A response to Allan C. Brownfeld’s self-destructing anti-Israel column

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GIVAT SHMUEL, Israel September 18, 2014 — It is not all that odd to see an intelligent savvy American politician make veiled (or unveiled) anti-Semitic accusations these days. Heck, the Vice President of the United States (although evidence seems to indicate he is neither intelligent nor savvy) used the popular Jew-haters’ moniker, “Shylock,” in a speech this week at the 40th anniversary celebration for the Legal Services Corporation, so nothing really shocks the system anymore.

That is why, at first, I only briefly glanced over Allan C. Brownfeld’s 2,000 word article against the Israeli lobbying group, AIPAC. That story, here on Communities Digital News a few days ago, is in keeping with the editorial policy to allow all voices.

So within that frame, his comments require strong rebuttal.

From the headline, “It is time to end AIPAC’s pernicious influence on U.S. Middle East policy,” it was obvious that this article would be just another plagiarism of the patently misleading and malicious “The Israel Lobby” paper put out by Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer in 2007.

I ended up going back and reading Brownfeld’s article after seeing a shockingly under-reported story in Tablet Magazine entitled, “How Peace Negotiator Martin Indyk Cashed a Big Fat $14.8 Million Dollar Check from Qatar.

In it, the author Lee Smith illuminates how a New York Times article on foreign countries trying to buy more influence inside The Beltway buried one of the most controversial stories of the year.

The Tablet piece points out:

Buried deep in the Times’ epic snoozer was a world-class scoop related to one of the world’s biggest and most controversial stories—something so startling, and frankly so grotesque, that I have to bring it up again here: Martin Indyk, the man who ran John Kerry’s Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, whose failure in turn set off this summer’s bloody Gaza War, cashed a $14.8 million check from Qatar.

Yes, you heard that right: In his capacity as vice president and director of the Foreign Policy Program at the prestigious Brookings Institution, Martin Indyk took an enormous sum of money from a foreign government that, in addition to its well-documented role as a funder of Sunni terror outfits throughout the Middle East, is the main patron of Hamas—which happens to be the mortal enemy of both the State of Israel and Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party.

Surely, writer Allan C. Brownfeld had something to say about the obviously flagrant overstepping of boundaries by, what he refers to Israel as, “the client-state,” in the relationship. Alas, after running to his CDN page I discovered that Allan hadn’t worked up the courage to take on Qatar, so I was stuck staring at his anti-Zionist manifesto once again.

To briefly reiterate here, Israel is not the “client-state” in the U.S.-Israel relationship. Israel is America’s only true line of defense against radical Islam in the Middle East. Making this claim six months ago may have been seen by many as alarmist, with head-in-the-sand Americans wondering how on earth the savages in the third world could possibly endanger the homeland, but the recent onslaught of ISIS has woken up a good number of deep-sleeping citizens.

Brownfeld, as decorated and intelligent as he is, refuses to see this reality, concluding his article, “Hopefully, AIPAC’s influence will continue to wane. It is clear that the best interests of our own country are low on its list of priorities, an unusual posture for a group which has been able to wield such power.”

America is more than happy to let Israel, who has little choice in the matter, get their hands dirty, fighting off the tidal wave of global Jihad. America doesn’t give Israel money for the Iron Dome because it wants the Israelis to be beholden to them or even out of the goodness of their heart; they do it because Israel is the only agent of pro-Western ideology in one of the most backwards regions in the world. Israel’s interests are America’s interests, plain and simple.

But I digress.

The tone most prevalent throughout Brownfeld’s piece was, without a doubt, self-righteous indignation. His cookie-cutter anti-Israel template consisting of outrage over Israel’s refusal to fall in line with American demands, foreshadowing a black hand of legislative power wielded by an unseen Jewish force and the obligatory sprinkled mentioning of “illegal settlements” that are harmful to the “peace process” has been done to death by Thomas Friedman, Peter Beinart and many other, far more prominent, Jewish Israel-hating journalists then Brownfeld.

It felt like it lacked originality.

After completing the article and sitting with it for some time, it struck me that Brownfeld’s column was, in fact, unique. What makes Brownfeld’s article so different from “The Israel Lobby” or any other paper written on AIPAC’s apparent malicious influence on Washington is that it makes absolutely no argument and calls for no action.

It appears that Brownfeld, in his uncontrollable desire to ravage AIPAC in as many words as he could, didn’t bother to notice that he argued against himself all through his essay. Half of the piece read like all the other commentaries we have been presented with: the Jews are running the world and America is in danger because of it.

However, the second half is Brownfeld joyously celebrating AIPAC’s deteriorating influence among lawmakers. For example, he writes, “Fortunately, AIPAC’s influence in Washington appears to be in retreat. Perhaps its cheerleading for the assault on Gaza, with nearly 2,000 civilian casualties, hundreds of them children, has helped to tarnish its image and challenge its power.”

Aside from the fact that AIPAC did not cheerlead during the war, and the fact that Hamas, not Israel, were responsible for the civilian causalities as they blatantly used human shields again and again, Brownfeld seems to be arguing against his own headline.

Do we need to rally against the “pernicious” AIPAC or is it on its way out the door?

Brownfeld goes on to note, “Today, a growing number of American Jews, though still devoted to Israel, struggle with the lack of progress toward peace with the Palestinians. Many feel that AIPAC does not speak for them,” and “More recently, AIPAC has seen setbacks. It’s push for war with Iran was rebuffed, and as the U.S. began negotiations with Iran, AIPAC urged tougher sanctions which would have scuttled the talks.”

Again, make up your mind Allan, is AIPAC threatening the fabric of the American way or is it a withering weed on the Capitol Building lawn?

Brownfeld vacillates like this for the rest of his incoherent column. The real question to be asked is, why?

Why would someone write an article with such a scathing headline, warning the world of a subtle but deadly NGO that rules the corridors of power and then, just paragraphs later, mock the very same NGO for apparently losing its sway and relevance?

The only answer can be hate. Allen C. Brownfeld hates AIPAC because they represent the State of Israel. There is no reason for him to write 2,000 words that wholly contradict themselves other than to create a platform to slander the Jewish State.

And slander he does.

This is why Brownfeld must be called out for his otherwise milquetoast anti-Zionist rant. It is to show the extent to which intellectual liberalism will go in order to paint Israel as the blood-thirsty aggressor it has never actually been.

So, to take my own advice, here is a call to action. The Allan C. Brownfelds of the world must not go unopposed. If you believe in the righteousness of Western ideology and reject the baseless hatred of Israel and the Jewish people (the ones who are not ashamed to be labeled as such, at least) then we must see this insidiousness for what it is and never stop exposing it.

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