AIPAC’s Dark Money Arm Unleashes $100 Million

Amid the Netanyahu government’s assault on Gaza and intensifying repression in the West Bank, AIPAC is showing zero tolerance for even the mildest criticism of Israel during the 2024 U.S. elections.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin addressing an AIPAC forum in in Washington, D.C., Jan. 10, 2023. (DoD, Alexander Kubitza)

By Brett Wilkins
Common Dreams

Amidst global outcry over the ongoing assault on Gaza and the related humanitarian crisis it has wrought, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s super PAC is set to spend a staggering $100 million against both pro-Palestine congressional members and candidates who aren’t seen as sufficiently supportive of Israel. 

With increasing numbers of Democrats speaking out against the far-right government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over its genocide in Gaza and violent repression in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, AIPAC has shown zero tolerance for even the mildest criticism of Israeli government policies and practices.

Dave Min, a Democratic California state senator running for Rep. Katie Porter’s (D-CA) House seat, has said very little publicly about Israel since the Oct. 7 attacks, which he strongly condemned. He does not support a Gaza cease-fire.

Min did, however, make the mistake of criticizing Netanyahu’s leadership and Israeli settlement expansion during private talks with AIPAC leaders and members. [Min won his March 5 primary.] 

United Democracy Project, AIPAC’s dark money group, retaliated by firing a broadside of television and mail ads hammering Min over his May 2023 drunk driving arrest as part of a $4.5 million blitz against him.

Feeling the heat, Min turned to someone painfully familiar with AIPAC’s wrath — former Michigan Congressman Andy Levin, a two-term Democratic incumbent, former synagogue president and self-described Zionist who lost his seat following a $4 million AIPAC barrage during the 2022 Democratic primaries. The group targeted Levin over his opposition to Israel’s occupation.

The former congressman told Politico this week that “most” candidates can’t survive AIPAC’s deep-pocketed attacks: “I’m afraid that they can be quite successful in wiping them out.”

California State Sen. David Min meeting with military members in January 2023 at Joint Forces Training Base, Los Alamitos. (U.S. Air National Guard, Crystal Housman)

“AIPAC and their Republican mega-donors are targeting Black and brown Democratic incumbents with the same right-wing playbook across the country,” said Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO), an outspoken critic of Israel’s war on Gaza and the author of an October cease-fire resolution subsequently co-sponsored by 18 House Democrats.

Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) recently called AIPAC “basically a wholly owned subsidiary of the GOP” and a “front group for conservative policy.” [Ed: It is a Democratic administration however that is actively participating in the genocide in Gaza.]

Referring to the National Rifle Association, the right-wing lobby group that fronts for the U.S. gun industry, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) last month slammed AIPAC as “the NRA of foreign policy.” 

Usamah Andrabi, communications director for Justice Democrats, told Politico that “a handful of Republican billionaire mega-donors are using AIPAC to spend in Democratic primaries against Black and brown progressives, funding primary campaigns against the most popular and progressive members, so this should be a scandal.”

“The whole of the Democratic Party should be united in opposition to this,” he added.

But it isn’t, and part of the reason why is that many Democrats are beneficiaries of AIPAC’s largesse.

It wasn’t a Republican who unseated Levin, but rather Democratic Rep. Haley Stevens — who has been staunchly supportive of Israel even as its military forces have killed and maimed more than 100,000 Palestinians, forcibly displaced around 90 percent of Gaza’s 2.3 million people, and fueled growing famine by tightening an already crippling economic stranglehold on the besieged enclave.

U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries in 2020. (Brookings Institution, Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), another strong pro-Israel voice, counted AIPAC as his top donor during the last election cycle. AIPAC has also been a leading contributor to lawmakers including Reps. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) and Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), who not only vocally support Israel, but also attack colleagues like Bush;  Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN); and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), the only Palestinian American in Congress, for their pro-Palestinian views.

Democratic Majority for Israel, an AIPAC-connected group, is backing nine House Democratic candidates, including Joana Weiss, who ran a nasty campaign against Min in California. But DMFI’s support pales in comparison to the $4.5 million that AIPAC’s United Democracy Project has spent in a bid to defeat Min.

“Despite Sen. Min’s support of Israel, and a broad coalition of endorsements from the Jewish community, a number of Republican donors at AIPAC are upset that he has called for Bibi Netanyahu to be held accountable for the security failures on October 7 and Netanyahu’s failure of leadership during this crisis,” Dan Driscoll, Min’s campaign manager, said in a statement.

“Sen. Min does not believe in the annexation of West Bank settlements, he had hoped that a constructive dialogue could be had. It appears they disagreed.”

Maurice Mitchell, political director for the Working Families Party, acknowledged to Politico that it’s hard to match AIPAC’s financial firepower.

“We can never go dollar for dollar, but our goal is to be competitive and we’re going to do that,” he said.

Progressives point to Democratic Pennsylvania Congresswoman Summer Lee — who in 2022 defeated AIPAC-backed Democrat Steve Irwin — as a sign of hope. 

“A Republican-funded Super PAC threatened to spend $100 million against us — and our grassroots people-powered movement has responded loud and clear,” Lee said earlier this year.

“I am so proud of the multigenerational, multiracial movement we have built in Western Pennsylvania to protect and expand our democracy — it is our greatest defense against the dark money super PACs and corporate lobbies who seek to undermine it,” she added. “They have Donald Trump and Nikki Haley’s donors, we have the overwhelming power of the people.”

Brett Wilkins is a staff writer for Common Dreams.

This article is from  Common Dreams.

Views expressed in this article and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

28 comments for “AIPAC’s Dark Money Arm Unleashes $100 Million

  1. Duane M
    March 8, 2024 at 10:40

    “Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) recently called AIPAC “basically a wholly owned subsidiary of the GOP” and a “front group for conservative policy.'” ”

    It seems more likely that both parties are subsidiaries of AIPAC. If AIPAC is calling the shots and ousting the representatives who rebel against AIPAC instructions, then it is logical to conclude that AIPAC is the party in control, not the GOP (or the Dems).

    • LeoSun
      March 9, 2024 at 01:19

      100%!!! “it is logical to conclude that AIPAC is the party in control, not the GOP (or the Dems).” Duane M

      AIPAC is in the company of hundreds of PAC’s * “geared toward the election of pro-Israel candidates, and the [PACs] combined influence points toward an amazing conglomerate of both financial & political power.”

      * “PACSs-so broadly based across America-have long had the capacity to work together in order to elect candidates of their choosing.” The Political Action Committees’ names “do not reflect either their Jewish or pro-Israel bias,” i.e., San Francisco for Good Government, City PAC, Gold Coast PAC, Fund for Freedom (DC), Mississippi for Responsive Government, Americans for Better Citizenship (NY), Hollywood Women’s Political Committee, Northeast Penn PAC, Citizens Concerned for National Interest (IL), etc., etc., etc. The list is miles & miles long.

      “Zionism, in short, rules America; &, America, under the Zionist thumb (or so it seems) seeks to rule the world.” * ‘The New Jerusalem-Zionist Power in America,’ by Michael Collins Piper.

      Years ago, my Son gave me ‘The New Jerusalem,’ writing, “You can’t understand what’s going on, folks, unless you read this book, you just can’t!” (Jeff Reese, American Free Press dot net).

      Duane M, “Keep It Lit!” TY. Ciao.

  2. DW Bartoo
    March 7, 2024 at 12:05

    Superb comments on this comment thread (and others).

    My great appreciation to all.

    Yes, those who have bettayed us (and humanity generally) must needs be brought to serious and consequential account.


  3. Joy
    March 7, 2024 at 11:54

    Is it time yet (or past time) to charge AIPAC with failing to register as a foreign agent?

    • robert e williamson jr
      March 7, 2024 at 19:33

      As I have already pointed out JFK and RFK were working at doing just that.

      Google IRmep history of AIPAC – select American Israel Public Affiars Committee (AIPAC) and you should end up here


      • LeoSun
        March 9, 2024 at 02:33

        TY, Robert, for the link/site to AIPAC. What a history, eh?!?

        “Imagine” the Institute for Research-Middle Eastern Policy (IRMEP), “pointing this out about JFK,”

        * “Those Who Reign Supreme, do so b/c-on November 22, 1963, an American president who challenged their power was put to death in a very public execution in a crime that, to this day, remains unpunished.”

        ……… ”The assassination of Johnny F. Kennedy was indeed a turning point in the American system, and really, for the world. Although Zionist power had long held sway in Washington and across America, the state of Israel itself was relatively new-born in 1963. However, as President, JFK was taking a strong stand against the demands of the Zionist lobby-particularly its desire to help Israel become a major world power-and, as a consequence, paid with his life.”

        “This set the stage for a major realignment of U.S. policy toward Israel and the Arab world and likewise gave new power to the role of the Israel lobby in Washington. And, obviously, that influence has grown by leaps and bounds, ever since.”

        “The proliferation of nuclear arms in the Arab & Muslim world has been a direct reaction to Israel’s nuclear build-up-something JFK tried to stop-and, it’s no exaggeration to say that had JFK succeeded in stopping Israel from achieving nuclear weapons, it is quite likely that the US would never have become involved in the debacle in Iraq, that resulted in Saddam Hussein’s initial efforts to build a nuclear arsenal to counter that of Israel. And the tragedy of Iraq will continue to haunt America & its people, for generations.”

        “The secret history of JFK’s behind the scenes struggle is one that needs to be known, far and wide, if Americans-and people around the world-are to ever truly understand how and why Zionism achieved such predominance in American life.”

        * “The New Jerusalem-Zionist Power in America” by Michael Collins Piper

        Hence, supporting & rallying behind independent voices, w/guts, ‘repeating the line,’ “I’m not going to take this anymore!!!” The behind the scenes, deception, destruction & death exposed & must be talked about out loud!

        Onward & upwards. Ciao

  4. yitz
    March 7, 2024 at 10:46

    “In order to end this disgusting annihilation of the Palestinian people it starts here in the U.S., challenging the Zionist power configuration in New York, DC, and California.” Again, where’s the DOJ?

    Atlanta based ‘Kabbage, issued over 300,000 PPPloans worth $7 billion between April 3, 2020, and August 8, 2020, making it the second-largestPPP lender by application volume. Independent experts estimate that the company has earned at least $330 million in fees on the $7 billion in approved loans. Despite this windfall, the list of fraudulent PPP loans connected to Kabbage is extensive and growing. A joint investigation by the Miami Herald, McClatchy DC, and the Anti-Corruption Data Collective also found that
    about 20 percent of the PPP loans that they identified as suspicious were approved by Kabbage. A separate instance, Kabbage facilitated a loan of $1.3 million to a “company” that existed only on paper, having no employees or operations and with no record of ever filing federal or local taxes, and that was controlled by an individual who was previously convicted of three felonies
    related to theft and counterfeiting. After receiving these funds, the recipient of the PPP loan purchased an 18-room-Tuscan-style mansion in New Jersey and a riverfront motel outside of Branson, Missouri.’

    This list goes on and on…. while all 3 executives of Kabbage living comfy-n-cozy in Atlanta. Many of their fraudulent loans sailed thru CrossRiverBank

  5. DW Bartoo
    March 7, 2024 at 05:45

    So, we learn that Congress does not “represent” the actual interests of the people of the U$, in this instance, rather the legislative “branch” is beholden to AIPAC.

    Consider the Page and Gillens study.

    Perhaps, “Representative Democracy”, which effectively is about hiring these representatives to do our thinking for us is really a bust, democratically, and rarely actually does represent the interests/needs of a society.

    Doubtless, superior wisdom will decide that I am being far too cheeky with this assessment and that I deserve to get my backside thoroughly spanked.

    Yet, if we, the people, are permitted no meaningful say about policy, how useful is it TO us if we’ve no genuine “say” on policy, and are only permitted to “choose” among the personalities of lesser weevils?

    Is that really democracy, or just clever pretense?

    Dare we wonder?

    Dare we question?

    Dare we suggest that we are expected to be the butt of a sick little joke, and to be relegated to playing partisan cultish games of political tricks whilst our betters enrich themselves by aligning themselves with whomever or whatever tosses them the most moola?

    Our representatives live rather well, far more richly well than do most of us.

    We are to believe that our betters slave away, for us, in the “sacred halls” of democracy while we who are not part of those who serve the hierarchy, the professional managerial class of mandarins and comprafors, belittle
    and abuse us.

    Consider that BDS is effectively outlawed in thirty-seven U$ states.

    Are we to believe that these states are all Republican strongholds and that the Dems, Dog Bless Them, strive mightily to really represent us?


    Horsefeathers and suffering dog hairs.

    Perhaps, ”tis time to demand actual participatory democracy?

    Of course, the hew and cry will follow, “The people are too stupid to govern themselves wisely and well!”

    Let us see who dares say that, shall we?

    What have we to lose?

    We have not “lost” our democracy.

    We have never had any, truth be told.

    • Joy
      March 7, 2024 at 11:51

      Well spoken!

    • JonnyJames
      March 8, 2024 at 12:37

      “…Perhaps, ”tis time to demand actual participatory democracy?…” Exactly

      Yes, it is way past time. Wouldn’t it be grand to see a massive boycott and protests on “election” day? We reject BOTH of the so-called choices on the ballot and we reject both the D and R factions to “represent” us.

  6. anaisanesse
    March 7, 2024 at 01:44

    This article and the Johnstone/Bricmont one show us that there is no democracy in the USA. Every vote is bought, the elections are won by money, the candidates have to conform to the lobbies’ needs. AIPAC and all the Big Enterprise lobbies win ,over the needs of the population. Imagine a George Galloway result in any US electorate!!

  7. Vera Gottlieb
    March 6, 2024 at 15:11

    There is a French saying…’qui s’excuse, s’accuse’ – who excuses himself, accuses himself. And so with all those excusing the ZIO-N-AZIS actions.

  8. nwwoods
    March 6, 2024 at 13:40

    Your tax dollars at work.

  9. JonnyJames
    March 6, 2024 at 12:42

    AIPAC is the leading example of institutional corruption of the US Congress. Political bribery is perfectly legal (See Citizens United decision). It has been noted for many years that Congress Crooks should have the logos of their donors tattooed on their foreheads: Exxon Mobil, AIPAC, Lockheed Martin, Archer Daniels Midland, Chevron, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, BlackRock, Amazon etc.

    Sadly, Common Dreams seems to have forgotten and casts AIPAC as allied with the R faction of oligarchy and not the D faction. That is obviously false. This article is a thinly veiled attempt to mobilize support for Genocide Joe, and cast the D faction as less evil. Common Dreams, while posting some good material at times, always resorts to urging us to support the D faction as “the lesser evil”.
    Tell that to the Palestinians as they are slaughtered and starved to death with BIPARTISAN support in Congress.

    The sad fact is that “the US is an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery” and there is NO WAY to ‘vote’ against the interests of AIPAC, BigOil, BigFinance, BigPharma etc.

    But don’t think about that: we are supposed to fall in line and believe in the fairy tales of freedom and democracy.

    • mgr
      March 6, 2024 at 14:42

      Jonny: Thanks very much for highlighting Common Dreams’ biases.

        March 6, 2024 at 19:02

        The article does also criticize Democrats who are beholden to AIPAC.

    • Tim N
      March 7, 2024 at 11:14

      Good points. AIPAC runs with whoever they think is rabidly pro-Israel. That certainly includes many Dems.

    • DW Bartoo
      March 7, 2024 at 11:28

      Your comments, at this site and elsewhere, are very much appreciated,
      Jonny James.


    • michael888
      March 8, 2024 at 06:15

      Agreed. This article is an absurd whitewash of Genocide Joe’s partnership in the Palestinian genocide; “I am a Zionist!” as Biden has said multiple times.

      “Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) recently called AIPAC “basically a wholly owned subsidiary of the GOP” and a “front group for conservative policy.” [Ed: It is a Democratic administration however that is actively participating in the genocide in Gaza.] ”
      The whole thesis of the article, except for this outside addendum from “Ed”, which no doubt offends the author, is that the Israeli Palestinian Genocide belongs to the Republicans, not Joe Biden and the Democrats in lock goose step behind him. There are a few courageous Democrats against killing children; they will follow Cynthia McKinney out of Congress purged by AIPAC.

  10. Carolyn L Zaremba
    March 6, 2024 at 12:14

    I don’t follow mainstream media or the capitalist electoral games. I vote socialist in every presidential election and have done for more than 25 years. All of the capitalist imperialist parties are enemies of working people. Period. No exceptions. I refuse to lend credibility to venal crooks and warmongers. Nobody should support them.

  11. mgr
    March 6, 2024 at 12:11

    If Israel has to go in order to be rid of the malign influence of AIPAC, so be it. Having one’s nation be ruled and manipulated by a foreign power against it’s (the US’s) sovereign interests and against the interests of the American public is simply untenable.

    The worst offense from this influence is the stifling of public debate and discourse. What is a democracy without rigorous public discussion? Well, it’s not a democracy. Why the American public continues to endure being made the lowest priority on the totem pole is truly beyond me.

    One way or another, this kind of influence has to go. And throw out the lick-spittle Congressional whores who embrace it. At this point, every congressional member who accepts AIPAC donations is working directly against American interests and leading all of us to complicity in genocide. How would you define a traitor? Israel is like a drowning swimmer and it will certainly pull the US under with it.

    • DW Bartoo
      March 7, 2024 at 21:43

      Superb, spot on comment, mgr.


  12. JohnB
    March 6, 2024 at 11:57

    All those lives taken from Palestine are worth a lot to once representatives of USAn citizens.

    This is so embarrassing. Not just the Likud, Sha etc. behaviour but also the reluctance of so many earthlings to just walk away from everyday responsebility and shut the mfs down with a world wide freeze on anything that is above safety need.

  13. Drew Hunkins
    March 6, 2024 at 11:24

    The Zionist supremacist domination of our country must end! It’s completely intolerable that this creepy, sadistic and arrogant cult of people have this much sway over our lives.

    This power must be addressed and called out, it must be challenged relentlessly daily, in every forum. The smears will come, but the work must go on.

    No other lobby — big oil, big pharma, Silicon Valley — has this kind of power and influence over Washington’s Middle East policy and domestic concerns; merely look at the ADL’s efforts to suppress free speech on virtually every influential platform.

    In order to end this disgusting annihilation of the Palestinian people it starts here in the U.S., challenging the Zionist power configuration in New York, DC, and California.

    Any scholars, activists or intellectuals failing to point out the power of the pro-Israel matrix is leaving out (deliberately?) the biggest piece of the puzzle right now in analyzing American socio-politico-economic life.

    For further reading:

    “Power of Israel in the United States” by James Petras
    “Israel Lobbby” Mearsheimer & Walt
    “They Dare to Speak Out” by Paul Findley
    “Against our better Judgement” by Alison Weir
    “Host and the Parasite” by Greg Felton
    “Jewish History, Jewish Religion” by Israel Shahak

    • yitzy
      March 7, 2024 at 02:42

      If the state dept. / IRS ever cared to do their job and blow the lid off ‘underground economies’ fueling zionist domination in the US and West Bank, the time is now.

      ADL fraudsters claimed $7.5 million PPP loan from small business association ; all forgiven now. Orthodox-zionist community in Atlanta claimed over $10 million in PPP loans.

      • Drew Hunkins
        March 7, 2024 at 14:38

        Excellent comment yitzy!

    • Frank Lambert
      March 7, 2024 at 09:25

      Good comments, Drew and a fine selection of books. I’m familiar with Petras who is an honest writer and unfortunately (or maybe not) labeled “anti-semetic” by the low information people who partook of the Zionist Kool-Aid drink. I have Allison Weir’s book and actually met her at one of her lectures and she’s another honest writer to read.

      But getting back to the JonnyJames and mgr comments, I’ll say this, and I would bet most if not all CN readers know the slogan, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Wise words, indeed! (unfortunately)It goes way back in American politics and journalistic integrity.

      “The setting up of a new, invisible and all powerful government in this country, whithin the last twenty years, in open violation of fundamental and statutory law, could not have been accomplished under the steady fire of a free and independent press.”
      Robert M La Follette, Sr.
      “Fooling the People as a Fine Art”,
      La Follette’s Magazine, April, 1918

      Also, in violation of The Treaty of Versaille (which crippled Germany). Both the British and French imperialist governments looked the other way after Hitler became the Chancellor, and let him build up Germany’s military might, in direct violation of the “no more than 100,000 man army” etc, figuring the crazed misanthrope would unleash the powerful German military machine against the Soviet Union, hoping the Germans and Russians would kill each other by the millions (which they did) and then Western Imperialist/capitalists/plus the bankers, would pick up the spoils of war.

      The Final Solution was an unintended consequence of giving the green light to the Nazi Party for building the second biggest military machine in Europe and the murderous rampage of WWII.

      Consortium news and other independent news sources need to be financially supported by us readers and truthseekers, otherwise….you know the answer!

      Thank you Joe Lauria for carrying the Torch of Light (Truth) of the late Robert Parry’s creation.

    • LeoSun
      March 8, 2024 at 11:25

      Drew Hankins,

      Ya nailed it!!! The ‘invisible government,’ “the Zionist supremacist domination of our country.” I agree, 100%!!!

      ….. “How much longer will an influential special interest group continue to dominate U.S. foreign policy?”
      ….. “Who is the “invisible government” shufflin’ the deck in the WH?”
      ….. “How many more innocent people have to die?”
      ….. * “How many more such tragedies will occur b/c [Zionists] have accumulated so much power?”

      Hence, adding two (2) “for further reading:”. TY, for the recommended “reading.” Sincerely, appreciated!

      TWO, more, 1) “An Ordinary Person’s Guide To Empire,” by Arundhati Roy; &, 2) * “The New Jerusalem- Zionist Power in America” by Michael Collins Piper

      “This power must be addressed and called out, it must be challenged relentlessly daily, in every forum. The smears will come, but the work must go on.” (Drew Hunkins)

      “In order to end this disgusting annihilation of the Palestinian people it starts here in the U.S., challenging the Zionist power configuration in New York, DC, and California.” (Drew Hunkins)

      ……”it starts here in the U.S.,” @ POTUS’ SOTU, 3.7.24, in living color. Oh, what a night! By the hundreds, they showed up!!! Truth Tellers, Truth Seekers, PeaceMakers, on Pennsylvania Avenue, in DC!!! People for Peace NOT Wars!!! People for a “Permanent Ceasefire.”

      Organized by CODE Pink, Democrats Socialist of America, “Jews for Justice,” + hundreds, were 100%, PRESENT!…i,e, POTUS’ SOTU was “set to begin at 9 p.m. ET, began almost 30 minutes late; Biden’s motorcade took an alternative route to avoid the protesters.”

      …… “The route did not take us by any large protest groups,” the pool . Once, again, POTUS hides from the genocide and the public., i.e., “the presidential motorcade approached Pennsylvania Ave, taking a left turn to avoid the protesters on the way to the Capitol Building.”

      …….. “When Palestine is under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!” Hundreds of People for a FREE Palestine, chanted, holding l.e.d. candles. “From DC to Palestine, occupation is a crime,”

      MESSAGE To: POTUS, his Board of Executioners, the MIC, the U.S. CONGRESS,

      …………. “Give the People, What They Want!”

      One Hundred Fifty-Three (153) days later, “The State of the Union is genocide!!! Stop funding Israel!!” “Complete ceasefire now!!!”

      AND, imo, the Organizers, named, herein, are on f/point!! One-Hundred Fifty-Three (153) Days in the Streets, from Sea to Shining Sea!!! Keepin’ it Lit!”

      TY, Drew Hankins, CN, et al., “Onward & Upwards!” Ciao

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