November 22, 2006
An AIPAC ‘stranglehold’ on US foreign policy? Huh?
(Page 2 - Previous Page)And don't think for a moment that the United States won't play rough with Israel. During the first Gulf War, concerned that any Israeli retaliation for the Scud terror missile attacks would jeopardize the U.S-Arab coalition, the State Department "urged" Israel to sit it out, even though it had been repeatedly attacked.
To bring the point home, the Americans made clear that unless Israel played ball, they would stop sharing the crucial "friend-or-foe" code information, which would have resulted in the downing of Israeli planes going near the war zone, no matter how many missiles Saddam fired at the Jewish state. That's what I call the hardest of hardball.
There is no question that AIPAC and the pro-Israel community are highly visible and can muster impressive displays of support, most notably on Capitol Hill. And it's no secret that their activists are sophisticated political players who have been instrumental in election defeats for politicians who had been hostile to Israel. But that is a far, far cry from proving that we have a "stranglehold" on American foreign policy. If we did, the above cited examples (and there are more of them) would have ended much differently.
Neal M. Sher, a New York attorney, is former executive director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and former director of the Justice Department's Office of Special Investigations.
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