Israel new campaign ground for US presidential candidates like Sarah Palin?
AIPAC & The United States of Israel
Sarah Palin is the latest Republican politician to visit to Israel after a string of possible Presidential hopefuls to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in the past few months.
Why is establishing your credentials in Tel Aviv before running for US president as vital as stumping in New Hampshire?
The pilgrimage of presidential hopefuls often begins with the Western Wall and includes a photo op with Binyamin Netanyahu. They all appear to be first stops ahead of a possible run for the US top spot.
“In some ways I think of Israel as the new Iowa,” explained Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace. “It’s sort of the indicator that you’re running for President is a trip to Israel.”
But why go all the way to Tel Aviv in search of the Holy Grail?
“It’s a rite of passage, all presidential candidates pass through Israel,” said author and activist Norman Finkelstein. “Mostly it’s about money”
Jewish and Pro-Israel money accounts for between one-quarter and one-third of all donations to the major political parties, according to estimates. Some say higher. One former congresswoman put it this way.
“They bought the executive branch,” said to Cynthia McKinney, also a former Presidential candidate. “They bought the legislative branch.”
Pro-Israel federal campaign contributions amounted to more than $11.7 million dollars in 2010, leaving other foreign and defense policy contributions, along with gun rights, the environment, and human rights donations, in the dust.
Information provided by rt.com
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