Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Brunswick, ME, United States

The collapsing US military & economic empire is making Washington & NATO even more dangerous. US could not beat the Taliban but thinks it can take on China-Russia-Iran...a sign of psychopathology for sure. We must all do more to help stop this western corporate arrogance that puts the future generations lives in despair. @BruceKGagnon

Thursday, May 06, 2021

Israel's interference in U.S. politics - a personal story



Years ago, while coordinating the Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice, I organized a statewide conference about Israel's war on Palestine. In our then newspaper (called Just Peace) we had one of our leaders write an article about the conference and the larger issue of genocide against the Palestinian people.

Soon after mailing out the newsletter I got a phone call from a rabbi at the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando. They asked me to come and meet with them.  When I asked what the topic was for the meeting they refused to say.  I really had no idea what was on their mind, so mostly out of curiosity I went to their offices.

The rabbi led me into a large meeting room and sitting atop a dark wooden raised platform (like one you'd find that most city councils might use) was the board of directors of the local Jewish Federation.

They called me up to to the podium facing them (I still had no idea what was going on) and the president of the board held up a copy of our Just Peace newsletter and launched into a yelling rant about the article in our paper covering Israel's treatment of the Palestinian people.  


This went on for several minutes and I just stood there listening in complete amazement. I was thinking, "Who the hell does this guy think he is?" as he began to threaten the Florida Coalition.

He concluded his threats with this one - "If we ever see another article like this again in this paper we will withdraw all support for your organization!"

Finally I understood why I had been invited to appear before this arrogant 'board of directors'. My response to the board was this: "In fact the Jewish Federation has never donated a penny to the Florida Coalition.  We just mail the newspaper to you as a courtesy.  We will not be intimidated and will continue to report on Israel's illegal and immoral treatment of the Palestinian people."

At that point I turned and walked out.

This was an important lesson for me. I learned something about how AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) and its local underlings actually work. They browbeat and threaten anyone who dares show the slightest bit of support for the beleaguered Palestinians.

I'll always remember how AIPAC essentially threw Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) out of the US Congress because she dared 'defy' their warnings that she should halt her support for Palestine. In the end they ran other black candidates against her and twice got her defeated. 

We hear alot about so-called 'Russian interference' in US elections (without any evidence) but we do have overwhelming evidence that AIPAC (on behalf of the apartheid Israeli state) routinely and directly interferes in US political affairs.  


What is daily being done to the Palestinian people breaks my heart. It makes me angry. It motivates me to speak out against apartheid Israel. 

I was active during the campaign in the 1980's to oppose the apartheid regime in South Africa. What Israel is doing today is virtually the same brand of apartheid. But pressure from Israel makes a real global movement to stop them much more difficult to organize.  But that is now changing.

The American people should demand that the US government stop being spineless lackeys for Israel. The American people should stop giving Israel military aid which is used to destroy Palestinian lives and to wage war and destabilization regionally (Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq, Iran).

During the Obama administration the Congress passed, and Obama signed, a $38 billion 10-year military funding bill for Israel. Included in this bill was $500 million for cooperative programs for 'missile defense'.

The time has come for change. For the sake of the Palestinian people.



Blogger greybeardmike said...

Interesting that you write about this in an historical context as I just finished reading this article.

AIPAC has way too much influence.

5/7/21, 9:41 PM  

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