This is part II to a previously posted article AIPAC: Not in Our Interest
Wikipedia “defines” AIPAC as follows:
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is a controversial American special interest group that lobbies the United States Congress and White House in favor of maintaining a close U.S.-Israel relationship. Describing itself as “America’s Pro-Israel Lobby,” it is a mass-membership organization including Democrats, Republicans, and independents. AIPAC was formed during the Eisenhower administration, and since then has helped secure American aid and support to Israel. In 1997, Fortune magazine asked Congressmen to rank the “25 most powerful” lobbying organizations in DC. In 2005, the National Journal did the same. Both times, AIPAC came in 2nd – ahead of, for instance, the AFL-CIO and the NRA, but behind the AARP. In 2001, it came in 4th on the Fortune list.
AIPAC itself, has the following on its website:
For more than half a century, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee has worked to help make Israel more secure by ensuring that American support remains strong. From a small pro-Israel public affairs boutique in the 1950s, AIPAC has grown into a 100,000-member national grassroots movement described by The New York Times as “the most important organization affecting America’s relationship with Israel.”
So why then are we suddenly bombarded by pro-Israelis who are desperately trying to downplay AIPAC’s power? It’s because the following facts, if they become widely known, may lead to the American public questioning our foreign policy and blind support to Israel. Among other things..
Pro Israelis as usual rush to downplay AIPAC’s power. On one site, I included some of the facts below but apparently they were too much for the Zionist-mind to swallow! So here it is, for everyone’s reading pleasure, again:
In early March (2006), the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) held its forty-seventh annual conference in Washington. AIPAC’s executive director spent twenty-seven minutes reading the “roll call” of dignitaries present at the gala dinner, which included a majority of the Senate and a quarter of the House, along with dozens of Administration officials.
On July 18, the Senate unanimously approved a nonbinding resolution “condemning Hamas and Hezbollah and their state sponsors and supporting Israel’s exercise of its right to self-defense.” After House majority leader John Boehner removed language from the bill urging “all sides to protect innocent civilian life and infrastructure,” the House version passed by a landslide, 410 to 8.
AIPAC not only lobbied for the resolution; it had written it. “They [Congress] were given a resolution by AIPAC,” said former Carter Administration National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, who addressed the House Democratic Caucus on July 19. “They didn’t prepare one.”
Read more here.
JULY 2007 – House Approves Israel’s Annual Aid Package.
The House of Representatives approved $2.4 billion in military assistance for Israel as part of the fiscal year 2008 foreign aid bill drafted and shepherded through the chamber by Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), the chairwoman of the House Appropriations Foreign Operations Subcommittee.
Aid to Israel “preserves our nation’s interests, reflects the values and priorities of the American people and, most importantly, helps to protect the security of Americans at home and abroad,” Lowey said during debate on the bill, which passed 241-178. Source: AIPAC
Israel, a country that represents 0.001 of world’s population.
Since 1992, the U.S. has offered Israel an additional $2 billion annually in loan guarantees. Congressional researchers have disclosed that between 1974 and 1989, $16.4 billion in U.S. military loans were converted to grants and that this was the understanding from the beginning. Indeed, all past U.S. loans to Israel have eventually been forgiven by Congress, which has undoubtedly helped Israel’s often-touted claim that they have never defaulted on a U.S. government loan. U.S. policy since 1984 has been that economic assistance to Israel must equal or exceed Israel’s annual debt repayment to the United States. Unlike other countries, which receive aid in quarterly installments, aid to Israel since 1982 has been given in a lump sum at the beginning of the fiscal year, leaving the U.S. government to borrow from future revenues. Israel even lends some of this money back through U.S. treasury bills and collects the additional interest.
In addition, there is the more than $1.5 billion in private U.S. funds that go to Israel annually in the form of $1 billion in private tax-deductible donations and $500 million in Israeli bonds. The ability of Americans to make what amounts to tax-deductible contributions to a foreign government, made possible through a number of Jewish charities, does not exist with any other country. Nor do these figures include short- and long-term commercial loans from U.S. banks, which have been as high as $1 billion annually in recent years.
Total U.S. aid to Israel is approximately one-third of the American foreign-aid budget, even though Israel comprises just .001 percent of the world’s population and already has one of the world’s higher per capita incomes.
Total U.S. aid to Israel is approximately one-third of the American foreign-aid budget, even though Israel comprises just .001 percent of the world’s population and already has one of the world’s higher per capita incomes. Indeed, Israel’s GNP is higher than the combined GNP of Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza. With a per capita income of about $14,000, Israel ranks as the sixteenth wealthiest country in the world; Israelis enjoy a higher per capita income than oil-rich Saudi Arabia and are only slightly less well-off than most Western European countries. By Dr. Zunes is an assistant professor in the Department of Politics at the University of San Francisco
U.S. Financial Aid To Israel: Figures, Facts, and Impact
• US Jewish charities and organizations have remitted grants or bought Israel bonds worth $50 billion to $60 billion. Though private in origin, the money is “a net drain” on the United States economy, says Stauffer.
• The US has already guaranteed $10 billion in commercial loans to Israel, and $600 million in “housing loans.” (See editor’s note below.) Stauffer expects the US Treasury to cover these.
• The US has given $2.5 billion to support Israel’s Lavi fighter and Arrow missile projects.
• Israel buys discounted, serviceable “excess” US military equipment. Stauffer says these discounts amount to “several billion dollars” over recent years.
• Israel uses roughly 40 percent of its $1.8 billion per year in military aid, ostensibly earmarked for purchase of US weapons, to buy Israeli-made hardware. It also has won the right to require the Defense Department or US defense contractors to buy Israeli-made equipment or subsystems, paying 50 to 60 cents on every defense dollar the US gives to Israel.
US help, financial and technical, has enabled Israel to become a major weapons supplier. Weapons make up almost half of Israel’s manufactured exports. US defense contractors often resent the buy-Israel requirements and the extra competition subsidized by US taxpayers.
• US policy and trade sanctions reduce US exports to the Middle East about $5 billion a year, costing 70,000 or so American jobs, Stauffer estimates. Not requiring Israel to use its US aid to buy American goods, as is usual in foreign aid, costs another 125,000 jobs.
• Israel has blocked some major US arms sales, such as F-15 fighter aircraft to Saudi Arabia in the mid-1980s. That cost $40 billion over 10 years, says Stauffer.
Stauffer’s list will be controversial. He’s been assisted in this research by a number of mostly retired military or diplomatic officials who do not go public for fear of being labeled anti-Semitic if they criticize America’s policies toward Israel. Source: The Christian Science Monitor