DECEMBER 9, 2022
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US House Speaker Johnson accepted $95k from pro-Israel lobby

US House Speaker Johnson accepted $95k from pro-Israel lobby

US House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) has accepted large donations from a pro-Israeli lobby to push in Congress for the approval of a hefty $14 billion aid package for Israel.

 

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) donated around $95,000 to the Speaker of the US House of Representatives after he pushed through a $14 billion aid package for Israel in November, according to an analysis of Federal Election Commission records reported by The Intercept on Saturday.

 

Johnson, a hitherto unknown backbencher and acknowledged Christian nationalist, was appointed as the Speaker after a far-right faction of Republican lawmakers ousted former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, claiming he had been too soft on US President Joe Biden over the US fiscal budget, as well as other issues disputed between the Republican and Democratic parties’ Congress lawmakers.

Meantime, the pro-Israel lobby group regularly donates money to lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to push Tel Aviv's agenda ahead.

 

AIPAC lobbyists have been Johnson’s top donors in 2023.

 

Last year, AIPAC poured tens of thousands of dollars into his campaign coffers just after he led the passage of a $14 billion aid package to Israel.

 

In 2023, AIPAC’s political action committee donated a total of $104,000 to Johnson with the majority of donations coming right after the Israeli war machine had launched the months-long genocidal war against the hapless Palestinians trapped in the besieged Gaza Strip.

 

Analysts believe the fact that AIPAC feels the need to donate large sums to the Republican House Speaker to push pro-Israeli policies is a significant shift.

 

In the past, military aid was the “holy grail” of the relationship between Washington and Tel Aviv, according to Yousef Munayyer, a Palestinian-American analyst who is a non-resident fellow at the Arab Center Washington, DC.

 

Co-author of “The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy," Stephen Walt told The Intercept that US policy toward the Middle East is the foreign policy issue on which various K Street lobbyist groups wield the most influence.

 

“In terms of foreign policy, this is probably the one issue where money in politics has had the greatest negative effect,” said Walt, a professor of international relations at the Harvard Kennedy School.

 

Meantime, US Muslim leaders in swing states pledged to rally their communities against Biden’s bid for re-election in 2024 due to his continued support for Israel and his months-long refusal to call for a ceasefire in Gaza.

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