But the more interesting tidbit, from my vantage point, was a bit buried. Often times, AIPAC is cast in these dramas as a pure malevolent force that completely kowtows to Israel's far-right. If you thought, the following might be a bit of a shocker:
Each of the groups that repudiated Bennett framed their statements in the context of Kerry’s bid to restart the peace process and come as Israeli settler leaders opposed to a two-state solution are making their case in Washington. Dani Dayan, a leader of the Yesha Council, the West Bank settlement umbrella body, met last week with top Republican lawmakers in Congress.Not only is it important that the pro-settlement wing of "pro-Israel" be marginalized to crank groups like ZOA and the RJC, this also fits within my broader strategic vision of driving a wedge between AIPAC and its right-ward critics. The more centrist Jewish organizations, including AIPAC, view ZOA and its ilk as foes rather than friends, the more willing they'll be to work with center-left groups in order to protect Israel's longetivity as a Jewish, democratic state.
AIPAC, notably, declined an invitation to attend the meeting June 27 between Dayan and top Republicans, including Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the chairwoman of the committee’s Middle East subcommittee; and Rep. Pete Roskam (R-Ill.), the party’s chief deputy whip.
Instead, the Zionist Organization of America and the Republican Jewish Coalition led the Jewish contingent at the meeting. The ZOA has counter-rebuked the Jewish groups that criticized Bennett and Danon. Foxman, the ZOA said in a June 24 release, was “suppressing opposition to a Palestinian state.”