Monday, November 7, 2011

The Pro-Israel Lobby Courts African-Americans

Sunday 6 November 2011
by: Ira Glunts, Truthout | News Analysis

Hasbara is the Hebrew word for a particular type of pernicious propaganda first employed by early Zionists leaders to explain the unexplainable actions of the Jewish administration in Palestine. In recent years, hasbara has been disseminated by certain Christian fundamentalists who believe supporting Israel brings them closer to God, and also by many members of the United States Congress who have been co-opted by the powerful pro-Israel lobby. Now, the lobby has its sights set on a new group of potential collaborators: African-Americans.

A group of 18 African-American local and state politicians, including the presidents of the City Councils of Atlanta and Detroit, recently enjoyed a tour of Israel courtesy of the American-Israel Educational Foundation (AIEF). AIEF was also the sponsor of the infamous 2011 US Congressional summer trip to Israel, during which 81 American lawmakers diverted their attention from the budget debate and the US financial crisis in order to focus on the sightseeing pleasures of the Holy Land - and to be propagandized by the Netanyahu government. AIEF is part of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the biggest pro-Israel lobbying group in the US

Also, in October, Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the largest non-Jewish, pro-Israel organization in the United States, held a number of events specifically targeting religious African-Americans. These events were held in black churches in New York City during CUFI's "Gathering of Solidarity With the State of Israel" conference on October 25 and 26.

The AIEF political junket and the CUFI church meetings are examples of the recent push to recruit pro-Israel support among the African-American community, according to Nathan Guttman in a recent article in the Jewish newspaper, Forward. Both CUFI and AIPAC have been developing contacts in the African-American community for at least five years, although their efforts have gone largely unnoticed until now.

No comments: