Republican Congressman Exposes Powerful Israel Lobby's Bullying Tactics

In a rare act of courage by a serving congressman, Rep Thomas Massie of Kentucky has detailed strong-arm tactics of the Israel lobby to ensure unquestioning support for Israel. He said that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), also known as the Israel lobby, is unique in that it has designated representatives (Massie calls them "AIPAC persons") assigned to each Republican member of Congress to ensure the lawmakers vote for bills Israel supports. Massie has now banned his assigned  "AIPAC Person" from his office. 

In spite of working on behalf of a foreign government, "AIPAC persons" are not registered as foreign agents under FARA (Foreign Agents Registration Act). Others, such as Paul Manafort (working for Russia) and Ghulam Nabi Fai (representing Pakistan's interests), have been prosecuted, convicted and jailed for violating FARA. No other foreign country has such an organization focusing individually on each member of Congress. There is no British person or Russian person or Chinese person assigned to each member of Congress, Massie says.  He has so far defied and survived the onslaught of the Israel lobby which has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in attack ads against him to defeat him in his district. He won over 70% of the votes cast in the recent primary against his Republican challenger funded by AIPAC. Massie is a serious technology entrepreneur and a businessman. He is a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with several inventions to his credit. He is a libertarian who opposes all foreign aid to any country, not just Israel. 

Rep Thomas Massie (R-Ky)

When asked why other members of Congress do not talk about it, here's how Massie explained it to Tucker Carlson: "It doesn’t benefit anybody. Why would they want to tell their constituents that they’ve basically got a buddy system with somebody who’s representing a foreign country? It doesn’t benefit the congressman for people to know that. So they’re not going to tell you that".  

Massie said the current Congress has spent more time in support of Israel than on any other issues, including domestic issues, in the last year, raising the question as to who do these Congressmen really work for: the American people who sent them to Washington to solve their problems or a foreign government? 

Israel is the Largest Recipient of US Foreign Aid. Source: CFR


Massie cited several bills recently passed by the US Congress under pressure from AIPAC. Among them are billions of dollars in aid to Israel, the TikTok ban and the bill against anti-semitism which Massie describes as a ban on the New Testament that says "Jews killed Jesus". Massie has called the TikTok ban a "Trojan Horse" for First Amendment rights of free speech. 

Congressman Massie's Tweet. Source: X


Massie is also opposed to aiding Israel because, as he puts it: "Approximately 1% of Gaza’s CIVILIAN population has been wiped out by Israel in 7 months. We should not fund this war". 

US Military Aid to Israel. Source: CFR


Here's part of the exchange between Carlson and Massie that occurred on the Tucker Carlson show

MASSIE: It’s like your babysitter. Your AIPAC babysitter who is always talking to you for AIPAC. They’re probably a constituent in your district, but they are, you know, firmly embedded in AIPAC.

CARLSON: And every member has something like this.

MASSIE: Every Re– I don’t know how it works on the Democrats’ side. But that’s how it works on the Republican side. And when they come to D.C., you go have lunch with them. And they’ve got your cell number and you have conversations with them. So I’ve had like–

CARLSON: That’s absolutely crazy.

MASSIE: I’ve had four members of Congress say, “I’ll talk to my AIPAC person.” And like that’s clearly what we call them, my AIPAC guy. I’ll talk to my AIPAC guy and see if I can get them to, you know, dial those ads back.

CARLSON: Why have I never heard this before?

MASSIE: It doesn’t benefit anybody. Why would they want to tell their constituents that they’ve basically got a buddy system with somebody who’s representing a foreign country? It doesn’t benefit the congressman for people to know that. So they’re not going to tell you that.

The Israel lobby showers its friendly politicians with money from wealthy Jewish donors. It also works to ensure the defeat of those politicians who dare to speak out against Israeli policies in the Middle East. As one former Democratic senator, Ernest Hollings, put it on leaving office, ‘you can’t have an Israeli policy other than what AIPAC gives you around here.’ Or as Ariel Sharon once told an American audience, ‘when people ask me how they can help Israel, I tell them: “Help AIPAC.”’

President Jimmy Carter who helped broker peace between Israel and Egypt knows the Israel lobby well. He told Amy Goodman of "Democracy Now" many years ago: "I think it’s accurate to say that not a single member of Congress with whom I’m familiar would possibly speak out and call for Israel to withdraw to their legal boundaries or to publicize the plight of the Palestinians or even to call publicly and repeatedly for good faith peace talks.....  And I would say that if any member of Congress did speak out, as I’ve just described, they would probably not be back in the Congress the next term ". 

The fact that Republican Congressman Massie and several progressive Democratic Congresspeople are questioning the power of the Israel lobby in shaping the US Middle East policy is an indication of a growing rebellion against the strong-arm tactics used by AIPAC to bully US elected representatives to blindly support Israel. Could it be that the mortal fear of the AIPAC is just beginning recede in Washington DC? Or is it something similar to what is happening on the US college and university campuses

Here's a link to the full video of Tucker Carlson's interview with Rep Thomas Massie:

https://youtu.be/omBSEuFTYEo?si=8FF8UEwrwYS_IP82

Comments

Riaz Haq said…
Bipartisanship or Republican meddling? AIPAC is biggest source of GOP donations in Dem primaries

https://www.politico.com/news/2024/06/09/aipac-republican-donors-democratic-primaries-00162404

AIPAC sees support for Israel as bipartisan, and its donors come from both parties. But its practice of sending money from GOP donors into Democratic races has enraged progressives.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee has become a fundraising juggernaut in recent years, raising more money for candidates than any similar organization this cycle as part of its mission to back candidates who support Israel.

It’s the rare political organization that still garners support from Republican and Democratic donors while supporting candidates from both parties. But its primary focus has been leveraging its weight in competitive Democratic primaries, spending millions to boost moderates over progressives who have been critical of Israel.

That has made AIPAC the biggest source of Republican money flowing into competitive Democratic primaries this year, according to a POLITICO analysis of campaign finance data — and drawn outrage from the left over what it sees as GOP meddling in Democratic contests.


Nearly half of AIPAC donors to Democratic candidates this year have some recent history of giving to Republican campaigns or committees.

Criticism from the left has intensified as the partisan politics around U.S. support for Israel have shifted in the aftermath of the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack on Israel. Israel’s subsequent invasion of Gaza, and its mounting civilian casualties, have led even Democrats who have long favored Israel to question whether the U.S. can continue its level of support.

AIPAC still sees support for Israel as an issue that transcends partisanship. And its focus on Democratic primaries comes as it tries to ensure voters in blue districts elect Democrats who are aligned with its vision for supporting Israel.

“AIPAC donors are single-issue donors,” said Doug Forand, a strategist working with the campaign of George Latimer, a Democrat whose challenge of progressive New York Rep. Jamaal Bowman has drawn more support from AIPAC than any other campaign this cycle.

Forand noted that most of the AIPAC donors to the campaign are Democrats, “but for those who are not, this may be the first time they’ve given to a pro-choice, pro-LGBTQIA+, pro-labor, anti-gun Democrat, but their goal is simply to protect Israel’s right to exist and they are donating to ensure that can happen.”

But progressives see AIPAC’s form of support for Israel as out of step with Democratic voters, particularly in the liberal districts where the group is directing the most funds. A partisan gap in support for Israel has grown dramatically in recent years, with growing numbers of Democrats questioning what was once a bipartisan position. Democrats are now more likely to say they sympathize with Palestinians than Israelis, driven in part by low levels of support for Israel among young voters.
Riaz Haq said…
MAGA Republican's Fight With Pro-Israel Group Heats Up - Newsweek



https://www.newsweek.com/thomas-massie-fights-pro-israel-group-united-democracy-project-1844742

Massie, a Kentucky Republican, is among a handful of lawmakers opposing military aid to Israel amid its war with Hamas, citing his concerns about the economic impact Republican leadership's $14.5 billion aid package would have on Americans. His opposition sparked pushback from the pro-Israel lobby, including the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a major political donor that has donated tens of millions of dollars into elections in recent campaign cycles.

The AIPAC-affiliated United Democracy Project is running advertisements targeting Massie in his northern Kentucky Congressional district. The advertisement compares his votes to progressive Democratic Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, members of the so-called "Squad," calling his record on Israel a "disgrace."

Massie responded to the advertisement Thursday night in a post X, formerly Twitter, writing: "Why does Israel historically get more foreign aid than any other country? Because they have the most aggressive lobbyists working for them. I voted NOT to send another $14.3 billion overseas, so now they're running ads on radio, TV, and [F]acebook. I won't vote to give them your $."

A spokesperson for AIPAC responded to Massie in a statement to Newsweek.

"It is a simple fact that Representative Massie is aligned with the most extremist fringe in Congress by refusing to stand with Israel in its fight against Hamas. We will not be deterred by his malicious attacks in our work as citizen activists supporting America's ally, Israel," the statement reads.

Riaz Haq said…
Israel lobby funded a quarter of British MPs


https://www.declassifieduk.org/israel-lobby-funded-a-quarter-of-british-mps/

Some 180 of Britain’s 650 MPs in the last parliament accepted funding from pro-Israel lobby groups or individuals during their political career, Declassified can reveal.

That includes 130 Conservative MPs, 41 Labour MPs and three Liberal Democrats.

Three members of the DUP, two independents and Reform’s only MP complete the list.

The total value of the donations from pro-Israel groups, individuals, and Israeli state institutions amounts to over one million pounds.

Between them, the politicians made over 240 paid-for trips to Israel, at a cost of over half a million pounds.

Some of those trips involved visits to the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and a small number were co-sponsored by groups which do not form part of the Israel lobby.

Remarkably, fifteen MPs have accepted funding to travel to Israel amid the Gaza genocide.

Huda Ammori, the co-founder of the direct action network Palestine Action, told Declassified: “Accepting funding from a lobby group on behalf of the perpetrators of a genocide should immediately bar anyone from standing as an MP.

“To see how politicians continue to travel to Israel and engage with the genocide lobby explains why our government continues to defy international law by facilitating Israel’s war crimes”.

The full list of MPs can be accessed at the foot of this article. Around 47 of them are not standing for re-election.

No MPs from the Scottish National Party, Sinn Fein, Plaid Cymru, SDLP, Alba, Greens, Alliance or Workers Party received hospitality or funding from the lobby.
Riaz Haq said…
US Congressman Says Countries Tired of Inflation Tax, Could Abandon US Dollar


https://sputnikglobe.com/20240520/us-congressman-says-countries-tired-of-inflation-tax-could-abandon-us-dollar-1118547041.html


WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Countries are growing weary of the US dollar and could abandon the currency due to inflation, US Congressman Thomas Massie said on Monday.
“The whole world is holding dollars, so when we devalue the dollar, we’re not just taxing our own people, we’re taxing the entire world,” Massie said in an interview with Glenn Beck.
“The rest of the world is getting tired of being used that way… and when they start using alternate forms of money to do their transactions, or holding different assets in their own sovereign wealth funds, then we’re not going to be able to do that trick on anybody except for US citizens.”


Last week, Massie introduced bills to audit and abolish the Federal Reserve, citing their contribution to inflation. The Federal Reserve devalued the dollar and enabled free money policies that caused high inflation, Massie said.
The legislation to end the Federal Reserve now has over 20 cosponsors in the House of Representatives, Massie said.

https://x.com/SputnikInt/status/1790041974902247876
Riaz Haq said…
Opinion | Jamaal Bowman fights AIPAC to keep a progressive seat in Congress - The Washington Post

By Karen Attiah

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2024/06/11/bowman-congress-aipac-millions/

“Shut up or else” is the message a pro-Israel lobby is sending to Black lawmakers in America who are critical of what’s happening in Gaza. The front line is New York’s 16th Congressional District, where Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D) is facing one of the most expensive primary challenges in history.

The conservative pro-Israel lobbying giant AIPAC announced this spring that it would take extraordinary steps to remove progressive lawmakers who have called for a cease-fire in Gaza. Through a new super PAC called the United Democracy Project, funded primarily by right-wing billionaires, the group has pledged to spend $100 million this year to oust candidates it considers unsupportive of Israel.



Keep in mind: The Biden administration backs a plan for Gaza that would include a cease-fire, and polls show Americans increasingly support a cease-fire. Yet AIPAC is going full steam ahead. Bowman is the lobby’s first major target. As the June 25 primary approaches, the two-term congressman is facing what could prove to be the most expensive primary challenge in history. AIPAC has pledged to spend, through the super PAC, up to $25 million to elect Westchester County Executive George Latimer.



It’s hard to overstate the importance of the Bowman vs. Latimer showdown for progressives. The outcome represents much more than just the issue of money in politics. It raises concerns about right-wing money being funneled into Democratic primaries and tests the ability of AIPAC to shield Israel from criticism. But bigger than that, it is a test of how far America’s right wing will go to crush progressive movements. No one should be surprised that a Black politician is the canary in the coal mine.



————-





Because on the issue of Israel and Gaza in particular, Black leaders have become targets in more ways than one. A majority of the primary challengers funded by AIPAC are opposed by candidates of color (Cori Bush of Missouri, who also called for a cease-fire, is next on AIPAC’s list later this summer). The New York Times reported that a large number of Black lawmakers were targeted in an Israeli-commissioned social media influence campaign designed to gin up support for the war effort.

Meanwhile, the Congressional Black Caucus has largely been silent on Black incumbents under threat. AIPAC boasts that it is the top fundraiser for Congressional Black Caucus members. House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.), who has endorsed Bowman for reelection, is one of the top recipients of AIPAC funds. Even the NAACP released a statement urging the Biden administration to stop sending weapons to Israel and push for a cease-fire — and yet the Congressional Black Caucus can’t (or won’t) protect its own members?

Kahn R said…
We have seen in our life time the ugly face of Zionism. All along they have targeted Muslim at large and created an atmospere of mistrust of Muslims enywhere and everywhere. Bought out leader & Military in Countires like Pakistan and elswhere.

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