American Zionist Council

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The American Zionist Council (AZC) was a group formed in 1949, which represented nine nation-wide Zionist organizations in matters related specifically to Zionism,[1] following the independence of Israel. It was founded as a tax-exempt umbrella organization of American Jewish groups, which focused on Israel and included the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), Hadassah and other Zionist organizations active in the United States. It acted as an umbrella group for public relations, outreach, and lobbying on Capitol Hill. Between 1951 and 1953, its Washington representative was Isaiah L. Kenen. Kenen organized the unincorporated American Zionist Committee for Public Affairs (AZCPA) in 1953. AZCPA was primarily a "public relations" organization, emitting numerous (but declining numbers of) news releases.

AZC’s early years were characterized with bureaucratic struggle within Jewish and pro-Israel movements. In 1963 President John F. Kennedy and his brother Bobby, the United States Attorney General, forced the AZC to register as a foreign agent. This took away their legal ability to give contributions to public officials. The American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) was formed later that year.


References[edit]

  1. ^ American Zionist Council