Quick Facts: AIPAC

Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:8PM




The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has a dangerous stranglehold over U.S. foreign policy towards the Middle East. Moveoveraipac.org


In April 2005, AIPAC policy director Steven Rosen and AIPAC senior Iran analyst Keith Weissman were fired by AIPAC amid an FBI investigation into whether they passed classified U.S. information on to Israel. Democraticunderground.com


AIPAC has also lobbied heavily for U.S. funding of various Israeli weapons programs, including Israel’s Arrow missile defense system. Rightweb.irc-online.org




AIPAC’s unrelenting support for the illegal policies of the Israeli government-separation walls, settlements, the siege of Gaza-in addition to its bellicose policies across the region, especially Iran, has been devastating for Palestinians and the Middle East, including Israel. Moveoveraipac.org


The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) was incorporated in 1963 by Isaiah L. “Si” Kenen. Waronyou.com


AIPAC claims to have more than 100,000 members and its website prominently displays a New York Times blurb about the group, which claims that the group is the “most important organization affecting America’s relationship with Israel.” Rightweb.irc-online.org


AIPAC & US Politics


Pro-Israel interests have contributed $56.8 million in individual, group, and soft money donations to federal candidates and party committees since 1990, according to the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics. Metapedia.org


Between the 2000 and the 2004 elections, the 50 members of AIPAC’s board donated an average of $72,000 each to campaigns and political action committees.” Metapedia.org


AIPAC claims it “has a stranglehold on Congress.” With a $47 million a year budget and more than 100 full-time staffers, it is no doubt a formidable advocate for Israel’s interests. Isreview.org


In March 2009, AIPAC executive director Howard Kohr appeared before the House Committee on Appropriations’ Foreign Operations subcommittee to testify about the importance of U.S. aid to Israel. Worldwideinfoforum.com


Kohr requested that Israel receive $2.775 billion in military aid in fiscal year 2010, as called for in the 2007 Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. and Israel that allocates $30 billion in aid for Israel over 10 years. Worldwideinfoforum.com


AIPAC Controversies


In 1992, AIPAC president David Steiner was forced to resign after he was recorded boasting about his political influence in obtaining aid for Israel. Metapedia.org


Steiner claimed that he had met with then Bush U.S. Secretary of State Jim Baker and he cut a deal with him. Sherdog.net


I got, besides the $3 billion, you know they’re looking for the Jewish votes, and I’ll tell him whatever he wants to hear … Besides the $10 billion in loan guarantees which was a fabulous thing, $3 billion in foreign, in military aid, and I got almost a billion dollars in other goodies that people don’t even know about.” Sherdog.net


Steiner also claimed to be “negotiating” with the incoming Clinton administration over who Clinton would appoint as Secretary of State and Secretary of the National Security Agency. Docstoc.com


In 2004 it was reported that an FBI investigation had gained evidence that a senior Pentagon analyst with close ties to Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith had provided a draft presidential directive onIran to AIPAC that was then passed to the Israeli government. Sourcewatch.org


In April 2005, AIPAC policy director Steven Rosen and AIPAC senior Iran analyst Keith Weissman were fired by AIPAC amid an FBI investigation into whether they passed classified U.S. information received from (Lawrence Anthony) Franklin (a U.S. Air Force Reserves colonel) on to the government of Israel. Democraticunderground.com


In May 2005, the Justice Department announced that Lawrence Anthony Franklin, a U.S. Air Force Reserves colonel working as a Department of Defense analyst at the Pentagon in the office of Douglas Feith, had been arrested and charged by the FBI with providing classified national defense information to Israel. Metapedia.org


On January 20, 2006, Franklin was sentenced to 151 months (almost 13 years) in prison and fined $10,000. As part of the plea agreement, Franklin agreed to cooperate in the larger federal investigation. All charges against the former AIPAC employees were dropped in 2009. Powerbot.org


AIPAC & Israeli Military


AIPAC has also lobbied heavily for U.S. funding of various Israeli weapons programs, including Israel’s Arrow missile defense system. Rightweb.irc-online.org


This military cooperation between the United States and Israel has resulted in the deployment of the Arrow missile defense system, and the continuing development of the Tactical High Energy Laser.” Rightweb.irc-online.org


Former U.S. Secretary of State Alexander Haig reportedly called Israel “the largest American aircraft carrier in the world.” Without it, the U.S. would have to spend additional tens of billions of dollars to police the Middle East with its own troops. Isreview.org


In the final decades of the 20th century, the United States and Israel moved into tight alliance. Every year from 1976 on, Israel was the lead recipient of U.S. foreign aid. The U.S. supported Israel as it maintained its artificial Jewish demographicmajority, attacked the refugee-led Palestinian resistance, and expanded settlements further into occupied territory. Zcommunications.org


As long as U.S. weapons continue to flow, Israel will feel free to disregard the Obama Administration’s mild blandishments and half-hearted attempts to bring Israel to the negotiating table. Unfortunately this disincentive structure is set to be reinforced over the coming years. Josh Ruebner, Counterpunch.org


Under a Bush-era agreement, U.S. weapons transfers to Israel are scheduled to total $30 billion from 2009-2018, an annual average increase of 25 percent above previous levels. With this 2007 Memorandum of Understanding, the United States solidified Israel’s position as the largest recipient of U.S. military aid this decade. In line with increases proposed under this arrangement, President Obama asked for a record-breaking $3.075 billion of weapons for Israel in his 2012 budget request. Josh Ruebner, Counterpunch.org


A new online database-“How Many Weapons to Israel?”-casts doubt on whether the United States can afford, either morally, financially or politically, to continue transferring weapons to Israel at taxpayer expense without examining the ramifications of this policy. Josh Ruebner, Counterpunch.org


From 2000-2009, the United States licensed, paid for, and delivered to Israel more than 670 million weapons and related equipment, valued at nearly $19 billion, through three main weapons transfer programs (Foreign Military Sales, Direct Commercial Sales, and Excess Defense Articles). These weapons transfer programs accounted for nearly 80 percent of the more than $24 billion in military aid appropriated to Israel during these years. The bulk of the remaining money was spent by Israel on its own domestic arms industry, a unique exemption written into law for Israel. All other countries receiving U.S. military aid are required to spend the whole sum within the United States. Josh Ruebner, Counterpunch.org


Military aid to Israel ran the gamut from the patently absurd-one used food steamer valued at $2,100-to the lethal-93 F-16D fighter jets valued at a total of nearly $2.5 billion. With nearly 500 categories of weapons transferred to Israel, the United States is pervasively, intricately, and comprehensively involved in arming its military. Josh Ruebner, Counterpunch.org




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