BTL:AIPAC May Be Losing Clout on Capitol Hill
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Wednesday, Sep. 09, 2009 at 8:15 AM
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BETWEEN THE LINES Syndicated Radio Newsmagazine
AIPAC May Be Losing Clout on Capitol Hill
Interview with Robert Dreyfuss, journalist and author, conducted by Scott Harris
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, is one of the most powerful lobby groups in the U.S. today. Since its founding, the committee has had a profound influence on Washington's foreign policy as it relates to Israel and the Middle East. With 100,000 members, an annual budget of $60 million and a staff of 300, AIPAC has very few rivals. Members of Congress are eager to toe the organization's line, knowing that the group is very skilled at influencing where strategic campaign contributions are made in key election races. Thirty-one PACs, with unofficial ties to AIPAC, contributed more than $22 million in the 2008 election cycle.
The controversial 2007 book, titled, "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy," by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, political science professors at the University of Chicago and Harvard, respectively, explored how pro-Israel groups have shaped U.S. foreign policy. The authors contend that AIPAC and other Israel lobby groups have pressured the U.S. to adopt policies that are neither in America's national interest nor Israel's long-term interest.
But in his recent Mother Jones magazine article titled, "Still The Chosen One?" journalist and author Robert Dreyfuss, investigated a possible decline in AIPAC's influence on Capitol Hill. The most important change Dreyfuss points out, is the election of Barack Obama, who came to office with the stated goal of engaging America's foes in the Middle East and to push for a sustainable Israeli-Palestinian peace accord. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Robert Dreyfuss about the forces that have emerged to challenge AIPAC's power.
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"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit: http://www.btlonline.org
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