Time to Rethink AIPAC influence U.S. foreign policy

By Richard Ridenour

I simply cannot believe that the Jewish lobby, AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee), speaks for the majority of American Jews in its full-court press to undermine a long-overdue negotiated settlement with Iran. We know that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has been beating the drums to get us into a war with Iran, but on the eve of a major breakthrough by John Kerry and our international allies, AIPAC is pushing Republicans, Democrats and Independents to vote for a bill to increase sanctions against Iran.

Just about every credible expert on Middle East diplomacy predicts such a move would torpedo the potential settlement and push us ever closer to war with the whole Arab world.

It’s time to ask some hard questions about the staggering cost and the questionable benefits derived from our unqualified support for the state of Israel, and the excessive influence and intrusion of AIPAC into our congressional and electoral processes.

AIPAC is consistently ranked as one of the two most powerful lobbies in Washington. It is very well organized and its political contributions are very generous. But if a Member of Congress crosses AIPAC, AIPAC is unforgiving and will retaliate politically. Recent polls indicate that the majority of Americans are sick and tired of wars and prefer diplomacy to warfare. The majority of Americans see a potential negotiated settlement with Iran as the only viable plan to move Iran away from the development of nuclear weapons.

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