Congress too scared to address 1,000-lb. gorilla in the room

 By Victor Thorn

AS ASPIRING 2016 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES make their prerequisite trips to sit with Israeli
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, recently approved Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel faced
a barrage of questions during his confirmation hearings about something everyone knows in
Washington but pretend doesn’t exist: the fact that pro-Israeli groups intimidate most legislators
in Congress. As America’s foremost national print publication that casts a critical eye on
the activities of Israel and its powerful advocates in Washington, this week AFP focuses on the
elephant in the room that no mainstream media source dares to address.
Rep. Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, assured
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu that he would make
sure the House would keep Obama in line. In return
he gets gobs of Jewish money for his campaigns

During the Jan. 31 confirmation hearing for
defense secretary, former Sen. Chuck
Hagel (R-Neb.)was asked by Sen. Lindsey
Graham (R-S.C.): “Name one person in
your opinion who’s intimidated by the Israeli lobby
in the U.S. Senate?” Hagel should have retorted:
“Sen. Graham, I think you are. Why else would you
be askingme this question?” Instead, Hagel stuttered
that he could not think of anyone at the time. A leadingWashington
watchdog group, which has tracked
this issue for years, has compiled this information,
though, and it shows that powerful special interest
groups for Israel have for decades been buying both
Republicans and Democrats with billions of dollars
in order to shape U.S. foreign policy.
According to a Jan. 14 report by the Center for
Responsive Politics, a group that examines political
contributions from pro-Israeli groups to U.S. congressional
members, from 2006-2012 the top three
recipients in the Senate—Mark Kirk, John McCain
andMitchMcConnell—and the House—Ileana Ros-
Lehtinen, Eric Cantor and John Boehner—were all
On the surface, this information isn’t surprising,
as conventional wisdom often links Israeli money
to GOP neoconservatives. What does raise eyebrows,
though, is that of the top 20 recipients of
Israelimoney on both sides of Congress, 85 percent
of those in the Senate and 75 percent of those in the
House are Democrats.
Chuck Hagel was grilled at hearings by the top recipients of donations from pro-Israeli groups.

These contributions buy a great deal of influence.
One of the primary forces behind Barack Obama’s
Iranian economic sanctions is Rep. Eric Cantor (RVa.),
who assured Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu in 2010 that the GOP-controlled House
would “serve as a check on the administration.”
Ron Kampeas of the Jewish Telegraph Agency
wrote on Nov. 11, 2010, “I can’t remember an opposition
leader telling a foreign leader, in a personal
meeting, that he would side, as a policy, with that
leader against the president.”
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) betrayed his own
party during the Bush era by championing an archneocon
as U.S. ambassador to the UN. Acting as the
mouthpiece for a foreign power, Schumer spouted,
“A vote against John Bolton is a vote against Israel.”
It’s abundantly clear why Paul Craig Roberts demanded
that the American Israel Public Affairs
Committee (AIPAC) should be registered as the
agent of a foreign government. Senate Minority
Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) proclaimed at the
2012 AIPAC conference, “Israel’s security is not negotiable,”
while advocating an attack on Iran.
Another Israeli puppet can be found in Sen. Barbara
Boxer (D-Calif.), who sits on the influential
Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Boxer has
long done Israel’s bidding by securing for them military
and economic aid, not to mention proposing
sanctions against Iran and Syria while pushing for
gifts of new high-techmilitary equipment for Israel.
Two final examples demonstrate how absurd this
has all become. Why would Rep. Mark Kirk, a Republican
from Illinois, vehemently oppose any suggestion
that Israel return to its 1967 borders? And
why would Sen. Carl Levin, a Democrat fromMichigan,
vote to have the U.S. oppose Palestinian statehood
in the UN? The answer? In the past two
decades, each has received over $1.6 million from
pro-Israeli groups, the most in both houses

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