Under the Influence: Money and Power in Politics
Madeleine Scinto: April 2011 Archives

Spotlight: Pro-Israel Lobby

View Full Size (Graphic: Madeleine Scinto)The pro-Israel lobby, which consists mostly of American Jews, works to secure U.S. support for the country's economic, political and military endeavors.

Although Israeli policy often clashes with the goals of its Arab neighbors, especially with those of the Palestinians, the pro-Israel lobby in the U.S. confronts almost no opposition.

"There's really no comparison to be made between the number of organizations that we would consider to lobby on the pro-Israel side versus those that would be pro-Palestinian or otherwise," said Dave Levinthal, spokesperson for the Center for Responsive Politics, a non-partisan research group that tracks money in American politics.

Since 1990 the Israel lobby has contributed $78 million to congressional incumbents and $94 million when including non-incumbents. The pro-Israel lobby ranks 40 in total campaign giving as compared to more than 80 other industries, reports the Center for Responsive Politics.

Most of the lobby's campaign contributions come from local political action committees and individuals who give to candidates favored by pro-Israel PACs.