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Israel's Kent State: After Flotilla Massacre, The Lobby Blames The Victims

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UPDATE: Commentator Moshe Yaroni has it exactly right. This is Israel's Kent State. Also see Brad Burston in Ha'aretz.

The usual suspects are already rushing to offer the usual double talk to defend what Israel did. Here is typical claptrap from the Israel-is-always-100%-right American Jewish Committee. Also AIPAC and its media acolytes are out there to tell us that the Israelis are the victims, and if you don't think so, you are an anti-semite. Or a self-hating Jew/

But the massacre happened in international waters and the attack was launched by military commandos against civilians trying to relieve other civilians suffering under an illegal blockade.

There is only one spot in this country where the lobby will be able to sell the story that the humanitarian flotilla was the aggressor and that Israel is the victim here. That is the United States Congress.

By Wednesday, your favorite liberal Democrat (let alone Republican) will be mouthing the talking points AIPAC distributed this morning. Don't let them get away with it. Get to Schumer, Boxer, Van Hollen, Grayson, Weiner, Hoyer and the others before they embarrass themselves by defending the indefensible.

For America's sake, for the sake of the people of Gaza, and for the sake of the good Israelis who hearts are broken by the latest crime done in their name, we need to make Congress understand that America and justice -- and, yes, the survival of the State of Israel -- needs to come before the demands of AIPAC. Enough is enough.

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The word from Israel is that Rahm Emanuel invited Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to Washington for a kiss-and-makeup session this week. It will happen Tuesday.

Meanwhile, in Washington the word is that Obama will ease the pressure on settlements and the strangulation of Gaza to keep pro-Israel donors to the Democratic party writing checks for the November election.

I certainly don't know what will happen. However, given that nothing has changed since Bibi's last visit, any demonstration of love from the administration will be an proof that US policy is dictated by campaign contributions.

Obama needs to read the United Nations' latest report about how Israel continues to deepen its blockade of Gaza and is now ready to go to war with a humanitarian flotilla heading to Gaza to provide relief.

And then, of course, is General Petraeus' warning (speaking for the Pentagon) that Israel's occupation policies endanger US troops. These things matter. Not campaign contributions.

One last point: Israel is in trouble. At the present rate, the remarkable accomplishment that is Israel will be lost because the right (i.e, Netanyahu, AIPAC, etc) prefers the settlements, smashing Gaza and building in Arab East Jerusalem to Israel itself. So it's for Israel's sake, too, that the President must not yield to the pleas and blandishments of Netanyahu and his cutouts. As for the donors, tell them US foreign policy is not exchanged for campaign contributions.

Bottom line: unless Bibi is announcing a change in policy, a cold shoulder should is all he deserves
from us.

Pro-Israel? Support an end to the occupation NOW. Anti-Israel? Stick with the status quo (AIPAC, Netanyahu, etc).