Two former staffers for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) had the charges of espionage against them dropped today. The government decided it was going to have too difficult of a time in winning this case.
Think AIPAC won? Think again.
This case has been pending since August of 2005, and you can bet that the attention it has thrown onto AIPAC’s activities was very much unwanted in those halls. The recent re-surfacing of Rep. Jane Harman’s alleged attempt to get the case dismissed years back no doubt infuriated them more.
And well it should. AIPAC and other groups that busily lobby on Capitol Hill to either maintain the status quo or even strengthen Israel’s hold on the Palestinians are losing ground. It’s not a position that enjoys much popular support anymore.
AIPAC’s influence is visibly slipping. In the past, they wisely avoided getting too cozy with any particular political group, be it one of the two parties or a political wave. But the neoconservatives tempted them too much.
It wasn’t merely neocon influence. It was the confluence of events: Ariel Sharon’s cozy relationship with the Bush Administration; that administration’s unprecedented indulgence of almost all Israeli policies and decisions; the events of 9/11; the increased hawkishness and/or outspokenness of other Jewish “leaders” like Abe Foxman, David Harris and Malcolm Hoenlein; the viciousness of the second intifada. (more…)