http://www.americamagazine.org/gettext. ... ssueID=498
"America Magazine~The National Catholic Weekly
Criticism of AIPAC Is Not Anti-Semitism
By Michael Lerner
When hundreds of supporters of the Tikkun community from over 200 Congressional districts walked the halls of Congress in the spring of 2003 and again in 2004, urging a new “middle path” for U.S. Middle East policy that would be both pro-Israel and pro-Palestine, our elected leaders frequently gave us variants of the following response: “We agree with you that supporting Ariel Sharon’s policies has been a disaster for the United States, increasing the anger toward us of Arab countries and making it easier for extremists to turn disaffected Arab youth into terrorists who will fight both Israel and the United States. Yet we dare not say this in public for fear that Aipac [the American Israel Political Affairs Committee] and its supporters will label us anti-Israel and make our re-election to Congress problematic.”
While Aipac itself does not directly engage in electoral politics, a loosely associated group of political action committees and Jewish newspapers take their lead from Aipac, and these have been responsible for orchestrated—and mostly successful—campaigns to unseat anyone Aipac labels anti-Israel. So, meeting with a group of five Congressional representatives, I was told that they each believed that the content of that very meeting would be known by Aipac in 24 hours and that they were fearful of the impact.
Fear of Aipac shapes political decision making and may have played a central role in the recent 400-to-7 vote in favor of a House resolution backing Ariel Sharon’s deal with President George W. Bush to withdraw from Gaza in exchange for building a wall through the middle of the West Bank, the very land whose future was supposed to be the topic of negotiations between Israel and Palestine.
With the perception of its power so great, it is no wonder that the recent revelation that the F.B.I. is investigating the possibility of Aipac’s involvement in a case of espionage, in which vital U.S. secrets were given to the Israeli government by powerful neo-con-linked officials of the Defense Department, has generated cries of outrage and threats that it will be the F.B.I., not Aipac, that gets investigated by the U.S. House of Representatives. How dare anyone question Aipac?
Not surprisingly, the Jewish establishment organizations are lining up behind Aipac and not too subtly rolling out the traditional big guns by suggesting that the accusations themselves might be motivated by anti-Semitism. Aipac and a variety of closely linked Jewish organizations regularly use the anti-Semitism card to attack anyone who dares criticize the occupation of the West Bank. Increasingly dominated by Jewish neo-cons and their worldview, the Jewish establishment has moved far to the right in the past two decades, spurred in part by Aipac’s powerful impact...."