Douglas Bloomfield served as the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee's (AIPAC) chief lobbyist for more than a decade. On February 27th Bloomfield wrote a sharp critique of AIPAC in the New York Jewish Week entitled "AIPAC To Hill: Don't Touch Israel Aid," in which he took issue with AIPAC sending 13,000 lobbyists this week to tell Congress not to touch Israel's $3 billion-plus annual U.S. grant and to vote for legislation declaring Israel to be a "major strategic ally," a designation enjoyed by no other nation.
On March 1st MJ Rosenberg, Senior Foreign Policy Fellow at Media Matters Action Network, wrote an even sharper criticism of AIPAC entitled "Will the Lobby Exempt Israel Aid From Sequestration?" wherein he noted that "--- it is wrong and would represent nothing more than another power play by the lobby" and that "Few teenagers demand a car when their parents are filing for bankruptcy."
Rosenberg notes also that "--- if aid to Israel (the largest chunk of the foreign aid budget) is protected, mandated sequestration cuts will have to be proportionately increased on other recipients, primarily African countries which receive much-needed development assistance (hunger, poverty, disease prevention)."
Exempting Israel's $3 billion aid package from the sequester that every American will feel and depriving African countries truly in need of financial assistance in order to protect Israel from a cut of $175 million from the $3 billion grant we have been giving Israel for years would be wrong. I urge readers to call or write to Senator Tom Harkin and Senator Chuck Grassley to ask them to oppose such legislation.
Senator Tom Harkin's contact data in Washington, D.C. are: 731 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510; (202) 224-3254, Fax 202-224-9369.
Senator Chuck Grassley's contact data in Washington, D.C. are: 135 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510; (202) (202) 224 3744, Fax: (202) 224-6020.
Fax: (202) 224-6020.
The thoughts outlined above represent my personal views and not the views of my former employer.
Dennis Lamb from Chelsea, retired from the CIA in 2002 after serving 30 years in its Directorate of Operations as a Case Officer and as and Intelligence Analyst.