Global Independent Analytics
Max J. Schindler
Max J. Schindler

Location: Palestine-Israel

Specialization: Politics

Why would AIPAC dump Trump?

It is possible that AIPAC was worried that Trump wouldn’t be pro-Israel enough, after last week’s gaffe when Trump said he would be “neutral” between Israel and the Palestinians.

Tears streamed down the woman’s face. The head of the American Israel Political Action Committee, the country’s largest pro-Israel lobbying group, stood before a crowded plenum of 18,000 onlookers and denounced Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump.

Two weeks ago, Trump had addressed the pro-Israel group at its annual Washington DC conference. He touted a hawkish line, denouncing President Obama as the “worst thing to happen to Israel.” The attendees stood to their feet, applauding raucously while they embraced Trump with outstretched hands.

The next day, AIPAC’s president Lillian Pinkus took the stand to decry Trump’s remarks. “We are disappointed that so many people applauded the sentiment that we neither agree with or condone,” Pinkus said, adding Trump’s broached AIPAC’s supposed consensus of non-partisanship.

Why would Pinkus go against her supporters’ fervent reception of Trump? And more importantly, why would AIPAC’s head come out and condemn a candidate’s remarks, an unprecedented move for the Israeli lobbying group?

Many of the insults Trump laid at Obama were little different than the other speakers. Trump was followed by Republican candidate Ted Cruz, who also harshly criticized Obama. Cruz compared Obama’s Iran nuclear deal to the 1938 Munich agreement, which appeased Adolf Hitler by granting him further territory peacefully. And four years earlier, Mitt Romney delivered a rousing speech claiming that Obama “lectures” rather than “supports Israel.”

But no AIPAC speech has gotten a similar backlash as Trump’s. Conference attendees threatened to walkout on Trump, a threat that failed to materialize. The backlash to Trump emerged from his record of disparaging Muslims, Mexicans and women.

It is possible that AIPAC was worried that Trump wouldn’t be pro-Israel enough, after last week’s gaffe when Trump said he would be “neutral” between Israel and the Palestinians.

Yet Trump has a long record of supporting Israel, from serving as grand marshal for the Israel parade in New York in 2004 to winning awards from American-Jewish organizations such as Algemeiner and befriending arch-Israel donor and casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. In 2013, he heartily endorsed Netanyahu’s reelection campaign. And in June 2015, on the day he declared his candidacy, Trump spent much of his announcement speech denouncing Obama’s Iran deal for threatening the Jewish state.

(Ironically, the only time Trump commended Obama on his Israel stance came during the 2012 Gaza war, which saw hundreds of Palestinian civilians killed and maimed. At the time, Obama supported the Israeli operation.)

Others speculate that AIPAC felt compelled to denounce Trump due to the media hubbub condemning the candidate. But Islamophobic or racist rhetoric hasn’t provoked AIPAC to condemn speakers in the past.

And Trump’s harsh attacks on the president were expected.

But AIPAC members’ warm welcome was not.

Given that AIPAC’s main priority is to ensure bipartisan support for Israeli government policy, its leadership may have been concerned by how Trump raptured its audience.

After AIPAC’s avid opposition to Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran – the group spent an estimated $20-40 million to derail negotiations – the group seeks to repair ties across the aisle.

During the Iran fracas, approximately 60 House and Senate Democrats boycotted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s congressional speech last March because it was perceived as an unprecedented snub of Obama.

After last year’s Iran controversies, the AIPAC conference was designed to tamper over divisions. Business as usual. As the Forward’s Jay Michaelson noted:

That was not supposed to be the message. This was supposed to be the new AIPAC, with its wide range of progressive supporters (look, a female rabbi!) and newly rediscovered non-partisanship. Just like 2016’s Republican Party was supposed to be a new Republican Party, with less racism and xenophobia, and broader appeal to Latinos and blacks.

Yet the audience’s enthusiastic and boisterous applause could not have helped AIPAC’s efforts to rekindle with Democrats damaged ties during the Iran deal controversy. AIPAC still donates comparably to Democrats.

Because if AIPAC were to become a predominantly Republican organization, the pro-Israel group would lose its bipartisan guarantee on influencing policy.

AIPAC’s apology is an attempt to reclaim sway and influence on Democrats. It also indicates how the Israel lobbying group’s demographics have shifted.

As Forward editor Jane Eisner noted the shift in audience, when President Bush addressed AIPAC in 2004, “nearly half of every row [was] sitting with arms folded while the other half applauded.” However, “In 2016, watching Trump…you could barely make out individual bodies.”  “Israel is gradually becoming an asset of the conservative minority while the liberal majority disengages,” she writes.

In order to be an effective advocate, the lobbying group must be able to place Israel above the political fray. Yet given the partisan reception, AIPAC’s outreach towards progressives and liberals may get more difficult.

Related ARTICLES

Yucca Mountain – Sacred Native Land & Proposed Nuclear Waste Dump

Yucca Mountain – Sacred Native Land & Proposed Nuclear Waste Dump

Once again, the federal government proves itself as trustworthy as a two-headed rattler on methamphetamine.
Thank You Mr. Trump: You have Stripped the Cloak of “Conservatism” from the GOP Establishment

Thank You Mr. Trump: You have Stripped the Cloak of “Conservatism” from the GOP Establishment

Please understand that this is NOT like any presidential election we have seen in this country...maybe since 1860.

02 April 2016

by Chuck Baldwin

U.S. Response to Imprisonment of American Student Highlights Flaws in Korea Policy

U.S. Response to Imprisonment of American Student Highlights Flaws in Korea Policy

Korea and China should be cautious while playing with the US: after all, they will have to deal with a new President

31 March 2016

by James George Jatras

POPULAR ARTICLES

Not Found

OPINION

Vladimir Golstein

Vladimir Golstein

The Danderous Acceptance of Donald Trump

James N. Green

James N. Green

Politics in Brazil: Fasten Your Seat Belts!

Barbara H. Peterson

Barbara H. Peterson

Health officials confirm spread of Zika virus through sexual contact in Texas, first in US

Danny Haiphong

Danny Haiphong

WHY IS OTTO(SUPER)MAN ERDOGAN LOSING HIS CHARISMA?

Miray Aslan

Miray Aslan

How relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran reached a breaking point

Navid Nasr

Navid Nasr

How relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran reached a breaking point

Writers

chief editor

Joshua Tartakovsky

Analysis should serve as a method to better understand our world, not to obscure it.

Materials: 42

Specialization: Israel and the Middle East, US politics

Materials: 7

Specialization: Balkans, NATO and EU policies, Strategic communications

Materials: 3

Specialization: Foreign politics, Immigration, Human rights.

Materials: 2

Specialization: Political Science, Social Anthropology

Materials: 3

Specialization: Eastern Europe

Materials: 14

Specialization: Industrial Safety, Corporations

Materials: 12

Specialization: Eastern Europe, Labor movement

Materials: 3

Specialization: American history, way of life, and principles

Danielle Ryan

Ireland

Materials: 10

Specialization: US foreign policy, US-Russia relations and media bias

Materials: 20

Specialization: War, Racism, Capitalist exploitation, Civil rights

Materials: 8

Specialization: Modern Japanese History, Modern Chinese History, Military History, History of Counterinsurgency, History of Disobedience, Dynamics of Atrocities in Wartime

Dovid Katz

Lithuania

Materials: 3

Specialization: Holocaust Revisionism and Geopolitics; East European Far Right & Human Rights; Yiddish Studies & Litvak Culture

Materials: 20

Specialization: History, Catalunya, Spain, Geopolitics, Nationalism in Europe, Islamization, Immigration

Materials: 5

Materials: 3

Specialization: migration, international relations

Materials: 1

Specialization: Syria, US Foreign policy and strategies, BRICS/SCO

Materials: 19

Specialization: Balkans, Yugoslavia

Materials: 10

Specialization: Jihadist Groups, Islamic Terrorism, Global Security

Materials: 4

Specialization: Geopolitics

Materials: 4

Specialization: Media and government relations

Materials: 2

Specialization: Latin America, Brazil

Jay Watts

Canada

Materials: 2

Specialization: History, Marxism-Leninism, Imperialism, Anti-imperialism.

Materials: 2

Specialization: International Relations, Sociology, Geostrategy

Materials: 1

Specialization: civil rights

Lionel Baland

Belgium

Materials: 22

Specialization: Euroscepticism, Patriotic parties of Europe

Maram Susli

Australia

Materials: 3

Specialization: Geopolitics

Materials: 2

Specialization: Civil rights, Racism, US politics

Materials: 1

Specialization: geopolitics, economics

Max J. Schindler

Palestine-Israel

Materials: 9

Specialization: Politics

Miray Aslan

Turkey

Materials: 12

Specialization: Media, Politics

Materials: 5

Specialization: Politics, International relations

Navid Nasr

Croatia

Materials: 13

Specialization: Global security, Politics

Materials: 9

Specialization: Development of European Union, Non-governmental organizations, Politics and economics in Baltic States

Materials: 9

Specialization: Greece, Crisis of the US hegemony; Israel / Occupied Palestine, Oppression of Black people in the US

Materials: 4

Specialization: geopolitics, Russia, USSR

Pedro Marin

Brazil

Materials: 17

Specialization: Latin America, Ukraine, North Korea

Materials: 13

Specialization: Sustainable development, International relations, Comparative European politics, European integration, Eastern European politics and EU-Russia relations

Materials: 8

Specialization: Politics

Materials: 16

Specialization: Counterterrorist Finance

Seyit Aldogan

Greece

Materials: 3

Specialization: ISIS, Middle East, Globalization, Migrant crisis

Materials: 1

Specialization: Head of "Srebrenica Historical Project"

Materials: 3

Specialization: Economy, Social politics

Stevan Gajic

Serbia

Materials: 1

Specialization: Full time researcher at the Institute for European Studies

Materials: 5

Specialization: Geopolitics, Geoeconomics

Materials: 2

Specialization: Civil rights

Tobias Nase

Germany

Materials: 8

Specialization: Syria, US Foreign policy, Ukraine

Valerijus Simulik

Lithuania

Materials: 2

Specialization: Politics and economics in Baltic States, education and science, non - governmental organizations, globalization and EU

Van Gelis

Greece

Materials: 17

Specialization: Middle East

Materials: 1

Specialization: Kosovo, Serbia, Belgrad bombing

Materials: 5

Specialization: international relations, Russia

toTop