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American Israel Public Affairs Committee: 8 Ways AIPAC is Good For American Jews

Image: American Israel Public Affairs Committee: 8 Ways AIPAC is Good For American Jews
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu waves after addressing the Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference in Washington on March 4, 2014. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 01 Dec 2014 10:26 AM

The lobbying efforts by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee center around the strength of Israel and its relationship with the U.S. This has had profound effects on American Jews.

There are positive effects from these eight ways AIPAC has been favorable for American Jews:

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1. The support of non-Jewish backers brings outsiders closer to pro-Israel traditions within the Jewish community. AIPAC has made an aggressive effort to invite others into its organization with conferences and programs for students, Christians, Latinos, and African-Americans who agree with the pro-Israel message.

2. AIPAC also remains a stronghold for Orthodox Jews. Although the numbers of the more conservative elements of the religion seem to be dwindling as society becomes more assimilated, they remain attached to the Israel lobby. This keeps American Jews and non-Jews within the organization aware of these deep traditions

3. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee combines geopolitical awareness with religious information through programs in synagogues and conferences. It includes religious services for those interested during its conferences, so even non-Jewish attendees have a better understanding of the Jewish traditions along with the importance of a strong relationship between the U.S. and Israel.

4. AIPAC maintains a viable connection with evangelical Christians, who support Israel. Regular sessions are held in conjunction with Christians United for Israel, for example, a group that campaigns for pro-Israel political candidates. This helps to close any gaps between Christians and American Jews.

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5. The lobby group also continues to cling to American liberals, Jewish and non-Jewish, to spread the message of a strong Israel in the Middle East. Many liberals don’t have a strong attachment to Israel, but a poll by J Street, a political action committee on the left, reveals 80 percent of them supported Israel in its defensive actions against Hamas, suggesting the influence AIPAC has had on American Jews.

6. Even though AIPAC spends a lot of time trying to spread its message and attract non-Jewish participants to its cause, the overwhelming majority of members still remain American Jews. Strong Jewish activism in pro-Israel matters helps strengthen Jewish traditions.

7. Getting Jewish candidates elected to Congress makes American Jews more aware of their traditions. Mark Kirk, a Republican senator from Illinois, heads the Mark Kirk Israel Scholars program to teach Jewish high school students about the ethics and values that have made Israel strong.

8. Even criticism of AIPAC has advantages for American Jews. The American Israel Political Affairs Committee may cause arguments between liberals and conservatives within the Jewish community, but it only shows the diversity on political issues within the community and even allows Jews to discuss their understanding of Jewish religion and traditions.

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The lobbying efforts by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee center around the strength of Israel and its relationship with the U.S. This has had profound effects on American Jews.
american israel public affairs committee
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2014-26-01
Monday, 01 Dec 2014 10:26 AM
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