By Larry Gordon –
I attended an American Israel Public Affairs Committee event the other day but I cannot tell you where or who else was there or what they said. Those are the rules and I obviously will abide by them. But let me address the value and importance of a group like AIPAC and why I came away persuaded that it is vitally important, particularly today, to be involved with the organization on any number of levels.
Too many of us view as AIPAC that is something way out there operating in and around the Beltway involved in issues and items that are often difficult to fathom. The group is not simply about presenting to members of Congress issues of strategic importance to Israel. More than anything it is about the vital alliance on a multiplicity of levels that exists between the US and Israel.
Most commonly AIPAC is referred to as the “Jewish lobby and it is that but at the same time so much more. First it is important to understand what makes AIPAC what it is. And that is people like you and me, our friends, our neighbors and so on. It is the everyday citizens and voters in the mostly Jewish community that form the AIPAC core.
For example, now that there is a tentative agreement in place between the P5+1 and Iran the work of AIPAC on Capitol Hill becomes perhaps more important than ever before. As you know Prime Minister Netanyahu is opposed to the construction of the current deal with Iran. He and his government see the agreement as giving Iran too much flexibility and latitude which in the past they have proven to not only disrespect but to exploit and violate.
The Israel as well as the Persian Gulf states position was that at this juncture with Iran forced to come to the table because of the debilitating effect of sanctions, was the time to rev up and increase sanctions so that the world can finally place in errant and aggressive government in Iran under control.
President Obama and most of the Europeans do not see the situation exactly that way. It is not just the existence of a different approach or strategy on Iran, it is a completely different orientation and philosophy. Stated plainly Iran has proved that it cannot be trusted. That is just who they are and who they are satisfied being.
While President Obama’s heart might be in the right place on not wanting the US to once again become militarily engaged in the Middle East, he is also sorely in need of some kind of diplomatic or policy victory. As with so many other foreign policy situations, the president seems to be way over his head.
Prime Minster Netanyahu says that this tentative agreement with Iran is a “historic mistake.” The failure here is that Iran just has to freeze progress in the direction of building a nuclear bomb while they receive some relief from what were increasingly blistering sanctions. More in this week’s 5TJT