Video of the 2015 conference. Youtube video playlist.
This unprecedented gathering focused on the Israel lobby in America. How big is it? How fast has it grown? How interconnected are the organizations and individuals? How much revenue does it raise and where does the money go? What are the common objectives of the lobby? What laws apply to lobbying to benefit a foreign government and are they vigorously enforced? Do coordinated campaign contributions cause American policymakers to act more on behalf of Israel than the United States? What fallacies underlie the assertions that U.S. and Israeli interests are the same? What are the Israel lobby’s public and private, short-and-medium-term policy objectives? And what can Americans who do not believe pro-Israel slogans, activities and policy objectives do?
How big is the Israel lobby today?
Hundreds of organizations and thousands of individuals lobby the US government at every level to support Israel unconditionally. Many are active on Capitol Hill, drafting legislation to economically and militarily target Israel's regional rivals and deliver the largest slice of the US foreign aid budget to Israel. Others are community-based, vetting candidates for office, channeling the Prime Ministers policy views into local media and coordinating with national groups. Some target mass media in hopes of preventing unwanted coverage while putting a positive spin on news about Israel.
What does the Israel lobby do?
Common tactics include sending politicians and influential people on free trips to Israel; economically and academically entwining U.S. and Israeli institutions and spreading common messages. Active duty and retired military and law enforcement officials are sent for training and meeting counterparts in Israel. Israel activist training programs execute the long-term lobby vision to supplant key diplomats and political appointees with operatives with close connections to and unwavering support for Israel.
Why is there increasing conflict with Israel lobby programs?
When polled, six in ten Americans favor cutting aid to Israel, which receives the largest and fasting-growing share of such taxpayer-funded aid. They increasingly question why Israel lobbying organizations are always at the forefront of promoting costly U.S. military actions against Iraq, Iran and Syria. They wonder why the media never discusses Israel's long-standing nuclear weapons arsenal even as they constantly hype the threat of Iran, a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty which does not possess nuclear weapons.