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Comment by Juan Cole Oct 1 2005
[...] One thing must be said, which is that there is no sinister cabal, that all this is just single-interest politics. The American system is one of checks and balances, and takes it for granted that there will be lobbies on both sides of an issue. But because there are no wealthy, organized, well-connected lobbies on the other side of AIPAC or the Cuban-American National Foundation (e.g.), US government policy ends up being unbalanced and often irrational on those issues. And, AIPAC functions as a foreign agent in the US without having to register as such, and some of its major officers clearly have been deeply involved in espionage for Israel for years. The last two points are uncontestable.
Is this really a situation that serves the American people? Franklin, the "go-to" man at the Pentagon for then Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, was trying to get up a US war against Iran, and was soliciting AIPAC's help. We already know that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has tried as hard as he could to get the US into a war against Tehran.
Do the rest of us, who already have one military occupation of a Middle Eastern country we're not comfortable with, have any say at all in this? Don't we need a PAC for Middle East Peace that could begin offsetting AIPAC, the War PAC? If the pro-Israeli lobby or the Israeli prime minister want wars in the Middle East, why don't they fight them themselves? By the way, AIPAC has for several years been attempting to get Congress to pass a law that would put it in charge of the Middle East professors, like myself, and in a position to punish our universities financially if any of us criticize it or Israeli policy. The most dangerous thing about key elements of the Zionist lobby is that they really do want to gut the US First Amendment when it comes to Israeli interests.
I hope everyone who reads this will consider writing their Congressional representatives and senators and asking them to work to see that AIPAC is made to register as the agent of a foreign power, given the repeated pattern whereby it acts as such. [...]