Peter reports on how what was said:
In his talk, Peter Beinart, an editor at the New Republic, gave the framework for AIPAC’s work in the coming months: dealing with the threat of Iran. He portrayed Obama and Netanyahu as two characters in a movie who, though they dislike each other intensely, are thrown together on a quest to “get the bad guy,” meaning Iran. In perhaps the most frightening statement of the evening, Beinart remarked that Netanyahu’s main purpose will be to do everything he can “to prepare for the day when he goes to the oval office and tells Obama that Israel has to take military action against Iran.”
As for the Israel-Palestine issue, Beinart predicts a fake U.S. peace effort in order to garner support for tough sanctions against Iran. His statement is worth quoting at length:
“I think that the Administration’s view toward the Palestinian situation is mostly going to be to try and keep it quiet…[When Obama works with the Sunni Arab countries or Europe, he will hear] ‘What we need you [Obama] to do as the price for being able to get another round of sanctions is at least the perception of movement on the Israeli-Palestinian problem, we need there to be some Israeli-Palestinian process, even though we are realists [and] we don’t believe it will get anywhere.’…And so the Obama Administration thinks they need to be actively engaged in the Israel-Palestinian peace process--not necessarily because they believe they can pull off a final settlement--but because they need it in the coalition against Iran, and because they need to prevent things in the Palestinian Territories from actually getting worse.”
Note that “preventing things from getting worse” does not mean improving the humanitarian or human rights situation in the Palestinian occupied territories; it does not mean stopping settlement construction or home demolition; it does not mean negotiating in good faith with Fatah and Abbas. It is all about taking actions against Hamas and creating the mere perception of a peace process. In downplaying the right wing turn of Israel’s government, AIPAC and others also ignore the real danger to peace posed by Israel’s new foreign minister, the racist Avigdor Lieberman who openly advocates ethnic cleansing. J Street, a new Jewish lobby organization created as an alternative to AIPAC, stated that Lieberman’s views were “contrary to both our democratic and our Jewish values.” - From AIPAC: The Anti-Peace LobbyGreat thanks to Peter and the Portland group for protesting this event, and for sharing the story of the aipac agenda. Be sure to read the whole thing.