In the USA everyone can lobby in his own interest, provided that is it carried out openly and within the limits set by American law. The biggest organization which sows fear among politicians (even Barack Obama recently) is the National Rifle Association of America (NRA). Nothing to be add here. The second such organization with regards to its size and significance is AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee).
For over 50 years this organization has been supporting interests of Israel in American politics. It concerns mainly security, military cooperation and practical level of relations between the USA and countries fighting against Israel. AIPAC associates a great number of intellectuals and over 100 thousand members who are eager to actively influence congressmen, senators and, if necessary, even the president. These 100 thousand activists have quite large financial resources which may be (and actually are) spent for election campaign of chosen candidates. However, the decision who will get the money in the form of private donation and how much it will be is upon the AIPAC.
I am now in Washington at the annual conference of this organization. We came here with other members of the European Parliament (I am also chairman of the European Friends of Israel) and members of the national parliaments of the European Union countries (Bogdan Klich and Grzegorz Schetyna representing Polish parliament).
All in all, during three days of conference, 13 thousand delegates from 50 states host dozens of congressmen, senators and political analysts and on Monday also the Vice President of the USA. The main topic of the discussion will be Iran’s role in the Middle East politics. It is known that soon this country may take possession of nuclear weapon. It is also a well known fact that it is with Iranian money that Hamas is arming in the Gaza Strip and Hezbollah in North Lebanon. The latter has recently been officially charged by Bulgarian authorities with organizing attacks on Israeli tourists at the airport in Burgas in the summer last year.
It is definitely an active time full of important discussions.Author : Marek Siwiec MEP