In the wake of the Oct. 7 attacks on southern Israel, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has reaped a $90 million fundraising haul, according to confidential internal documents reviewed by The Lever.
From January to September 2023, the non-public documents show that AIPAC received an average of around $12 million in monthly pledged donations. By contrast, in October alone, the documents show that AIPAC received more than triple that amount — more than $40 million in pledged donations. In the following two months, donors pledged another nearly $50 million.
Prior to publication, The Lever showed AIPAC the information reported in this story. The organization responded with an emailed statement: “Much of the information here is either misstated, misinterpreted, inaccurate
or illegitimately obtained. Since October 7, there has been a systematic effort by Israel’s detractors to harass, intimidate and silence supporters of the Jewish state.
All detractors should know that their attacks only increase our determination to strengthen the US-Israel relationship.”
When The Lever asked AIPAC’s spokesperson to identify any inaccurate information, the organization did not respond. The Lever followed up three times before publication, but the spokesperson stopped responding.
Three individuals named on the list denied being donors. That includes Leonid Radvinsky, the billionaire owner of OnlyFans, a hugely popular internet platform dominated by sex workers. According to the internal documents, Radvinsky and his wife, Katie Chudnovsky, pledged $11 million to AIPAC — the most of anyone listed.
“I didn’t donate or pledge $11M,” Radvinsky wrote in an email, and “this appl[ies] to me / my foundation / my family.” When The Lever asked Radvinsky why AIPAC had him listed as a donor, Radvinsky replied, “I don’t know.” When The Lever asked Radvinsky to comment on internal AIPAC documentation showing a wire transfer from his wife to AIPAC, Radvinsky stopped responding.
According to military experts cited by The New York Times, the
“pace of death during Israel’s campaign has few precedents in this century” and people are dying in Gaza faster than “even the deadliest moments of U.S.-led attacks in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan.”
The internal AIPAC information reviewed by The Lever constitutes a rare view inside a well-funded organization that has successfully pushed the U.S. government towards unconditional support of Israel for decades — and that is currently using its resources to lobby against a ceasefire that proponents say would alleviate suffering in Gaza.
AIPAC has already begun using its war chest to influence the 2024 election.
After Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) spoke in favor of a “negotiated regional ceasefire,” AIPAC sponsored ads claiming McCollum was “giving Hamas a lifeline.” AIPAC is attempting to “silence dissent by spreading lies,” McCollum said in response, adding “facts don’t matter to AIPAC and its extremist supporters.”
In another donor-only meeting reviewed by The Lever, AIPAC made its election strategy clear. During the Nov. 29 event, an attendee asked AIPAC CEO Howard Kohr, “How do we encourage our members of Congress to stand up to some of the wildly inaccurate claims coming from the more pro-Hamas camp?”
“This won’t come as a surprise to anyone,” Kohr answered. “We are going to have to continue to demonstrate in even more dramatic ways that if you’re willing to stand with Israel when she’s at war and she needs America… we’re willing to help [you] politically.” As to those elected officials trying to “ensure that there’s a weakening of Israel at this moment,” Kohr said, they will have to be “defeated at the ballot box.”
AIPAC is a social welfare organization?
Who Are AIPAC’s Donors?
AIPAC is legally designated as a 501(c)4 “social welfare” organization. That means contributions to AIPAC do not have to be made public under federal disclosure laws. Traditionally, AIPAC has kept the identity of its biggest donors a closely guarded secret.
The article includes a list of donors and their donations to this social welfare organization. Worth the time to read the article entirely.