Much has been reported on United States presidential candidates trying to one-up each other at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference in Washington, DC last week as they pledged their intentions to, as president, stand with Israel. Significantly less media attention was paid to another presidential contender, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who, instead of speaking at the AIPAC conference, presented in Utah a speech he says he would have given had he attended the AIPAC conference. While Sanders’ comments regarding Israel were rather nuanced, he did say up front that “Israel is one of America’s closest allies” and that the US is committed “to guaranteeing Israel’s survival.”
Even less reported, but arguably most important, was a presentation a few days earlier in Washington, DC by Lawrence Wilkerson, a former US Army Colonel and chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell. In his speech at the Israel’s Influence: Good or Bad for America? conference in Washington, DC, Wilkerson challenged the contention that there is any foreign policy or national security benefit whatsoever from unwavering US support for Israel. Indeed, Wilkerson convincingly argues that such support creates danger for America.
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