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American Israel Public Affairs Committee: 8 Signs of AIPAC's Influence on US Politics

Image: American Israel Public Affairs Committee: 8 Signs of AIPAC's Influence on US Politics
Secretary of State John Kerry delivers remarks during the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's Policy Conference at the Walter Washington Convention Center March 3, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014 07:33 PM

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee has its share of critics, but it also continues to show its influence on decisions made in Washington.

Here are eight signs that reveal AIPAC’s impact on U.S. politics:

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1. AIPAC expands its influence with other organizations in Washington. The group started the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. The two organizations are no longer associated with each other, but many members of both groups continue to support each other with funding to help influence Washington politicians.

2. Liberals may oppose many of the actions of AIPAC because of its methods to attract politicians to the pro-Israel lobby. That doesn’t mean they haven’t been influenced by AIPAC. The Israel Institute, which funds research projects on Israeli issues, funds the liberal-leaning Center for American Progress.

3. Media entrepreneur Haim Saban has been a backer of the Clintons, but his pro-Israel views remain strongly attached to conservatives within the Israel lobby. Through his sponsored Saban Forum, he brings together a wide range of political thinkers to discuss Middle East policy and influence U.S. politics.

4. Liberals and conservatives often come together on Israel following the three decades of lobbying by the American Israel Political Affairs Committee. Billionaires Saban and Sheldon Adelson, a Republican backer, told a gathering of several hundred Jewish Americans they will donate money during the next presidential campaign to promote Democrat and Republican candidates who have a hawkish view for Israel in Middle East policy, according to The Washington Post.

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5. AIPAC showed its influence has not been dwindling following the Senate vote to approve funding for the Iron Dome missile system to protect Israel from attacks in the Gaza war. Jonathan S. Tobin of Commentary called it “a triumph for the lobby” because AIPAC managed to get support from Democrats and Republicans to reverse the Obama administration’s attempt to delay funding at the time and agree to a cease-fire with Hamas.

6. The influence of AIPAC on U.S. politics is also evident in its membership. AIPAC does not contribute to the campaigns of politicians, but encourages members to support candidates who take a pro-Israel stand. Members contribute to Democrats and Republicans, so the successes of pro-Israel legislation come from individuals.

7. AIPAC’s policies have influenced American Jews, even though many have retained their liberal affiliation. A recent survey by J Street showed an overwhelming support for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Israel’s defense against Hamas. The poll reveals the support for many of the ideas endorsed by AIPAC.

8. The lobby group is collecting an array of future political leaders in non-Jewish segments of the population. Conferences by the American Israel Political Affairs Committee include Christians, African-Americans, and Hispanics who share thoughts and get information on pro-Israel policies. Non-Jewish supporters of Israel will have an effect on decisions made for U.S. policy.

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The American Israel Public Affairs Committee has its share of critics, but it also continues to show its influence on decisions made in Washington.
american israel public affairs committee, influence, politics
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2014-33-25
Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014 07:33 PM
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