- Pathfinder

Reply To: Have you been exposed to harmful antisemitic tropes about Jewish control over finances or foreign policy? After participating in this course, how would you go about responding to these tropes if you encounter them?

Elizabeth Krantz

I work full time at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC. AIPAC is a bipartisan lobbying organization that exists to strengthen, progress, and maintain the U.S.-Israel relationship. We do this though active engagement in political campaigns in a pro-Israel context, and lobbying Members of Congress to pass pro-Israel legislation. Needless to say, yes, I have heard harmful anti-Semitic tropes about Jewish control over finances and foreign policy. AIPAC is the most powerful pro-Israel lobby in the US and the third most powerful lobby behind the NRA and AARP. The harmful tropes that I have heard stem from a place of ignorance. People hear AIPAC and jump to “dark money” or “dark politics” within the context of a “Jewish control”. What I have to do is step in and explain how money in politics actually works, and that in order to create change the people have to step up to make that change tangible. I have Jewish students and Christian students who put countless hours volunteering on political campaigns. In the last election cycle, my students sent over 70,000 text messages, made over 50,000 phone calls, and knocked on over 2,000 doors to get pro-Israel candidates elected into office. Once those candidates became Members of Congress, those same students went to go lobby them. People, both Jewish and non-Jewish are passionate about Israel and take the necessary steps to see changes in legislation made. The people who are passionate about a topic but do nothing to see change made are the ones who are typically first to say those antisemitic remarks.