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AIPAC Goes To Alabama To Protect Israel's Black Vote

Tomorrow's Democratic primary in Alabama, pitting Congressman Earl Hilliard against challenger Arturo Davis could be a sign of things to come in Black electoral politics. The American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, (AIPAC) is backing Mr. Davis in his quest to win the congressional seat in Alabama's 7th district, because of its dissatisfaction with Rep. Hilliard's foreign policy worldview, which has inspired him to oppose embargoes and sanctions placed on nations like Cuba and Libya, and even to personally visit the so-called "rogue" nations. Rep. Hilliard's 1997 visit to Libya and demand that sanctions on Iran be lifted has been particularly problematic for AIPAC, which has organized close to 10 fund-raisers for Mr. Davis.

While most Black members of Congress play down the sympathy that many Blacks have for countries deemed as "off-limits" by the American political establishment, Rep. Hilliard has been more honest and courageous, telling the mainstream media what many Blacks already know, "Libya is an African nation. It carries no negative connotation in my community".

His interest in Cuba, Iran and Libya rankled many within the Jewish political establishment but the straw that broke the camel's back was Rep. Hilliard's decision last month to vote against a hasty House Resolution that uncritically expressed "solidarity with Israel".

We are pleased by the controversy over Rep. Hilliard's worldview and do view the primary, in many ways as a referendum on Rep. Hilliard's foreign policy positions. It is about time that a showdown of sorts has occurred in public, over a Black lawmaker, whose base is a predominately Black and poor rural district, who faces losing his elected seat simply because his words and actions are out of line with the objectives of a non-Black and more wealthy outside special interest group.

If Rep. Hilliard is successful, it would be a sign that Black leaders and those whom they represent are overcoming the legacy of having to "check with massa'" before publicly expressing their view of U.S. foreign policy, much less a view that runs counter to a political establishment and military industrial complex that waves the flag to attract young and poor warriors, all while orchestrating pipeline deals and coups, made possible by the outcome of U.S. military and intelligence activity, in this or that part of the world.

If Rep. Hilliard is not successful it would put on public display, the inordinate influence that the Jewish political establishment has inside of the Black community. Interestingly, on Friday, the Wall St. Journal reported that Federal Election Commission reports reveal that from April 1 to May 20 Arturo Davis, who is Black, raised $360,636, and 75% of those donations came from New York City - the site of the numerous AIPAC fundraisers held on his behalf.

Either way - whether Rep. Hilliard wins or loses - we all are presented with a valuable case study in how Black elected officials are disproportionately made vulnerable to narrow Israeli interests because of 1) the lack of honesty and courage among Black politicians 2) the dearth of campaign contributions from the Black community and 3) the overall and combined weakness of the pro-African, Arab and Muslim lobbies in America.

But maybe, most importantly of all, whether Rep. Hilliard wins or loses, the nature of the virulent opposition to his campaign by AIPAC provides circumstantial evidence of the reality of one of the U.S. government national security objectives and how those objectives are in lock-step with the aims and purposes of AIPAC. In national security memorandum 46, dated March 17, 1978, and written during the Carter administration, the following analysis appears:

"In the above context, we must envisage the possibility, however remote, that black Americans interested in African affairs may refocus their attention on the Arab-Israeli conflict. Taking into account the African descent of American blacks; it is reasonable to anticipate that their sympathies would lie with the Arabs who are closer to them in spirit and, in some cases, related to them by blood. Black involvement in lobbying to support the Arabs may lead to serious dissension between American Blacks and Jews."

For decades, as is outlined in the complete text of NSC 46, there has existed a fear in America's national security nexus that if Blacks in America connected with Blacks in Africa, those same Black Americans would begin to discover their shared history with Arabs on the continent which, it was supposed, would cause them, over time, to line up with Arabs and Palestinians against America and Israel, from within U.S. borders. A related concern has been the possibility that a popular Black leader would lead the Black electorate out of its allegiance to the Democratic Party and as a result, the party's "required" loyalty to the state of Israel.

Although Zbignew Brezinski, President Carter's National Security Adviser who authored NSC 46, has denied the existence of the memo, has learned that privately, President Carter has indicated the reality of the contents of the memo to Black leaders.

Certainly the spirit of NSC memorandum 46 fills the hearts and minds of AIPAC and other members of the Jewish Political Establishment, when they see Rep. Hilliard questioning America's pro-Israel stance relative to the Middle East conflict and the imposition of sanctions on African nations like Libya. Reportedly, Rep. Hilliard has complained, "we never pass anything bashing the Israelis when they do something wrong."

If Rep. Hilliard's sentiment were to evolve into the legislative position of the Congressional Black Caucus it would interfere with the current grip that AIPAC has on U.S. foreign policy and cause to surface and bring into plain view a latent disagreement between the Black and Jewish electorates over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel, England and America have no stomach for the Black electorate in America joining onto an increasingly Islamicized Black Africa, the global pan-African movement, or the Palestinian cause.

AIPAC, carefully monitoring the spread of Islam in Africa, directly or indirectly is on the point in ensuring that the Black electorate in this country not be connected to Africa in a way that leads to sympathies toward an embrace of the various Arab and Palestinian causes. The discreet discussions between AIPAC and the leaders of the "slavery in the Sudan" campaign is but one instance of such.

Since 1978 AIPAC has had little to worry about coming from Black politicians, as the CBC willingly or begrudgingly, has swallowed whole, AIPAC's positions, out of fear of losing the positive media attention and financial support that can be garnered by the Jewish lobby. And today, AIPAC still has more going for it than against it, as only 5 Black Caucus members out of 38 had the courage to oppose the House Resolution that branded Yasser Arafat a terrorist, without proof or hearings, and which expressed the U.S. Congress' stance of solidarity with Israel, over the objections of President Bush who was posturing to position the U.S. as an honest broker in the conflict.

Black Caucus members who are aware of the Israeli governments' illegal use of U.S. weaponry, against Palestinian civilians, intimated to us that they did not want to vote for the resolution but feared the consequences of opposing it. If AIPAC has its way in Alabama, the 5 CBC members that voted against the resolution will have one less Black member of Congress in their column.

Irrespective of the everyday concerns of Alabama's 7th district, and Mr. Davis or Rep. Hillard's responsiveness to such, AIPAC hopes to determine who represents Black people in Alabama on the basis of the political candidates' positions on Israel. It will be up to Black voters to determine, in the voting booth, whether or not this is in their enlightened self-interest.

It is no one else's responsibility.

Monday, June 3, 2002

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The views and opinions expressed herein by the author do not necessarily represent the opinions or position of or Black Electorate Communications.

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