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AIPAC is losing influence in US politics because it is too tied to Israeli government — Judis

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John Judis by Christopher Parks

John Judis by Christopher Parks

John Judis has a very good piece up at Foreign Policy called “Zionist Movement: How AIPAC is severing its historical roots — and weakening its influence,” on the decline of AIPAC’s power. He says AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, is losing influence because it chose to side with the Israeli rightwing government over its roots in the American Jewish community. So when the American Jewish community divided over Israel, as it has in recent years, AIPAC was left on a rightwing ice floe.

Judis’s argument involves the historical concerns about dual loyalty, raised lately by AIPAC sticking with a rightwing Israeli government as it pushed for war on Iran.

Here’s some of the historical bit, about the lobby in the 1930s, and the determination by Zionist Jews to exercise their power as representatives of a Jewish voting bloc to affect the electoral process:

American Jews now had an opportunity to affect events in Palestine, but they feared that pressuring political candidates and lobbying Congress and the White House for a Jewish state might arouse long-standing American suspicions about foreign influence and “dual loyalty.” Asking voters to vote for Jewish interests was considered taboo. Rabbi Stephen Wise, one of the Zionist movement’s leaders, declared flatly in 1937 during the New York mayoral election, “Jews will not vote as Jews.”

But in 1943, Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver and Emanuel Neumann joined Wise in leading the American Zionist Emergency Council (AZEC), a coalition of groups favoring a Jewish state. Silver and Neumann wanted to turn the organization into a traditional lobby that would support or oppose candidates based entirely on their stand on a Jewish state, even if that meant defeating a liberal Democrat whom Jews would ordinarily favor. Jews, who were generally liberal on social and economic issues, had begun voting Democratic en masse in 1928, and in the 1940 and 1944 elections, they had voted overwhelmingly (90 percent or above) for Franklin Roosevelt. But Zionists, Silver wrote, needed to “pin our hopes” on the “pressure of five million Jews in a critical election year.”

When Neumann explained this approach to Hadassah, the main Zionist women’s organization, one of its officials said that the strategy “puts us in the same class as the communists, whom we all despise,” a reference to American communists who advised voters to pick candidates based solely on what mattered to the Soviet Union.

Judis is referring again there to the dual loyalty problem. More on the issue of whose side you’re on follows:

But Silver and Neumann prevailed; the organization ran ads and billboards threatening Democratic as well as Republican candidates. The strategy incurred President Harry Truman’s wrath, and also influenced his support for a Jewish state, but it failed to drive a wedge between AZEC and Jewish voters because almost all the Democrats up for election backed the creation of a Jewish state.

The American Zionist movement shrunk after Israel won its independence in May 1948. It also suffered a brief identity crisis. [Emanuel] Neumann, who had led the charge for Israel’s recognition, now worried about allegations of dual loyalty. He proposed that American Jews delegate lobbying for the new state to “its ministers and ambassadors.” “[I]t should be obvious,” he declared, “that the Jews of the United States … should not be responsible for the acts and policies of a state which … will necessarily be regarded and referred to as a ‘foreign power.'” But his fellow Zionists didn’t share his reservations. They wanted a hand in the new state’s future. The American Zionist Emergency Council dropped the “Emergency” from its name — a nod to having accomplished its primary objective — and AZC turned from lobbying for Israel’s creation to lobbying on its behalf.

The lobby then got around the foreign agent registration act, even though it was serving a foreign power, by reconstituting itself as AIPAC:

[Founded] in January 1963, as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee… AIPAC claimed to receive no funds from the Israeli government — and there is no evidence to the contrary. But though it was free of direct control from Israel, it continued the practice, begun with AZEC, of lobbying for what it believed to be in Israel’s interests. As a rule, though not always, this coincided with Israeli government policy.

A few Senate and House members continued to question whether AIPAC was an agent of a foreign government, but the charge didn’t stick. There were several reasons why. First, the United States saw Israel as an important ally in the Cold War. In 1970, Israel helped the United States by threatening to intervene in Jordan to quash a Palestinian revolt against King Hussein. After the Iranian revolution in 1979, Israel became America’s major military ally in the Middle East against the Soviet Union. In 1981, Ronald Reagan’s administration signed a “strategic cooperation agreement” with Israel. Thus, when AIPAC and other lobbying groups promoted policies that favored Israel, they could convincingly argue that those policies also benefited the United States.

Judis comes to AIPAC’s classic period, the 70s to the 2000s. Notice his emphasis on Jewish donors, a breath of fresh air in Foreign Policy. And his point that the famous AWACs sale to Saudi Arabia, so often cited as an AIPAC defeat, resulted in Senator Charles Percy’s defeat in Illinois, a scalp AIPAC brandished with great effect in years to come.

It went from having 8,000 to 55,000 members,which gave it a base of wealthy Jewish donors who could be called upon to back or oppose candidates, and it created an impressive communications, research, and lobbying operation. The best indication of AIPAC’s power was its success in winning money and arms for Israel. From 1974 until the Iraq war, Israel was the largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid. (The 1978 Camp David Accords, often cited as the reason for Washington’s substantial aid to Israel, actually produced only a one-year bump in the amount provided.) If House or Senate members defied AIPAC by criticizing aid budgets or supporting weapons programs for Israel’s adversaries, AIPAC summoned its supporters to fund opposing candidates.

Even its defeats managed to showcase the organization’s growing power. In 1981, it fought Reagan’s proposed sale of AWACS reconnaissance planes to Saudi Arabia, an important ally of the United States. AIPAC got 36 of 46 Senate Democrats to oppose the sale, but its lobbying effort could not sway enough Republicans. Saudi Arabia got its planes, but AIPAC exacted retribution. In 1984, it helped Democrat Paul Simon oust Republican Sen. Charles Percy, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, whose support had helped bring the sale to the Senate floor. Dine boasted, “All the Jews in America, from coast to coast, gathered to oust Percy.… And American politicians … got the message.”

Sometime during Bush’s second term, however, as AIPAC was continuing its movement rightward, it began almost imperceptibly, and then very visibly, to lose influence. One key factor was a change in the global security environment, which became less conducive to a simple identification of America’s interests with Israel’s.

This is Judis’s big point. That as American interests and Israeli ones have diverged in recent years, Jewish Democrats have stepped away from AIPAC. And “AIPAC has confirmed the qualms that Wise and officials from Hadassah expressed some 70 years ago” — i.e., you’ve got a dual loyalty problem.

[T]o bolster AIPAC’s standing among progressives…. AIPAC would have to be willing to adopt positions that clash sharply with those of Israel’s conservative government — whether on the peace process or negotiations with Iran. It would also have to be willing to forgo supporting Republican politicians like Cantor and McConnell, who, while favoring aid to Israel, are anathema to liberal voters. By backing these conservatives, AIPAC has confirmed the qualms that Wise and officials from Hadassah expressed some 70 years ago. It’s doubtful, however, that AIPAC is ready to break with its current strategy.

The coming year will be telling. Although midway through his first term Obama had backed off his initial push for peace with the Palestinians, he and his new secretary of state, John Kerry, have picked it up once again. AIPAC may soon be forced to decide whether to back a proposal for peace that Netanyahu resists. Similarly, the Iran negotiations may also result in a long-term agreement that could promise broad sanctions relief. That step could require congressional approval, at which point AIPAC could exploit Republican opposition to Obama in an effort to block the deal’s implementation. AIPAC might well succeed — and the Israeli government would likely be pleased. But severing AIPAC’s remaining ties to liberals and Democrats could ultimately prove fatal, even to an 800-pound gorilla.

The flaw in this piece is Judis’s suggestion that J Street, whom he hallows as more representative of the Democratic Party, is not also the Israel lobby. As if an organization that pushes for unending military aid to Israel isn’t the lobby, even if it does represent liberal Jews. Norman Finkelstein made a similar argument about AIPAC’s decline long before Judis did, but containing the same flaw: just because the lobby has been damaged by battles with Obama doesn’t mean we don’t still have an Israel lobby! The issue both of them avoid taking on frontally is, How important are older conservative American Jews in the Democratic Party? They both know the answer, Very important. I will certainly address this question in my own presentation at a National Summit to Re-Assess the US Israel Special Relationship, next Friday in D.C.

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43 Responses

  1. UpSIDEdown
    UpSIDEdown
    March 1, 2014, 2:31 pm

    Mr Weiss
    Thank you for you’re honesty, and for telling it as you see it. Today when reading similar articles its quite obvious that many writers, write talking points such a disappointment the world of journalism has become “but people such as yourself Mr Weiss give me hope that its not all lost yet!

  2. DaBakr
    DaBakr
    March 1, 2014, 2:57 pm

    Saying AIPAC is “too tied to the Israeli gov’t.” is like saying Vogue is ‘too tied to the fashion industry’. One exists to support the other-regardless of wether the trend is towards high hems, low hems, liberal or conservative. Its another ‘tempest in a teapot’.

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      March 1, 2014, 3:27 pm

      You’re missing the point.

      AIPAC’s strength stem a from it’s claim to being able to speak for all American Jews on Israel. If it was ever true, it is clearly not the case now.

      Foreign Policy has another piece explaining that by siding unconditionally with the right wing government to has led to a split in AIPAC.
      http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2014/02/28/partisan_battle_hinders_aipacs_iran_lobbying

      This infighting has become too obvious to ignore and made them less effective.

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr
        March 1, 2014, 9:31 pm

        well, if that is truly the case-the internal splits you link to will either cause the lobby to ‘self-correct’ or to whirl out of its former sphere of influence. Obviously-if one happens to be an anti-Zionist it is probably obvious which outcome is preferable.

        However, I still think that the actual % of American Jews that don’t support AIPAC to a fairly strong degree is minimal. And I don’t know of ANY organization that could ever claim to speak for “all” of anybody, least of all, Jews since cultural groups, nationalities and ethnicities are never truly monolithic. {its not like this same exact conflagration amongst Jewish ‘intellectuals’ on both sides of Zionism hasn’t happened in the past at least two distinct periods in the 20thC.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        March 1, 2014, 11:37 pm

        However, I still think that the actual % of American Jews that don’t support AIPAC to a fairly strong degree is minimal.

        Most Americans, including Jews, told their representatives to oppose AIPAC on its campaign for military intervention in Syria and Iran. See: Pro-Israel Lobby Finds Longtime Supporters Defect On Syria
        http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2013/09/12/221723043/pro-israel-lobby-finds-longtime-supporters-defect-on-syria

      • PeaceThroughJustice
        PeaceThroughJustice
        March 2, 2014, 1:18 am

        There’s nothing in your NPR link claiming that most American Jews opposed the Syria intervention, Hostage. (Which is good, because by my reckoning they clearly didn’t.)

        I don’t think the handful of Jews who choose to gather here at this small site and talk to one another form a good sample of the general community.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        March 2, 2014, 12:29 pm

        There’s nothing in your NPR link claiming that most American Jews opposed the Syria intervention, Hostage.

        Yeah right, we’re not members of the general public. See Jewish Democrat Alan Grayson Says Syria Measure Doomed in House of Representatives Constituents Are ‘100-to-1’ Against Obama’s Proposal. He said he would personally vote against it. http://forward.com/articles/183517/jewish-democrat-alan-grayson-says-syria-measure-do/

        There were many other prominent Jewish leaders in both houses of Congress who remained undecided or actually opposed intervention in Syria, including Susan Davis, Alan Lowenthal, Bernie Sanders, Adam Schiff, and Henry Waxman. http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2013/09/politics/syria-congress-vote-count/house.html

        Even the Jewish Virtual Library has published opinion polls showing less than 5 percent of American Jews said that US-Israeli relations were the top or second most important issues to them in the presidential election, and fewer than 7% said it was the third most important issue. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/US-Israel/ajcsurvey092012.html

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        March 2, 2014, 2:34 am

        “by siding unconditionally with the right wing government to has led to a split in AIPAC”

        The GOP is also deeply dysfunctional between the TP and the moderates
        and that inhibits the effectiveness of AIPAC too.

        The NRA is a far more effective lobby group – perhaps because gun deaths are accepted as normal while American deaths in war are no longer.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        March 2, 2014, 4:46 am

        Maybe the NRA is effective consistently because many Americans don’t like a slippery slope towards taking away their right of self-defense–including against an over-stepping government, even if that government is their own?

  3. March 1, 2014, 6:03 pm

    You have to laugh about that dual loyalty meme.

    These folks (Zionists) have only one loyalty — to their own little group. They care not a whit about all of us other Americans; actually, I should say they hold us in contempt

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      March 2, 2014, 4:47 am

      @ Giles
      And why not? As Bibi N said, “America can be easily moved.” Goering said the same thing at Nuremberg.

  4. Krauss
    Krauss
    March 1, 2014, 6:24 pm

    Your points regarding the flaws of both Finkelstein’s and Judis’ arguments are sound.

    I would also question something else which you seem to have overlooked/passed in Judis’ text:

    Sometime during Bush’s second term, however, as AIPAC was continuing its movement rightward, it began almost imperceptibly, and then very visibly, to lose influence. One key factor was a change in the global security environment, which became less conducive to a simple identification of America’s interests with Israel’s.

    He seems to think that AIPAC began its right-wing movement during the 2005-2008 period, but it was merely continuing a long trend. Secondly, AIPAC got what it wanted for almost everything except a strike on Iran. Bush understood his presidency would be creamed if he tried to, especially as the disaster of Iraq was made apparent.

    But no lobby could have prevailed there, in such circumstances. The real decline of AIPAC began under Obama, as they got exposed to liberals for being just extremely unreasonable and the bizarre drumbeat of constantly questioning his loyalty to Israel.

    You wrote, separately:

    This is Judis’s big point. That as American interests and Israeli ones have diverged in recent years, Jewish Democrats have stepped away from AIPAC.

    Israeli and American interests diverged after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Yet Bill Clinton ran to the right of Bush the elder because of Jewish donations.

    You had a good 20 years post-Soviet Union where the relationship between Israel and the U.S. got stronger year by year on no rational basis, the intelligence community produced reports saying that Israel is among the top 5 hostile intelligence gathering nations. Generals have come forward and said they paid a security price for the close alliance to Israel in the Middle East. The Palestinian issue couldn’t be solved and can’t be solved because of AIPAC.

    Judis overlooks this. And I think he does because he expects the lobby to continue post-AIPAC in a milder – but at its core not fundamentally different – version than before. And by overlooking/downplaying this, he can also pretend that these are regional shifts concentrated in a short time span, rather as a symptom of a deeper rot within the Jewish ideological spectrum in contemporary America of which Zionism is central. Things become too circumstancial for Judis.

    • Castellio
      Castellio
      March 1, 2014, 9:23 pm

      The relations between Israel and the diaspora were troubled long before, but an historical moment of import that has been left largely unanalysed is the assassination of Rabin.

      The Israeli government went hard “anti-reconciliation” with the Palestinians after that (with all it entails) and the US government, against its own better interests, obligingly followed.

      Why? And what role did AIPAC play in that?

  5. James Canning
    James Canning
    March 1, 2014, 7:09 pm

    Great piece. Simply put, Aipac wants endless war or near-war in the Middle East, to “protect” Israel. More Americans need to comprehend this fact.

  6. Nevada Ned
    Nevada Ned
    March 1, 2014, 7:19 pm

    Both Phil Weiss and John Judis are missing the main reason for the strong US/Israeli alliance.

    (1) For the US, the main imperial goal is control over the oil of the Middle East. This control gives the US control of Europe, Japan and China, all of whom depend on middle east oil imports.

    (2) And what is the main threat to US control of the oil from the middle east? Arab nationalism. And I would include the Iranian revolution, (although Iranians are not Arabs), which is a similar threat to US control.
    My conclusion: the US wants to keep the Arab world divided, backward, and weak.
    Favored US allies include Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iran (under the Shah), Egypt (under Mubarak) and small petro-states (Qatar, Kuwait, etc.). US opponents included the young Nasser and the young Qadaffi, who were Arab nationalists.

    (3) Israel has its own reasons for opposing Arab nationalism. When Israel was created, the Zionists ethnically cleansed the Palestinians and imposed a system of racial discrimination against the survivors. Israel wants above all else to prevent the Palestinians from getting their rights back and their land back. So Israel opposes any Palestinian state beyond a Bantustan, and opposes Arab nationalism because the Palestinian cause is extremely popular with the Arab masses, while the Arab elites for the most part don’t really care.
    The upshot is that Israel also wants to keep the Arab world divided, backward, and weak.

    This is the real basis of the US/Israeli alliance, opposition to Arab nationalism, and determination to keep the Arab world divided, backward, and weak. (Notice that the alliance had nothing to do with democracy, except of course rhetorically).

    Despite the alliance, disputes do occur, including important disputes. Examples include (1) Jonathan Pollard spy case (2) the Rosen/Weissman/AIPAC spy case, (3) Post 9/11, a major Israeli spy operation in the US was broken up and over 100 people deported (4) the Lavi fighter, (5) the 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty, (6) the 1956 Suez crisis (Israel allied with France and the UK, against the US and USSR), and others.

    So when Phil Weiss writes about the influence of the Israel Lobby, he’s right of course, but even if there weren’t a strong Israeli lobby, the US would be an ally of Israel, for the reasons I mentioned.

    US policy towards Israel has long been shaped by people like Martin Indyk and Dennis Ross, Israeli Lobby supporters. Do you think that Indyk, Ross, and others have somehow wormed their way into positions of power with nobody noticing? The US ruling class is aware of the sympathies of Martin Indyk and Dennis Ross and their allies, and has subcontracted Israeli policymaking to them. (The US, if it wanted to, could have a very different relationship with Israel, by: appointing people like Chas Freeman instead of Dennis Ross.)

    When it really wants to, the US can twist the arm of the Israelis. For example, in 1956 Eisenhower wanted to get Israel to give back the Sinai to Egypt. When the Israelis balked, Eisenhower threatened to change the US tax laws to make donations to the USA not tax deductible.

    An excellent recent book* concludes “The rising American empire in the Middle East was never a smoothly operating set of policies. It was hampered most by the intractable problem of the ongoing Arab-Israeli crisis…Twenty years after the Truman Doctrine, the Six-Day War came in the midst of the Vietnam debacle and led American policy makers to rely more on surrogates. In a way, Israel was one.”

    *Lloyd Gardner, Three Kings. The Rise of an American Empire in the Middle East After World War II (The New Press, 2009), p 223.

    • American
      American
      March 1, 2014, 7:44 pm

      @ NevadaNed

      Nope, totally wrong.
      And it would not matter in the slightest who or what group ran a ME country—they would still sell their oil to us and the world.
      Consult the experts like Walt and Freeman on this.
      The ‘only time’ a ME country– Saudi— ever cut off the oil hose to the US was in the 70′ and it was *because* of Israel.

      • Ellen
        Ellen
        March 1, 2014, 8:51 pm

        True, the ME will never stop selling oil and gas to the west.

        Is Arab nationalism a threat to the west? No, not really. The west would loose its dependable puppets. That is all.

        Arab nationalism is a much greater threat to the ruling families of the petrol and gas states. Rulers that have their position today only because the British dealt with the tribal leaders/families of the period as they were taking over from the Ottomans. And the British split up the region and anointed them. Prior to that there was no such thing as a King or Queen in the Arab world.

        Leaders of tribes (who fought and raided among themselves) were determined by consensus and would change as more capable and stronger leaders emerged.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        March 2, 2014, 3:53 pm

        “the ME will never stop selling oil and gas to the west”

        What about when the oil runs dry ?

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        March 2, 2014, 5:05 am

        The current US imperial goal in the ME is to assure distribution of oil all over the world in a manner that keeps the US ultimately in control of same, which is tied in with maintaining the supremacy of the US petro dollar. Neither the US, Israel, or any Arab clan ruling an Arab country gives a crap about the Arab masses. Iran is actually a threat to this state of affairs. Israel is not really needed by any ME state or the USA. Rather, the US would have it easier with the entire ME, and oil distribution if it instituted an arms-length relationship with Israel as it does with every other country. Russia, Turkey, China, and India play any cards available in their own best interest and would continue to do so sans the US “special relationship” with Israel. Same with EU and UK.

      • LeaNder
        LeaNder
        March 2, 2014, 10:00 am

        I cannot see nationalism as some type of savior either. Maybe Nevada Ned concentrates too much on one aspect of nationalism. No kings anymore?

        American, I agree with you here.

        I have close to no knowledge in economics thus concerning oil, the only thing I am not so sure about, is to what extend the dollar and the US does economically control the oil market. But I cannot really see that the Iraq war opened up the country widely for US companies and investment only. As far as I can tell Iraq didn’t even pay its liberation with oil, as suggested at one point.

        But strictly, wasn’t the scapegoat/threat-scenario communism and socialism and much less nationalism at the time?

        Lloyd Gardner, Three Kings. The Rise of an American Empire in the Middle East After World War II (The New Press, 2009)

        Why not a review from the London School of economics, since my economic argument may be just as wrong as Ned’s central “Arab” nationalism.

      • American
        American
        March 2, 2014, 11:04 am

        LeaNder,

        To best of memory out of the dozen oil development contracts let in Iraq US companies only got one, maybe two of them—the bulk of the oil extraction business for Iraq went to other nations companies. US has (got )zero control over Iraq oil out of our invasion.

        The oil market to best of my knowledge is still dollar dominated–but OPEC actually controls the ‘price’ (and flow) of ME oil.

        As of 2012 the US only got 25% of its oil from the ME….an amount we could easily replace from elsewhere.

        The history of the US re ME oil was not to control it but ‘prevent’ anything–other outside powers, inner ME conflicts, etc.—from impeding the availability of oil to the west.
        The US was never ‘against’ nationalism in the ME—-the rulers in the ME were against popular nationalism because it naturally was a threat to their thrones and rule. The US ‘went along’ with the rulers for the purpose of maintaining ‘stability’ …iow, no conflicts that would create chaos.
        We didnt get into ‘promoting democracy” until the lib-neo-interventionist influence rose in the DC turd tank.
        Then in 1948 along came the spider, Israel, and created a ‘active’ problem for the US in the ME. What use to be a ‘hands-off’- offshore balancing by the US” became actively intervening for Israel in the ME—making the ME street anti America.
        Now we have Arabs making efforts toward nationalism—nationalism as in people government and getting rid of royal and self appointed royal rulers and getting rid of rulers that are puppets of US.
        Believe it or not the ME use to not hate the US….because we had been basically hands off and hadn’t sliced and diced the ME territory and states like Britain had.
        Now the Arab street has good reason to hate us.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        March 2, 2014, 7:31 pm

        “Every time anyone says that Israel is our only friend in the Middle East, I can’t help but think that before Israel, we had no enemies in the Middle East.”
        Attributed to John Sheehan, S.J. (a Jesuit priest)

      • James Canning
        James Canning
        March 3, 2014, 1:44 pm

        Foolish notion the US would control Iraqi oil, if Saddam Hussein were overthrown, helped to dupe the moron in the White House. Equally foolish notion was that the cost of the war would be paid for by Iraqi oil.

      • American
        American
        March 2, 2014, 11:17 am

        ”But strictly, wasn’t the scapegoat/threat-scenario communism and socialism and much less nationalism at the time?”..Lea

        Obscured by the popular theme of US Empire is the actual reason the US overthrew Iran and installed the Shah—What ACTUALLY happened was France ‘convinced’ the US that communism was making inroads in Iran and had to be stopped. This was a lie—what France was afraid of was that it’s oil companies in Iran were going to be ‘nationalized’ and they were going to lose all their contracts—so they wanted some help in ovethrowing Iran to prevent that.
        A lot of things the US has done in the past was not for imperial designs—it was from being stupid, easily fooled and easy to panic into action…lurching from one foreign disaster to another.

      • LeaNder
        LeaNder
        March 2, 2014, 10:58 am

        I was wrong,he is no scholar of economics. Have to look into what made me think he was. Interesting article anyway.

  7. Hostage
    Hostage
    March 1, 2014, 9:50 pm

    AIPAC claimed to receive no funds from the Israeli government — and there is no evidence to the contrary.

    Funding is only one of the elements of control that can be used to determine whether or not an organization or person acts as an agent of a “government of a foreign country” in accordance with the terms of the Chapter of the US Code regarding Registration of Foreign Propagandists.

    — See http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/22/611

  8. irmep
    irmep
    March 2, 2014, 8:05 am

    When AIPAC was the unincorporated lobbying division of the American Zionist Council, the quasi-governmental Jewish Agency (which had access to tax exempt American donations and Israeli government funding) laundered money to AIPAC founder Isaiah Kenen for AIPAC through his privately owned lobbying newsletter “Near East Report.” But the Jewish Agency also paid Kenen/proto AIPAC on occasion directly. See the payment voucher below:

    http://www.irmep.org/ila/JA-AZC/default.asp

    It’s hard to claim, with all that foreign start-up funding, AIPAC never received foreign funding. The Jewish Agency, by the way, also funded the JPPPI, which funded Dennis Ross. That’s not to mention the Jewish Agency’s role funding the illegal smuggling of arms from Nahum Bernstein’s office in New York, also well-documented, but unfortunately not well-prosecuted.

    AIPAC incorporated just six weeks after its parent, the AZC, was ordered to register as a foreign agent. Hard to see it—with all the foreign seed money— as anything but a continuation organization that should also register as a foreign agent.

    • Hostage
      Hostage
      March 2, 2014, 8:37 am

      Hard to see it—with all the foreign seed money— as anything but a continuation organization that should also register as a foreign agent.

      Likewise, it’s hard to see why an organization, like the New York JCRC, which has reported the receipt of substantial funding from the Consulate General of Israel, shouldn’t be required to register as an agent when it’s lobbying New York legislators on a bill prohibiting state funds from flowing to academic groups that boycott Israel.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        March 2, 2014, 10:45 am

        Great and astute point!

  9. just
    just
    March 2, 2014, 8:47 am

    I know that I might appear obtuse by asking this question, but why are these groups allowed to operate without registering as a foreign agent? Why is JNF allowed its designation as a “charitable” organization?

    Is our ‘Justice Department’ and government too busy to see this gigantic pimple on the face of our own law(s)? I know that we regularly excuse the violations of the myriad of international laws, but why are even domestic laws ignored wrt Israel?

    • American
      American
      March 2, 2014, 10:00 am

      Why?
      Political corruption…..money,money and I-Firsters in both congress and government agencies shooting down, shutting down anything that would curb zionist control for Israel in the US.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      March 2, 2014, 10:44 am

      Look at it this way, just:

      Just as corporations simply spin off new corporations to avoid accountability under the law, the Israel First organizations do the same. The US law is easy to avoid by playing the corporate shell game endlessly. That’s why AIPAC is not registered as a foreign agent under FARA, and why it’s “educational arm,” is allow to bribe US politicians with free vacations to Israel, etc. I have yet to see any US agency apply the legal theory of “piercing the corporate veil” to AIPAC. That’s very telling as to where the power lies.

    • Hostage
      Hostage
      March 2, 2014, 1:12 pm

      Is our ‘Justice Department’ and government too busy to see this gigantic pimple on the face of our own law(s)?

      I’m pretty certain they have time to read the newspaper while they are drinking their morning coffee: See: Tax-Exempt Funds Aid Settlements in West Bank http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/06/world/middleeast/06settle.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

      If not, I know that they read the official mail once they get to the office. See “J Street Calls for Treasury Investigation Into Settlement Charities” http://web.archive.org/web/20100717130705/http://jstreet.org/campaigns/j-street-calls-treasury-investigation-into-settlement-charities

      FWIW, I’ve stated all along that the governments of Israel and the USA are part of a joint criminal enterprise to illegally colonize Palestine. I’ve also observed that they’ve obviously opted to maintain the status quo of endless talks and apartheid, e.g. http://mondoweiss.net/2013/10/statetwo-irrelevant-consolidate.html#comment-606575

  10. gingershot
    gingershot
    March 2, 2014, 9:16 am

    the Greatest Secret in the World is Hillary is not going to be the next President

    And the reason is she’s riding the AIPAC-Apartheid horse and that horse just became RADIOACTIVE – instead of her ‘sure win’. OMG

    Does anyone think it’s possible NOT to run on the AIPAC-Ticket (think Hillary, McCain, Attila the Wasilla Hun-ny) and win? The question now for Hillary is does she STILL THINK she can run on the AIPAC-Ticket and Win – BECAUSE SHE CAN’T

    The 2nd and 3rd prices Israel/the Israel Lobby pays for Apartheid, aside from the loss of the Zionist state (that battle is over say the top Israeli legal teams – Hillary/AIPAC is the fight NOW), is that it is FORCED to operate as a foreign lobby, rather than it’s current Mafioso arrangement.

    And AIPAC’s Girl not only goes down in flames – she and AIPAC GO DOWN TOGETHER with Apartheid Israel

    Alert the World please…

    A strategic pivot is now in the immediate future – pivoting away from the Apartheid fight and taking out AIPAC, Kristol, Hillary, and the Israeli’s Lobby political control over the US that AIPAC as a NON-FOREIGN LOBBYING ORGAN makes possible

    Pivot from going after Israeli Apartheid (IDF legal teams have already given up, once Palestine got ICC access, correctly saying (it’s over once Israel is in the dock at the ICC because Apartheid is indefensible) – we won THAT battle and now it’s time to win the war by getting rid of Apartheid’s support (AIPAC) and AIPAC’s Next President (Hillary Clinton)

    The Greatest Secret in the World is Hillary Clinton is riding the AIPAC horse, and the AIPAC horse is CHAINED to Apartheid Israel (Kristol and Lake are tearing it AIPAC apart right now because AIPAC is refusing to go down with the Aparthied Israeli ship BECAUSE it’s SAVIOR Hillary Clinton is riding like the dickens to the rescue of AIPAC as ‘AIPAC’s Girl’

    Hillary CHAINED to Israeli Apartheid-AIPAC? That is GOLD – if she tries to get OFF the AIPAC horse it will HASTEN the destruction of AIPAC as it tears itself (and Hillary) apart

    Please alert the world – Hillary Clinton rode in on a Pro-AIPAC Pro-Apartheid horse as ‘AIPAC’s Girl’, a brilliant move, until THAT ITSELF, SINGLE ISSUE, that she was AIPAC’s Girl’, as Apartheid went to the hell it deserves at the ICC, destroyed her. PRICELESS

    We are OPEN FIELD RUNNING NOW – AIPAC-Apartheid-Apartheid’s Next President Hillary – the THREE-FOR of all times

    Calling Karl Rove, Rand Paul, etc …

    Who Wants to be a President?

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      March 2, 2014, 10:40 am

      @ gingershot
      Nope. Hillary will win because most females, the swing vote, will voter for her and she has no credible opponent in the GOP. US females are mostly all about themselves, as females & they claim the mother mantel too–that’s their first priority; Israel is a very side issue on their intent to at last get a female POTUS.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        March 2, 2014, 7:04 pm

        “their intent to at last get a female POTUS.”

        Gee! The US might have a woman as head of state/head of government. It might catch up with Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia, Turkey, Iceland, Sri Lanka, Central African Republic, and Canada. And many others. Even Australia.

  11. gingershot
    gingershot
    March 2, 2014, 9:59 am

    Forcing Hillary to Climb Down Off Her Apartheid-AIPAC Horse IN OPEN PUBLIC VIEW, as Israel is thrown to the wolves at the ICC

    Forcing Hillary off her AIPAC-Apartheid Horse will TEAR HER APART, AS WELL AS AIPAC-APARTHEID

    The ‘Three-For of All Times’ – and it’s EASY – they are CHAINED TO EACH OTHER

  12. Citizen
    Citizen
    March 2, 2014, 10:35 am

    MJ Rosenberg, former honcho at AIPAC, asks, “What has Israel ever done to deserve the label a great ally of USA? http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2014/01/24/the-selective-secrecy-of-bill-de-blasio/

  13. Citizen
    Citizen
    March 2, 2014, 11:03 am

    The world has grown tired of Israel calling wolf, when it is the wolf: http://www.veteranstoday.com/2014/02/28/world-grows-tired-of-israel-crying-wolf-when-its-the-wolf/

  14. Citizen
    Citizen
    March 2, 2014, 11:13 am

    What’s more unAmerican than holding funds for US combat veterans to spending more on Israel? Vet organizations say senate must focus on veterans, not on Iran (in behalf Israel): http://www.veteranstoday.com/2014/02/27/veterans-organizations-say-senate-must-focus-on-veterans-not-iran/

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