Elections and Money Politics in the US: The American Israel Public Affairs Committee
Posted on February 25th, 2024

Courtesy The Intercept

In 2018, shortly after U.S. Congress woman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), ousted incumbent Democrat Joe Crowley in New York’s 14th Congressional District, her office got an unexpected phone call.

It was the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the powerful pro-Israel lobbying group, offering an unsolicited donation of $100,000.

AOC declined the money and has emerged as one of the few voices in Congress willing to oppose Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government. Now, AIPAC is spending tens of millions of dollars to target progressives aligned with AOC in Democratic primaries.

This AOC story, first reported by The Intercept’s Ryan Grim in his book The Squad,” illustrates how AIPAC leverages its financial might into U.S. policy.

With the death toll in Gaza now approaching 30,000 and Israel preparing a catastrophic ground attack on the 1.4 million displaced Palestinians huddled in Rafah, The Intercept is doubling down on our efforts to expose the power of the pro-Israel lobby in Congress.

You simply cannot understand U.S. policy toward Israel without understanding the power of AIPAC in Washington.

For years, AIPAC has used its deep pockets to reward its friends and punish those who don’t get behind its demand for unquestioning blank-check support for Israel. Often those punishments come in the form of attack ads that don’t say a word about Israel or Palestine, instead hammering Democrats with dubious attacks on issues like immigration or defund the police.”

In 2022, AIPAC spent $30 million targeting progressive Democrats. This year, it’s the #1 funder behind a major primary challenge to Squad member Jamaal Bowman, while Reps. Summer Lee, Cori Bush, and Ilhan Omar are all facing pro-Israel primary challenges.

The Intercept has been closely tracking AIPAC lobbying activity for years. Now, with 30,000 Palestinians dead and hopes for peaceful settlement more remote than ever, it is vital that the public understands the influence of AIPAC.

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