Click on this text to watch AIPAC 101 What Every American Should Know



                          The dark roots of AIPAC, ‘America’s Pro-Israel Lobby’

The group was formed to spin positive PR after Israeli atrocities.

Doug Rossinow teaches history at the University of Oslo, and is currently writing a history of American Zionism from 1948 to 1995.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference in Washington in 2015. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

AIPAC, the swaggering and influential American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which brands itself as “America’s Pro-Israel Lobby,” is holding its annual policy conference. Top politicians from both parties vie for speaking slots at the group’s glitzy gala. Everyone pays AIPAC attention. And for good reason. Since the late 1970s, it has informally directed substantial campaign contributions toward chosen candidates for Congress. Its messaging on the Middle East is essential in Washington’s foreign-policy conversation.


Some love AIPAC, some hate it, some fear it — but it is a huge factor in U.S. policy, in American politics and in American Jewish life.


AIPAC’s beginnings in the 1950s reveal the long journey the group has traveled as it has grown in size and stature. It once operated in obscurity; now its influence lies partly in its genius for publicity. But some things have remained consistent: It has always responded to Israeli actions, working to mitigate their impact on the American scene. At the same time, it has welded a united front of American Jews in support of Israel, a unity that politicians have had to respect.


Even before advocates for Israel had AIPAC, they had the tireless I.L. “Si” Kenen. He led AIPAC — in a real sense, he was AIPAC — from its inception until 1974. A journalist and lawyer, Kenen had switched back and forth during the 1940s and early 1950s between working for American Zionist organizations and for the state of Israel.


During Harry Truman’s presidency, Kenen started helping to win U.S. aid for the new state, cultivating ties with members of Congress and their staffers and supplying talking points for those willing to advocate for Israel. A political progressive, Kenen found his strongest support on Capitol Hill among liberal Democrats, and his toughest opponents were conservative Midwestern Republicans and Southern Democrats. In contrast to his brash successors at AIPAC, Kenen’s methods were low-key and discreet.


But despite their early successes, Kenen and other American champions of Israel faced challenges after Dwight Eisenhower entered the White House in 1953. Ike’s secretary of state, John Foster Dulles, said he wanted to pursue a balanced, neutral policy toward the Israeli-Arab conflict — not what Israel’s supporters wished to hear.


In the fall of 1953, Eisenhower briefly suspended the delivery of U.S. aid to Israel after it violated the terms of a U.N.-brokered armistice agreement with Syria by venturing into a demilitarized zone to try to divert the waters of the Jordan River. Eisenhower and Dulles resolved to use their leverage to get Israel to back off. However, Israel and the United States apparently agreed to keep Eisenhower’s action quiet in hopes of a quick resolution.


But on Oct. 15, 1953, all hell broke loose. News spread that a special Israeli army unit had struck into the Jordanian-occupied West Bank and committed a massacre in the Palestinian village of Qibya, killing more than 60 civilians indiscriminately in retaliation for the murder of a Jewish woman and her two children in Israel on the night of Oct. 12.


The strike reflected Israeli policy. Ever since the end of the 1948 war, Palestinians had frequently crossed the so-called “Green Line” into Israel. Most had been driven or had fled from their homes in what was now Israel and simply wished to return. But some committed violence against Israelis. Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion had fixed on a policy of reprisals — military assaults, intentionally disproportionate, on local Arab populations — as a response to any such attacks. After the Oct. 12 killings, Ben-Gurion and top colleagues chose nearby Qibya to suffer retribution.


The outcry was sharp and wide.


Time magazine carried a shocking account of deliberate, even casual mass murder by Israeli soldiers at Qibya — “slouching . . . smoking and joking.” The New York Times ran extensive excerpts from a U.N. commission that refuted Israeli lies about the incident.


Israel’s most active U.S. supporters realized how severe the danger of damage to Israel was. Kenen wrote of the ill effect of Qibya on what he called “our propaganda.” After Qibya, Dulles confirmed for the first time that Washington was holding up aid to Israel. The United States supported a censure of Israel in the U.N. Security Council. U.S. aid soon resumed, after Israel pledged it would stop its work at the controversial water-diversion site.


Aware Israel’s reputation in the United States had been tarnished, American Jewish supporters of Israel scrambled to mount a damage-control effort in late 1953 and early 1954. Kenen managed this ad hoc effort, involving many parties in Washington and around the country. But it was clear that a firmer, more nimble, ongoing structure of advocacy for Israel was necessary to better meet such challenges.


In March 1954, Kenen and his associates announced the formation of the American Zionist Committee for Public Affairs (AZCPA) — which would be renamed AIPAC in 1959 — and thus launched the modern Israel lobby. AZCPA was quickly joined by the new Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. That group of top Jewish leaders promoted Israel’s interests with high U.S. government officials, including presidents and secretaries of state. Si Kenen regularly attended meetings of the Conference of Presidents and coordinated the work of the two new groups.


Kenen had additional reason for forming a new advocacy group in early 1954. U.S. officials had been inquiring into whether his (then) employer, the American Zionist Council, ought to register as the agent of a foreign power, which might limit its activities and complicate its funding. It made sense for the council to consider spinning off a new lobbying group with a “cleaner” financial basis.


However, that motivation for forming AZCPA, while significant, did not dominate the thinking of American Zionists in these crucial months as much as the need to manage the political fallout over Qibya, and to prepare for any future shocks coming out of Israel.


Even before AZCPA appeared, Kenen and others labored to construct a united front among American Jewish groups in support of Israel amid the Qibya controversy. AZCPA strengthened that Jewish united front, which was impressively broad. This was revealing and foretold the future.


It showed that there was nothing Israel might do that would jeopardize American Jewish support. Indeed, to some in the Jewish community, the more disturbing Israeli behavior was, the more Israel needed their ardent advocacy. So began a three-decade cycle, one that did not end until Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon, in which American Jews closed ranks to support Israel regardless of circumstances. Jews harboring reservations about Israeli actions found it extremely hard to gain a foothold in Jewish communal life — something that is less true today, but still a central reality in Jewish America.


The perception that AIPAC represents a consensus among American Jews has always been a key to its political influence, which explains the group’s sometimes seemingly outsized opposition to Jewish dissent from its line. “America’s Pro-Israel Lobby,” born in awful knowledge, has always existed to make Israeli realities and priorities palatable to Americans.












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AIPAC Takes Newly Elected Congress Members on Propaganda Trips to Israel
Alison Weir

The Israel lobby has been busy taking a wide variety of government officials and opinion makers on fully expense paid trips to Israel this month. The trips cost in the range of $10,000 per person. Six newly elected House members are on a five-day visit to Israel, a delegation of northern California "progressive leaders" are on a week-long trip, media commentator Tara Setmayer has just returned from such a trip, and a delegation of southern California progressive leaders returned from their trip earlier this month. The House participants include liberals and conservatives, Jewish representatives and Christian fundamentalists, Trump supporters and Trump opponents ...

 _________________________No AIPAC Ass Has Been Better Kissed Than By Trump_________________________


Read Donald Trump's Speech to AIPAC

Updated: March 21, 2016 8:58 PM ET

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, his party’s front runner for the nomination, addressed the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Monday, discussing relations between the U.S. and Israel. A complete transcript of his remarks follows.



TRUMP: Good evening. Thank you very much.


I speak to you today as a lifelong supporter and true friend of Israel. (CHEERS, APPLAUSE)

I am a newcomer to politics, but not to backing the Jewish state.




In 2001, weeks after the attacks on New York City and on Washington and, frankly, the attacks on all of us, attacks that perpetrated and they were perpetrated by the Islamic fundamentalists, Mayor Rudy Giuliani visited Israel to show solidarity with terror victims.


I sent my plane because I backed the mission for Israel 100 percent.




In spring of 2004 at the height of the violence in the Gaza Strip, I was the grand marshal of the 40th Salute to Israel Parade, the largest-single gathering in support of the Jewish state.




It was a very dangerous time for Israel and frankly for anyone supporting Israel. Many people turned down this honor. I did not. I took the risk and I’m glad I did.




But I didn’t come here tonight to pander to you about Israel. That’s what politicians do: all talk, no action. Believe me.




I came here to speak to you about where I stand on the future of American relations with our strategic ally, our unbreakable friendship and our cultural brother, the only democracy in the Middle East, the state of Israel.




Thank you.

My number-one priority is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran.




Thank you. Thank you.

I have been in business a long time. I know deal-making. And let me tell you, this deal is catastrophic for America, for Israel and for the whole of the Middle East.



The problem here is fundamental. We’ve rewarded the world’s leading state sponsor of terror with $150 billion, and we received absolutely nothing in return.




I’ve studied this issue in great detail, I would say actually greater by far than anybody else.




Believe me. Oh, believe me. And it’s a bad deal.


The biggest concern with the deal is not necessarily that Iran is going to violate it because already, you know, as you know, it has, the bigger problem is that they can keep the terms and still get the bomb by simply running out the clock. And of course, they’ll keep the billions and billions of dollars that we so stupidly and foolishly gave them.




The deal doesn’t even require Iran to dismantle its military nuclear capability. Yes, it places limits on its military nuclear program for only a certain number of years, but when those restrictions expire, Iran will have an industrial-sized, military nuclear capability ready to go and with zero provision for delay, no matter how bad Iran’s behavior is. Terrible, terrible situation that we are all placed in and especially Israel.




When I’m president, I will adopt a strategy that focuses on three things when it comes to Iran. First, we will stand up to Iran’s aggressive push to destabilize and dominate the region.




Iran is a very big problem and will continue to be. But if I’m not elected president, I know how to deal with trouble. And believe me, that’s why I’m going to be elected president, folks.




And we are leading in every poll. Remember that, please.




Iran is a problem in Iraq, a problem in Syria, a problem in Lebanon, a problem in Yemen and will be a very, very major problem for Saudi Arabia. Literally every day, Iran provides more and better weapons to support their puppet states. Hezbollah, Lebanon received — and I’ll tell you what, it has received sophisticated anti-ship weapons, anti-aircraft weapons and GPS systems and rockets like very few people anywhere in the world and certainly very few countries have. Now they’re in Syria trying to establish another front against Israel from the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.


In Gaza, Iran is supporting Hamas and Islamic jihad.


And in the West Bank, they’re openly offering Palestinians $7,000 per terror attack and $30,000 for every Palestinian terrorist’s home that’s been destroyed. A deplorable, deplorable situation.




Iran is financing military forces throughout the Middle East and it’s absolutely incredible that we handed them over $150 billion to do even more toward the many horrible acts of terror.




Secondly, we will totally dismantle Iran’s global terror network which is big and powerful, but not powerful like us.




Iran has seeded terror groups all over the world. During the last five years, Iran has perpetuated terror attacks in 25 different countries on five continents. They’ve got terror cells everywhere, including in the Western Hemisphere, very close to home.


Iran is the biggest sponsor of terrorism around the world. And we will work to dismantle that reach, believe me, believe me.




Third, at the very least, we must enforce the terms of the previous deal to hold Iran totally accountable. And we will enforce it like you’ve never seen a contract enforced before, folks, believe me.




Iran has already, since the deal is in place, test-fired ballistic missiles three times. Those ballistic missiles, with a range of 1,250 miles, were designed to intimidate not only Israel, which is only 600 miles away, but also intended to frighten Europe and someday maybe hit even the United States. And we’re not going to let that happen. We’re not letting it happen. And we’re not letting it happen to Israel, believe me.




Thank you. Thank you.

Do you want to hear something really shocking? As many of the great people in this room know, painted on those missiles in both Hebrew and Farsi were the words “Israel must be wiped off the face of the earth.” You can forget that.




What kind of demented minds write that in Hebrew?


And here’s another. You talk about twisted. Here’s another twisted part. Testing these missiles does not even violate the horrible deal that we’ve made. The deal is silent on test missiles. But those tests do violate the United Nations Security Council resolutions.


The problem is no one has done anything about it. We will, we will. I promise, we will.




Thank you.

Which brings me to my next point, the utter weakness and incompetence of the United Nations.




The United Nations is not a friend of democracy, it’s not a friend to freedom, it’s not a friend even to the United States of America where, as you know, it has its home. And it surely is not a friend to Israel.




With President Obama in his final year — yea!






He may be the worst thing to ever happen to Israel, believe me, believe me. And you know it and you know it better than anybody.


So with the president in his final year, discussions have been swirling about an attempt to bring a Security Council resolution on terms of an eventual agreement between Israel and Palestine.


Let me be clear: An agreement imposed by the United Nations would be a total and complete disaster.




The United States must oppose this resolution and use the power of our veto, which I will use as president 100 percent.




When people ask why, it’s because that’s not how you make a deal. Deals are made when parties come together, they come to a table and they negotiate. Each side must give up something. It’s values. I mean, we have to do something where there’s value in exchange for something that it requires. That’s what a deal is. A deal is really something that when we impose it on Israel and Palestine, we bring together a group of people that come up with something.


That’s not going to happen with the United Nations. It will only further, very importantly, it will only further delegitimize Israel. It will be a catastrophe and a disaster for Israel. It’s not going to happen, folks.




And further, it would reward Palestinian terrorism because every day they’re stabbing Israelis and even Americans. Just last week, American Taylor Allen Force, a West Point grad, phenomenal young person who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, was murdered in the street by a knife-wielding Palestinian. You don’t reward behavior like that. You cannot do it.




There’s only one way you treat that kind of behavior. You have to confront it.




So it’s not up to the United Nations to really go with a solution. It’s really the parties that must negotiate a resolution themselves. They have no choice. They have to do it themselves or it will never hold up anyway. The United States can be useful as a facilitator of negotiations, but no one should be telling Israel that it must be and really that it must abide by some agreement made by others thousands of miles away that don’t even really know what’s happening to Israel, to anything in the area. It’s so preposterous, we’re not going to let that happen.




When I’m president, believe me, I will veto any attempt by the U.N. to impose its will on the Jewish state. It will be vetoed 100 percent.




You see, I know about deal-making. That’s what I do. I wrote “The Art of the Deal.”




One of the best-selling, all-time — and I mean, seriously, I’m saying one of because I’ll be criticized when I say “the” so I’m going to be very diplomatic — one of…




I’ll be criticized. I think it is number one, but why take a chance? (LAUGHTER)




One of the all-time best-selling books about deals and deal- making. To make a great deal, you need two willing participants. We know Israel is willing to deal. Israel has been trying.




That’s right. Israel has been trying to sit down at the negotiating table without preconditions for years. You had Camp David in 2000 where Prime Minister Barak made an incredible offer, maybe even too generous; Arafat rejected it.


In 2008, Prime Minister Olmert made an equally generous offer. The Palestinian Authority rejected it also.


Then John Kerry tried to come up with a framework and Abbas didn’t even respond, not even to the secretary of state of the United States of America. They didn’t even respond.


When I become president, the days of treating Israel like a second-class citizen will end on day one.




Thank you.

And when I say something, I mean it, I mean it.


I will meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu immediately. I have known him for many years and we’ll be able to work closely together to help bring stability and peace to Israel and to the entire region.


Meanwhile, every single day you have rampant incitement and children being taught to hate Israel and to hate the Jews. It has to stop.




When you live in a society where the firefighters are the heroes, little kids want to be firefighters. When you live in a society where athletes and movie stars are the heroes, little kids want to be athletes and movie stars.


In Palestinian society, the heroes are those who murder Jews. We can’t let this continue. We can’t let this happen any longer.




You cannot achieve peace if terrorists are treated as martyrs. Glorifying terrorists is a tremendous barrier to peace. It is a horrible, horrible way to think. It’s a barrier that can’t be broken. That will end and it’ll end soon, believe me.




In Palestinian textbooks and mosques, you’ve got a culture of hatred that has been fomenting there for years. And if we want to achieve peace, they’ve got to go out and they’ve got to start this educational process. They have to end education of hatred. They have to end it and now.




There is no moral equivalency. Israel does not name public squares after terrorists. Israel does not pay its children to stab random Palestinians.


You see, what President Obama gets wrong about deal-making is that he constantly applies pressure to our friends and rewards our enemies.




And you see that happening all the time, that pattern practiced by the president and his administration, including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is a total disaster, by the way.





She and President Obama have treated Israel very, very badly.




But it’s repeated itself over and over again and has done nothing (to) embolden those who hate America. We saw that with releasing the $150 billion to Iran in the hope that they would magically join the world community. It didn’t happen.




President Obama thinks that applying pressure to Israel will force the issue. But it’s precisely the opposite that happens. Already half of the population of Palestine has been taken over by the Palestinian ISIS and Hamas, and the other half refuses to confront the first half, so it’s a very difficult situation that’s never going to get solved unless you have great leadership right here in the United States.


We’ll get it solved. One way or the other, we will get it solved.




But when the United States stands with Israel, the chances of peace really rise and rises exponentially. That’s what will happen when Donald Trump is president of the United States.



We will move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem.




And we will send a clear signal that there is no daylight between America and our most reliable ally, the state of Israel.




The Palestinians must come to the table knowing that the bond between the United States and Israel is absolutely, totally unbreakable.




They must come to the table willing and able to stop the terror being committed on a daily basis against Israel. They must do that.


And they must come to the table willing to accept that Israel is a Jewish state and it will forever exist as a Jewish state.




I love the people in this room. I love Israel. I love Israel. I’ve been with Israel so long in terms of I’ve received some of my greatest honors from Israel, my father before me, incredible. My daughter, Ivanka, is about to have a beautiful Jewish baby.




In fact, it could be happening right now, which would be very nice as far as I’m concerned.




So I want to thank you very much. This has been a truly great honor. Thank you, everybody. Thank you.


Thank you very much.









How Much Israel Is Spending to Buy Washington Politicians

Israel's Influence in Washington - 2019 Edition

By Viable Opposition

March 27, 2019 "Information Clearing House" - Thanks to the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics and its Open Secrets website, those of us on the outside, get a glimpse of how the "wheels" of Washington are "greased".  Open Secrets provides an up-to-date database of the role that money plays in politics through lobbying and campaign donations.  In this posting, I want to take a look at one of Washington's more influential parties, the nation of Israel. 

We will open this posting with an examination of the pro-Israel lobby in Washington.  Here is a summary of the pro-Israel lobby from Open Secrets:

"One of, if not the most, powerful international issue lobby is that of the pro-Israel crowd. Well-financed and politically powerful, the pro-Israel lobby is a major force on American foreign affairs that looks to continue America's military and fiscal support of the Jewish nation-state."

Here is a graphic showing how much the pro-Israel lobby has spent on convincing Washington to see things its way going back to 1998:

The pro-Israel lobby spent a record $5.02 million in 2018, up slightly from $4.96 million in 2017 but up substantially from $1.71 million a decade earlier in 2007.
Here are the biggest pro-Israel lobbying organizations in order of the amount spent on lobbying:
American Israel Public Affairs Committee or AIPAC is, by a wide margin, the biggest spender on lobbying, accounting for 70.1 percent of the total spent by all pro-Israel lobbyists.

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Of the 26 reported lobbyists working for 9 clients, there are 6 "revolvers" as shown here:

Open Secrets defines "revolvers" as former federal government workers who now work as lobbyists, consultants and strategists.  These people have access to the key players and key decision makers in Washington that Main Street America can only dream of.

Now, let's look at the pro-Israel campaign contributions.  Here is a summary of the top contributors during the 2018 midterm elections:

Here is a table showing the pro-Israel campaign contributions going back to the 1990 election cycle:
Here is the same data in graphic form:

You will note that among all groups donating to politicians running for office in Washington that the pro-Israel lobby is ranked between 24th place overall (in 1990) to 60th place in 2000 and, in 2018 was ranked in 50th place.  The 2018 midterm election saw the pro-Israel lobby donate a record amount of money to a midterm cycle with donations totalling $14.9 million compared to $12.1 million during the 2014 midterm election.  In addition, the pro-Israel lobby seems to prefer candidates running for the Democrats; over the nearly three decades, the pro-Israel lobby has donated 60 percent or $85.365 million to the Democrats compared to 40 percent or $54.308 million to the Republicans.

Here is a graphic summarizing the political donations from the pro-Israel lobby during the 2018 midterm cycle for both political parties in the House and the Senate:

Here are the top 20 recipients of pro-Israel lobby during the 2018 midterm cycle:

Here are the top 20 recipients who are Members of the House:
Here are the top 20 recipients who are Senators:
I believe that is enough to absorb for this posting.  According to the Pew Research Centre, here is a breakdown of religious affiliation in the United States from its Religious Landscape Study:
Given that not all Jews and Evangelical Christians support Israel's agenda, it is interesting to see how less than one-quarter of Americans are driving Washington's pro-Israel agenda and its accompanying narrative.  This suggests the extreme power that the pro-Israel lobby exerts in the nation's capital.  Given all of this data, it is most important to keep in mind that taking an anti-Israel/anti-Netanyahu stance does not mean that one is anti-Semitic or that one doesn't believe that Israel has a right to exist, it simply means that there is not universal approval of Israel's actions in the Middle East and its ability to sway governments to see things its way by spending millions on lobbying and influence American elections through donations to its preferred candidates.

This article was originally published by "Viable Opposition" - 




Click on this text to watch Sen. Chuck Schumer reveal his true colors to a gathering of the Tribe at a Boca Raton, Florida synagog...


Schumer Denounced for 'Absolutely Disgusting' AIPAC Speech

"At AIPAC, Democrats try to outdo Trump in their devotion to Israel's oppression of Palestinians."



"Bigoted, divisive, embarrassing, as is the fact that you let your caucus gut Dodd-Frank while you were busy sucking up to AIPAC. New Yorkers deserve better representation," wrote journalist David Klion. (Photo: AIPAC/Screengrab)


"Bigoted," "outrageous," and "disgusting" were just a handful of the many adjectives critics used to denounce Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's (D-N.Y.) speech this week before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which attributed ongoing Middle East conflict not to Israel's decades of brutal U.S.-backed occupation of Palestinian territories, but to Palestinians' failure to "believe in the Torah."


"The fact of the matter is that too many Palestinians and too many Arabs do not want any Jewish state in the Middle East," Schumer told the audience gathered for AIPAC's annual conference in Washington, D.C. "Of course, we say it's our land, the Torah says it, but they don't believe in the Torah. So that's the reason there is not peace. They invent other reasons, but they do not believe in a Jewish state and that is why we, in America, must stand strong with Israel through thick and thin."




AIPAC to renew commitment to advance Israeli agenda

Annual conference set to open with objective of reining in Iran's influence and limit US financial support to the PA.

by Ali Younes
3 Mar 2018

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who addressed AIPAC in person in 2015, will give a speech to the attendees of the 2018 AIPAC conference [Jonathan Ernst/Reuters]
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who addressed AIPAC in person in 2015, will give a speech to the attendees of the 2018 AIPAC conference [Jonathan Ernst/Reuters]
Correction 4/3/2018: A previous version of this article stated that AIPAC membership has reached 500,000. This is incorrect. According to latest estimates from AIPAC, the lobby group says it has more than 100,000 members.

Washington, DC - The American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, is holding its 2018 policy conference in Washington, DC, on Sunday, an event meant to underscore its outsized influence inside America's corridors of power by hosting key Congressional leaders; the US vice president; the US ambassador to the UN; and several foreign leaders.


This year's conference will crown several of AIPAC's accomplishments in advancing its pro-Israel agenda in Congress and in the White House.


Key to AIPAC's congressional agenda this year will be to support Israeli goals of curbing Iran's rising power and influence in the Middle East, something Israel sees as a threat to its own economic and military superiority in the region.


AIPAC also seeks to limit US financial support for the Palestinian Authority (PA) and to target the BDS movement for its efforts against the Israeli occupation.


BDS, which stands for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, is a Palestinian-led international initiative that seeks to end the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories through economic and cultural boycotts.


According to its website, AIPAC's key legislative agenda includes: "develop a comprehensive strategy for Iran".


Driven by AIPAC's lobbying efforts and by pro-Israeli supporters on the American right, President Donald Trump's administration is trying to undo the American nuclear deal with Iran, signed under the Obama administration in 2015.


Taking on the PA

AIPAC seeks to limit US aid to the PA for its financial assistance to the families of Palestinian prisoners and detainees held by Israel mostly for their activism against Israeli occupation.


Palestinians view this assistance as key to help families cope with economic hardship when their relatives and breadwinners are imprisoned by Israel.


Another major AIPAC goal is to codify the US commitment to give Israel $38bn over the next 10 years that was committed by the Obama administration.



Anti-BDS bills expected to feature prominently at AIPAC


AIPAC wants Congress to enact a law to make those funds available to Israel regardless of who is in the White House.


If this key agenda is passed through Congress, which should not be difficult given the wide support Israel enjoys there, it will prevent any future US presidents from using any component of US aid to Israel as a leverage to advance US policy objectives in the Middle East.


Israel also gets an annual $3.1bn every year since it signed a peace treaty with Egypt in 1979.


Through its website, AIPAC urges its members to contact their congressional representatives to support giving Israel an additional $750m for Israel's missile defence programme.

Established in 1951 by Jewish American leaders as an interest group to advance Israeli objectives in the US, AIPAC has evolved into one of the country's most powerful lobbying organisations.


AIPAC says that its membership figure has crossed the 100,000 mark across the US.


AIPAC's influence in American politics stems from its members' generous financial donations to candidates for political office at both the state and national levels.


Unlike its Democratic and Republican predecessors, the Trump administration is seen to have accomplished one of AIPAC key demands of recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital and moving the US embassy to the city last December, effectively ending a longstanding US policy that left the fate of the city to negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.


AIPAC had successfully lobbied Congress during the Clinton administration to enact the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 which became a public US law.


All of President Trump key Middle East advisers - notably US ambassador to Israel David Freedman, Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt - are key supporters of Israeli rightwing policies against Palestinians.



The Israel Lobby vs the First Amendment

by Ramzy Baroud

These key advisers are effectively in charge of US foreign policy vis-a-vis the Arab-Israeli conflict and are known to favour expanding illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian areas, thus ending Palestinian hopes of establishing a viable independent Palestinian state on pre-1967 lines.


Palestinians demand that Arab East Jerusalem, which Israel occupied in 1967, to be the future capital of their independent Palestinian state.


Among the key speakers of this year’s conference is Vice President Mike Pence, who as a conservative Christian is one of Israel's strongest backers inside the White House, and Nikki Haley, who often uses the UN platform to defend Israeli policies and its illegal occupation of Palestinian territories and publicly admonish its critics at the UN.


Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, will also address the delegates as it is customary of AIPAC co


nferences to invite the sitting Israeli prime minister to address AIPAC's annual conference.


Among the key congressional leaders scheduled to speak this year are the Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell; Nancy Pelosi the Democratic Senate Minority leader; and several other key senators and House members.


Nana Akufo-Addo, the president of Ghana, and Edi Rama, prime minister of Albania, will be among the foreign leaders scheduled to deliver speeches at the conference.

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