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Feeling the Ignorance at AIPAC 2011By Max Blumenthal Special to Salem-News.com
Max Blumenthal hits AIPAC attendees with some great questions...
(WASHINGTON D.C.) - Forward by editor: We've carried a number of items regarding the AIPAC (American Israel Public Action Committee) convention in Washington D.C., showing the desire of Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu to overstep any reasonable political process that might lead to peace with the Palestinians, we've illustrated his method of demeaning U.S. Pres. Barack Obama who had earlier stated that he wants to see Israel withdraw to its 1967 borders. In another example, one of our most well known U.S. writers, Alison Weir, was slapped by an Israeli activist in a post meeting discussion.
Now we bring you yet another view of the action at AIPAC, Debbie Menon of MyCatBirdSeat.com sent this clip of Max Blumenthal interviewing delegates outside AIPAC's 2011 conference in Washington. Later, the delegates confront Palestine solidarity protesters.
Take it away Max...
On May 22, thousands of supporters of America’s most powerful pro-Israel lobbying group, the America-Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, converged on Washington for the group’s annual conference. For two days they watched Democratic and Republican congressional leaders pledge their undivided loyalty to the state of Israel, and by extension, to AIPAC’s legislative agenda. Speeches by President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu highlighted the conference, with Obama attempting to clarify his statement demanding that 1967 borders be the “starting point” for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
I interviewed several AIPAC delegates in the streets outside the conference. While few, if any, of them were able to demonstrate the slightest degree of sophistication in their understanding of the Israel-Palestine crisis, they had been briefed inside on how to respond to critics. No one I spoke to would concede that Israel occupied any part of Palestinian territory; none would concede that Israel had committed acts of indiscriminate violence or that it had transferred Palestinians by force; one interviewee could not distinguish Palestine from Pakistan. With considerable wealth and negligible knowledge — few had spent much time inside Israel — the delegates were easily melded by the cadre of neoconservative and Israeli “experts” appearing in AIPAC’s briefing sessions.
As the day wore on, many delegates waded into confrontations with members of Code Pink and Palestine solidarity demonstrators who had set up a protest camp across the street. With conflict intensifying on the sidewalk, Code Pink’s Medea Benjamin invited AIPAC delegates to express themselves from the protest stage. There, their most visceral feelings and deeply held views about Israel-Palestine crisis were revealed. See it for yourself.
Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and bestselling author whose articles and video documentaries have appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Daily Beast, The Nation, The Guardian, The Independent Film Channel, The Huffington Post, Salon.com, Al Jazeera English and many other publications. He is a writing fellow for the Nation Institute. His book, Republican Gomorrah: Inside The Movement That Shattered The Party, is a New York Times and Los Angeles Times bestseller. Order a copy here.
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