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James Abourezk, Council for the National Interest, 12 December 2006
(James Abourezk was a U.S. Senator, the first Arab-American to serve in the Senate, from South Dakota from 1973 to 1979. He is the vice chairman of the Council for the National Interest. The Council for the National Interest is a non-profit, non-partisan grassroots organization advocating a new direction for U.S. Middle East policy)
"I can tell you from personal experience that the support Israel has in the Congress is based completely on political fear -- fear of defeat by anyone who does not do what Israel wants done. I can also tell you that very few members of Congress -- at least when I served there -- have any affection for Israel or for its Lobby. What they have is contempt, but it is silenced by fear of being found out exactly how they feel. I've heard too many cloakroom conversations in which members of the Senate will voice their bitter feelings about how they're pushed around by the Lobby to think otherwise. In private one hears the dislike of Israel and the tactics of the Lobby, but not one of them is willing to risk the Lobby's animosity by making their feelings public.