Monday, July 26, 2010

PACE: Main Jewish Lobby group stranglehold on US policies in the middle east is slowly cracking.


PACE: Main Jewish Lobby group stranglehold on US policies in the middle east is slowly cracking.

It is common knowledge that AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) has been the real policy maker of the US foreign affairs especially in the middle east. The main Jewish lobby group that represents Israeli interest and security is behind UN's failure to enforce every single Resolutions passed at the General Assembly and the every US move to veto resolutions adopted by the Security Council deemed not serving Israeli security or strategic interest.

However late last year (2009) the domineering role of AIPAC and its' instrument of intimidation is beginning to be questioned even by American jews. They no longer subscribe to the idea of vilifying the Arabs and entertain the idea of engaging them instead for a peaceful solution in the Middle East. Two young Jewish American founded the J-street in 2008, challenging the 'Israel - rigth or wrong' policy advocated by AIPAC and their supporters. They belief that Palestine has the right to exist, that Jarusalem should be a shared capital of israel and soveriegn Palestine and that HAMAS should be engaged and negotiated with for a genuine effort at peace. Such revolutionary ideas coming from a Jew, formerly alien to everyone surprisingly has found their supporters among the American public of the jewish descent. Towards the end of 2009, J-Street convened it's first national conference, attracted 1,500 delegates. It was attended by dignatories including members of the US Congress in their dozens as well as prominant diplomats. The conference was officiated by none other than Obama's National Security Council Advisor, General James Jones, who addressed the key-note speech, removing any doubts from sceptics that the gathering has recieved the presidential seal of approval. Much to the chagrin of Israel, her ambassador to the US was noticeably absent.

Such bold move by J-Street serves to challenge the notion championed by the hawkish AIPAC that the Palestinian is an enemy and that no peaceful solution can be achieved except at gunpoint. Now J-street is trying hard to drive home a message and bring the bigots to their senses that such an inclination will only bring perpetual sufferings not only to the Palestinians but more so to the Israelis. Therefore in the best interest of the Israelis, genuine moves at peace has to be executed and that should begin with duly recognizing the rights of the Palestinian people. Afterall those rights that has been trampled on by the zionist has been enshrined in the United Nation Charter.

This development may not bring an about turn in the US middle east policies. But it will certainly put AIPAC in discomfort whereby Israeli's heavy handedness and iron fist treatment of the Palestine will no longer be tolerated or ignored. It also means that Israel's blatant defiance of international laws will received harsh criticism from the Jewsih Community who may no longer subscribe to the idea of ill treatment and banishment of the Palestinians from their homeland. Now AIPAC no longer dominates the American political life and policies in the middle east for it now has a contender, a left leaning upstart organization that should not be taken lightly and dissmissed as an isolated dissenting voice that can be silenced easily. Now J-Street is strongly behind Obama's peace initiatives in the middle east. This include Obama's insistence for Israel to stop their settlement activities in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. In fact, one suspect that Obama's policy and strong views on the settlement activies could have stemmed from the assurance from J-Street.

PACE view this as the way forward in moderating the US biased policies in the middle east. The role of J-Street is instrumental in bringing about a genuine and workable peace solution to the longstanding Palestinian question. We may not see the end of AIPAC's suffocating stranglehold but it could be the start of the slow loosening of it's grip on the US middle east policies.

Dr Hafidzi Mohd Noor
(Palestine Centre of Excellence)



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