News Release

Obama, Netanyahu and AIPAC: Critical Analysis


U.S. Military Aid to IsraelJOHN J. MEARSHEIMER, j-mearsheimer at
Available for a limited number of interviews, Mearsheimer is co-author of “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy” and distinguished professor of political science and co-director of the Program on International Security Policy at the University of Chicago. He just co-wrote the piece “Mr. Obama must take a stand against Israel over Iran.”

Mearsheimer is author of several other books, including most recently “Why Leaders Lie: The Truth about Lying in International Politics.” See his original essay, “The Israel Lobby.”

Rabbi Weiss is with the group Neturei Karta International. He said today: “AIPAC and Israel claim to speak in the name of Judaism, but they are defaming Judaism by waging wars and being oppressive. Jews and Muslims get along, I visit Jewish communities in predominantly Muslim countries and they can worship freely. What creates much of the ill will is that Israel is doing immoral actions in the name of Judaism.”

LIZA BEHRENDT, ljbehrendt at
Behrendt is with Young Jewish Proud and disrupted an AIPAC panel yesterday. See: “Young Jewish activist disrupts AIPAC panel about ‘Israel on Campus’: Stop Silencing Dissent and Supporting Settlement Expansion.”

Abileah is an organizer with Occupy AIPAC — a counter-conference that is taking place across the street from the AIPAC conference. She is also co-director of CODEPINK.

JOSH RUEBNER, congress at
In his address to AIPAC yesterday, Obama said: “Despite a tough budget environment, our security assistance has increased every single year.” National advocacy director of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, Ruebner is author of a newly-released policy paper, entitled “U.S. Military Aid to Israel: Policy Implications & Options.” He said today: “President Obama’s speech yesterday at the AIPAC policy conference exposed the contradictory and self-defeating nature of his administration’s policy toward Israel/Palestine. On the one hand, he spoke of the need for Israel to make peace with the Palestinian people and of their need to exercise self-determination; on the other hand, he bragged about his administration providing Israel with ever-greater amounts of U.S. taxpayer-financed weapons, which enable Israel to maintain its illegal military occupation of Palestinian territories and to commit its human rights abuses of Palestinians, making peace impossible. It’s little wonder then that Obama’s first term in office likely will end with Israeli-Palestinian peace an ever remoter goal than four years ago.”

The report finds “From 1949 to 2008, the U.S. government provided Israel more than $103.6 billion of total official aid, making it the largest recipient of U.S. foreign assistance in the post-World War II era. In 2007, the two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding providing for $30 billion of U.S. military aid from 2009 to 2018.” See PDF:

ANN WRIGHT, microann at
Wright is a former State Department diplomat and retired Army colonel. She will be speaking today at a news conference at 11 a.m. at the National Press Club. She said this morning: “As much as Obama calls the Iranian government a Holocaust ‘denier,’ I would say that President Obama is a denier of the incredible Israeli violence that violates international law. I find particularly remarkable and offensive his comment that ‘When the Goldstone report unfairly singled out Israel for criticism, we challenged it. When Israel was isolated in the aftermath of the flotilla incident, we supported them. When the Durban conference was commemorated, we boycotted it, and we will always reject the notion that Zionism is racism.’

“Having been to Gaza within days after the 22-day Israeli attack on Gaza that killed 1440, wounded 5,000 and left 50,000 homeless (13 Israelis were killed — five by Israeli fire), I know the Goldstone Report is accurate. Having been on one of the ships of the 2010 Gaza Freedom Flotilla, I know that Israeli commandos attacked all six ships in the flotilla and killed nine on the Mavi Marmara and wounded 50. One American citizen was killed and the Obama administration did not conduct its own investigation of the death, despite the repeated requests of the family of 19-year-old Furkan Dogan. Israel was isolated by the world after their criminal behavior — and for good reason!”