silence - even the clear applause cues. And those portions that were applauded never got even half the hall; I saw most of the hall seated, arms crossed at those times. The boos for Pelosi, by the way, came AFTER she got cheered for her call for a withdrawal. I.e. applause, cheers and then a few scattered boos. The cheers for Pelosi's Iraq withdrawal call, it must be said, were basically polite - not at all overwhelming; but the boos were even weaker. . .

The Israeli/Jewish lobby is not all that gung ho over Iraq. I wonder how keyed up they are about Iran? I mean, the loud mouth in charge is saying nasty stuff, but I wonder if they have worries about how much worse an expanding war near them will make things.

Maybe they could go and talk to the Israeli government, and lobby them a bit.

Juan Cole has more about the American Jewish community and how strongly it is really backing Israel's gambits.
For another examination of differences within the Jewish community over issues like military aggression toward Iran, see this piece in the American Conservative. The article looks at the emerging liberal Jewish blogosphere that is unafraid to acknowledge and challenge the influence of the Israel lobby.37% of American Jews don't feel a strong connection to Israel, and many are uncomfortable with Israeli policies such as Alison Weir reveals on Israeli strip-searches of Palestinian women and children.

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