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Black Democrats Go to Israel, Ron Paul Puts Democrats to Shame

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A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

At least five Black Democratic congresspersons are in Israel, part of the one-fifth of the U.S. House that accepted an expensive vacation paid for by AIPAC, the Israel lobby. Clearly, it is thought wiser to take blood money from the Israelis, than to anger them. Meanwhile, Rep. Ron Paul is the lone presidential contender in either party that opposes America’s widening wars.

Black Democrats Go to Israel, Ron Paul Puts Democrats to Shame

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Black lawmakers, who represent the American constituency that is most sympathetic to the plight of Palestinians, apparently do not feel they have compromised themselves by taking the equivalent of $8,000 from AIPAC.”

Nearly one out of five members of the U.S. House of Representatives – 81 of them – this month accepted an invitation to Israel, the biggest congressional junket to the Jewish apartheid state, ever. The entire tab for congressperson and spouse, was paid for by AIPAC, the American Israel Political Action Committee, the most feared lobby on Capitol Hill. Among the 26 Democrats that put themselves at the disposal of the Israelis are at least five members of the Congressional Black Caucus. There may be more, but at press time AIPAC had not released the full roster. The Black members reportedly on the junket are:

Yvette Clarke, of New York; Jesse Jackson, Jr., of Chicago; Gwen Moore, from Milwaukee; Frederica Wilson, of Miami; and Hank Johnson, of suburban Atlanta.

Again, this is not a U.S. government trip; it is a gift of the Israel lobby. These congresspersons will not be speaking to Hamas, the Palestinian faction that runs Gaza and won the 2006 elections for the Palestinian Parliament. The Israelis have been blockading Gaza ever since, and killed 1,500 Palestinians when they attacked Gaza just before President Obama took office. Americans have been imprisoned for giving what authorities call “material assistance” to Hamas, but it’s quite alright for members of the U.S. Congress, who make the laws that funnel billions of dollars to the Israeli state and military, to accept gifts from Israel’s lobbyists on Capitol Hill. And Black lawmakers, who represent the American constituency that is most sympathetic to the plight of Palestinians, apparently do not feel they have compromised themselves by taking the equivalent of $8,000 from AIPAC. Rather, the real nightmare in Washington is to get on the wrong side of AIPAC and Israel, as former Black congresspersons Cynthia McKinney, of Atlanta, and Earl Hilliard, of Alabama, learned in 2002, when pro-Israel money contributed heavily to their defeats. Hank Johnson, who took the AIPAC trip to Israel, now holds McKinney’s seat.

McKinney went on to run for president on the Green Party ticket, and is now one of the guiding lights in the U.S. peace movement.

Ron Paul drew loud applause, as well as boos, when he blasted ‘war propaganda’ against Iran.”

But you won’t find any such anti-war lights illuminating Democratic presidential politics, where most believe it is a foregone conclusion that the warmongering Barack Obama will be effectively unopposed for his second nomination.

All the peace talk is in the Republican presidential primary, where Congressman Ron Paul drew loud applause, as well as boos, when he blasted “war propaganda” against Iran. “Iran does not have an air force that can come here,” said Paul. “They can't even make enough gasoline for themselves.” He slammed the war hawks in both parties for leading the nation into yet another war. “They're building up this case…just like we did in Iraq.  There was no al Qaeda in Iraq,” said the old, libertarian from Texas.

Now, until Ron Paul can put thousands of white, right-wingers and Tea Partyers into the streets in opposition to U.S wars, we shouldn’t take any so-called conservative peace movement seriously. But we also can’t take seriously Black lawmakers that take $8,000 vacations from AIPAC, which is the same thing as taking a kickback on blood money from Israel.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to www.BlackAgendaReport.com.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

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