” A third area which has often not been fully understood has been Israel’s calculated cultivation of evangelical Protestant pastors in the US, based on the recognition that where the pastors led, their flocks would mostly follow, and with them both money for Israel and votes on Israel’s behalf. Here the hydra-headed Jewish lobby (principally the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, of which the aforementioned AIPAC is only one of forty-nine members) has been exceptionally successful. Money, material gifts, honors and awards, and all-expense-paid trips to the Holy Land for pastors and their spouses have reaped extremely high benefits, culminating in the million-plus member CUFI (Christians United for Israel) and the near-unanimous support of evangelical Protestants for Israel and its causes, a major force within the US generally and a significant force in the state and national Republican Party specifically, which elected politicians defy at their mortal electoral peril. Seeing both US and Israeli flags flown together on the grounds of many evangelical Protestant churches speaks volumes.
Finally, there is the leverage in Washington of AIPAC, reinforced now by a growing number of PACs (Political Action Committees) and the so-called “Super PACs,” freed by a 2010 US Supreme Court decision (Citizens United) from any constraints on the size of their donations to favored elected officials or their rivals. It is the function of lobbies everywhere to promise, reward, threaten and/or punish, depending on the positions taken by elected officials and their campaigns, and AIPAC and its allies perform this function with exceptional success. It helps greatly that they have a single purpose and keep their attention on that purpose, which is to endorse whatever Israel does or wants, no matter what its effect on the US as a country or the American public as a whole. And these people – in or out of the US Government – have had no qualms about spending American lives and treasure in Israel’s interest, always with the proviso that they themselves stay well out of harm’s way personally.
The Zionist Medusa
The net result of this growingly effective and concerted effort over four generations has been to have a Medusa-like effect on any serious discussion about Israel or debate on US support for Israel. Attempts to address openly Israeli transgressions in the press or the public forums are invariably stillborn or muted by an inability to reach the American people, combined with obstacles and assaults from almost-uniformly hostile elected politicians, multimedia press, and mostly Protestant pulpits. Lawsuits and character assassination are the rule. Even those attempting to criticize individual Israeli actions are effectively compelled to do so while loudly proclaiming their support for that Jewish state, or do so because they are essentially part of Israel’s “loyal opposition” – faithful to the state of Israel but worried about its tactics and image. True critics of Israel simply do not get elected or appointed any more, anywhere at the national level in the US.
This has given AIPAC and its friends de facto control of the Congress (witness the twenty-nine standing ovations accorded to Israeli prime minister Netanyahu last year), and especially of the appointments process, the outcome of the Hagel confirmation battle notwithstanding. I cannot recall the last time a prominent member of the Congress – either house, either party or an independent – flatly condemned any Israeli action. It must be so difficult for Israelis, being so pure of heart and perfect in deed, that open criticism of them is politically unthinkable, and any that does occur can only be grounded in anti-Semitism and a lurking wish for genocide – or so they and their lobbies here would have the rest of us believe.
The executive branch is no better off. So many key appointments in the West Wing, the National Security Council, and the Departments of State & Defense (just for openers) are filled by AIPAC protégés or their “fellow travelers.” Even the Obama administration, supposedly so hostile to Israel, counted in its ranks in January 2009 Jews as chief of staff to the President, the First Lady and the Vice President – surely something other than random selection. And candidates for the presidency make what have become obligatory appearances before AIPAC conferences, pledging their support for Israel, and then compete with one another for Jewish monetary and media support. Romney in 2012 was only slightly more obsequious to Israel than his counterparts, while Obama used “no light between us” and “walking in lock-step” so often to characterize the US-Israel relationship that one would have thought his speechwriters were Israelis – and not just their anointed handlers here. Eisenhower and Kennedy must be turning over in their graves.”