AIPAC: More than a justification machine


By the Boiling Point Editorial Board,

On Thursday, August 15, U.S. Representatives Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan were prohibited by the Israeli government from traveling to Israel. The two have been outspokenly critical of the Israeli government. President Trump tweeted: “They hate Israel & all Jewish people, & there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds,” and then encouraged Israel — which had originally granted them visas — to take the action that it did. Some sided with Israel, others opposed it.

Notably, AIPAC came out and disagreed with Israel’s action. In a world where Israel is criticized constantly, it’s unusual for the largest Israel advocacy group in the world to openly criticize it as well, actions of the very country they lobby for, but we believe this was the right decision.

If AIPAC stoops down to the level of blindly following every action Israel makes, it becomes nothing more than the nation’s international justification machine. A lobbying organization that does nothing more than make excuses for everything its cause does, no matter what, is a faulty organization.

We might expect them to jump and defend Netanyahu’s actions, perhaps to explain why the actions taken were the best choice available.

But there is no excuse for not admitting representatives Omar and Tlaib purely because they do not share the same extremely pro-Israel stance of nearly every other U.S. legislator. Closing Israel off to these representatives would send the message that Israel is opposed to dialogue and refuses to listen to criticism.

When AIPAC tweeted that they “believe every member of Congress should be able to visit and experience our democratic ally Israel firsthand,” they were calling Israel out for what they believed to be the wrong decision. Their choice to do this was admirable, and they did so respectfully.

The Boiling Point Editorial Board is pleased with how AIPAC, respected especially in our Jewish community, handled this case.

We are glad that they aren’t afraid to share that they are capable of disagreeing with decisions made by the Israeli government — just the way plenty of patriotic Americans disagree with decisions made by the U.S. Government.

It’s wonderful that we have such an organization as AIPAC in today’s world. On the one hand, they are incredibly dedicated to advocating on Israel’s behalf. They work tirelessly on Israel-America relations, and have done great work. On the other hand, we’re glad that it can also remain independent as an organization and not stoop to the level of brainless support.

Well done, AIPAC.

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