Thursday, January 10, 2008

Election Power Of The Israel Lobby
Election Power Of The Israel Lobby

By Rob Winder

As US presidential candidates battle it out to become the
leader of the world's only superpower there is one subject
on which they all, in public at least, agree - the US relationship
with Israel.

To leading politicians on both sides of the partisan divide the
special relationship is sacrosanct, largely due, critics say, to the
power of pro-Israel lobby groups.

Those critics also say that pro-Israeli groups are set to play a major
role in the forthcoming election battle, both in terms of funding
candidates and by publicly criticising any candidate critical of Israel
or the US's relationship with it.

John Mearsheimer, who alongside Stephen Walt is the author of a
controversial series of articles and a recent book on the Israel
lobby, told Al Jazeera: "Almost all of the major candidates are falling
over themselves to demonstrate how deeply committed they are to
America's special relationship with Israel.

"Hardly a word of criticism is directed at anything Israel does and
that is due to the activities of the lobby."

What is the pro-Israel lobby?

The lobby is made up of dozens of pro-Israel political action committees
that draw a large part of their support from the US Jewish community
and provide funding to presidential candidates.

But Christian Zionists, who are among the most vociferous supporters
of Israel in the US, also play a major role.

They believe that by strengthening and supporting the state of
Israel, they are more likely to bring about the "second coming" of
Jesus as prophesied in the Bible.

At the lobby's vanguard is the American-Israel Public Affairs
Committee (Aipac), which works mainly in US congress.

It boasts its recent "victories" include the US decision to brand Iran's
Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organisation, securing US aid to
Israel and freezing US aid to the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority
in 2006.

Full Article:

No comments: