A Guardian analysis of U.S. election campaign data shows that members of Congress showed stronger support for Israel when the war began Gaza StripDuring the last election, they received an average of $100,000 from pro-Israel donors, more than most of their pro-Palestinian rivals.
She explained that those who received the money often called on the U.S. government to provide military support to Israel and to side with Israel in the Gaza war, even as civilian death tolls in the Palestinian strip were high.
Experts in the field of campaign finance who have reviewed the data believe that donor spending contributed to the sharp increase in support for Israel in Congress.
The analysis compared the contributions of pro-Israel groups and individuals to nearly every member of this Congress, as well as the statements each lawmaker had made on the Gaza war through mid-November.
Support the occupation and massacre
The Guardian reported that about 82% of members of Congress supported Israel, while only 9% expressed support for Palestine during the same period, and the rest held “different” opinions.
The newspaper revealed that pro-Israel lawmakers received an average of $125,000 in recent campaigns, while those loyal to Palestine received an average of about $18,000.
The newspaper added that the amount and breadth of donor spending was significant, with all but 33 current members of Congress receiving a total of $58 million.
The Guardian quoted John Mearsheimer, co-author of the book “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy” and a political science professor at the University of Chicago, as saying that “the results of these data reflect the reality of U.S. policy toward Israel.”
Mearsheimer added, “Without a political pressure group (lobbying group) pushing Congress in a certain direction in a really strong way, its stance on the Gaza war would be very different.”
According to the Guardian, donors have different goals for their contributions, depending on who is the member of Congress.
Sarah Brenner, a spokesperson for Open Secrets, a group that tracks U.S. campaign spending, said donations may be “defensive” in nature or intended to increase support for allies in Congress who share the donor's support for Israel.
However, campaign finance observers and political strategists who review the data believe the donations could also be “offensive” in nature or intended to persuade lawmakers to take a pro-Israel stance.
Donors have fought their most high-profile battles against a small group of progressive Democrats in the House, including the 'Squad' Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, one of Israel’s most outspoken critics.
According to The Guardian, three MPs – Don Bacon, Dan Kildee and Andre Carson – issued statements after the Islamic Resistance attack (agitation) October 7 coverage of Israel helps explain the varying levels of donations and reactions from congressional representatives.
Loyal to Israel
Three representatives initially strongly condemned the perpetrators of the attack and expressed “deep” sympathy for the victims, but their message quickly changed.
Bacon, who received a donation worth $250,000, expressed his full support for Israel, while Carlson, who received only $3,000 in donations, criticized it. Kildee, who received a donation of $91,000, chose to fall between the positions of his two colleagues. Emphasizing that Israel reserves its right to security and response, it also expressed “deep concern over Israeli air strikes that have killed thousands of Palestinians.”
The most prominent campaign funder among the 33 pro-Israel groups is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (American Public Policy Council), the Israeli Democratic majority and J Street.
Speech by the former President of the United States Barack Obama He said in his 2020 memoir he detailed the threat AIPAC posed to critics of Israel who risked being labeled “anti-Israel” or even anti-Semitic, pitting them against them in elections. against well-funded opponents.