AIPAC, which for years had strong support from both political parties, has seen its influence dip in the Democratic Party as its increasingly hard-line approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict pushes it in an ever more aggressive direction.
As the Trump administration maintains the friendliest U.S. relationship with the Israeli right in history, Texas has become one of the most pro-Israel states in the country. It has forged ties with Israeli settlements and aggressively enforced a law targeting advocates of boycotting Israel. Its exports to Israel last year topped $900 million, and its imports from Israel are valued at $1.5 billion, according to the Texas Economic Development Corporation.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, who could be the first Jewish president of the United States two years from now, is currently the target of a pressure campaign on Facebook paid for by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the pro-Israel lobbying group known as AIPAC. The sponsored post urges Facebook users to add their names to an online petition telling Sanders that “America stands with Israel.”
Adam Milstein, a real estate millionaire and prolific donor to right-wing, pro-Israel causes, had a busy few days on Twitter this month. In one tweet, he accused Rep. Ilhan Omar of being a “terrorist.” In another, he questioned Omar’s and Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s loyalty to the United States. He also accused Tlaib and Omar, the first two Muslim-American women elected to Congress, of having links to the Muslim Brotherhood, indulging a tired trope popular among anti-Muslim bigots.
Pro-Israel lobbyists and donors spent more than $22m on lobbying and campaign contributions during the 2018 election cycle. The same or similar Israel-aligned groups and donors have spent hundreds of millions of dollars in recent decades, and that money poured into American politics through a variety of channels, according to the non-profit, non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics. The CRP uses federal election records to track campaign finance spending and makes its data available on the Open Secrets site.
A debate about the power in Washington of the pro-Israel lobby is underway, after Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., responded sharply to reports that Republican leader Kevin McCarthy was targeting both Omar and fellow Muslim Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a Democrat from Michigan. Omar quoted rap lyrics — “It’s all about the Benjamins baby” — to suggest McCarthy’s move was driven by the lobby’s prolific spending. Asked specifically who she was referring to, Omar responded, “AIPAC!”
lhan Omar (D-MN) has stirred controversy by replying to scurrilous statements of her Republican opponents in Congress by suggesting that they are shilling for anti-Palestinian and anti-Muslim lobbies that back the right wing Likud government of Israel to the hilt because they receive campaign contributions from the Israel lobbies.
Wearing shirts and carrying flags bearing insignia of the JDL, once declared a terrorist organization, the violent men and women also attacked left-wing Jewish activists. At least one was arrested. Members of the Jewish Defense League severely beat a 55-year old Palestinian American man and assaulted several American Jewish activists with IfNotNow outside the AIPAC Conference in Washington, D.C. Sunday, new video footage provided to +972 Magazine shows.