$4 Million








Mercury Public Affairs
(for Q Cyber Technologies)

Hired: Dec. 2019
Contract: $1.4 million/year

NEW Informational materials

For Israeli spyware company Q Cyber Technologies, Mercury distributed a statement after an Amnesty International effort to block the export license of a linked company, NSO Group, failed in an Israeli court.

B'Tselem USA

Registered: 2010
2019 fees: $0

NEW Q2 domestic lobbying filing

B’Tselem USA spent less than $5,000 on in-house lobbying in the second quarter. The group lobbied Congress on “issues related to infringement of Palestinians' human rights.”

Zionist Organization of America

2019 fees: $200,000

NEW Q2 domestic lobbying filing

The Zionist Organization of America spent $40,000 (down from $50,000 in Q1) to lobby Congress, the office of Vice President Mike Pence and the Department of Education on support for US-Israeli “political, military and economic cooperation,” measures to “prevent Iran from achieving a military nuclear capability” and fighting anti-Semitism, notably on US campuses. And Joel Kassiday is no longer registered to lobby on the Zionist Organization of America’s in-house account.

Teva Pharmaceuticals USA

Registered: 2002
2019 fees: $2.4 million

Holland and Knight
(for Teva Pharmaceuticals USA)

Hired: Feb. 2019
2019 fees: $120,000

(for Teva Pharmaceuticals USA)

Hired: April 2019
2019 fees: $235,000

NEW Q2 domestic lobbying filings

Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, a subsidiary of an Israeli pharmaceutical company, spent $580,000 (up from $430,000 in Q1) on in-house lobbying in the second quarter. The company paid Polsinelli $80,000 (the same as Q1) and paid Holland and Knight $30,000 (the same as Q1) to lobby on drug price legislation and coronavirus stimulus legislation. Kerry Feehery is no longer registered to work on Holland and Knight's Teva account.

Rafael USA
(for Rafael Advanced Defense Systems)

Registered: 2002
2019 fees: $0

NEW Q2 domestic lobbying filing

In-house lobbyists for Rafael USA, which lobbies for its Israeli parent — Rafael Advanced Defense Systems — reported no activity and less than $5,000 in fees during the second quarter.

Israeli-American Coalition for Action

Hired: March 2017
2018 fees: $550,000

NEW Q4 domestic lobbying filing (termination)

The Israeli-American Coalition for Action terminated its in-house lobbying operations on Dec. 31.

Hadassah (the Women's Zionist Organization of America)

Hired: Sept. 2018
2019 fees: $120,000

NEW Q2 domestic lobbying filing

Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, spent $30,000 in the second quarter lobbying the following entities — Congress, the State Department and the US Agency for International Development — on Holocaust education, efforts to combat the pro-Palestinian boycott on Israel, and Hamas sanctions.

Paul McHale
(for Rafael USA)

Hired: 2012
2019 fees: $0

NEW Q2 domestic lobbying filing (termination)

Former Congressman Paul McHale terminated his lobbying registration for Rafael USA, the US subsidiary of Israeli defense company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, on June 30. McHale, who had been registered to lobby for the company since 2013, never disclosed any lobbying activity for the company.

American Jewish Committee

Hired: Jan. 2019
2019 fees: $88,000

NEW Q1 domestic lobbying filing

The American Jewish Committee spent $38,000 on in-house lobbying in the first quarter. The group lobbied Congress on legislation that would appropriate $50 million per year for a Partnership Fund for Peace promoting Palestine’s private sector by improving its cooperation with the United States and Israel (the group supports the legislation). The AJC also lobbied on refugee and asylum issues, as well as legislation strengthening anti-hate crime laws, which the group supports.

American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)

Registered: 2003
2018 fees: $3.5 million

NEW Related news

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is cancelling its 2021 conference in Washington amid concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. “Given the continued uncertainties created by the COVID-19 pandemic and without a predictable avenue to safely bring together thousands of pro-Israel Americans, we have been forced to cancel the 2021 AIPAC policy conference,” the group’s president, Betsy Berns Korn, wrote in an email to members. Read more here.

  • 2018 total: 40 trips; $443,000
    In-house lobbying
    • Registered: 2003  
    • Latest Filing  
    • Registered agents

      • Alex Bronzo
      • Jeffrey Colman
      • Marvin Feuer
      • Michael Fleischman
      • David Gillette
      • Enia Krivine
      • Ester Kurz
      • Joshua Nason
      • Samuel Peyton
      • Deborah Saxon
    • 2019 fees: $3 million
    In-house lobbying
    • 2019 fees: $200,000
    Monument Advocacy
    terminated December 31, 2019
    • 2019 fees: $140,000
    In-house lobbying
    • Registered: 2008  
    • Latest Filing  
    • Registered agents

      • Jackie Blank
      • Kyle Fradkin
      • Ashley Freiberger
      • Hannah Morris
      • Debra Shushan
      • Dylan Williams
    • 2019 fees: $400,000
    The Kar-Mar Company (CBRNE Response Solutions)
    terminated August 2, 2019
    The Russell Group
    • Hired: 2018  
    • Latest Filing  
    • Registered agents

      • Samantha Buchalter
      • Andrew Harker
      • Tyson Redpath
      • Randy Russell
      • Jessica Schulken
      • Karla Thieman
    • 2019 fees: $200,000
    K&L Gates
    • Hired: 2018  
    • Latest Filing  
    • Registered agents

      • Mary Baker
      • Dan Crowley
      • Barton Gordon
        Former Congressman
      • Slade Gorton
        Former senator
      • Roderick Hall
      • Scott Nelson
      • Kathleen Nicholas
      • Dennis Potter
      • Daniel Ritter
      • W. Dennis Stephens
      • Steven Valentine
        Former Deputy Assistant Attorney General
      • James Walsh
        Former congressman
    • 2019 fees: $10,000
    McHugh LeMay Associates
    terminated December 31, 2019
    • 2019 fees: $20,000
    Republic Consulting
    terminated April 1, 2019
    • Hired: 2018  
    • No currently registered agents

    • 2019 fees: $15,000
    ML Strategies
    • 2019 fees: $40,000
    Rivendell Group
    • Hired: 2020  
    • Registered agents

      • Matthew Berzok
      • Nick Kolovos

Trump’s gifts to Israel come at cost


Julian Pecquet



Julian Pecquet is the Editor of Special Projects for Al-Monitor, where he supervises the award-winning Lobbying Tracker as well as managing long-form stories. Before that he covered the US Congress for Al-Monitor. Prior to joining Al-Monitor, Pecquet led global affairs coverage for the political newspaper The Hill.

Posted: September 11, 2019

The Israeli government got everything it wanted and more from President Donald Trump in 2019.

The bill may come due in 2020.

After delighting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his own Christian base with his Jerusalem move in 2017, Trump doubled down this year. He recognized Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights in March, while turning the screws on Iran and punishing the Palestinians for refusing to participate in his Middle East peace plan.

“Over the years, Israel has been blessed to have many friends who’ve sat in the Oval Office,” Netanyahu told Trump at the White House signing of the Golan Heights proclamation. “But Israel has never had a better friend than you.”

The cozy relationship between the two leaders has delighted right-wing pro-Israel groups, some of which actively advocate for American Jews to break with the Democratic Party as it wrestles with the rise of pro-Palestinian voices in its ranks. Jewish voters remain strongly opposed to Trump (only 26% have a favorable view, according to a June poll of 1,006 adult American Jews from the American Jewish Committee), but are slightly more willing to give him credit for improving US-Israel relations (36% agree versus 59% who disagree).

“For those who care about Israel, the position of many elected Democrats has become anti-Israel,” the Republican Jewish Coalition wrote in a series of tweets defending Trump’s Aug. 20 comments calling American Jews who vote for Democrats “disloyal.”

The liberal J Street group has responded in kind, raising money for its 2020 presidential campaign fund with stickers that read “Disloyal to tyrants, to bigots, to Trump.”

But the increasingly naked partisanship is causing an existential crisis for traditional pro-Israel advocacy groups — and growing concerns within Netanyahu’s government itself.

"We must not intervene in the political disagreements in the United States,” Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz told Reshet Bet Radio when asked about Trump's statement. “We keep good relations with both the Democrats and Republicans, and we must continue to do so.”

That’s long been the mantra of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The largest US pro-Israel issue advocacy organization ($3.5 million in lobbying spending in 2018) owes its unrivaled reputation for success to its deep connections with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle bolstered by periodic trips to Israel conducted by its sister organization, the American Israel Education Foundation ($443,000 in 2018 for 40 trips by lawmakers and staff). When Reps. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., tried to organize an alternative trip to the occupied West Bank this year, AIPAC criticized Netanyahu’s government for denying them access, tweeting that “every member of Congress should be able to visit and experience our democratic ally Israel firsthand.”

With US taxpayers shelling out $3.8 billion in annual military aid to Israel — a fifth of the country’s defense budget — even Democrats critical of the two Muslim congresswomen’s stance in favor of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement have rallied to their defense. Their treatment has also prompted 2020 candidate Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., to renew his call to condition aid to Israel.

The deepening partisan rift has forced AIPAC and others to carefully calibrate their lobbying, while cutting into their success rate. On the Golan Heights issue, the group has defended Trump’s decision but tellingly declined to lobby for Republican-only House and Senate bills that would codify it into law. AIPAC has also struggled to pass one of its top priorities, legislation bolstering state-level anti-BDS laws, which remains stuck in the Democrat-controlled House amid free-speech concerns.


Main lobby:



$4 million

Total lobbying spending by AIPAC/AIEF for 2018



  • Pompeo says settlements not illegal under international law
  • Trump designates Jewish students a protected class
  • US keeps up ‘maximum pressure’ on Iran
  • Trump exacerbates partisanship over Israel
  • House reaffirms support for two-state solution
  • 2020 candidates seek to condition US military aid

  • Trip: June 6, 2018 to June 14, 2018
    1 staffer; $6,000
  • Trip: Aug. 2, 2019 to Aug. 11, 2019
    11 staffers; $73,000
  • Trip: April 27, 2018 to May 5, 2018
    7 staffers; $26,000
  • Trip: Feb. 15, 2020 to Feb. 21, 2020
    2 staffers; $7,600