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AIPAC, J Street And the 'Dual Loyalty' Question

The pro-Israel organization J Street, AIPAC's liberal rival, must confront its dual loyalty dilemma, which will be tested once Jerusalem's division is put on the Israeli-Palestinian negotiating table. 
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seen on a screen as he speaks at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference in Washington March 5, 2012.      REUTERS/Joshua Roberts    (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR2YWD1
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The decision by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the pro-Israel lobby in the United States, to back President Barack Obama’s decision to attack Syria brings to mind the story of a Jewish slave who put rotten fish on his king’s plate. The king, furious, orders the slave to pick one of three punishments: eating all the smelly fish, getting 50 lashes or being run out of town. Lashes will hurt, the poor man tells himself; being expelled from town is too harsh a sentence. I’m better off eating the bad fish, he decides. With his stomach straining from the fish, the slave stops eating and asks to exchange that punishment for a whipping instead. After taking a hefty number of lashes, the poor man begs again to change his mind and this time leave town. Thus, instead of making a wise choice at the start, the slave eats the putrid fish, gets whipped and is kicked out of town.  

AIPAC came in for criticism from members of Congress, among them Republican lawmakers who are ardent supporters of the lobby but strenuously opposed to the president’s stand. It was branded, once again, in American (and Jewish) public opinion, as a war-mongering organization and a minority that puts the interests of a foreign country over those of the United States. It was then caught with its pants down when it became known that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu supports the [US-Russian] agreement on Syria.

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