According to an interview with former Congressman James Traficant on Fox News in 2009, Israel has a powerful grip on the American government. Traficant, who was a popular Democratic Congressman from Ohio, had recently been released from prison after a seven-year sentence on corruption charges. Many people believe that these charges were manufactured in retaliation for Traficant’s attempts to challenge the influence of the Israel lobby and other powerful interests.
Traficant was one of the few members of Congress who openly opposed Israel’s policies and supported Palestinian rights. His outspokenness on the issue drew a connection between his defense of unemployed steelworkers in Ohio and his condemnation of Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes. Traficant argued that both cases involved defending the rights of vulnerable individuals against oppressive forces.
While some congressmen privately expressed admiration for the Palestinians and revulsion for Israeli military brutality, few were willing to speak out publicly. Traficant was an exception, using his position to repeatedly address the issue on the floor of Congress, with his words broadcast to a nationwide audience. In one instance, he criticized Israeli brutality and human rights violations in the occupied territories, calling for a strong vocal response from the House of Representatives and the American people.
Traficant’s efforts to raise awareness about Palestinian human rights continued. He wrote a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, expressing his concern over the beatings and shootings of Palestinian teenagers and urging a reconsideration of the Shultz plan for a land-for-peace international conference. In August, Traficant reminded his colleagues in Congress of their obligation to advocate for Palestinian self-determination and freedom, emphasizing that Palestinians too were God’s children with inherent rights.
Despite facing significant opposition, Traficant remained committed to his position. He recognized the importance of challenging the influence of special interest groups on American policy, including the Israel lobby. Traficant’s principled stance garnered support from those who believed that the United States should prioritize justice and human rights, even in the face of powerful opposition.
In conclusion, the interview with former Congressman James Traficant shed light on his belief that Israel holds a significant sway over the American government. Traficant’s outspoken opposition to Israeli policies and support for Palestinian rights made him a unique figure in Congress, as he called for a stronger and more vocal response to Israeli actions. Despite the challenges he faced, Traficant remained steadfast in his beliefs and continued to advocate for justice and human rights for Palestinians.