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AIPAC proves surprise lobbying force for Palestine

(Nadezhda Kevorkova is a war correspondent who has covered the events of the Arab Spring, military and religious conflicts around the world, and the anti-globalization movement.)

AIPAC is a political behemoth that is never challenged or criticized. Instead, it is feared by many. Some claim it defines US policy, while others maintain it doesn’t enjoy the influence the media has bestowed upon it. Whichever is true, here’s one hard fact – its conferences are attended by President Obama.

Compared with AIPAC, pro-Palestinian organizations are like the Lilliputians v Gulliver. AIPAC doesn’t seem to notice Palestinian activists rejecting their work as some useless barking. But once Gulliver dozed off, the Lilliputians tied him with thousands of threads so that he couldn’t move a finger.

AIPAC positions itself as a part of the establishment and disregards pro-Palestinian activists as a marginalized force. AIPAC has worked hard to create its own legend of a powerful body that has access to politicians and businessmen of any level. It’s called a Public Affairs Committee and it acts in line with the general business rules. Public affairs means connections, and here they serve the interests of the big business.

Lilliputians v Gulliver

Even political old-timers like AIPAC have to play by the rules of the digital world of social media, a virtual reality where anonymous activists, poor and marginalized people can confront movers and shakers, power players and presidents alike.

AIPAC loves to promote its slogan “I am pro-Israel, I am AIPAC”, “I am” – leader, brother, dancer, veteran, doer and so on – that is why “I am AIPAC.” In February, the organization asked its followersasked its followers on Twitter to play with the slogan (post dated February 27). Here’s a template.

AIPAC followers didn’t do a good job, unlike pro-Palestinian activists, who saw a burst of powerful ideas – they put the slogan over the most heartbreaking images of Israeli life.

Here are some of their masterpieces:

In several waves, in the course of just a few days, these posters found their way into the most prim and proper accounts – of Protestant pastors, widows and charity organizations, rabbis and artists, sportsmen and financial experts. It’s the nature of social networks to allow everyone to invade someone else’s space.

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