Is AIPAC Finished?

Lowest point in many decades

These are desperate times for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, AIPAC. AIPAC has canceled its single most important program. The lobby’s grip on Congress is slipping and its influence in the Foreign Affairs Committee has been truncated. Is AIPAC finished? There are three reasons to believe it may be.

First came the cancellation of AIPAC’s March 2021 policy conference, ostensibly due to “uncertainties created by the COVID-19 pandemic.” The disadvantage this brings to the Israel lobby ecosystem which is the “spear” behind AIPAC’s “tip” cannot be overstated. The conference is the Israel lobby ecosystem’s single key lobbying initiative because every year it allows “citizen lobbyists” to interface with their representatives. The amount AIPAC discloses that it spends to the Clerk of Congress on its own dozen or so professional lobbyists is quite small compared to the expenditures on the policy conference, and there is a reason for that.

The annual policy conference has long been an opportunity for pro-Israel activists to network, participate in sessions on how to generate public support for Israel, and learn about the AIPAC policy agenda. It is telling that AIPAC is not even considering a “virtual” or hybrid online event. That is because it has never really been about the “intimate educational sessions” or “demonstrations of groundbreaking Israeli innovations” that AIPAC publicly touts. Rather, the core purpose of the gathering is keeping members of Congress in line.

AIPAC’s policy agenda has nearly always mirrored the demands of the Israeli government. AIPAC was, after all, founded by a registered Israeli foreign agent, and was itself ordered to register (it never did). Conferences have mostly proceeded smoothly. After a few days hobnobbing with elected U.S. and Israeli government officials, attendees march up to Capitol Hill to pre-scheduled meetings with their representatives, all speaking the same talking points in favor of unconditional US foreign aid, robust US confrontation with Israel’s rivals, and demand for legislative undermining of the free speech rights of Israel’s growing number of American critics.

Not in 2021. This is important because Congress has grown restless. More and more members have refused to be unconditionally supportive of AIPAC or its Israel agenda. Last year, Betty McCollum wounded AIPAC deeply by accurately portraying its actions as those of a hate group. But the rebellion is poised to become bipartisan. Shibley Telhami’s latest poll reveals that majorities of Republican and Democratic voters now believe it is either “acceptable” or “the duty of” members of the US Congress to question the Israeli-American relationship. That is not sentiment favorable to AIPAC.

AIPAC has recently been nearly invisible on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s key initiative – annexing large swaths of the West Bank where indigenous Palestinians vastly outnumber Israeli colonizers. The lobby has even timidly acquiesced to members of Congress criticizing the move. Why?

The American public not only opposes most of the vast subsidies the US has delivered to Israel, such as unconditional foreign aid and diplomatic support including the recognition of Jerusalem as its capital. A plurality also opposes the US formally recognizing annexation, which most of the world rightly believes is both unjust and unlawful. AIPAC likely now fears the diminution of its own power and influence as the true nature of Israel and AIPAC emerges. After annexation, professional AIPAC “peace processors” such as Dennis Ross will no longer be able to pretend to be negotiating over the future of the “pizza” – Palestine – even as Israel ravenously consumes it – via settlements and discriminatory laws.

The mask will finally fall.

Lastly, AIPAC’s campaign contribution ecosystem has been trounced. Representative Eliot Engel, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, once bragged that he would sit down with AIPAC on “every piece of legislation coming out of the Foreign Affairs Committee.” Engel’s easy defeat by upstart Jamaal Bowman nakedly reveals the organization’s relative weakness compared to the old days. Back then, AIPAC could fine-tune supposedly “independent” PAC contributions to individual candidates or even tip a key senate election by having proxies fund a spoiler like Ed Vallen. No longer.

As more members of Congress fully understand they can win elections without prostration before AIPAC and subordinating legitimate US foreign policies to those of Israel, many more will break free from Israel’s most important foreign agent.


  1. cechas vodobenikov says

    lobbyists have always been influential in US politics–now a military dictatorship, police state oligarchy…aipac matters little. the USA relies upon Israel to destabilize the ME and many other nations….the US paid Israel to eradicate the Marxist Tupamaros in Uruguay…and paid Israel to arm and train the fascist Guatemalan military during the Carter regime when it was determined that US law precluded direct military aid to their genocidal military. Unable to eradicate the revolutionary URN, the CIA remained as did “military advisors”…US ignored their own laws and flooded El Salvador with money and troops to eradicate the FMLN—the murderous Atclatl battalion that murdered thousands in Morazan province…despite their prodigious efforts the Sandinistas defeated the US created and funded Nicaraguan military—Samoza foolishly rejected amerikan asylum, moved to Argentina where Argentine Marxists easily assassinated him….today there are US spies everywhere in Latin America….ubiquitous: they call themselves NGO “dimocracy advocates or “businessmen”—“business is the very soul of an amerikan”. Francis Grund (1826)

  2. Joseph vona says

    I hope the trend you speak of is real, and if so it continues to grow. However I haven’t noticed, a decline of support for Israel, here in the states. Then again covid19 may have pushed Netanyahu off the front pages. We’ll see what happens when the UN votes on the settlements. Surprisingly Belgium spoke loudly by down-voting the expansion. It may just be window dressing, and the politicians know it, as the there are quite a few poorer nation members, they can rely on, who will veto anything Tel-Aviv calls anti-Israeli/semetic, if paid well enough. And, I’m sure there’s blackmail material to threaten fence sitters with. It is odd that after 911 Israel and it’s Zionist supporters were very quiet too, as they are now. Almost invisible. Something about major crisis’s that have that effect on Zionists. I wonder why?

  3. junktex says

    Long past time but I doubt it’s for real.Too good to be true like the Qanon predictions.

  4. Sallie Ann says

    They should be banned from any contact with our govt for obvious reasons!!!!

  5. grn1 says

    WTF after the irreparable damage is done>wonder if any or all international conventions will be restored?

  6. says


  7. jbwilson24 says

    Don’t forget that it was a republican PAC caught red handed funneling money to Engel. I think the general public is waking up to see that the left/right distinction doesn’t matter when it comes to these people. They put the tribe first.

  8. nick1111 says

    They all shall be rounded up

  9. Kevin Balch says

    Just wondering if this makes a war on Iran more likely before the November election. The Lobby sees its power slipping away and Trump badly needs to look like a leader and what better way than to become a “wartime president”?

    I’ve noticed that ISIS has been most considerate in suspending its evil deeds as of late. Maybe masks and social distancing make their job more difficult.

    1. Ilya says

      I would say their primary job now is conquer some more territory, and damn Iran for now. Better have the Jordan Valley, than some fisticuffs with a strong enemy. I wouldn’t be surprised if the US got friendlier with Iran for now, as Israel stole land..

    2. Mark says

      Ha, ha! (snort) That was perfect.

  10. cechas vodobenikov says

    obvious drivel—all US “think tanks” support Israeli policies, as do US politicians—everone applauded their puppet sycophant Gaido……whether aipac remains or dissolves will not change US politics—-rearranging a few occupants in the US political, all that serve their oligarchy will do nothing

    1. Mark says

      Oh, is Guaido Jewish? Well – you could have knocked me over with a feather.

  11. Ilya says

    When your nation is about to engage in the biggest land theft it has done in half a century, you hush hush your propaganda arms. Israel needs as few people noticing for asong as possible that it is invading yet more land, and this is best done by keeping silent. They’ll be back when the annexation is done with.

  12. thomas malthaus says

    Hope springs eternal.

  13. Séamus Ó Néill says

    Evil regimes don’t last and empires crumble because arrogance and certitude in their own exceptionalism and invincibility blindsides them to their weaknesses. A surreal point in time is reached when they’ve convinced themselves that friends are unimportant and a burdensome triviality…. collapse inevitably follows quickly. Both the US and Israel have surpassed that point and, unbeknownst to themselves, are imploding more quickly as every day passes. Past the point of no return, a very uncertain future awaits both and it’s guaranteed not to be pleasant

    1. grn1 says

      And trying to garner pity from the world now as the covid victim that has outnumbered countries globally will only constitute backlash for corporate criminality.

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