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Israel Documentary Reviews: Critics, Viewers on 'AIPAC: The Israeli Lobby'

Image: Israel Documentary Reviews: Critics, Viewers on 'AIPAC: The Israeli Lobby'
In this March 3, 2013 file photo is seen, stage decoration of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference in Washington, D.C. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Sunday, 19 Oct 2014 01:46 PM

Israel is a nation rich in resources, but still collects about $3 billion in economic and military aid from the United States. At the same time, the U.S. vetoes key measures in the United Nations that would provide more help.

The documentary "AIPAC: The Israeli Lobby" asks whether it's OK to question such a reality, or whether the pro-Israel lobby is too powerful financially and politically that an alliance with them must stay quiet?

Vote Now: Should the U.S. Continue to Support Israel?

Also, what happens to those who do mention it? In March 2006, American political scientists John Mearsheimer and Steve Walt asserted in a controversial article, "The Israel Lobby and US foreign policy," that it's no longer advantageous for the U.S. to support and protect modern-day Israel. The reasons cited included a Congressional power shift and additional doubts regarding Middle East policy.

The producers allow equal time to those who want to keep a strong connection between the countries — such as American political advisor and lobbyist Richard Perle, author and activist Brigitte Gabriel, and evangelist John Hagee — and those who criticized the lobby.

Former U.S. House of Representatives member Earl Hilliard, who voted against a 2001 bill that would've increased military support to Israel, is among those who paid for their opposition, as he was ousted by an AIPAC-backed opponent. The documentary also mentions historian Tony Judt, whose suggestion that Israel was shifting into a hostile, narrow-minded region, driven by religion, may have led to a lecture's cancellation.

"This is a well-made film," Freedocumentaries.org writes. "The topic of Israeli influence in the U.S. is one which faces incredible censorship whenever there is an attempt to discuss it. At the heart of this matter is AIPAC, a powerful organization who influences US policy. The Israeli Lobby influence is so strong in both parties that relationship between the U.S. and Israel will probably not change regardless of whether republicans or democrats are elected. If you want to understand U.S. policy in the Middle East, you first should understand AIPAC."

The film also wonders whether the lobby has forced Congress, the White House, and Israel into "a suffocating embrace," and, if so, will it ever change?

Be Heard: Should the U.S. Cut Back Israel Support? Vote Here

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