DO MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TAKE TOO MANY PRIVATE TRIPS TO ISRAEL WITH AIPAC? | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

DO MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TAKE TOO MANY PRIVATE TRIPS TO ISRAEL WITH AIPAC?

One of every three members of Congress boarding a jetliner on a privately-funded all-expense paid trip overseas has Israel as their final destination. Only one out of a hundred ever visits Palestinian territories as a final destination.

AIPAC differs from many other groups funding private trips because of its foundational foreign ties. AIPAC lobbying began in earnest in the 1950s by a former employee of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Isaiah Kenen – who received ongoing payments from Israel to set up public relations and lobbying in the US. Kenen was paid by the Israeli government to receive congressional delegations in Israel after major aid packages were passed into law.

A typical AIEF itinerary consists of numerous briefings by Israeli government officials, trips to historical sites, and lavish restaurant visits and hotel stays. Absent from the itineraries are any briefings on Israel’s nuclear weapons triad or meaningful visits to Palestinian refugees.

This leaves members of Congress with a highly distorted view of one of the world’s longest-running and most contentious issues, and inflated views of Israel’s military vulnerability. Disproportionate numbers of trips to Israel are one major reason Congress has given the country over $250 billion since 1948, more than was given Europe to rebuild under the Marshall Plan.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I think that every US politician who visits Israel, should be visiting Palestine also; there has to be a political solution possible, but it will not come unless our Congressional representatives see for themselves what is going on in Palestine, and speak to Palestinians.

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