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Ask Sally 2— Feedback on AIPAC: ‘Vitriol’ and Israel

2022-04-26

Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): The Good Men Project

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2019/03/18

Sally Buxbaum Hunt is a Sexual Education, Sex-Positive, Separation of Church and State Activist and Organizer, and a Progressive. Here we talk about AIPAC and Israel.

Some media items can be overblown by both the Left and the Right. Especially true in the instances of individuals who simply speak the truth in a direct way about the problems of aspects of foreign policy, there can be excuse-making, as should be expected, by apologists for state violence; one’s own state violence and rights violations around the world, even internally, too.

Hunt and I had the chance to talk about the mainstream media narrative around Rep. Ilhan Omar, who has been branded as an antisemite. The real question here is if this is the case. If it is not the case, then the issue of the claim to antisemitism, or the charge to the epithet becomes another concern, because this would appear to be an invective intended to blast the individual making the claim so as to make the claim seem undeniably insane or immoral.

Hunt, in response to the claims of antisemitism about Ilhan Omar, stated, “It has been difficult seeing the mainstream media narrative that Ilhan Omar has been antisemitic based on her remarks. It has been the main messaging from most of our politicians. That is unacceptable because it’s not true. Ilhan Omar did not say anything antisemitic.”

Hunt is Jewish. She is secular and non-practicing, but ethnically within the heritage Jewish. She went on to explain the basic claims made by Omar. That is to say, AIPAC is a lobbying group and lobbying groups can be a problem. In this case, IAPAC is a pro-Israeli lobbying group that gives money to politicians in the United States in order for those politicians, in return, to support Israel, probably often unwaveringly.

Hunt said, “That is the whole point of AIPAC. They are a pro-Israel lobbying group. AIPAC raises money, gives this money to politicians, and then those politicians should give unwavering support to Israel and special privileges to Israel. That this lobbying group, AIPAC, is giving extra tax dollars — US tax dollars — to Israel’s government. This is true. This is absolutely true [Laughing]. Ilhan Omar was pointing this out. Then many people freaked out and said this was antisemitic.”

Then within the forcefulness of the Democratic leadership, Omar was pressured or coerced into retracting or watering down the statements. In the apology, though, Hunt appreciated how she still made an important or salient point about the problem with the lobbying groups and their impact on the political contexts in the United States.

Hunt considers the pressure from the Democratic party wrong. She thinks that the pressure or coercion for an apology by Omar never should have happened in the first place. Indeed, even with the statement or with the apology, in fact, Omar said nothing intrinsically wrong or factually incorrect.

“She was pressured to make the apology. She definitely shouldn’t have been pressured to apologize at all. Because she said absolutely nothing wrong. Part of this fake controversy is just because she’s a Muslim. A big problem is the extreme bigotry against Muslims, and also that she is black,” Hunt stated, “That makes her a bigger target. I think racism is another reason here. She is a target for being a Muslim woman and a black woman, especially [Laughing] being both of those at the same time. But this idea that no one can criticize AIPAC or can ever criticize Israel is irrational and illogical.”

Hunt was moderately flabbergasted with the notion of Israel representing all Jewish peoples, as Jews are not a monolith and Israel is the Israeli state – not the Jewish state. Therefore, it cannot, in any way, speak for all Jews or Jewish people. If it was a solely Jewish state, then this may leave Arab Israeli citizens as second class to say the least.

Hunt said, “Not every Jewish person supports the occupation of Gaza and the West Bank. That is what this issue is about. No one should support the occupation. That is the bottom line. Palestinians who live in the occupied territories are trying to live their lives. Their home communities are constantly under military occupation. They are constantly being terrorized, brutalized, harassed, and oppressed. They don’t even have voting rights regarding the government that rules over them every day.”

The inability to live a free life, free of poverty, away from an utter sense of hopelessness, and so on, is a problem for the Palestinians and much less so for Israelis. Hunt states unequivocally that the Palestinians are rightfully anngry at the Israeli government.

“The government of Israel is an occupying force of a government. They are a warmongering and oppressive government to Palestinian civilians living in these occupied territories. That is the point right there. Ilhan Omar is right to point out AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobbying group, has one mission. That is to raise money for politicians, so they give unwavering support from US taxpayer funds that are supporting this occupation,” Hunt concluded.

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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