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Powell Explains 'Jewish Lobby': 'That Term Slips Out from Time to Time'

7:29 AM, Jan 14, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Yesterday, David Gregory asked Colin Powell about Chuck Hagel's remark that "the Jewish lobby" intimidates a lot of people on Capitol HIll. "What kind of thinking does that reflect? Can you understand pro-Israel senators being concerned by that comment?"

Powell responded: "They shouldn't be that concerned. That terms slips out from time to time. There was an article this week that the Israeli newspaper Haaretz has occasionally used the same thing. And so Chuck should have said Israeli lobby, and not Jewish lobby, and perhaps he needs to write on a blackboard 100 times, "It is the Israeli lobby." But there is an Israeli lobby. There are people who are very supportive of the state of Israel. I'm very supportive of the state of Israel. So is Senator Hagel, and you'll see that in the confirmation hearings, but it doesn't mean you have to agree with every single position that the Israeli government takes."

Powell doesn't seem to grasp the difference between being pro-Israel (the term David Gregory used) and being Israeli. Americans who are supportive of Israel do not constitute an "Israeli lobby." And while Colin Powell may find the term "Israeli lobby" slipping out from time to time, he really should restrict it to Israelis or those working for the government of Israel. The rest of us--a majority of Americans--are just pro-Israel. 

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