Never in its history has it gone all out to achieve passage or defeat for anything not directly related to Israel. And, because Congress is snugly in its pocket on Israel issues, it rarely needs to fight.
AIPAC’s last big battle was in 1991 when it tried to get extra aid to support Soviet Jewish refugees in Israel. President George H. W. Bush said the extra aid (in the form of loan guarantees) would only be provided if Israel froze West Bank settlement construction. Prime Minister Shamir said no and Bush said: no extra aid for you.
AIPAC descended on the Hill as they now are over Syria, leading Bush to publicly say “I am one lonely little guy” up against “some powerful political forces” made up of “a thousand lobbyists on the Hill.” [Continue reading…]