What Is This So-Called "Air" Thing of Which You Speak?

I put on the radio and found I was in the midst of a talk show. Two guys are agreeing that the Hagel confirmation is a defeat for the Israel Lobby. One Margaret Hoover (who turns out to be the great-granddaughter of Herbert) pipes in and says, "Israel lobby? I don't even know what that means!"

Well, Margaret, if you really don't even "know what that means," you should not bother writing books on public affairs. On the other hand, if what you meant was "I don't think there is such a thing," you might want to visit this web site. There you will encounter an organization that boasts that it is "America’s leading pro-Israel lobby," and boasts of how it lobbies Congress to ensure the United States continues to give Israel a $3 billion gift each year. The organization has roughly a $70 million dollar budget it uses to influence American policy towards Israel.

That would be part of the lobby of which the gentlemen were speaking, Margaret. I know, I know: Only people who favor our current policies towards Israel are supposed to mention how powerful and effective AIPAC is. Whenever anyone critical of those policies mention that such a lobby exists, everyone has to play dumb and find themselves unable to imagine what the critic is saying.


  1. I agree on the details here, but I'm personally fond of coyness as a rhetorical strategy for getting people to spell things out more rather than get by on just their chosen shorthand or assumptions (because the shorthand chosen can guide the tone of the debate).


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