Creating people's geographies
This is the excellent first episode of a documentary on the influence in the US of the Israel Lobby by Dutch public broadcast organization VPRO. Marije Meermans and William de Bruijns interview several interesting figures to speak on the future of the American and Israel relationship and the reception of John Mearsheimer and Steven Walt’s landmark paper last year, The Israel Lobby and US foreign policy.
It features interviews with John Mearsheimer, former chief of staff to United States Secretary of State Colin Powell, historian and critic Tony Judt, neocon Richard Perle, evangelical Christian Zionist John Hagee, former Congressman Earl Hilliard, Kenneth Roth of Human Rights Watch, Michael Massing and Daniel Levy.
It also comes as Scott Ritter writes about the dire implications to American sovereignty of a foreign influence parading as a domestic lobby. In TruthDig (13 April 2007) he writes:
We must demand not only that Congress reassert its constitutional responsibilities and authority by demanding the president obey the letter of the law when it comes to war, whether against Iran or any other nation, but also to place in check the anti-American activities of one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington, D.C., the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee.
For decades AIPAC has operated in the shadows of American foreign policy decision-making, exerting its influence on elected officials away from the public scrutiny of the very constituents who elected those officials to begin with. … I am not advocating the dissolution of AIPAC. However, I am demanding that AIPAC be treated as any other representative of a foreign nation is treated. It should have to register as an agent of a foreign power so that the totality of its interactions with American officials can become a part of the public record. We require this of all other nations, including our good friends the British.
To state that AIPAC, and by extension Israel, is above the law in this regard is to acknowledge the reality that American national sovereignty no longer matters when it comes to the state of Israel. So be it. But then we are, collectively, no better than those nations I mocked prior to the invasion of Iraq in 2003 as “colonies” of the United States. So if we are to continue to permit AIPAC to operate as an undeclared agent of a foreign nation, and to influence American foreign and national security policymaking at the expense of our Constitution, then we should acknowledge our true status as nothing more than a colony of Israel, pull down the Stars and Stripes and raise the Star of David over our nation’s capitol. While representing the final act of submission, it would also be the first truly honest act that occurred in Washington, D.C., in many years.
The Israel Lobby (51 minutes)