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Sundown: Not Enough from Mubarak

Plus a J Street/Birthright controversy, and more

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Protesters in Tahrir Square watch Mubarak.(Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

• U.S. officials asked President Mubarak to leave sooner than the fall elections, and will likely continue to push for him to do so (as, likely, will the opposition). [Laura Rozen]

• The U.S. ambassador to Egypt has made contact with opposition leader Mohammed ElBaradei. [MSNBC]

• Six Senate Democrats sent a letter forcefully opposing Sen. Rand Paul’s proposal to slash all foreign aid, including to Israel. [JPost]

• A synagogue in Tunisia was set on fire last night. [Reuters/Haaretz]

• The U.S. withdraws support for the unpopular leader of a top Mideast ally. It just happened to Egypt—could it happen to Israel? [JPost]

• Birthright Israel canceled a planned J Street-affiliated trip, saying it no longer does trips with organizations with Israel-related political messages. Well, except for AIPAC. [JTA]

Democracy: Is it coming?

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Yisrael says:

Of course, Birthright didn’t say they don’t work with groups that have “Israel-related” political messages. That would exclude almost everybody. It exempts AIPAC because they don’t seek to influence Israeli policy, domestic or otherwise. J Street, on the other hand, tries to change Israeli policy from their comfortable Upper West Side condo buildings. Because they know better than Israel what Israel needs!

AIPAC most certainly influences Israeli policy–it is, after all, a lobbyist group. The amount of money that passes through it is incredible.

But I don’t think AIPAC influences Birthright specifically. I do think, though, that it even matters: Birthright is inherently political. It would be good for Jews to get J Street’s angle, a more conservative one, and an Arab one.

I think Birthright missed an opportunity here.

Yisrael says:

Eli — point me in the direction of AIPAC’s lobbying efforts to try and change Israeli policies. Good luck finding them.

They are a US lobby that tries to influence US foreign policy. Not Israeli. It’s pretty simple, since “the money that passes through it” is US money from US donors.

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Sundown: Not Enough from Mubarak

Plus a J Street/Birthright controversy, and more

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