Wild Card part VIII: AIPAC flexes its muscle – who cares?

Congress passes a resolution against Palestinian unilaterlism. Yawn…
Wild Card part VIII: AIPAC flexes its muscle - who cares?
Rep. Howard Berman. Not a word of criticism of Israel (photo: Center for American Progress Action Fund)

Shocking news coming out of D.C.: AIPAC managed to get members of Congress to pass a resolution that’s pro-Israel and anti-Palestinian. Wow. I’m glad I was sitting down when I read the headlines: “House opposes unilateral declaration of Palestine”!

The congressman who pushed the resolution through is Rep. Howard Berman (CA Dem) who told the Forward at the time of his appointment to the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee: “Even before I was a Democrat, I was a Zionist”. According to the Washington Report in Middle East Affairs, Berman has received throughout his congressional career over 115 thousand dollars from pro-Israel PACs.

The fact that this last minute resolution passed so easily was no surprise to columnist M.J. Rosenberg, who predicted its approval hours before it reached the floor:

“Congressman Howard Berman (D-CA), chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is today rushing to the House floor with an AIPAC-drafted resolution condemning the Palestinians for publicly suggesting that, in the wake of Netanyahu’s refusal to freeze settlements and negotiate, they will consider a unilateral declaration of statehood. (As is usual with Berman, his resolution exclusively blames Palestinians for the collapse of peace talks; not a word of criticism of Israel appears.)

The Berman bill, drafted only yesterday, will be voted on today because when it comes to pleasing AIPAC there are simply no limits.”

So, for all you Wild Card supporters out there I say: don’t worry. If anything, you should be proud AIPAC is picking this one up. It means they’re nervous about Palestinian unilateralism. Even better: it means AIPAC believes there just might be a few people in the White House who are thinking about Palestinian unilateralism, too.


Part I The Wild Card campaign starts with a bang through an op-ed in the Jerusalem Post
Part II Where French FM and President Abbas hint towards a future Palestinian state
Part III Egyptian FM joins the party
Part IV The NYTimes puts the Wild Card on the agenda
Part V The right wingers start to get nervous about unilateralism
Part VI The peace talks die, a call for Obama to think again about the Wild Card
Part VII EU sets the ground for recognition of Palestine