Policy research working paper 4654

...The process by which Israel obtains aid – through the activities of a vast domestic lobby it helped establish – reveals why the funds it extracts from taxpayers should not be compared to equally troubling military alliance expenditures. A $ billion, 14,000 employee, 353,000 volunteer Israel affinity nonprofit ecosystem has been built in the United States to provide Israel with the support that following America’s own interests would not. The approaching annual spectacle of thousands of AIPAC lobbyists subtly threatening to withhold vast amounts of campaign contributions from members of Congress if they don’t provide billions in unconditional taxpayer-funded aid – portrays an entirely accurate picture about the means through which it is obtained.

This Israel lobby-driven process and lack of reciprocity is why US aid to Israel cannot seriously be compared to mutual expenditures – equally unpopular and in need of reexamination – with treaty-bound US allies. More

Hugh Hefner, or "Hef" as he preferred to be called, played a crucial role in the early days of NORML. At a time when most Americans were accepting the government's "reefer madness" propaganda, Hef, through the Playboy Foundation, provided NORML with our initial funding in early 1971, and became our primary funder all during the 1970s. And by focusing attention in Playboy magazine on some of the most egregious victims of the war against marijuana smokers, he helped us convince millions of Americans that marijuana prohibition was a misguided and destructive public policy. Hefner was a fearless cultural crusader who believed deeply not just in the right to sexual freedom, but also in civil rights and the right to privacy. May he rest in peace.

Policy research working paper 4654

policy research working paper 4654

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