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American Israel Public Affairs Committee: 6 Key Efforts Made By AIPAC

Image: American Israel Public Affairs Committee: 6 Key Efforts Made By AIPAC
(Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images, file)

By    |   Wednesday, 10 Dec 2014 10:48 AM

Through its ups and downs in public opinion, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee keeps its goals in place by a variety of methods to make the pro-Israel cause known.

Here are six key efforts AIPAC has used to help spread its message:

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1. AIPAC continually attracts different groups to its pro-Israel cause through outreach programs. There has been a concern that many younger American Jews are turning away from pro-Israel activism. Through campaigns on college campuses and with like-minded organizations that agree with military aid for Israel in U.S. affairs, AIPAC has received support from Christians and minority groups, including Hispanics and African-Americans, to make up for the dwindling numbers in Jewish youth support.

2. The lobby group has withstood severe criticism for its public approval of certain negotiations in the Middle East. Conservative forces objected to the two-state solution between the Israelis and the Palestinians as well as the 1993 Oslo agreement that set up the Palestinian National Authority, though critics charge the group hasn’t made enough effort to endorse these measures. Left-wing critics condemned AIPAC’s call for Iran sanctions. Despite criticism from both sides, AIPAC remains a vital lobby for Israel’s survival, according to Eric Yoffie, a writer and lecturer on Israel’s role in the Middle East.

3. The American Israel Political Affairs Committee worked tirelessly to get bipartisan support in the Senate that backed Israel’s retaliation against Hamas in Gaza. A Senate resolution declared “support for Israel’s right to defend its citizens” against the “unprovoked rocket fire at Israel.” Another resolution criticized the United Nations for a report on the violence that didn’t mention Israel was defending itself from the attacks from Hamas.

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4. During the war in Gaza, Israel was able to receive immediate funding of $225 million for its Iron Dome missile defense system, thanks to AIPAC’s lobbying Congress. The lobby group was once again able to convince Democrats and Republicans in the Senate to realize the importance of Israel’s defense against terrorism in the region and reject calls for cease-fire negotiations in the middle of constant rocket attacks from Hamas.

5. AIPAC encourages its members to help and contribute to candidates who share its pro-Israel views, but does not publicly endorse or contribute to political candidates. It also asks members to get in touch with their local representatives to continually improve U.S. and Israeli relations with support. In this way, individuals play a key role in AIPAC’s efforts to help strengthen Israel.

6.
Reaching across political lines to maintain support for Israel has enabled AIPAC to influence such diverse politicians as Robert Menendez, a liberal Senator from New Jersey, and Lindsey Graham, a conservative on foreign policy issues from South Carolina, both strong supporters of Israel’s defense. The American Israel Political Affairs Committee also gets involved with Washington think tanks, such as the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, supported by its members.

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Through its ups and downs in public opinion, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee keeps its goals in place by a variety of methods to make the pro-Israel cause known.
american israel public affairs committee, key efforts, aipac
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2014-48-10
Wednesday, 10 Dec 2014 10:48 AM
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