This was the second of HAGSA’s planned series of three presentations under the general heading of American Foreign Policy. Twenty-five people, including several attending a HAGSA meeting for the first time, enjoyed a hard-hitting presentation and the question and answer period that followed.
Frank Scott is a prolific writer of political commentary. He has a column in the monthly Coastal Post, published in Marin County. His work also appears on numerous web sites, including Online Journal (http://onlinejournal.com) and his own blog, which can be found at http://legalienate.blogspot.com.
In his talk, Frank took on the pro-Israel lobby, particularly the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), for having so much influence on American politics and on American media that one rarely reads or hears anything critical of Israeli government policies from American politicians or from the mainstream American media. The power of the lobby, according to Scott, is a suppressed story. Anyone—such as former President Jimmy Carter—who dares speak out is pilloried if his story is not actually suppressed. He also mentioned Meershimer and Wald, who were to have an article appear in the Atlantic Monthly only to find it dropped at the last minute. Anyone critical of Israel risks accusations of anti-Semitism if he is not Jewish, and of being a “self-hating Jew” if he is. The result is a loss of balance in American public opinion that skews American foreign policy so strongly towards blind support of Israel that America’s real national interests are ignored. This is why Scott has called the Zionist lobby “The Greatest Threat.” Arabs respond with rage and bombings over our unquestioning support of Israel and its long and brutal occupation of the West Bank. Of course, this is self-defeating to the Arabs, as it only makes Americans even more strongly pro-Israel. Violence feeds on itself.
Frank Scott blames the Zionist lobby for beating the drums for war with Iraq. According to him, the oil lobby had nothing to do with it. It served Israel’s interests to remove Saddam Hussein from power. If we are not careful, history could repeat itself—this time with Iran. He quoted arms inspector Scott Ritter as being highly critical of Nancy Pelosi for removing language from an appropriations bill that would have required congressional approval for any attack on Iran. This was done for the sake of Israel, according to him. Both major American political parties are complicit in the unquestioning support of Israel, according to Scott.
prepared by Wayne Luney