The Yearly Anti-AIPAC Side Show

26 03 2016


Anti-AIPAC Old Folk Gather Again in DC

A very incestuous bunch once again last week got together in Washington to regurgitate their mantras about AIPAC and Israel.  It was the now annual get together of a crowd that is more reminiscent of an old age home than a serious political movement — lots of gray hairs with a sprinkling (quite few) of students and interns.   For months in fact the groups known as WRMEA and IRmep and CNI had been emailing over and over all their friends and quite literally everyone they know after some 30 years and multi-millions spent on organizing around their single issue.  In the end maybe 250 people showed up for the event which, to be realpolitik about it, probably has more negative than positive political impact.

What they have to say is not the problem.   That is pretty much on target when it comes to AIPAC and what Israel has done to the Palestinians.  It’s the fact that this little group’s extreme weakness in both numbers and follow-up simply says to those they oppose there is nothing to worry about, these guys haven’t got a clue how to have any impact and never will.

Below is what I wrote about last year’s gathering.   But this year was actually worse!  First of all not a single mention of the Saudis.   The organizers continually condemn the Israelis but never even mention the Saudis who are now closely aligned with their nemesis, the Jewish State!   And of course they hide the reason which is that years ago the Saudis established all of these groups (via then Ambassador Prince Bandar) and the Saudis remain their benefactors through various cut-outs, in effect paying them hush money to overlook their dastardly tyrannical ways and everything else that is going on in the Middle East.   And second of all, believe it or not, the one overly current politics speaker they gave the stage pushed them to support Trump!

 Here’s what I wrote last year:  

They’ve spent decades being pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel yet they still have so little impact in Washington.  This despite ever more outrageous and alienating Israeli policies.

Once again they gathered last Friday at the National Press Club last under the banners of a magazine known as Washington Report on Middle East Affairs and an associated one-man anti-AIPAC research organization known as IRMEP (Institute for Research Middle East Policy).

By Washington standards it was a tiny little affair even after all these years of effort — just a few hundred, about half gray-haired retired folk.    Even though they had emailed for weeks everyone they knew and offered journalists and students free admission and lunch very few came.   As is the usual for this group it was a very incestuous, not-much-credibility,  true-believers kind of thing.

Many of the speakers however were quite good actually.     But even so nearly all dealt with history and dry facts, nearly all of which information is easily available to anyone who googles their names.   Hardly anyone had anything to advocate about what  could and should be done, and there was no action plan at all.    But then that’s what retired folk and aging academics do —  they reminisce,  attend reunions, and go to church.