[News] How Israel Lobby took control of US foreign policy

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Jul 24 14:05:22 EDT 2009

How Israel Lobby took control of US foreign policy
AIPAC becomes foreign agent dominating American 
foreign policy while disguised as domestic lobby.
By Jeff Gates - LOUISIANA

In the early 1960s, Senator William J. Fulbright 
fought to force the American Zionist Council to 
register as agents of a foreign government. The 
Council eluded registration by reorganizing as 
the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. 
AIPAC has since become what Fulbright most 
feared: a foreign agent dominating American 
foreign policy while disguised as a domestic lobby.

Israelis and pro-Israelis object when they hear 
that charge. How, they ask, can we so few wield 
such influence over so many? Answer: it’s all in 
the math. And in the single-issue advocacy 
brought to bear on US policy-making by dozens of 
‘domestic’ organizations that now compose the 
Israel lobby, with AIPAC its most visible force.

The political math was enabled by Senator John 
McCain whose support for all things Israeli 
ensured him the GOP nomination to succeed 
Christian-Zionist G.W. Bush. McCain’s style of 
campaign finance reform proved a perfect fit for 
the Diaspora-based fundraising on which the lobby 
relies. Co-sponsored by Senator Russ Feingold of 
Wisconsin, this change in federal election law 
typifies how Israeli influence became systemic.

‘McCain-Feingold’ raised the amount (from $1,000 
to $2,300) that candidates can receive from 
individuals in primary and general elections. A 
couple can now contribute a combined $9,200 to 
federal candidates: $4,600 in each of the primary 
and general elections. Primary elections, usuall 
low-budget, are particularly easy to sway.

Importantly for the Diaspora, this change also 
doubled the funds candidates can receive without 
regard to where those contributors reside. A 
candidate in Iowa, say, may have only a few 
pro-Israeli constituents. When campaign support 
is provided by a nationwide network of 
pro-Israelis, that candidate can more easily be 
persuaded to support policies sought by Tel Aviv.

Diaspora-based fundraising has long been used by 
the lobby with force-multiplying success to shape 
US foreign policy. Under the guise of reform, 
John McCain doubled the financial resources that 
the lobby can deploy to elect and retain its supporters.

Fulbright was Right

The influence-peddling process works like this. 
Candidates are summoned for in-depth AIPAC 
interviews. Those found sufficiently committed to 
Israel’s agenda are provided a list of donors 
likely to “max out” their campaign contributions. 
Or the process can be made even easier when 
AIPAC-approved candidates are given the name of a “bundler.”

Bundlers raise funds from the Diaspora and bundle 
those contributions to present them to the 
candidate. No quid pro quo need be mentioned. 
After McCain-Feingold became law in 2003, 
AIPAC-identified bundlers could raise $1 
million-plus for AIPAC-approved candidates simply 
by contacting ten like-minded supporters. Here’s the math:

The bundler and spouse “max out” for $9,200 and 
call ten others, say in Manhattan, Miami, and 
Beverly Hills. Each of them max out ($10 x 
$9,200) and call ten others for a total of 11. [111 x $9,200 = $1,021,200.]

Imagine the incentive to do well in the AIPAC 
interview. One call from the lobby and a 
candidate can collect enough cash to mount a 
credible campaign in most Congressional 
districts. From Tel Aviv’s perspective, that 
political leverage is leveraged yet again because 
fewer than ten percent of the 435 House races are 
competitive in any election cycle (typically 35 to 50).

Additional force-multipliers come from: (a) 
sustaining this financial focus over multiple 
cycles, (b) using funds to gain and retain 
seniority for those serving on Congressional 
committees key to promoting Israeli goals, and 
(c) opposing any candidates who question those goals.

Jewish Achievement reports that 42% of the 
largest political donors to the 2000 election 
cycle were Jewish, including four of the top 
five. That compares to less than 2% of Americans 
who are Jewish. Of the Forbes 400 richest 
Americans, 25% are Jewish according to Michael 
Steinhardt, a key funder of the Democratic 
Leadership Council. The DLC was led by Jewish 
Zionist Senator Joe Lieberman when he resigned in 
2000 to run as vice president with pro-Israeli presidential candidate Al Gore.

Money was never a constraint. Pro-Israeli donors 
were limited only by how much they could lawfully 
contribute to AIPAC-screened candidates. 
McCain-Feingold raised a key limit. The full 
impact of this foreign influence has yet to be 
tallied. What’s known, however, is sufficient to 
apply the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Of the 
top 50 neoconservatives who advocated war in Iraq, 26 were Jewish (52%).

Harry Truman, a Christian Zionist, remains one of 
the more notable recipients of funds. In 1948, he 
was trailing badly in the polls and in 
fundraising. His prospects brightened 
dramatically in May after he recognized as a 
legitimate state an enclave of Jewish extremists 
who originally planned to settle in Argentina 
before putting their sights on Palestine.

That recognition was opposed by Secretary of 
State George C. Marshall, the Joint Chiefs of 
Staff, the bulk of the diplomatic corps, the 
fledgling Central Intelligence Agency and 
numerous distinguished Americans, including 
moderate and secular Jews concerned at the 
troubles that were certain to follow. Not until 
1984 was it revealed that a network of Jewish 
Zionists had funded Truman’s campaign by 
financially refueling his whistle-stop campaign 
train with $400,000 in cash ($3 million in 2009 dollars).

To buy time on the public’s airwaves, money 
raised from the Israel lobby’s network is paid to 
media outlets largely owned or managed by members 
of the same network. Presidents, Senators and 
Congressmen come and go but those who collect the 
checks rack up the favors that amass lasting political influence.

The US system of government is meant to ensure 
that members of the House represent the concerns 
of Americans who reside in Congressional 
districts­not a nationally dispersed network (a 
Diaspora) committed to advancing the agenda of a 
foreign nation. Federal elections are meant to 
hold Senators accountable to constituents who 
reside in the states they represent­not 
out-of-state residents or a foreign government.

In practical effect, McCain-Feingold hastened a 
retreat from representative government by 
granting a nationwide network of foreign agents 
disproportionate influence over elections in 
every state and Congressional district. Campaign 
finance ‘reform’ enabled this network to amass 
even more political clout­wielding influence 
disproportionate to their numbers, indifferent to 
their place of residence and often contrary to America’s interests.

This force-multiplier is now wielded in plain 
sight, with impunity and under cover of free 
speech, free elections, free press and even the 
freedom of religion. Therein lies the perils of 
an entangled alliance that induced the US to 
invade Iraq and now seeks war with Iran. By 
allowing foreign agents to operate as a domestic 
lobby, the US was induced to confuse Zionist interests with its own.


Jeff Gates is A widely acclaimed author, 
attorney, investment banker, educator and 
consultant to government, corporate and union 
leaders worldwide. Gates’ latest book is Guilt By 
Association­How Deception and Self-Deceit Took 
America to War (2008). His previous books include 
Democracy at Risk: Rescuing Main Street From Wall 
Street and The Ownership Solution: Toward a 
Shared Capitalism for the 21st Century. For two 
decades, he was an adviser to policy-makers worldwide.

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