MER - Washington - 23 October, 1997:
It looked more like a nursing home than a political event. Forty elderly gathered in a church basement earlier today pretending to be a "lobby" and to be making a "march". It was another foolish event by a group that calls itself the "Council for the National Interest".
In itself, not important or significant at all. But when it comes to understanding the pathos and impotence of those who claim to be seriously opposing Israeli policies and the strangle-hold of the Israeli/Jewish lobby in Washington, it's important to understand things of this kind.
One of the reasons the "peace" movement, those fighting for a real and independent Palestinian State, and those seeking real democracy and human rights in today's Middle East, are in the ever-worsening situation they are, is not only that their enemies are so powerful and ruthless, but also that their "friends" are often so pathetic, self-deceptive, and off in the clouds.
claims it is a "lobby". They called what happened today a "march."
And former Congressman Paul Findley keeps writing to unknowing supporters
and visiting Arab royalty telling them of all the important
things CNI is doing and asking for millions more dollars to do their important work (worth but a few thousand). After 10 years of such "organizing", ridiculous "pilgrimages" to the Middle East, huge volumes of direct mail, and millions of dollars quite literally wasted, CNI managed today only to humiliate those few souls who came to DC believing they were doing something worthwhile.
They sat there this morning, one coffee urn (no cream, one spoon, a tin of sugar), looking dazed and bewildered. And the one Congressional staff person they got to brief them warned them not to even use the theme they were gathering with, a simplistic slogan of ending all aid to Israel.
Anyone associated with Israel that would have bothered to come see this "lobby" (and unlike their unusual it seems the Israeli folk didn't even bother to send anyone but for a young reporter from THE FORWARD who left even before the "march") would have surely watched today's nonsense in utter glee.
the CNI folk took out a few signs and "marched" outside to have their pictures
taken -- no doubt to send to confused and unknowing souls around the country
and in the Middle East proclaiming the great
importance of CNI. And then they were told by the pathetically lost organizers -- the retired couple Gene and Jerri Bird who took over CNI a few years ago when no one else was interested and Findley was
considering closing it down -- that they should all gather back in the church basement in a few hours to eat their box lunches. For dinner, its "pot luck".