On Wednesday, Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) became the 34th Democrat in the U.S. Senate to support the Iran deal, handing President Barack Obama a veto-proof majority.
In so doing, Mikulski drove the final nail into the coffin of the pro-Israel lobby, centered around the once-vaunted American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which had vowed in July to fight the deal “with the entirety of our institutional resources.”
AIPAC’s loss proves that the so-called “Israel lobby” was never as strong as antisemitic conspiracy theorists said it was. But AIPAC was weakened even further, and deliberately, by the Obama administration, which cultivated a George Soros-funded left-wing alternative called J Street, which promoted appeasement with Iran and was inspired by John J. Mearsheimer and Steven M. Walt’s controversial 2007 book, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy.
The left-wing cohort of foreign policy professionals infesting the Obama administration, the State Department, and the Democratic constellation of think tanks in Washington takes The Israel Lobby as gospel truth. Now they have slayed their dragon, which turned out to be something of a rubber chicken. They did so with ample help from self-seeking Jewish leaders in major community organizations and within the upper echelons of the Democratic Party.
In terms of domestic politics, the death of the Israel lobby means three things. First, it opens the floodgates to more dramatic anti-Israel policies, which had previously been held in check. Second, it confirms that Israel is a partisan issue, since the Democratic Party has drifted so far left. And third, it marks the eclipse of Jewish political power in the United States, at least in collective terms.
AIPAC bet on influence within the Obama administration. It lost, big.
An earlier version of this article stated erroneously that Sen. Mikulski is Jewish.