Opinion |

Dear AIPAC, Get a Life, and Stay Out of Mine

To AIPAC, my job is to represent it here in Israel. AIPAC has appointed itself my protection gang. It operates like the Mafia.

Rogel Alpher
Rogel Alpher
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The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., March 2, 2015.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., March 2, 2015.Credit: Bloomberg
Rogel Alpher
Rogel Alpher

I hate AIPAC. That presumptuous, American so-called pro-Israel lobby does enormous damage to Israel. Its members are rich, influential Jews who live in America and have appointed themselves to represent my interests and to protect me. By what right? Their chutzpah is unimaginable.

Haim Saban, Hillary Clinton’s behind-the-scenes adviser on Israel, similarly appointed himself to protect me. He, like AIPAC, does this by means of his capital. If only I had enough money to be able to go to U.S. senators and tell them that I’ll double every contribution by AIPAC members to their campaigns, I’ll contribute twice as much, if it will keep them from listening to them. If only I had enough money to be able to go to Clinton and tell her that I’ll give her $2 for every dollar Saban gives her, as long as it will stop her from listening to him.

Because that’s the name of the game. Saban and AIPAC’s financial bullying makes it possible for them to live in the United States and to shape my and my children’s lives, here in Israel. They are responsible, no less than Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel’s Jews are, for the continuation of the occupation, the settlements and the creation of the binational state. Netanyahu and the Israeli public have democratic rights. Netanyahu is the elected prime minister. The Israeli public elected him. Who elected AIPAC? Who elected Saban? Those Jews in America are literally ruining my life here.

Haim Saban.Credit: Alon Ron

AIPAC was behind the letter signed by 88 U.S. senators calling on President Barack Obama to veto any “one-sided” resolutions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that are passed by the UN Security Council during the remainder of his term. The reference is to a resolution demanding an end to the Israeli occupation and the settlements and calling for the establishment of a Palestinian state in the pre-1967 borders, alongside Israel. I’m longing for such a resolution in the Security Council. I live in Israel and am raising my children here and I have a moral right to long for such a resolution. But I can’t influence American presidents and senators. By what moral right does AIPAC act against such a resolution? Yesh Atid chairman MK Yair Lapid has a moral right to act against such a resolution. Happily for me, he has no influence on Capitol Hill. Unfortunately, AIPAC does. AIPAC, like Haim Saban, has no such moral right, but it does have influence. I am sure that if I tried to exert such influence on the most important decisions in the lives of AIPAC’s members, they would rise up against me. AIPAC deprives me of my right to make decisions about my life and to conduct it as I see fit. It weakens Israeli democracy because it is much more influential in Washington than Israel’s political opposition. AIPAC in effect uses violence against me. It imposes its interests on me from afar.

I’m invisible to AIPAC. It, and not I, decides what’s good for Israel. I will pay the price for AIPAC’s actions. From AIPAC’s perspective, my job is actually to represent it here. AIPAC doesn’t want to live in Israel. It prefers to live in the United States. So it has decided that I will represent it here, and in exchange it will “protect” me. That is, it will ruin my life. AIPAC has appointed itself my protection gang. It operates like the Mafia. AIPAC can go screw itself. Those words exactly. That verbal violence is nothing compared to its hostile, anti-democratic and illegitimate takeover of my life. Jews of America, get a life, and leave mine alone.

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