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I May Be Wrong About AIPAC

by M.J. Rosenberg

Sep 11, 2013 | Foreign Policy


Unless AIPAC improves its game, I may need to revise my view that it owns U.S. foreign policy on the Middle East, which it accomplished long ago by buying the US Congress.

The perception of weakness leads to more weakness.

Its ineptitude on Syria, combined with the clear evidence that the Congressmen who they bought seem not to have stayed bought, suggests that I may be wrong about how powerful they are.

If so, it indicates not that they were not all-powerful previously but are simply losing power now.

We will know, one way or another, if it continues to be unable to influence the Syria debate in Congress. If so, it is likely that they will be unable to drag us into war with Iran either. At this point, there is no way to tell.

But this we know for sure: the perception of weakness leads to more weakness. AIPAC looks feckless, tired and inept, with even the Israelis saying they overplayed their hand.

And what does AIPAC itself think? Word is that they know they look bad and also know that if last-minute diplomacy or a Congressional vote blocks a US attack on Syria, the same scenario will likely play out with Iran—especially because Iran’s  new government seems to understand how important perceptions are. Rouhani is no Ahmedinejad while Netanyahu remains Netanyahu.

Not a good time for Iran war mongers.

Was it the 800 pound gorilla who cried, “I’m melting, I’m melting?”


M.J. Rosenberg is a Special Correspondent for The Washington Spectator. He was most recently a Foreign Policy fellow at Media Matters For America. Previously, he spent 15 years as a Senate and House aide. Early in his career he was editor of AIPAC’s newsletter Near East Report. From 1998-2009, he was director of policy at Israel Policy Forum. Follow him @MJayRosenberg.


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