On Capitol Hill, 'The (Israeli) Lobby' seems to be in charge
Nobody can understand what's going on politically in the United States without being aware that a political coalition of major pro-Likud groups, pro-Israel neoconservative intellectuals and Christian Zionists is exerting a tremendously powerful influence on the American government and its policies. Over time, this large pro-Israel Lobby, spearheaded by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), has extended its comprehensive grasp over large segments of the U.S. government, including the Vice President's office, the Pentagon and the State Department, besides controlling the legislative apparatus of Congress. It is being assisted in this task by powerful allies in the two main political parties, in major corporate media and by some richly financed so-called "think-tanks", such as the American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, or the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
AIPAC is the centerpiece of this co-ordinated system. For example, it keeps voting statistics on each House representative and senator, which are then transmitted to political donors to act accordingly. AIPAC also organizes regular all-expense-paid trips to Israel and meetings with Israeli ministers and personalities for congressmen and their staffs, and for other state and local American politicians. Not receiving this imprimatur is a major handicap for any ambitious American politician, even if he can rely on a personal fortune. In Washington, in order to have a better access to decision makers, the Lobby even has developed the habit of recruiting personnel for Senators and House members' offices. And, when elections come, the Lobby makes sure that lukewarm, independent-minded or dissenting politicians are punished and defeated.
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