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Israel Lobby Aims For DC Influence: 8 Politicians Most Closely Linked to Israel

By    |   Wednesday, 19 Nov 2014 08:23 PM

The Israel lobby often influences the political environment through bipartisan congressional connections. Politicians may come to Washington with a pro-Israel stance or become swayed by the message of Israeli support that also benefits them.

Here are eight politicians who have become close to Israel through their support and actions:

1. U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, has been a strong advocate of Israel. He co-authored a Senate resolution that condemned the unprovoked rocket fire on Israel by Hamas. In 2011, he and Sen. Joe Lieberman got 14 senators to sign a letter to President Obama, urging that the U.S. would “not tolerate continued threats to Israel.”

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

2. Republican Lindsey Graham, a U.S. senator from South Carolina, co-authored the resolution with Sen. Robert Menendez expressing support for Israel against attacks from Hamas after the terrorist organization sent hundreds of rockets into the country. “This is truly an act of terrorism that needs to be condemned,” Graham stated.

3. U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk is a major beneficiary of Israel lobby funding. The Republican from Illinois sponsors the Senator Mark Kirk Israel Scholars, a program that teaches the ethics and values of Israel for Jewish high school students in Illinois. His supporters recognize him as a pro-Israel champion, according to The New Yorker.

4. House Speaker John Boehner says the U.S. should continue to support Israel and stood firm during the Israeli offensive in Gaza rather than focus on peace negotiations with its enemies. In an Associated Press report, Boehner told the National Press Club that “we are here to stand with Israel,” not just as an observer, “but as a strong partner and trusted ally.”

5. After his election to the U.S. House of Representatives, Jewish Republican Lee Zeldin was praised for campaigning with a “strong religious perspective on Israel,” according to Elie Pieprz, the director of External Affairs for the Yesha Council and a former lobbyist. The New York state senator, who takes office in January 2015, is an Iraq war vet with a strong pro-Israel stance, stating that Israel shares the same values with America and is America’s greatest friend.

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

6. Brad Sherman, a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives from California’s 30th congressional district since 1997, serves as a co-chair of the Israel Allies Caucus and has been a leading Democrat on the House subcommittee for terrorism and nonproliferation since 2003. He has worked to promote U.S. friendship and increased cooperation with Israel, “our closest ally in the Middle East.”

7. Trent Franks, a congressman from Arizona and a ranking Republican member of the House Armed Services Committee, is a friend to the Israel lobby. Franks took to the House floor to criticize the Obama administration for its “unprecedented act of cowardice and betrayal” from its lack of response when rockets from Hamas were attacking Israel. He is also a member of the Israel Allies Caucus.

8. Eliot Engel, a Democratic congressman from New York’s 16th district, has stressed that Iran remains a constant threat to Israel, especially with its potential to develop nuclear weapons. Engel, a member of the Israel Allies Caucus, has expressed his concern about the dangers of Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon. He strongly supports America’s assistance to Israel.

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The Israel lobby often influences the political environment through bipartisan congressional connections. Politicians may come to Washington with a pro-Israel stance or become swayed by the message of Israeli support that also benefits them.
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2014-23-19
Wednesday, 19 Nov 2014 08:23 PM
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