What Latinos Can Learn from Jewish-Americans and AIPAC

The picture on Latinos Vote day

by Alex Gonzalez

Apart from the Super Tuesday Primaries, the other big thing that happened  in politics was the AIPAC (American-Israeli Political Action Committee) Policy Conference in D.C. The three-day conference, in which 13,000 activists descended on the Capitol to lobby Congress for foreign aid to Israel and  listened to major political leaders talk about America’s biggest Middle Eastern ally.   By looking at the conference one would presume that this is an event by a national political Party convection.  But it is not.   It is an ethnic Lobbing group.  AIPAC is the most  influential and successful political ethnic  lobby , and it  has  been successfully able to push for the economic, cultural, and regional interests of Israel because they embraced their identity.  And that is something that Latinos in the U.S.  still need to learn from the Jews if they want to become truly successful in advancing their issues.  Latinos needs to follow the Jewish path to power.  And that means the elites embracing the cultural needs of their ethnic brethren, the masses.

The event itself by AIPAC, the annual conferences in D.C. one only wonders why a Lobbing Ethnic PAC representing  the interests of foreign state, Israel, would  have so much  political clout, than it makes even top conservative political leaders come to the conference to give speeches in support of Israel.  One could reason that American-Jews and AIPAC have enhanced the political clout in America and the economic and military strength of Israel in the Middle East by linking the interests of Israel to agenda of American Jews by embracing their Israeli brethrens.  And, that is something that Latinos in the US still needs to learn from the Jewish community to become truly successful in advancing their issues.  Thus, Latinos need to follow the Jewish path to powers.  And that means embracing your cultural and your ethnic brethren.

Politics is about the allocation of power, and any path to that power is not an easy ascendency because it requires aligning the masses with cultural and ecumenism elites. So the state of Israel and Jewish-American elites developed a cultural, religious, strategy to make Israel a puerperal ally.  In this international cultural fraternal plan, the Jews of Israel where no different than the Jews in American, and therefore, an attack on Jews in Israel, would be an attack on Jews in American.  And the job of the AIPA is to strengthen this fraternal ethnic bond.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is very successful in affecting the political US foreign policies beneficial to Israel.  Furthermore, “The AIPAC has  played a successful role in American intelligencia by disseminating opinion in American universities over the issue of the Middle East.  In the 1979, The AIPAC established leadership programs for pro-Israel professors and students under the democratic values.”  But What AIPAC does is democracy at its best.

In the book The Israel Lobby and the U.S. Foreign Policy in 2007. John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt point out that under Pluralist Democracy, which the US has,  different groups to compete for power and influence, and this is as old as American democracy itself. Thus, The Jewish-American community just happen to be the most successful group because Jewish-Americans focuses overwhelmingly in the committee processes where they can persuades committee chairmen by proving analysis–military or intellectual, and donation.

Another goal of the AIPAC is making sure  American Jews are civilly engaged groups in the U.S.; as result in2010, though only 1.7 % of the population, Jewish-Americans represent  8,5 % in Congress. Also, another way the AIPAC makes sure American Jewish elites stay actively engaged in politics is through religion.  Prior to the war of 1967, intellectual Jewish-Americans  were not concerned with the  connection between Israel and the U.S.  But after the War of 1967, “Israel became the religion for the Jewish-Americans.”  The American Jewish elites and intelligencia started to engage to build a stronger bond between the U.S. and Israel by underscoring their cultural ties.  So following this event, prominent supporter of Israel began to, not merely attend White House dinners, but also offer advice to the president. More importantly, after the June war, Jewish organizations worked hard to solidify the American-Israeli alliance.

As a result of this new cultural ethnic alliance between Jewish-Americas and Israelis, the educated conservative Jewish-Americans became  “new-born Zionist” and marched  in lockstep with American power.  The educate Jewish-American class condemned any attacks an Israel as moral attack on democracy and Christianity  itself.

As a result, Religion became  another factor in the Jewish/Israeli  cultural influence in U.S.  Many U.S. Christians wield unconditional support to Israel in response to the biblical divine plan.  This religious affliction and behavior causes  Israel be interpreted as the ancient Israelietes portrayed in the Bible.  As a result, the “Christian Zionist”  religions support for Israel creates more opportunity for the AIPAC lobby and the other organizations to collect donations and pressure their respective represents and Senators to support pro-Israel polices.  Also, AIPAC is so effective because “The lobby” is a loose coalition of individuals and organizations that actively work together to move U.S. foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction.

Furthermore, Jewish-American and AIPAC influence  the political process because of  campaign contributions to candidates who support Israel . When a congressperson issues a vote contrary to the interests of Israel, in the fool floor or committees, Jewish newspapers ( the intellectual and business class  ) immediately write rebuttal  against them. And “Occasionally the AIPAC used paid advertisement or editorial, columns, in national newspapers against candidates. Tough AIPAC is only one of many Jewish organizations, it is the most influential in affecting Middle East policies. Its literature is regularly cited or published in the New York Times.  The mission of the AIPAC was initially in legislative action to advanced interests of Jewish-Americans but now also represents and promotes the interests of Israel. The AIPAC employs former staffers to senators congressmen, which gives them instant accesses to House and Senate members.

According to John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt, AIPAC’s success is due to its ability to rewards legislators and congressional candidates who support its agenda with campaign contributions.  AIPAC board members gives on average $72,000  to campaigns and committees.  Moreover, AIPAC screens candidates and arranges meetings with potential donors and fund-raisers. And campaign donations are an inherent  component of politics under a Plural Democracy. This combination of Jewish cultural acknowledgement,  political activism, and campaign donations makes AIPAC the “most powerful” lobby in the US; And it owes it influence to a well-organized network of  political organizations and social centers who donates to any candidate carrying pro-Israel agenda.

What Latino need to Learn from Jewish-Americans   

There are four key points Latinos need to learn from the Jewish-American

1) Latino elites need embrace their cultural and ethnic brethren, masses–native and non-native—to enhance their own political power through Plural Democracy. The larger the base, the more political clout the elites will get from the base.

2) Link the interests of the U.S. to the interests to issues salient to Latinos; the Latino political elites—business and intellectuals—need to address and speak up in behalf of the large Latino base, the masses.

3) Cultural and religious centers need to create forums for candidates and the community to meet each other.

4) Those Latinos able to donate need to donate to campaign for those who support your Latino issues and donate against those who oppose you platform.


Alex Gonzalez is a political Analyst and Political Director for Latinos Ready To Vote. Comments to [email protected] or @AlexGonzTXCA