Sounds all cool and regular but not much in the MSM about this or the nature of it ?
Eighty-one congressmen, or about 20 percent of the US House of Representatives, will visit Israel over the next three weeks during Congress’s summer recess, with the first group of 26 Democrats scheduled to arrive on Monday.
The Democratic delegation will be followed by two Republican ones, bringing a total of 55 Republicans.
Most of the representatives are freshmen congressmen, with 47 – or fully half of the freshmen Republicans voted into office in 2010 – making the trip.
For many of them, this will be their first trip to Israel.
The week-long trips are sponsored by the American Israel Education Foundation, a charitable organization affiliated with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which brings large delegations of congressmen here every other August.
House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) will head the Democratic delegation, and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Virginia) will lead one of the Republican groups.
Hoyer, in a statement, said he looked forward to “returning to Israel to continue learning firsthand about the evolving security situation in the Middle East, the deep challenges facing Israel, and the role the US can play in the region during this time of uncertainty.
I’m pleased members of Congress have this opportunity to study American interests in the Middle East and gain a deeper understanding of the issues involved in increasing stability in the region.”
The delegation will visit both Israel and the West Bank, and is scheduled to meet with President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.
Among those on the delegation arriving Monday are Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., Ohio’s Betty Sutton, and Pennsylvania’s Mark Critz.
In a related development, The Israel Project will be bringing a group of 18 Washington-based ambassadors from Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America to Israel on Monday for a weeklong tour and high-level meetings. Like the congressmen, they will also go to Ramallah, for a meeting with PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.
Among the countries represented on the trip are Albania, Barbados, Belize, Burkina Faso, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Macedonia, St. Lucia and Uganda.
Some of these countries have been mentioned by officials in Jerusalem as likely candidates to either vote against, or at least abstain, when the vote on Palestinian statehood comes before the UN in September.
The weeklong trips are being paid for by the American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF), which was created in 1990 as a supporting organization of AIPAC, America’s major pro-Israel lobbying organization, and they are located in the same building. AIEF, which is only one of numerous organizations pushing pro-Israel policies, has an annual budget of over $24 million, with an even larger endowment.
This is an extraordinary situation. No other lobby on behalf of a foreign country comes anywhere near controlling such wealth or taking so many of America’s elected representatives on a propaganda trip to its favorite country.
The Associated Press, America’s number one news service, has decided not to report on a lobbying group taking 81 representatives to a foreign country in order to influence their votes.
Even though the trips are being reported by news media in Britain, Iran, India, Israel, Lebanon, and elsewhere, AP has decided to give the story a pass. When contacted about this, an AP editor in Washington, D.C., said AP knew about the trips and was “looking into it.”
now THAT sounds familiar and makes more sense !
[color=limegreen]A staff member of one representative participating in this month’s junkets said the representative had no choice. If the congressional rep didn’t go on the trip, the rep would be targeted by AIPAC; large quantities of money, including massive out-of-state money, would be raised for the opponent in the next election; and quite likely the representative would be defeated. The staffer said that the Israel Lobby is far too powerful to ignore and that American voters have no knowledge of what’s going on.
It’s no surprise that voters are unaware that their representatives are being propagandized and pressured by a foreign lobby. Their news media almost never tells them.
[color=limegreen]Not all those going on these trips are enthusiastic. The wife of one congressman who made a similar trip some years ago said that she and her husband had never been exposed to such pressure in all their lives. She said that at one point on their trip, her husband — a normally extremely tough man — was curled up in a fetal position.
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, September 6, 2010.
Today the Israel Lobby Archive releases documents obtained from newly unsealed Senate Foreign Relations Committee investigation files. Disclosure forms and subpoenaed documents filed by AIPAC and its predecessor organizations (the AZC and AZCPA) reveal organized crime figures such as "Jake the Barber," "Meyer Lansky's right-hand-man" Aaron Weisberg, arms smuggler associate Zimel Resnick, and Israeli nuclear bomb funding coordinator Abraham Feinberg all provided critical and timely start-up funding to AIPAC.
A recently declassified 1970 file tightly held by the Department of Justice's National Security Division and reluctantly released under Freedom of Information Act appeals reveals the foreign agent activities of AIPAC founder Isaiah L. Kenen. Kenen may have been an "insider source" for information about the Jewish Defense League. A Department of Energy study later concluded, "For more than a decade, the Jewish Defense League (JDL) has been one of the most active terrorist groups in the United States. Since 1968, JDL operations have killed 7 persons and wounded at least 22."
Nearly 20 percent of the constituents of Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL) live under the poverty line, and nearly 15 percent are unemployed. Jackson’s congressional district, covering parts of the south side of Chicago and its southern suburbs, has been hit harder than many others by the crises plaguing the economy. Many of his constituents are looking at even more cutbacks in social services, higher prices for food and fuel, and ever scarcer jobs.
During this August congressional recess, Rep. Jackson, Jr. should be at home, meeting with constituents and proposing to them how he will help them cope with their difficult circumstances. Instead, the politician is proudly gallivanting around Israel, in one of three separate congressional delegations heading there this month on all-expense-paid junkets organized by the American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF), a so-called charitable affiliate of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the most influential of the myriad pro-Israel lobbying outfits.
Originally posted by xuenchen
The week-long trips are sponsored by the American Israel Education Foundation?