Almost everybody in Washington spins and occasionally profoundly misrepresents things to advance their particular political and personal agenda. After all, isn’t that the whole point and fun of being here?
However, the recent outright lying about Trump—like a Washington Post reporter saying he did not just disavow David Duke is astounding. But on Thursday, Zionist Organization of America president Morton Zion upbraided the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) for claiming that Trump leveled some kind of vile personal broadside against Obama at their conference this Monday.
Somebody who heard AIPAC president’s Lillian Pinkus’ emotionally apologize Tuesday for Trump’s “ad hominem attacks” on the nation’s first black president would have thought the GOP front runner called Obama a schvartze or another racist slur.
He actually just noted to widespread applause that, “He may be the worst thing to ever happen to Israel, believe me, believe me. And you know it and you know it better than anybody.”
Klein demanded AIPAC apologize for shilling for the president least sympathetic to Israel since Jimmy Carter in order to demonize Trump. “It is inappropriate that AIPAC’s leaders [decided] to condemn Trump’s appropriate criticism of President Obama’s anti-Israel policies,” he stated. “It was also disgraceful that AIPAC’s leaders chastised the rank-and-file AIPAC audience for cheering Trump’s well-justified condemnation of President Obama.”
“Everyone understands that speeches given at such a conference are the personal beliefs of the speaker — not AIPAC’s. It was ludicrous and wrong for AIPAC to have publicly taken issue with wholly justified concerns of Obama’s policies toward Israel.”
Klein recounted a long list of actions by Obama and his administration that indicate the kind of indifference or hostility to Israel that you would expect from somebody who does not see any conflict (except between Democrats and Republicans) in stark moral absolutes. Most recently, Obama “questioned maintaining the cornerstone of Israel’s security, or Israel’s qualitative military edge (QME).”
It is well to note that Klein is not some kind of stalking horse for Republicans or publicity monger, like former Anti-Defamation League head Abe Foxman. “Abe will say anything to get in the paper,” another Jewish leader once told this reporter.
Klein, by contrast, criticized Ben Carson’s top adviser for sucking up to Louis Farrakhan last fall.
Similarly, AIPAC’s Trump bashing is mostly just for the cameras.
One longtime Washington Jewish community analyst said he could not recall any recent instance of AIPAC disavowing remarks by a presidential candidate at one of their conferences.
Probably because no Republican White House contender has been so widely depicted as such a profound menace to America since a certain B-movie actor, as he was then derisively called, sought the presidency in 1980. Back then, like today, the establishment’s snootiness trumped reason.
By any objective standard, it is Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders’ remarks this week that AIPAC should find offensive, Klein noted.
“Why did AIPAC’s leaders remain silent about the troubling, divisive aspects of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Monday morning AIPAC speech? Secretary Clinton openly declared to the conference attendees that we have ‘differences’, then praised the Iran deal [which AIPAC, ZOA and all credible pro-Israel organizations fought against], and blasted Israeli settlements [Jewish towns and villages in historical Jewish lands] as ‘damaging’”
The son of Holocaust survivors, Klein asked, “why did AIPAC’s leaders remain silent about Senator Bernie Sanders’ Middle East Policy speech, given in Utah the same day as the AIPAC policy conference?
“Sanders praised the Iran deal” and even more insulting “called Israel’s necessary response to Hamas’s rocket attacks disproportionate” and ignored Israel’s extraordinary efforts to avoid harming civilians –- while Hamas deliberately used civilians as human shields.”