Historian Doug Rossinow discusses the creation of AIPAC, which was originally formed to spin positive PR after the 1953 Qibya Massacre (in a now-familiar pattern of non-proportionality, wiping out over 60 Palestinians in revenge for the killing of 3 Israelis). Over the years, the organization has proven that nothing Israel can do can’t be spun to deflect the blame or attention elsewhere. AIPAC’s beginnings in the 1950s reveal the long journey the group has traveled as it has grown in size and stature. It once operated in obscurity; now its influence lies partly in its genius for publicity. But some things have remained consistent: It has always responded to Israeli actions, working to mitigate their impact on the American scene. At the same time, it has welded a united front of American Jews in support of Israel, a unity that politicians have had to respect.
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