Letters to the Editor: Columnists: tackle issues, do not accuse

A recent issue of The Daily Utah Chronicle carried an opinion piece and a cartoon attacking the motives and the activities of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC — “United States should disfavor the AIPAC” by Rose Jones (Opinion, March 21). The cartoon suggests that AIPAC is whispering subliminal war-mongering messages into Uncle Sam’s ear, while the written piece attacks AIPAC for 1) being large and successful: it can actually give Congress “marching orders,” 2) responsibility for our invasion of Iraq in 2003, 3) trying to force us into a war with Iran, and 4) for being about “white privilege, Wall Street profits and privilege.” This piece is an incoherent and ill-informed rant.
AIPAC’s stated mission is to “strengthen the ties between the United States and its ally, Israel.” The alliance is two-sided and has important benefits for both. Israel is a stable bastion of democracy in a region otherwise seething with unrest, to put it mildly, as well as hatred toward the values and practices of the free world, in which your columnist and cartoonist live.
The U.S. Congress has long recognized that we need Israel at least as much as Israel needs us. This recognition is not based on AIPAC’s lobbying prowess or the Jewish vote. Utah’s congressional delegation, in fact, has long been firm of its support of our alliance with Israel, in spite of the miniscule Jewish population in our state.
We do wish your columnist would deal with issues rather than with accusations. Take, for example, Iran’s ambitions to become a nuclear power. There are honest disagreements among policy-advisors about how to convince Iran to abandon that evident ambition. However, there is much agreement that a nuclear Iran would be a disaster for the Middle East region and for the world. The United States and Israel are working on diplomacy and quarantine, while maintaining the threat of military force. AIPAC simply argues not to remove the military threat.
Please ask your columnist, and your cartoonist, to take a stand on the issues, rather than snidely implying that AIPAC is some kind of infection in the American body politic.

John Worlock,
Physics research professor