At least one person is reported killed as Israeli police use tear gas and water cannons against Palestinian protesters, marking Land Day. They are remembering the death of six Arabs killed by police in demonstrations against a land grab by Israel in 1976. RT’s Paula Slier reports from the scene.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is one of the most powerful lobby organizations in the country. On March 4-6, AIPAC will hold its annual policy conference in Washington, D.C. The speakers include Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. President Barack Obama, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Republican candidate Newt Gingrich, and a host of other powerful politicians.
AIPAC has tremendous clout, but its influence has been disastrous for U.S. foreign policy and U.S. democracy. Here are 10 reasons why AIPAC is so dangerous.
1. AIPAC is lobbying Congress to promote a military confrontation with Iran. AIPAC — like the Israeli government — is demanding that the United States attack Iran militarily to prevent Iran from having the technological capacity to produce nuclear weapons, even though U.S. officials say Iran isn’t trying to build a weapon (and even though Israel has hundreds of undeclared nuclear weapons). AIPAC has successfully lobbied the U.S. government to adopt crippling economic sanctions on Iran, including trying to cut off Iran’s oil exports, despite the fact that these sanctions raise the price of gas and threaten the U.S. economy.
2. AIPAC promotes Israeli policies that are in direct opposition to international law. These include the establishment of colonies (settlements) in the Occupied West Bank and the confiscation of Palestinian land in its construction of the 26-foot-high concrete “separation barrier” running through the West Bank. The support of these illegal practices makes it impossible to achieve a solution to the Israel/Palestine conflict.
3. AIPAC’s call for unconditional support for the Israeli government threatens our national security. The United States’ one-sided support of Israel, demanded by AIPAC, has significantly increased anti-American sentiment throughout the Middle East, thus endangering our troops and sowing the seeds of more possible terrorist attacks against us. Gen. David Petraeus on March 16, 2010, admitted that the Israel-Palestine conflict “foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel.” He also said that “Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of U.S. partnerships with governments and peoples in the [region] and weakens the legitimacy of moderate regimes in the Arab world. Meanwhile, al-Qaeda and other militant groups exploit that anger to mobilize support.”
It appears that the policy of “Divide and Rule” that has served the super-powers of the day so well since the times of Caesar and the Roman Empire, is again being put to use in the Middle East. Setting Muslim against Muslim is becoming a real possibility. Perhaps the realisation that it was fighting protracted and unwinnable wars in Muslim lands, has led the United States/Israel to consider ways of stirring up Shia against Sunni. This surely would maximise the shedding of Muslim blood with the minimum of investment and effort and, as ever, provide rich pickings for the weapons industry.
Reading an article in “The Jewish Chronicle” entitled “P.A. Share Israel’s Nuclear Iran Fears”, two issues spring to mind. The first is that the Palestinian Authority is the worst of collaborators, and wholly unfit to represent the brave Palestinian people. This much was made clear on the release of the Palestine Papers last year.
“The Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, Salam Fayyad, has attacked the behaviour of Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and said that he shares Western – and Israeli – concerns with the Iranians’ nuclear project”.