Why has nearly every major political candidate of the last 20 years met with AIPAC ?
Jews are 2% of America, but give 50 % of all campaign contributions.
- BenLv 58 years agoFavorite Answer
AIPAC is one of many powerful and influential lobbying organizations. I don't think they necessarily have any more or less influence than other big lobbies but they're prominent because of the fact that they are Jewish.
Jewish people have a profound effect on American society because of their shared heritage with our various Christian populations. Not only that, but think of the effects of labelling someone as an anti-Semite or accusing them of anti-Semitism.
To me, the two main things that cause politicians to take notice of AIPAC are their tactics and their interests. Should a politician not remain in AIPAC's good graces, they're likely to fund the opposition candidate in the next election and they can do so with their considerable resources and organizational skills. They may be "only" a lobbying group, but they're a very good one. Second, they take a strong interest in foreign policy issues, especially in relation to Israel. Even when we weren't engaged in a global war on terrorism, the US was still a key player in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process so our country has fairly solid ties to Israel. It's one of the hot-button issues of American foreign policy and every candidate gets quizzed on it so, combined with the power of AIPAC support (or lack thereof), nobody wants to be seen as not supportive of Israel.
The rest is just consipracy theory and I've heard some amusing ones. On some more lunatic fringe-type sites you will find accusations that AIPAC is a fifth column for Israel within the United States. According to Wikipedia, an AIPAC member was indicted for passing intelligence on to the Israeli government; take that however you wish.
I do not believe there is any grand conspiracy, to be honest. The pro-Israel lobby is just like any other lobby and is a vector by which Americans take an interest in foreign policy. Nothing more.