Thursday, March 12, 2009

Israel support work

This is a book sitting on my shelf. It was published in 1986. It lists a number of pro-Israel groups in the US, of which there were many at the time of its publication and, I am sure, which are even more effective today because of how the internet has enabled organizing, mobilizing, networking, and the dissemination of information. The author looks at the major pro-Israel Jewish organizations in the US for "the content and impact of their pro-Israel support work. It is intended to delineate their organizational structure and political agenda within a historical and contemporary context." He also states that, "The sheer number and complexity of American Jewish organizations greatly complicate the task." O'Brien notes that more research is needed on "the Jewish community's gradual shift to the right and the implications of this shift for its historical, social, and political agenda." This shift to the right, especially solidified through the Reagan years and the rise of neo-liberal capitialism, is an area that I would like to learn more about. Especially, because Jewish history and Jewish people are presented as static and homogenous and also, regarding the creation of the state of Israel, as socialist. The idea of the kibbutz doesn't quite mesh with neoliberal far-right politics, which is the government of Israel today.

Sometimes I read Zionist and other pro-Israel websites. Here's a notice on JTA, a pro-Israel Jewish news agency that purports that "It has no allegiance to any specific branch of Judaism or political viewpoint. We receive funding from a diverse array of sources" but check out that how they define "diverse array of sources" actually means funders with pro-Israeli stances.

AIPAC doubles earnings

February 12, 2009

"WASHINGTON (JTA) -- AIPAC's fund-raising nearly doubled in four years.

Tax records show that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee raised $46.9 million in 2004, including $15.1 million for its affiliate, the American Israel Education Foundation, a charitable group that funds campus activities, seminars and missions to Israel by students, government officials and lawmakers.

By 2007, AIPAC showed $86 million in income, including $35.1 for the foundation.

Contributions to AIPAC began soaring after the eruption of the second Intifada in 2000 and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001.

In recent years, the lobby has raised funds for a new headquarters in downtown Washington, opened a year ago, and for expanded campus activities."

The powerful mainstream institutionalized AIPAC group appropriates the language of "grassroots" and "activism" to do its work of ensuring the deaths of Palestinians. AIPAC boasts 100,000 members and is able to gather funds, mobilize and effectively network to ensure pro-Israeli stances. Check their list of "highlights" on their website. Out of 11 that they list, NINE have to do directly with military armaments. Here's one 'highlight' that they proudly boast of:

"Passing legislation requiring the administration to evaluate all future military sales to Arab states in the context of the need to maintain Israel’s qualitative military edge over potential adversaries."

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