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AIPAC Meeting Features Senator Jon Kyl Who Pledges Support to Israel

By C. E. Carlson
May 5 2002

Up to 450 Israeli patriots, guests and picketers attended the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) meeting at the Scottsdale Arizona Hilton Hotel on Sunday morning, May 5. AIPAC describes itself on its website as "America's Pro-Israel Lobby" and quotes the New York Times in what calls it "The most important organization affecting America's relationship with Israel."

The meeting format was decidedly more Israeli than American. It began with the standing singing of the Israeli National Anthem. The American flag was present, but was not deployed in a superior position to the Star of David. The Star Spangled Banner was not offered, nor was there a pledge to The American flag. One verse of God Bless America was sung as a consolation offering.

Keynote speakers included Israeli Patriot Arizona Senator Jon Kyl, Member of Congress Jane Harman, AIPAC Executive Director Howard Kohr and Israeli former bureaucrat and now Stanford Professor Ariel Levite. The reoccurring theme was that Yasser Arafat controlls "terrorism" and the Palestinian people, that he is guilty of acting in bad faith so the Palestinian people must be further punished. Thus, Arafat was pictured as sort of a backwards proxy for the people. He is guilty but they must suffer.

AIPAC inconsistency indicates it has a love hate relationship with Mr. Arafat; they love to denounce him but they don't want him to go away. Dr. Ariel Levite, who has served in the Defense Ministry, provided his version of the history of the intifada where he repeatedly fixed the blame on Arafat. He stressed that the Israeli people want peace. The writer got the impression that Dr. Levitt considers Arafat far too useful to get rid of.

Kyl and Harmon competed for which could do the most for Israel. Both in their strident anti-Palestinian views, made the paid AIPAC Director and the Israeli agent appear moderates by comparison. Kyl stopped just short of saying all Palestinians should be ejected, as his friend, retiring Congressman Dick Armey recently publicly demanded. Kyl proudly stated he had had taken a military jeep tour around the West Bank, and said he agreed with Israel that it needed to appropriate a "buffer zone" between the west bank and Syria before a treaty is signed. He called for the cessation of funding to the PLO, which he said was upward to $170 million, and he indicated confidence congress would comply.

Kyle's agenda mirrors the wish list of AIPAC Director Kohr, who also said he favored de-funding certain United Nation's investigative agency unfriendly to Israel.

Representative Jane Harmon stated that she plans to co-sponsor a measure calling for adding Syria to the terrorist state list, and Kyl hastened to announce he would add his support.

Several notes of concern played, and several admissions damaging leaked out of the meeting. Howard Kohr, stated that AIPAC is troubled by the widely held view since Day911 that the "hatred would not be there were it not for (US) unique relationship with Israel."

Jane Harmon stated that the US should continue to support Israel "even if we have to go it alone" without any other country in the world with the US. She seems to understand this may be the case.

Harmon also stated her support for Israeli action in the West Bank, but she cautioned that she did not want to see us "convert every five year old into a suicide bomber."

Much of the meeting was consumed by a carefully monitored Israel friendly panel discussion with friendly written questions supposedly from the floor. However, several written questions from the floor about the use of US Foreign aid to end the live of Palestinian civilians were not read.

AIPAC Director Kohr stated in his opening remarks, "only one country stands with Israel." This was a surprising admission. As the crowd broke for lunch, Kohr acknowledged the presence of the pro- Palestinian pickets in front of the building, of which he said constitutes a growing worldwide problem. Mr. Kohr's speech delivered at the previously held April 22 conference can be read on AIPAC's website (

A substantial picket of men, women and children organized by Friends of Palestine rotated on the line steadily from 9:00 AM to 12:30PM with signs critical of foreign aid, Israeli atrocities, and AIPAC's influence on Congress. Several signs were directed at Senator Kyle of Arizona. Some picketers carried red, white, black and green Palestinians flags on busy Scottsdale Road in front of the hotel. Several counter picketers stationed themselves across the street, waving Israeli flags.

According to a study by the Washington Report for Middle East Affairs, Senator Jon Kyl has already been the recipient of $77,000.00 in direct campaign funds from PAC's viewed to be under the umbrella of AIPAC.

Only 48 hours after the AIPAC meeting nine year old Tamar Abu Sirreye of Tulkaram refugee camp was shot to death by Israeli troops while protesting the Israeli presence in the camp with other children. He was hit twice in the chest. In an unrelated killing the same day, Israeli military shot to death Fatima Zakarna (32) and her two children, Basel age five and Abir age three. All were hit in the head and upper body by fire from a military vehicle while playing in a field in Jenin.