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Press TV | Feb. 16, 2011
An American investigative journalist says US politicians receive money from Israeli lobbies in exchange for securing Tel Aviv's interests in the Middle East.
In an exclusive interview with Press TV's US desk, David Lindorff said that the Israeli lobby practically gives money to every politician in the US Congress.
“Politicians in the US need money to get elected because we don't have publicly-funded elections,” Lindorff said.
He emphasized that they cooperate with the Israeli lobby, which is “very wealthy and very powerful,” mainly because they just “don't want to have that lobby working against them."
He noted that the pro-Israeli lobby is “the most power lobby in the United States” after the National Rifle Association, which heavily promotes free ownership of firearms in the country.
According to Lindorff, politicians such as former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, who have stood up against the Israeli lobby, find themselves attacked to the point that the pro-Israeli lobby, AIPAC, engages in funding other candidates to campaign against them.
"That's why Israel has so much influence over the US policies in the Middle East," he said.
The United States, a veto-wielding permanent UN Security Council member, was the first country to recognize Israel in the United Nations.
The UN Security Council is likely to vote this week on a resolution filed by Arab countries condemning Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.
The vote is expected to take place Thursday or Friday, according to a Palestinian diplomat.
The US, however, is widely expected to veto the resolution in favor of Israel, as an ordinary practice.
Last week, US Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg said Washington will use "the tools that we have" to block the resolution.
Steinberg also said that Washington was making a vigorous diplomatic campaign to stop countries from declaring their recognition of an independent Palestinian state, as several Latin American nations have done.
Israel seized East al-Quds (Jerusalem) along with the West Bank from Jordan in the Six-Day War of 1967 and later annexed it in defiance to calls by the international community against the move.
Tel Aviv has, so far, ignored calls by the Palestinians to halt settlement activities in the occupied West Bank, in particular,al-Quds, which it claims as its "eternal, indivisible" capital.
The Palestinians are also calling for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East al-Quds as its capital.
They have demanded that Israel must freeze all settlement constructions, arguing that the continuation of settlement activities reduces the chance of establishing an independent Palestinian state.