Israel's influence in Congress

The opinion-page column "Behind the Loan-Guarantee Struggle," Sept. 25, is an incredible, comprehensive, and courageous expose of the influence Israel has obtained in the US Congress.It's startling to learn that "through financial contributions ... and through their demonstrated ability to finance the defeat of members of the House and Senate considered unfriendly to Israel, friends of the Jewish state have established an unparalleled influence" in Congress. And yet members of Congress are supposed to be elected by the people, to represent the people, and not become "agents" of a foreign government nor be financed or discarded like a commodity. It's almost unbelievable to find out that Israel's supporters have "spoken openly to US officials of their ability to 'deliver the Congress. It's obvious that Congress is not the ruler of its own house. The willingness to add to presidential requests for aid to Israel also indicates that Congress is overly concerned about pleasing Israel regardless of the burden to US taxpayers. These monetary manipulations not only make a mockery of the congressional electoral process, but add considerably to US indebte dness. What is needed is a workable method of election campaign financing to keep congressmen from being beholden to any but their own political party, the electorate, and the US Constitution. Congress controls the purse that holds the taxpayers' money, but Israel has a financial hold on Congress, and this should cease through different election campaign financing and restrictions placed on all political action groups. Charles F. Rasoli, Long Island City, N.Y.

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