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AIPAC Is Called A “Hate Group”

Allan C. Brownfeld, Editor
Special Interest Report
April 2020

Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) called the American Israel Public Affairs  
committee (AIPAC) a “hate group” after it placed ads on Facebook that  
implied that McCollum and other members of Congress who had defended the  
rights of Palestinians were worse than the terrorist group ISIS.  
McCollum declared: “as a member of Congress and the vice-chair of the House  
Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, I believe defending human rights and  
freedom are foundational to international security and our democracy. The  
struggle to promote human dignity inevitably results in confronting  
entrenched forces determined to dehumanize, debase and demonize individuals  
or even entire populations to maintain dominance and an unjust status quo.  
hate is used as a weapon to incite and silence dissent. Unfortunately, this  
is my experience with AIPAC.”  
Rep. McCollum has introduced legislation which would protect the rights of  
Palestinian children imprisoned by the Israeli military. It would prohibit  
U.S. funding to “military detention, interrogation, abuse or ill-treatment  
of Palestinian children in violation of international humanitarian law.”  
Since 2000, an estimated 10,000 Palestinian children have been detained,  
prosecuted and incarcerated by the Israeli military in the occupied West  
Bank.” This legislation has been endorsed by a number of Jewish groups,  
including the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association.  
In explaining why he was not attending this year’s AIPAC conference, Sen.  
Bernie Sanders declared: “The Israeli people have the right to live in peace  
and security. So do the Palestinian people. I am concerned about the  
platform AIPAC provides for leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic  
Palestinian rights.”  
In a column headlined, “AIPAC Makes Sanders’s Point for Him,” Washington  
Post (March 3, 2020) columnist Dana Milbank writes: “AIPAC and Netanyahu  
seemed intent on proving Sanders’s point. As the conference  
opened...Netanyahu, speaking to the group via satellite...derided the  
Palestinians as the pampered children of the international community.’ The  
AIPAC audience applauded....Netanyahu told AIPAC he was moving forward with  
plans to annex Palestinian territory—a move that would make the long sought  
two-state solution all but impossible.”  
In what many considered a direct effort to influence the American  
presidential election, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon  
declared: “We don’t want Sanders at AIPAC. We don’t want him in Israel.  
Anyone who calls our prime minister a racist is either a liar, an ignorant  
fool, or both.”  
In Dana Milbank’s view, “AIPAC...finds itself not only at odds with  
Democrats, but also with most American Jews, instead of its tradition of  
representing strong, broad support for Israel, AIPAC is becoming about as  
bipartisan as the National Rifle Association. Even Netanyahu reportedly  
regards AIPAC as just another right-wing American interest group. ‘We don’t  
need AIPAC anymore,’ Netanyahu reportedly told one of his advisers. ‘We have  
enough support in the United States from the evangelicals. I’d happily give  
up on AIPAC if didn’t need to counteract J Street,’ a liberal pro-Israel  
Writing in The Forward (March 2, 2020), Batya Ungar Sargon, in an article  
titled, “How AIPAC Proved Bernie Right,” notes that, “I had never before  
been in the same room as a person who has defended genocide...until the  
AIPAC policy conference. Words like apartheid and genocide and ethnic  
cleansing are often thrown around in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian  
conflict....But it wasn’t a defender of Israeli war crimes, real or  
imagined, who was hosted by AIPAC. It was someone from a different context  
entirely. In July of 1995, 8,000 Muslims were murdered in Srebrenica in what  
the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia deemed a  
genocide. Under the command of Ratko Mladik, a Serbian paramilitary unit  
killed thousands and thousands...Aleksander Vucic was then serving as  
Minister of Information. He imposed fines for journalists who opposed the  
government and banned foreign t.v. Networks. The Serbian media he oversaw  
was accused of justifying atrocities and demonizing ethnic minorities....He  
has reinvented himself and has been serving as president of Serbia since  
2017...AIPAC welcomed the Serbian President to address its 18,000  

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