Sunday, 1 April 2012
CASE 396 - AIPAC
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee is a lobbying group that advocates pro-Israel policies to the Congress and Executive Branch of the United States. The current President of AIPAC is Michael Kassen from Fairfield, Connecticut.
Describing itself as "America's Pro-Israel Lobby," AIPAC is a mass-membership, American organization whose members include Democrats, Republicans, and independents." It has been described as one of the most powerful lobbying groups in Washington, DC. Its critics have stated it acts as an agent of the Israeli government with a "stranglehold" on the United States Congress with its power and influence. There is some disagreement as to where AIPAC's agenda lies ideologically. Some critics on the political left allege that AIPAC holds views that are politically conservative in their nature, while AIPAC's membership has also been described as "overwhelmingly Democratic" by conservatives. AIPAC describes itself as a bipartisan organization, and bills it lobbies for in Congress are always jointly sponsored by both a Democrat and Republican.
In 2005, a Pentagon analyst pled guilty to charges of passing US government secrets to two AIPAC staffers in what is known as the AIPAC espionage scandal. Both staffers were later fired by AIPAC. In 2009 all charges against the former AIPAC employees were dropped