Introduction to the Israel Lobby

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The Israel Lobby is one of the most powerful and pervasive special interest groups in the United States. It began its activities many decades ago and played a major role in thecreation of Israel.
It consists of a multitude of institutions (see below) that work to influence Congress, the Presidency, academia, the media, religious institutions, and the American public on behalf of Israel. It also includes influential individuals. Some of its tactics are of questionable legality.
The Israel Lobby drives almost all our foreign policies in the Middle East and many world wide. Components of it were a major factor in causing the Iraq war, are behind the targeting of Iran, and are playing a central role in creating fear and hatred of Muslims.
It consists of numerous institutions with diverse agendas. Many differ in orientation or political views, but all are focused on promoting Israeli interests in the U.S. Below are some of them:
Stand for Israel (which goes under the name “International Fellowship of Christians and Jews”) – $96 million: The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, aka Stand for Israel, was founded in 1983 by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein “to promote understanding between Jews and Christians and build broad support for Israel.” It promotes advocacy for Israel.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee – $60 million ($100 million endowment): The most prominent governmental lobbying organization is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Fortune Magazine typically rates this as thesecond most powerful lobbying organization in the U.S. AIPAC frequently writes thelegislation that members then introduce, and that extraordinarily large majorities of both parties then endorse. It has a $100 million endowment and annual revenue of about $60 million and spends about $2-3 million each year in lobbying Congress.

HillaryClinton.AIPACHillary Clinton, Secretary of State, Former Presidential Candidate Eric Cantor, Republican House Majoirty Leader Steny Hoyer, Democratic House Minority Whip

The American Israel Education Foundation – $26 million :  A subsidiary of AIPAC is the American Israel Education foundation (AIEF), which takes Congressional Representatives on all-expense-paid trips to Israel. In August 2011 they took 81 representatives on trips led by the leaders of both parties to Israel. (The legality of this is being challenged.) Its annual budget is over $26 million. Its executive director Richard fishman is officially “not compensated,” but annually receives $395,000 from affiliates.
The Israel Project – $11 million: Founded in 2003 by former communications specialist Jennifer Lazslo Mizrahi, the Israel Project specializes in hasbara targetting the press and the public. In 2009 its secret 116-page handbook by Frank Luntz, “The Global Language Dictionary,” was exposed by two Newsweek reporters. The dictionary crafts language and talking points for Israel advocates. The organization has 70 employees and an $11 million annual budget. In 2011 it opened additional bureaus in India and China and launched a website in Arabic.
The Washington Institute for Near East Policy – $8 million ($21 million net assets): WINEP works to influence media coverage of Israel.
Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America – $93 million ($412 million net assets): Founded by Henrietta Szold (a member of the Parushim) in 1912, Hadassah has chapters across the U.S. Among its many activities it regularly advocates on behalf of Israel. It is currently pushing anti-Iran legislation.
ADL – $62 million ($107 million net assets): The Anti-Defamation League (ADL)regularly works to promote Israeli interests. It attacks those speaking and writing accurately on Israel-Palestine as allegedly “anti-Semitic” and has engaged in a large spying operation against American citizens. It is behind creating the “hate-laws” legislation; many people feel it is setting up this infrastructure to use against individuals who convey full information about Israel and about the Israel Lobby and has dangerous ramifications.
Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces – $47 million ($72 million net assets):While not its primary activity, FIDF brings hundreds of IDF soldiers to the U.S. every year, many of whom lecture at synagogues and schools.
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations: An umbrella organization for 52 American groups that work for Israel, the conference itself alsoadvocates on behalf of Israel, including a focus on Iran. It has a revenue of approximately$2.3 million.
America’s Voices in Israel: project of the Conference of Presidents, America’s Voices works to “strengthen American understanding of and support for Israel by inviting U.S.-based radio talk show hosts to see Israel and broadcast their programs live from Jerusalem.” It also brings celebrities and other “opinion makers” on guided tours of Israel.
The Emergency Committee for Israel: The Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reports: “Washington observers may feel there is no obvious shortage of pro-Israel lobbyists in the city – but a group of leading American conservatives thinks otherwise and has set up a new campaign group to attack President Obama over his “anti-Israel” stance, U.S. websitePolitico reports.

The Emergency Committee for Israel presents a potent combination of Republican Party neoconservatives and Evangelical Christians. The new group’s board includes Weekly Standard Editor William Kristol and Gary Bauer, a former Republican presidential candidate who leads the group American Values, as well as Rachel Abrams, a conservative writer and activist.”

Currently the Committee is particularly focused on attacking Republican presidential contender Ron Paul and has produced an advertisement against Paul to run in South Carolina.
Jewish Community Relations CouncilsJewish FederationsHillels,Hadassahs (Click on each title to see an example), and similar organizations regularly promote Israeli interests in virtually every city in the United States.
Political Action Committees (PACs):  There are numerous PACs around the country that raise money for candidates based on their stands on Israel. They donate large quantities to both Democrats and Republicans.
One of the best books on the topic reports that “in 1988, Israel’s lobby had 78 PACs spending more than $5.5 million to bribe Congress to vote more aid for Israel. That was more than total contributions together of the two next largest special interests in the United States—the real estate lobby and the teamsters.”
The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs reports on this topic frequently. To learn more see their list of pro-Israel PAC contributions to candidates in 2010.
The Center for Responsive Politics lists 31 pro-Israel PACs operating in the 2010 cycle.
Influential pro-Israel Individuals:  An example of such an individual is the currentUS Ambassador to Israel, Daniel Shapiro, who gave a speech in which he detailed his extremely close, life-long ties to Israel, concluding: “… as a committed Jewish American, with deep roots in the American Jewish community and warm bonds of affection with Israel, I will have an opportunity to draw on those associations to help make the U.S.-Israel relationship, strong as it is, even stronger in the years ahead.” He stated that “ensuring Israel’s future” drives all US policies.

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