Difference between revisions of "American Israel Public Affairs Committee"

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Part of the Spin profiles [[Middle East Watch]].
The '''American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)''' is a national membership based group which describes itself as "America's Pro-Israel lobby"
The '''American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)''' is a national membership based group which describes itself as "America's Pro-Israel lobby"

Revision as of 12:39, 6 November 2005

Part of the Spin profiles Middle East Watch.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is a national membership based group which describes itself as "America's Pro-Israel lobby"

AIPAC's lobbying

Joel Beinin, a contributing editor of Middle East Report and a professor of Middle East history at Stanford University writes that AIPAC "became a significant force in shaping public opinion and US Middle East policy after the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. Its power was simultaneously enabled and enhanced by Israel's emergence as a regional surrogate for US military power in the Middle East in the terms outlined by the 1969 Nixon Doctrine".[1]

Its reputation for being a politically powerfull lobby, Beinin argues, dates back to the 1970s and 1980s when it "was able to unseat representatives and senators who could not be counted on to support Israel without qualification, such as Sen. Charles Percy (R-IL), Rep. Paul Findley (R-OH) and Rep. Pete McCloskey (R-CA)".

"In 2002, the pro-Israel lobby successfully targeted African-American representatives Earl Hilliard (D-AL) and Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) for defeat in Democratic primaries. Hilliard and McKinney were both vulnerable for reasons unrelated to Israel. McKinney, for instance, was defeated in part because the open primary allowed Republicans angered over her comments about the September 11 attacks to cross over and vote against her in the Democratic primary. Nonetheless, their defeat enhanced the impression that the pro-Israel lobby wields great power in electoral politics," Beinin wrote.

One strategy adopted by AIPAC for building political support is by organisating tours to Israel. In August 2003, a AIPAC foreign policy associate in Jerusalem told CNSNews.com that in that month alone approximately 10% of the members of the U.S. House of Representatives had visited Israel on their tours.[2]

AIPAC is associated with the American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF), which sponsors fact-finding trips for many members of Congress.

In 2004 CBS News reported that an FBI investigation had gained evidence that a senior Pentagon analyst with close ties to Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith had provided a draft presidential directive on Iran to AIPAC that was then passed to the Israeli government.[3][4]

In March 2005 the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz reported that Pentagon analyst on the Iran desk Larry Franklin, who had been suspended from the Defence Department while the FBI investigation proceeded, had returned to work. The report suggested that a plea bargain was being discussed under which Franklin and AIPAC would not be sanctioned but focus on "two AIPAC officials, Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman." Both Rosen and Weissman are on leave from AIPAC. [5] On May 28, 2005, Ha'aretz reported that Rosen will be indicted under the Espionage Act of 1917. [6]

The AIPAC conference of 2005, billed as its "biggest ever," ended a week earlier. Despite all the claims of undiminished power, it's two conference goals were rejected by the White House within days. Bush met with Pres. Abu Mazen at the White House and offered him $50 million in direct aid. This despite AIPAC "talking point" that aid be linked to dismantling of Hamas (Bush did not even mention the dismantling issue). And, Bush approved Iranian entrance into WTO despite AIPAC "talking point" calling on US to apply new sanctions or go to war with Iran. [7]

Contact details

440 First St NW, Suite 600
Washington D.C 20001
Phone: 202 639 5200
Fax: 202 638 0680
Web: http://www.aipac.org/

SourceWatch Resources

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