The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a private Jewish American group that claims to be “America’s pro-Israel lobby,” is considered by The New York Times to be, “the most important organization affecting America’s relationship with Israel.” In 1997, Fortune magazine called AIPAC the second most powerful lobby in America. Since that time AIPAC’s star has risen steadily, and is now widely regarded as the most powerful lobby in America.
AIPAC’s list of achievements on its web page include:
- Passing more than a dozen bills and resolutions condemning and imposing tougher sanctions on Iran during the past fifteen years. Securing critical security assistance to Israel each year to ensure that Israel remains capable of facing increased threats.
- Passing legislation requiring the administration to evaluate all future military sales to Arab states in the context of the need to maintain Israel’s qualitative military edge over potential adversaries.
- Passing multiple resolutions affirming congressional support for Israel’s right to self-defense in the face of terrorism by the terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah.
- Each year, AIPAC is involved in more than a hundred legislative and policy initiatives involving Middle East policy or aimed at broadening and deepening the US-Israel bond. While building support in Washington is essential, AIPAC is found wherever the future of the US-Israel relationship could be affected. AIPAC has a network of ten regional offices and nine satellite offices that help pro-Israel activists from Missoula to Miami.
This 100,000-strong group has been described as an agent of the Israeli government, and those accusations were substantiated in 2005 when a pentagon analyst plead guilty to passing military secrets to two AIPAC employees en route to Israel. After some political wrangling, all charges were dropped against the two Jewish AIPAC employees in 2009, even though the analyst agreed to testify against the AIPAC employees, and the government had overwhelming evidence to prosecute. It was reported by Time magazine that Jane Harman, a Jewish Congresswoman, was bribed by AIPAC to lobby the Department of Justice to drop the spying charges against the AIPAC employees. In 2009, CQ politics reported that Harman was caught on a NSA wiretap telling an Israeli agent that she would lobby the Department of Justice to drop the case.
The Foreign Registration Act clearly states that any lobby that acts on behalf of a foreign government must register as a foreign agent. Even though AIPAC: has been caught spying for Israel, shamelessly campaigns to give American tax dollars to Israel for weapons that are used to kill Palestinian civilians, and lobbies for American soldiers to die in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran for Israel’s hegemony of the Middle East, it is still the only foreign lobby in Washington that does not have to register under the act.
Through back room dealings, bribery, and corruption, AIPAC has secured Israel hundreds of billions of dollars aid since the 1950′s. Some Americans are aware of the annual $3 billion in direct foreign aid to Israel, but very few Americans know about the tens of billions of dollars that are given every year under the table in terms of valuable military equipment deemed “scrapped,” loan guarantees, preferential contracts, and upfront payments that should be distributed over the course of a year.
In 1992, AIPAC President David Steiner was caught on tape bragging about his organization’s incredible power in America. Steiner first admitted to manipulating the US Secretary of State into giving Israel more foreign aid. Steiner said he, ”met with [Secretary of State] Jim Baker and I cut a deal with him. I got, besides the $3 billion, you know they’re looking for the Jewish votes, and I’ll tell him whatever he wants to hear … Besides the $10 billion in loan guarantees which was a fabulous thing, $3 billion in foreign, in military aid, and I got almost a billion dollars in other goodies that people don’t even know about.”
In the same conversation Steiner said he would support any politician who has been good to Israel over his own brother. He also discussed his efforts to get Jewish, and pro-Israel candidates re-elected, even by paying for a rigged poll. Steiner was attempting to raise money for dozens of pro-Israel candidates through his position at AIPAC, even though the organization claims that it doesn’t engage in such behavior. In the conversation, Steiner asked a potential Jewish donor to get his children to write checks in order to subvert political donation laws.
Steiner also said, “We gave two employees from AIPAC leave of absences to work on the [Clinton] campaign. I mean, we have a dozen people in that campaign, in the headquarters….and they’re all going to get big jobs. We have friends. I also work with a think tank, the Washington Institute. I have Michael Mandelbaum and Martin Indyk being foreign policy advisers. Steve Speigel—we’ve got friends—this is my business.”
“I talked to Bill Clinton [and he made a commitment that] he’s going to be very good to us.” ”One of my officers, Monte Friedkin, is one of the biggest fund-raisers for them [Clintons]. I mean, I have people like that all over the country.”
When asked if he knows who Bill Clinton would put on the Supreme Court if elected, Steiner replied, “We’re talking now. We don’t have no commitments yet. We’re just negotiating. We’re more interested right now, in the Secretary of State and the Secretary of National Security Agency. That’s more important to us.” He also said, “we are negotiating” who will be Secretary of State.
This may explain why Jewish Americans, who comprise only 2% of the American population, now hold 33% of the Supreme Court seats; and why George Bush and Obama have key Jewish advisors like Rahm Emanuel, who served in the Israeli Defense Force, and Wolfowitz and Pearl who architected the Iraq war.
The New York real estate developer who taped the conversation, Haim Katz, told the Washington Post, “as someone Jewish, I am concerned when a small group has a disproportionate power. I think that hurts everyone, including Jews. If David Steiner wants to talk about the incredible, disproportionate clout AIPAC has, the public should know about it.” (The full tapes can be read here)
AIPAC doesn’t officially contribute to candidates, so as not to appear to be bribing them directly for Israel, but it does coordinate a massive political financing network of Jewish American donors. Three of the top political contributors in the US are Jewish—Haim Saban (Israeli), Sheldon Adelson, and George Soros. Goldman Sachs is the top American corporate political contributor and also the top contributor to Obama and Mitt Romney. In 2003, the Washington Post reported that 60% of the Democratic Party’s political contributions come from Jewish sources. It is widely estimated that 50% of all American campaign funding comes from Jewish sources, and to substantiate that estimate, Matt Brooks, the director of the Republican Jewish Coalition said, “A lot of the major financial support the candidates received was from the members of this organization.” AIPAC designates politicians as supportive of Israel or unsupportive and then ensures that the supportive politicians see millions of dollars flood into their campaign, while those labeled unsupportive see those millions pledged to ensure their defeat.
As such, every major American political candidate in the last two decades has attend the annual AIPAC conference, and some, such as Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin also visited Israel. In 2012, President Obama and every Republican Presidential candidate except Ron Paul attended the conference. In 2011, 2/3 of the House and Senate attended as well as President Obama, and the House and Senate majority leaders. Every single President and Vice President in the last 20 years has addressed AIPAC.
Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, October 3, 2001-
“Every time we do something you tell me America will do this and will do that . . . I want to tell you something very clear: Don’t worry about American pressure on Israel. We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it.”
In the Russian Television clip at the bottom of the page, Max Blumenthal exposes Israel’s increasing role in American politics. Blumenthal gives an honest assessment of how American zionists like Sheldon Adelson have teemed up with Israeli politicians to manipulate American elections through super PACs like The Emergency Committee for Israel. Adelson actually gave Newt Gingrich $5 million after he called the Palestinians an “invented people” and claimed that Ron Paul’s Middle East policy of peace is “dangerous.” As the video below states, Adelson has deep political ties to Israel’s politics, including owning an Israeli paper that is considered by many to be the propaganda arm of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The following is a quote from the book The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy:
“AIPAC’s success is due to its ability to reward legislators and congressional candidates who support its agenda, and to punish those who challenge it. … AIPAC makes sure that its friends get strong financial support from the myriad pro-Israel PACs. Those seen as hostile to Israel, on the other hand, can be sure that AIPAC will direct campaign contributions to their political opponents. … The bottom line is that AIPAC, which is a de facto agent for a foreign government, has a stranglehold on the U.S. Congress. Open debate about U.S. policy towards Israel does not occur there, even though that policy has important consequences for the entire world.”
AIPAC also uses its political influence to cover up Israeli human rights abuses in Gaza by strong arming the media to keep damaging stories off the air. It is quite common for AIPAC to gather a collection of Jewish groups together to bombard news stations with negative comments and phone calls when Israel is portrayed negatively in the press. This is of course on the rare instance that Israel is mentioned negatively in the press; 90% of the American media is owned or controlled by Jewish Americans who support AIPAC and Israel (This link proves this fact). Aside from the media censorship, AIPAC has been instrumental in getting Congress and the Obama Administration to reject the UN fact finding mission in Gaza report, also called the “Goldstone Report.” This report, which outlines Israeli racism and human rights abuses in Gaza, was internationally recognized as impartial and factual.
AIPAC’s greatest “accomplishment” in the last two decades has been its successful behind the scenes lobbying for sanctions and wars in Iraq, Libya, Iran, and Syria. In 2000, AIPAC distributed a letter asking AIPAC members to put pressure on the US Congress and the President to ramp up sanctions on Iraq and block the oil for food program, which was providing Iraqi civilians with much needed food and medicine. In 2003, AIPAC attempted to block a bill that would have allowed US companies to export food and medicine to Iraqi civilians. AIPAC took the position in this case that the food and medicine would not help the Iraqi people, which is obviously untrue, and that the bill would hasten Saddam’s effort to procure weapons of mass destruction. Saddam was of course not building weapons of mass destruction, and the AIPAC efforts ended up murdering thousands of Iraqi civilians.
In January 2003, AIPAC executive director Howard Kohr stated, “quietly lobbying Congress to approve the use of force in Iraq” was one of “AIPAC’s successes over the past year.” Jeffrey Goldberg reported during a profile piece of AIPAC’s policy director Steven J. Rosen that, “AIPAC lobbied Congress in favor of the Iraq war.” AIPAC is currently campaigning for similar American-led sanctions and war to combat a non-existent nuclear weapons program in Iran.