JULY 6, 1987
Pro-Israel lobby sways U.S. policy
Group turns opinions into political
New York Times News Service
WASHINGTON -- After several decades of growth in size and sophistication, the leading pro-Israel Lobby in Washington, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, has become a major force in shaping United States policy in the Middle-East.
Operating from tightly guarded offices just north of the Capitol, the organization has gained the power to influence a presidential candidate's choice of staff, to block practically any arms sale to an Arab country, and to serve as a catalyst for intimate military relations between the Pentagon and the Israeli army. Its leading officials are consulted by State Department and White House policy makers, by senators, and generals.
The committee, known as AIPAC, is an American lobby, not an Israeli one -- it says its funds come from individual Americans -- and it draws on a broad sympathy for the cause of Israel in the administration, Congress, and the American public. As a result, it has become the envy of competing lobbyists and the bane of Middle East specialists who would like to strengthen ties with pro-Western Arabs.
It tends to skew the consideration of issues", a senior State
Department official said. "People don't look very hard at some
options. "This narrows the administration's internal policy
discussions, he said, precluding even the serious study of ideas
known to be anathema to AIPAC, such as the