Proof Positive: The Lobby Rules

08/07/2010 11:11 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • MJ Rosenberg Worked on Capitol Hill for Democratic Senators and House members for 20 years

You might think that former Secretary of Health & Human Services (HHS) Donna Shalala would be furious after being detained at Tel Aviv airport for the sole infraction of being an Arab-American.

This is from the Israeli daily Yedioth Achronoth:

When Shalala arrived at the airport, she was not recognized as a VIP and was even afforded what she claims to be "special" treatment because of her Arab last name. She claims she was held for two-and-a-half hours during which she was asked invasive and humiliating personal questions. Despite the delay, she managed to board the flight to the US. Officials who spoke with her said she was deeply offended by the treatment she received.

But guess what. Shalala, after a few day's reflection. is not offended at all. .

On the contrary, back in Miami she defended the Israeli policy of ethnic profiling -- followed by humiliation applied to such security threats as post-60 year old former cabinet officials and university presidents.

"While I was inconvenienced, Israel's security and the security of travelers is far more important," said Shalala, who is of Lebanese descent. "I have been going in and out of Israel for many years and expect to visit again."


So I checked with my friend who knows the scene at the University of Miami. "Are you crazy? If Shalala hinted at criticizing Israel, millions of dollars the university is counting on would dry up instantly. She can't say a word or the university will have to put all its expansion plans on a shelf forever, not to mention the scholarships that will disappear."

And that is how it works. I have been remiss on focusing mostly on Congress. I am afraid that even I don't know the half of it. Excuse me while I go vomit.