And this week, we watched another giant Jewish organization let us down as well.
The group in question here is AIPAC, which, for decades, has been one of the leading voices shaping how American foreign policy toward Israel is constructed. Whether or not you agree with the politics of AIPAC, most people would expect the lobbying group’s conduct to be respectful, best representing the candor of the Jews and non-Jews who support Israel.
As it turns out, that’s not quite the case. Let’s backtrack a bit.
In 2005, AIPAC senior officials Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman were fired shortly after both had been indicted on charges of espionage, as they had allegedly leaked classified information. The charge was dropped last year, but not before Rosen felt that his reputation had been tarnished. In March 2009, he filed a civil lawsuit against AIPAC for $20 million alleging defamation.
Earlier this month, AIPAC filed a motion asking a judge to dismiss Rosen’s charge, and what’s happened since is simply bad for everyone involved. AIPAC, sued for defamation, is now doing just that: the lobby’s leaders seem bent on sullying Rosen’s character so that his suit will seem laughable. How? By highlighting awkward and personal information from depositions filed in the lawsuit that allegedly Rosen watched pornography while at work. The reports don’t stop there — question and answer discussions from the depositions show lawyers digging into Rosen to reveal that many AIPAC directors were allegedly viewing pornography, as well as Rosen’s alleged “attempts to find male sexual companions through Craigslist,” read the transcripts.
What Rosen allegedly did while working with AIPAC was wrong. But in its attempt to distance itself from Rosen, AIPAC is effectively making itself look disorganized and childish.
As Jacob Heilbrunn wrote on the political blog National Interest, “The real danger that AIPAC adversaries may now face isn’t that they confront a formidable foe. It’s that they may die from laughter after they learn what’s really transpiring at the organization.”
In effect, AIPAC is destroying itself from the inside out, opening up the organization for its many naysayers to rip it apart.
Both sides can still back out of the upcoming legal battle before it faces a jury by reaching a settlement. Hopefully, before that time comes, Rosen and AIPAC will stop throwing dirt.