According to Open Secrets, last year the American Israel Public Affairs Committee spent $3.5 million lobbying members of Congress. Open Secrets notes that “Few lobbies dedicated to international issues are so active and well-financed as the Israel lobby.”
This is a powerful lobby, yet it’s necessary for them to attack — indeed, to destroy, if possible — one 37-year-old Somali-American Muslim woman, Ilhan Omar, U.S. representative for Minnesota. (Her official House portrait is above; she is only one of two Muslim women who ever have been elected to Congress [and both of them were just elected in November!].*)
Omar recently tweeted, in talking about AIPAC’s influence over Congress, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby.” Yes, $3.5 million is a lot of Benjamins ($100 bills), baby.
It’s just a fucking fact that for years and years now, the Israel-first lobby has given a lot of money to members of Congress from both parties.
The Washington Post notes that “AIPAC, which is not a political action committee, does not make campaign contributions to politicians, but its individual members can make donations, and the organization spends millions on lobbying efforts for pro-Israel legislation every year.”
Salon.com quotes former U.S. Rep. Brian Bard as having said, “Any member of Congress knows that AIPAC is associated indirectly with significant amounts of campaign spending if you’re with them, and significant amounts against you if you’re not with them.” (Indeed, to see who has received the most money from the Israel-first lobby, go here.)
Omar’s statement appears to be unflattering but true, and I wholeheartedly agree with her later statement (which came with her apparent forced apology from the establishmentarian Democrats who never met a lobbyist whose ass they didn’t kiss and whose money they didn’t take), “At the same time, I reaffirm the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics, whether it be AIPAC, the NRA or the fossil fuel industry. It’s gone on too long and we must be willing to address it.”
Absolutely. But because Omar talked about the Israel-first lobby and money, you see, she was repeating the stereotype that Jews are money-grubbers (and/or are trying to control things with money, even though lobbying is all about trying to control things with money…). Therefore, she is an anti-Semite! So says the “offended,” pearl-clutching Israel-first lobby. (Uh-oh; I mentioned pearls and Israel in the same sentence; I’m an anti-Semite for sure!)
This is what I call political terrorism: Not just AIPAC’s and other lobbying groups’ tactic of giving your election opponent campaign cash if you don’t carry their water, but also the toxic identity politics, which isn’t about correcting an injustice, but which is using historical injustices to commit new injustices today, using one’s own vaunted “victimhood” status as cover for being an actual victimizer of others him- or herself.
Under toxic identity politics, if you disagree with what a female candidate or elected official has done or said, then you’re simply “sexist” or “misogynist.” If you disagree with what a non-white candidate or elected official has done or said, then you’re “racist.” If you disagree with what a Jewish person or group of persons has done or said, then you are an “anti-Semite.”
This is political terrorism because the definition of “terrorism” is “the use of violence or threat of violence in the pursuit of political, religious, ideological or social objectives.”
We too narrowly and too literally define “terrorism” as egregious shit such as blowing shit (or oneself) up or shooting people up with automatic assault weapons.
But “terror” means fear, and if you are using any type of fear to shut up another person, not only is that terrorism, but it’s a form of violence.
And not only is the individual to be terrorized (via public shaming/censure, via job loss, ostracism, perhaps even incarceration or hell, even execution, etc.), but that individual’s destruction of course is meant to be an example and a warning to others who might dare to open their mouths and say something that you don’t want them to say or to do something that you don’t want them to do because it threatens your undue political power.
And the Democratic Party establishment endorses — and practices — such political terrorism, which is one of the reasons that I am not a member of the Democratic Party.
It’s some fucked-up shit when one of the most powerful lobbies in the United States — which always claims victimhood status — orchestrates a national (even international) gang-bang on one young Muslim woman.
It’s sick. It’s shameful. It’s Islamophobic — and it’s actual Islamophobia, as opposed to the false, slanderous charges of “anti-Semitism” that so casually are tossed around.
And no, I don’t have a horse in this race. I’m not Christian, Jewish or Muslim. I don’t believe in God. (And all three of those religions have engaged in xenophobia, bigotry, violence, misogyny, patriarchy, homophobia, anti-intellectualism, etc. — all in the name of “God.”)
I don’t believe in God (who is just Santa Claus on crack), but I do believe in fairness and balance. I believe in facts, in reality.
I oppose corruption and I oppose the powerful routinely attacking the weaker but pretending to be the actual victims themselves.
And I oppose terrorism, not only in its most egregious forms, but in its commonly accepted forms that cause just as much damage to real human beings.
P.S. This morning on NPR I painfully listened to “Democratic” Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, in reaction to Ilhan Omar’s “anti-Semitism,” repeatedly state that the United States blindly (my word, not his) supporting Israel is in “our” “national security” interests. (It sure was an exercise in attempted propaganda if not in attempted hypnosis, hee hee hee…)
I don’t believe that propping up any right-wing government that routinely egregiously violates human rights is in the United States’ interests of any kind, and I note that in 2018, Gottheimer took almost $150,000 from the Israel-first lobby, ranking him at No. 6 in the House for taking money from that lobby. (Yes, dare I say, that’s a lot of Benjamins, baby! [Then-Rep. Beto O’Rourke, by the way, took more than $225,000, putting him at No. 1 in the House for accepting that dirty money.])
Gottheimer’s personal campaign coffers are equal to “our” “national security” interests, you see.
Whenever someone talks about “our national security interests,” really look at that.
If I’m fucking you over for my own personal gain, you see, in order for me to continue to be able to that, I have to claim, and hopefully convince you, that I’m actually benefiting you.
*Meanwhile, right now there are 28 Jewish members of the House of Representatives. The power dynamic between Jews and Muslims, here and abroad, always has been pretty fucking asymmetrical, yet Jews always are the “victims.”