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Tag Archive: Israel

Israel inches toward lobbying reform

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Earlier this summer, a lobbying reform bill that strengthens disclosure and improves transparency was introduced to the Knesset, the Israeli parliament. While the bill is not without flaws, it is an encouraging step in the right direction.

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Could sequester hit Israel?

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Photo of Secretary of State John KerryWhen John Kerry takes the stage at the University of Virginia today to deliver his first major address as secretary of state, he'll be making a plea  for one of the spending areas likely to draw the least amount of sympathy when the sequester axe hits. In a letter to the Senate, Kerry warned that foreign aid may have to absorb a $2.6 billion hit if a deal to avert the automatic budget cuts isn't reached.

While money U.S. taxpayers sent overseas might be considered a rare appealing target for the budget axe since there is ...

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Among Hagel attackers: Shadowy group run by aide to Ron Lauder

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Image of Secure America Now pageAs former Sen. Chuck Hagel, President Barack Obama's pick for secretary of defense, faces a Senate confirmation hearing today, he's under online attack from a group that's previously been criticized for a "mostly false" TV ad and "laughably bogus" polling. Though the group, Secure America Now, doesn't disclose its donors, and has yet to file a full year's tax return for either of its non-profit arms, Sunlight has learned it is run by a longtime political aide to Ronald Lauder, a cosmetics heir who has become a patron of Jewish causes and Republican candidates.

Secure ...

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Dark money group takes aim at potential Obama appointee Chuck Hagel

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Sen. Chuck HagelA committee that spent more than $300,000 in dark money to defeat President Barack Obama this year is now spending more to offer advice on whom he should appoint to his cabinet.

Former Sen. Chuck Hagel, seen at right, hasn't run for office in a decade, but he now is the target of a negative TV ad, thanks to widespread reports that the president is poised to nominate him as a replacement for Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who has signalled that he wants to retire at the end of Obama's first term.

MORE: Hagel alumni in defense ...

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Stealthy effort fuels get out the vote effort–in Israel

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Image of ballot box with backdrop of israeli flagAn assertive bipartisan get-out-the-vote effort known as “IVoteIsrael” and aimed at Americans living in that country appears to have ties to conservative billionaire Ronald S. Lauder, a supporter of Republican causes and of the hawkish Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

A project of Americans for Jerusalem, a charity registered under 501(c)4 of the U.S. tax code, IVoteIsrael is not required to release information about its donors. However, corporate filings in Delaware show that the group lists the same Manhattan address as that used by the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation. Other intriguing connections:

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Protesters evicted at Republican convention event

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“What have I done to be kicked off the property?” retired teacher Karen Saal asked a security guard outside the Crowne Plaza Tampa Westshore Hotel. The guard's answer: the hotel manager specifically asked that she go. And she wasn't alone. Officials were also ushering peace activists off the hotel property after they interrupted a gathering of the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) honoring pro-Israel members of Congress during the Republican National Convention.

Saal, from Oregon, is against the "militarism" of Israel and the United States but said she was not protesting. She said she was just in the parking ...

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On eve of Netanyahu visit, a look at Israel’s lobbying

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday begins a visit to the United States amid tensions surrounding Iran's nuclear program and a report President Obama will urge his Israeli counterpart to postpone a preemptive strike. In addition to Obama, Netanyahu will call on another U.S. power political player, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

AIPAC, which has been sounding the alarm on Iran, is the largest pro-Israeli lobbying operation, with $2.8 million in lobbying expenditures last year, according to Senate reports, AIPAC  will draw top politicians from both countries to its 2012 Policy Conference. Besides Obama ...

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