Why does the U.S. tolerate foreign influence from Saudi Arabia and Israel on its domestic policies while not tolerating that from China or Russia? Is there a reason for this? AIPAC is known to be one of the biggest lobbying groups, yet we don't seem to care too much about the influence Israel has on U.S. domestic policies. But when there's a hint of involvement from Russia or China, people scream murder. Is there a reason for this?
AIPAC is not a foreign influence. It is a United States organization run by US citizens.
When you hear complaints about Russia and China, they tend to be about actions that are believed to involve the governments of those countries. For example, the claim is that the Russian government spear-phished John Podesta to get his emails. Or that a Chinese company that is linked to the Chinese government put backdoors in their mobile phones. Or that a Chinese spy was embedded in the staff of a US Senator.
I suppose it is possible that AIPAC is secretly run by Israeli spies, but it seems far simpler to regard it as simply an organization of people who are US citizens with a similar ethnic background to people in Israel. That would be sufficient to explain its actions.
There are different types of foreign influences.
Lobbying through AIPAC or other groups as done by Israel and Saudi Arabia is legal, direct and somewhat transparent. Consequently, this is usually tolerated (although some people do have slight ethical concerns about the pratice).
Influence through hacking, phishing, spying or other such methods is illegal, indirect and subversive. These methods hides the motives, acts and consequences wanted by the actors. Hence, these kind of actions are not tolerated. China and russia have been largely accused of conducting this type of influence.
Israel is an ally to the U.S., and Saudi Arabia is the second largest exporter of oil to the U.S. and was defended by the U.S. during the Gulf War. Politically and ideologically, the governments of Russia and China are enemies to the United States. The Vietnam War and Cold War are still in many people's memories, and while there have been tensions between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, they are small by comparison. Conflicts between Israel and the U.S. are practically nonexistent.
Subversive acts on the parts of China and Russia against U.S. interests are not uncommon, while examples of subversion on Israel's part are practically nonexistent, and our history with Saudi Arabia is more neutral. The tolerance for influence on domestic policy between the U.S. and Israel can be explained largely by our cultural and especially our ideological affinity.
Communist legacy vs. Religion
The post-World War I and post-World War II Red Scares left a legacy of distrust of Russians and Communists. The 1940s Soviet Union had great success in infiltrating the diplomatic and scientific research establishments of the United States and United Kingdom; the fall of China to the Communists was a major defeat for the U.S. Russia is the successor state to the Soviet Union, and its current president was a K.G.B. officer. China is still governed by the Communist Party.
Most Americans know very little about Judaism and Islam. Most of those who do, are Jews or Muslims. Various propaganda efforts have made Americans un-inclined to wage wars for religious or racial reasons.
Great Powers vs. Minor Powers
Russia and China are nuclear-armed Great Powers that have demonstrated that they can defeat the United States in wars (either directly, or through proxies). China defeated the United States in the third phase of the Korean War, and held on for a draw in the fourth phase. The Soviet Union sponsored North Vietnam during the Vietnam War, and provided the tanks that North Vietnam used to conquer South Vietnam. Russia, China, and the United States are currently in a three-way nuclear stand-off, at a Mutually Assured Destruction scale.
Although both Israel and subjects of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have participated in act-of-war scale attacks on the United States, Americans do not consider either country to be capable of defeating the United States in a war. (This paragraph references the U.S.S. Liberty incident, and 9/11.)
Most Americans are unaware that countries spy on their allies, and operate propaganda campaigns to encourage their allies to provide military support.