There is massive opposition to Israeli actions in the United States today, particularly importantly in the Jewish community, where there’s been an enormous shift in that discourse.So you still have organizations, right-wing organizations like AIPAC that include very wealthy donors, no doubt, but they no longer can even make the claim–which was probably never true, but it certainly is no longer true–that they speak for the majority, let alone all, of the Jewish community.You now have an organization like J Street in the center. You have Jewish Voice for Peace on the left, which has over 200,000 supporters across the country. So you have a very different scenario now of where public opinion is.— Phyllis Bennis, interviewed on The Real News Network, September 14, 2016
I think he [Obama] is seriously misreading where the American people are at, where the Democratic Party is, where the public discourse on this question has shifted. I think he’s acting as if this was 20 years ago and no politician could do wrong by being more supportive than the other guy of Israel.Now that’s not the case anymore. We saw that during the debate over the language on Israel and Palestine in the Democratic Party platform debate.(Emphasis added)
J Street warmly welcomes the conclusion of a Memorandum of Understanding between the United States and Israel that will ensure Israel’s security and its qualitative military advantage over any potential enemy for the next 10 years.We congratulate President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu as well as all those who worked hard to produce this agreement, which represents the biggest pledge of US military assistance made to any country in our nation’s history.
It used to be that AIPAC, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the other pro-Israel lobbies in the Jewish community, could meet with members of Congress and say, look, we’ve got money. We may give you some. Mostly we’re going to hold you hostage, that if you don’t toe the line, we’re going to fund an opponent that you don’t even expect yet.But we’ll also bring you votes, because we have influence in the Jewish community and people will vote the way we tell them.They can’t say that anymore. And that’s huge. They still have the money, but they don’t have the votes, because the Jewish community has changed.
The reason that the lobby often seems so powerful is that, yes, it does have a lot of influence. I don’t–I’m not denying that. But it has been historically pushing in the same direction as the majority of U.S. policymakers want to go.So imagine if you’re running behind a car, and you start to push the car as it goes forward, and the car starts to go fast. You can claim, wow, I was really strong–I pushed that car 30 miles an hour. You know, maybe you didn’t. Maybe you were pushing it in the direction it wanted to go anyway.
The left is the rear guard of the Israel Lobby.