American Attitudes About Israel/Lobby Programs

As presented at the “The Israel Lobby and American Policy” conference presented March 24, 2017 by the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy.

Public opinion polling is important, but little of it accurately measures what the American public thinks about key Israel/lobby issues. This survey series begins to fill in that information deficit.

Focused, accurate polling should guide elected representatives, who can then act in the broader public interest. Polling about Israel lobby programs reveals a large gap between US government actions demanded by the lobby and policy outcomes the public prefers.

The Israel lobby’s growth, size, composition and division of labor has become better understood since the disastrous US invasion of Iraq (which the lobby quietly supported) and the more recent battles over the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) signed by the Obama administration (which the lobby publicly, though unsuccessfully, opposed). This report uses the neologism “Israel/lobby” to express the oftentimes simultaneous public relations campaigns and lobbying programs pursued by the Israeli government in coordination with top advocacy organizations lobbying for Israel within the United States. Key US organizations include the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the American Jewish Committee (AJC), the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). Hundreds more, including a small number of evangelical Christian organizations, play a role within a vast ecosystem that demands unconditional US support for Israel.

In the year 2012 the nonprofit wing of the Israel lobby raised $3.7 billion in revenue. They are on track to reach $6.3 billion by 2020. Collectively they employed 14,000 and claimed 350,000 volunteers. However outside data suggests an estimated active membership of only about 774,000.

This nonprofit foreign interest lobby, along with an overlapping political campaign contribution infrastructure not counted in the figures above, provides Israel with the US support among members of the Congress and other key influencers that purely American interests would not. This lobbying prowess goes on display as 15,000 AIPAC members gather at their annual policy conference every March, after which many visit their representatives on Capitol Hill to demand compliance with an increasingly costly legislative agenda.

What Americans think about the methods by which this is achieved, the enormous costs and the outcomes is the subject of this report.

Read the full report here.

4 thoughts on “American Attitudes About Israel/Lobby Programs”

  1. US support of Israel, it’s apartheid regime, and it’s horrendous crimes against humanity is due to the US need to legitimize it’s presense in the ME.
    It must always be denied at all cost that oil is not the main reason that motivates the US.

    Trump is completely hopeless on improving the situation. He lied about nearly everything he said and only appealed to so many Americans because he was really promising to bring that which the Republicans stopped Obama from giving them.

    Trump’s health care plan in which he promised to give all Americans affordable heatlhcare is the glaring proof that has already been exposed. Not only did he intend to take health care away from an additional 24,000,000 people, the plan went down to defeat because it wasn’t rabid right and hateful enough.

    And now it’s becoming just as starkly evident that he lied about any progress on Israel. He’s totally in Netanyahu’s pocket.

  2. And Russia is the f**king problem? Welcome to the Twilight Zone folks, where up is down, black is white and a cabal of ISIS backing, genocidal spies are our “best friends”.

    Sometimes I feel like Roddy Piper’s character in “They Live”, only instead of those shades I have counterpunch and

    Israel lives. America sleeps.

  3. Can’t we all just start working together for the antiwar cause?
    Raimondo has driven a wedge down the middle of our cause and it well past time that he notice that Trump is worse than the worst has ever been.
    And neither big party is offering any hope of opposing his march to war! Surely not the Dems and just as surely not his own party!

  4. Support for the modern state of Israel is equated to Old Testament teachings in Sunday School. They’ll not tell all the story, especially anything out of Judges. A lot of Christian fundamentalists, which really doesn’t reflect partisan politics, it’s just a tool used by mainly right wing fanatics, baptize every policy with a reference to Judah, the kingdom thereof and Judah the patriarch who slept with his father’s wife and later slept with his daughter. Also really big in the effort to sell his brother to Egypt. But a lot of emphasis goes to Judah the kingdom and the House of David. David who killed by proxy one of his most faithful soldiers, married his widow who he had already impregnated… and her second son became King and one of his most celebrated actions was offering to cut an Israelite child in half, and the child’s mother was very certain he would do it. The Bible doesn’t mention any proclivity for killing his fellow Jews but that’s a powerful argument that he had the reputation for doing so.

    Hang on, it gets better. Ahab was of the house of David. So was Herod the Great and his son who was reputed, by Josephus who was also of the House of David, to have ‘strove to out Herod Herod.’ It’s a very nasty history. The liberal way to interpret all this is that God forgives even the most heinous but the way it’s interpreted by the Extreme Right is that the Modern State of Israel is holy because they believe the Kings of Israel, Samaria and Judah were “righteous”

    I never took a poll of Jewish people to find out what percentage of them actually believing that Bull Sheet. I do know that the oath they all take at age 13, the Bar Mitzvah for young men and the Bat Mitzvah for young ladies,
    says there is nobody righteous and they have to learn it, recite it and acknowledge that a) they will keep the whole law and b) that it’s impossible to fulfill the oath. Moses made the entire nation swear the same thing with about a thousand words of What Will Happen To Them If They Don’t and one near the last says “you’ll eat your own children”— Something not taught in Sunday School.

    But people will vote Bible without even knowing what the Bible says. I would bet a dollar that every one of them who want to punish the Sanctuary Cities was ‘educated’ about the Bible but they missed that part. It’s a Bible thing.

    They’ll get up and chant “Honor God and obey the King” about that and other issues, like supporting Israel the modern state even though the Modern State kills people who are also scions of Israel the Patriarch. The books of Judges, Kings 1 and 2, Chronicles 1 and 2 and Ezra and Nehemiah have a lot of really gory sh#t in them and mostly it’s Jew on Jew. The family we’re supposed to believe are born holy and stay that way forever broke every bit of the Law, consistently. The House of David makes Saddam look like a saint.

    If you can figure a way to make people less stupid, that would be cool.
    But that’s the origin of U.S. policy toward the Modern State, as explained to the voters. They’ll (selectively according to partisan politics) tell us to Honor God by Obeying the King even though we don’t officially have a King.
    And just a coincidence that the same people who say that of the Trump Regime and bitch and whine about people pointing out the Legitimacy issue used exactly the same issues when the ‘king’ was Obama. Or Carter or Kennedy.

    whether there is a vast Zionist Conspiracy running the world doesn’t even begin to explain this mess.

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