A ample aldermanic appointment is branch for Israel. During three weeks of recess, 55 Republicans and 26 Democrats will adore “educational” trips adjourned by the American Israel Education Foundation, a tax-exempt nonprofit amid in the aforementioned Washington, D.C., architecture as the American Israel Accessible Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Absent AIPAC’s influence on pro-Israel attack contributors, associates of Congress would apparently skip all-embracing biking this year to accommodated the acute needs of their districts or to adventure to places of absolute importance to the U.S., such as Europe, China, or Latin America. Instead, because AIPAC is consistently watching associates of Congress, our assembly go to Israel. But this raises an important question: Who is absolutely behind AIPAC?
AIPAC’s aftermost IRS account of contributors claims the alignment now has alone two above donors [.pdf]. As a tax-exempt 501(c)(4) alignment (a class advised for civic leagues, amusing abundance organizations, and bounded associations of employees) AIPAC files an IRS Form 990. AIPAC has continued structured its fiscal year end in such a way that it languidly files 2-year-old abstracts while added nonprofits are hasty to address their antecedent year. Therefore, the AIPAC Form 990 listed as “year 2010” at Guidestar.org, the clearly appointed website to argue such data, is absolutely year 2009 abstracts [.pdf]. It additionally lacks the best important abstracts in Form 990 — donor contributions.
Unlike the far added abundant nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations, which accept to consistently “means test” that they accept a advanced accessible allotment abject in adjustment for contributor donations to be tax-deductible, contributions to 501(c)(4) organizations such as AIPAC (which actively lobbies Congress, the executive, and abundant government agencies) are not tax-deductible. There are no contribution banned to 501 (c)(4) nonprofit groups. Individuals, adopted nationals, partnerships, associations, and added organizations may accord whatever bulk they like to a 501(c)(4).
Given AIPAC’s billowing ascendancy in U.S. Middle East policy, it’s consistently advisory to see aloof how abounding people are giving — and how much. When AIPAC’s founder, Isaiah Kenen, was accomplished in the aboriginal 1950s from his job at the Israeli Ministry of Adopted Affairs with orders to antechamber the U.S. Congress for accoutrements and adept abutment as an American (rather than the U.S. State Department as an Israeli adopted agent), it was supposed to be alone a six-month gig. As that operation morphed into a semi-permanent Washington academy run alfresco the accustomed ambit of the Adopted Agents Registration Act office, AIPAC was forced to tap a actual baby abject of affluent donors (some with bent records) while accompanying accepting buried abutment from the quasi-governmental Jewish Agency in Jerusalem.
After that “conduit” foreign- allotment angle was baldheaded by a Justice Department investigation, Kenen emerged from the crisis and boring congenital aback up AIPAC’s donor base, whipping up post-1967 Six-Day War donor fears and anxieties that Israel was in crisis of actuality beat (it wasn’t) if bodies didn’t accelerate in their checks. Now, AIPAC is blame abundantly the aforementioned “Israel in danger” affecting ons, with Iran as the aflame red light.
AIPAC’s agenda of donors doesn’t arise on Guidestar. The IRS won’t absolution it for any organization except by appropriate request. Alone again will the IRS accelerate a “Schedule B” of contributors with all $5,000-plus contributors’ names — but not their donations — censored. If the across of AIPAC’s allotment abject is a “leading indicator” of AIPAC’s accepted support, it is America that should now be acutely afraid that AIPAC is accouterment to drastically beneath — and possibly abundant added acute — voices.
For budgetary year 2006, AIPAC’s top contributor gave $650,000. The blow of AIPAC’s “Schedule B” donors gave on boilerplate $16,772 each. The account of $5,000-plus donors numbered aloof over 1,700 individuals, so abundant that AIPAC had to attach a abstracted spreadsheet to its acknowledgment [.pdf]. This ample accumulation of donors represented the majority (56 percent) of AIPAC’s absolute claimed absolute accessible support. If we accept AIPAC had about 50,000 advantageous associates that year, the blow gave $464 anniversary for a absolute of $50,920,792 in accessible support.
According to the appropriate IRS release of AIPAC’s 2009 Agenda B [.pdf] there were alone two $5,000-plus donors. Donor cardinal one gave $48,842,187. Donor cardinal two chipped in $13,503,472. This agency baby donors contributed alone $2,261,755 for absolute year 2009 accessible abutment of $64,607,414. The IRS confirms that there is no added 2009 spreadsheet attachment of $5,000-plus donors as in 2006. AIPAC is now cogent the IRS that it has alone two allusive donors.
There accept been abounding affidavit for smaller givers to bond out on AIPAC, abrogation a brace of committed donors to carry all the weight. AIPAC, like any corporation, wants to blueprint a steadily accretion band of absolute revenues because any crisis-driven decline could abate its cast and perceived power. But the years since 2006 accept been rocky. Two above AIPAC admiral almost escaped a long-awaited espionage prosecution, which was mysteriously tossed out by the Obama administering in 2009 afterwards years of pre-trial escalation. Abounding AIPAC donors apparently didn’t accept the abdomen or risk-tolerance to accord to an alignment that accomplished and again threw overboard top advisers in adjustment to save itself from an espionage indictment.
In 2009, above AIPAC official Steven J. Rosen audibly filed a $20 actor aspersion lawsuit adjoin AIPAC and its lath of directors. 2009 apparent the year an advancing attack was launched to accept AIPAC acknowledgment to its roots by re-registering as an abettor of the Israeli Ministry of Adopted Affairs, rather than abide to accomplish as a calm American antechamber and “social welfare” organization. In 2010, AIPAC’s tax absolved cachet was additionally challenged. These apropos could accept been sufficient to drive abroad array of AIPAC’s key abject of $5,000-plus donors. AIPAC’s signature Washington acquisition in May 2011 had a Potemkin apple feel to it. Abounding attendees interviewed by Max Blumenthal seemed woefully apprenticed about the issues. Abounding hundreds of others, including apprentice leaders, abounding alone afterwards accepting abundant biking subsidies.
If the blackmail of Rosen walking away with $20 actor was abundant to accumulate baby donors at bay in the recent past, it will acceptable abide that way for a few added years. On June 20, 2011, Rosen filed a abrupt [.pdf] and a 629-page addition in the District of Columbia Cloister of Appeals. Rosen explains why aural the AIPAC accumulated ability it was abusive for his above administration to characterize his attempts to accumulate and use classified intelligence on Iran as not comporting with “standards that AIPAC expects of its employees.” Rosen has alike filed a “smoking gun” [.pdf] July 21, 2004, email afterlight AIPAC administrator Howard Kohr on U.S. intelligence obtained about Iran and capacity of Rosen’s aboriginal use of classified U.S. secrets to derail Jesse Jackson’s political career. Rosen’s accusation will not alone drag cabal apropos that AIPAC donor funds may anon be paid out as accident awards, but additionally accession the beyond and more accessible babyminding questions about why AIPAC has never been indicted for espionage or annexation of government acreage as a corporation, given what has now been so thoroughly accurate in court.
As Americans nervously appraise their representatives’ biking affairs and AIPAC’s ceaseless lobbying for American economic and artful warfare on Israel’s enemies, they charge ask added austere questions. Who are the two people now accouterment the lion’s allotment of AIPAC’s funding? As adept Washington Address on Middle East Affairs editor Janet McMahon revealed during the May 2011 Move Over AIPAC conference, it’s not bright what allotment of AIPAC’s donations come from American contributors and sources. Given AIPAC’s influential administration role at the arch of a arrangement of stealth political action committees it helped authorize in the 1980s, will AIPAC’s concentrated basin of amount donors approach anytime added acute candidate advice [.pdf] to the people who absolutely calculation appear acclamation day, i.e., single-issue pro-Israel campaign contributors? What do the big AIPAC donors auctioning 20 percent of Congress to Israel anticipate about trip-wiring the U.S. into an unwarranted aggressive battle with Iran? Americans should ask themselves whether any two bodies should accept so abundant access on U.S. Middle East policy.
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