Is AIPAC calling all the shots on U.S. policy toward Israel?
Then-Vice President Joe Biden, projected on screens, gestures as he addresses the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference, March 4, 2013, in Washington. | Susan Walsh / AP

There is a lot of talk these days about the influence of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on the policies of the U.S. government. Some opponents of the war in Gaza claim that without the influence of AIPAC, the United States would not be supporting Israel.

To be sure, AIPAC is a powerful lobbying group that uses its financial power to influence U.S. politics. However, it’s not hard to find people circulating claims online that AIPAC is the modern manifestation of an ancient Jewish cabal that secretly controls the world. This is lunacy and has zero basis in reality.

The fact is that AIPAC alone is not the problem; rather, it is a symptom of the problem.

AIPAC is one of many, many lobbying groups that use their financial resources to push our government to adopt policies that only serve narrow interests. It’s true that AIPAC is pushing for the U.S. to continue supplying Israel with weapons, but so are Lockheed-Martin, Boeing, and other defense contractors, not to mention any number of other businesses that stand to make money of off Israel’s genocidal war.

Decade of corporate influence over campaign finance and lobbying legislation has produced a situation of institutionalized bribery in the U.S. Anyone with money can use it to try buying the loyalty of politicians—from local city council all the way to the presidency. Across all sectors, lobbyists are paying politicians to push agendas that increase profits for their industry and make the wealthy even wealthier.

In 2023, according to, a lobbying tracking site, the medical industry spent the most money buying politicians. Nearly $200 million were burned to ensure lawmakers ignore the fact that the vast majority of Americans support affordable healthcare.

The financial and insurance sector spent over $150 million buying support for their companies, guaranteeing Congress continues to enact policies favoring banks and big corporations rather than the American public.

The defense industry spent nearly $40 million to make sure the annual defense budget keeps growing and that Washington continues to support wars around the world, such as those in Ukraine and Gaza.

How do AIPAC’s efforts stack up?

In 2023, AIPAC spent a little over $3 million buying political support for Israel. While that is no doubt a large sum of money, compared to all the cash being spent by lobbyists as a whole, it’s quite small. Weapons manufacturers, who dished out more than 13 times the amount of cash spent by AIPAC, probably played a bigger role in advocating for war than the “pro-Israel lobby.”

None of this excuses AIPAC for the part it plays in pushing U.S. politicians to support war, apartheid, and Israeli war crimes, of course. AIPAC pushes vile policies, and it’s important to call them out. However, ceasefire activists must not miss the forest for the trees; the problem is that in the United States, the capitalist class is legally able to use its wealth to buy the laws and policies that it wants (or sink the ones it doesn’t want).

It is also important to be on guard against anti-Semites (both the Zionist and non-Zionist varieties) who attempt to manipulate well-intended opposition to Israel’s genocidal war to push their respective agendas claiming that either: A.) Jews control the world, or B.) that Jews have no place in the world and must create a Jewish nation state at the expense of the Palestinian people.

It’s time to get big money out of politics completely, no matter who’s spending it.

As with all op-eds published by People’s World, this article reflects the views of its author.

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Amiad Horowitz
Amiad Horowitz

Amiad Horowitz studied at the Academy of Journalism and Communications at the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics with a specific focus on Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh. He lives in Hanoi, Vietnam. His articles have appeared in National Herald India, People's World, TRANSCEND Media Service, The Hitavada (India), Northlines, and The Arabian Post.