Controversy swirled this weekend and into Monday regarding the positions of major pro-Israel groups toward efforts by the Obama administration to delay the imposition of new sanctions against Iran, with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) issuing a rare on the record statement Saturday night:
“AIPAC continues to support congressional action to adopt legislation to further strengthen sanctions and there will absolutely be no pause, delay or moratorium in our efforts,” said the statement by AIPAC President Michael Kassen.
The statement was a response to reports, sourced to Anti-Defamation League (ADL) National Director Abraham Foxman, describing a October 29th meeting between White House officials and representatives of four top Jewish groups. Foxman stated that Jewish groups had committed to taking a “time out” in their lobbying efforts. Representatives from other groups who were in the room, notably AIPAC and the American Jewish Committee (AJC), categorically denied making such commitments.
“Since it is the ever-toughening sanctions that got Iran to negotiate in the first place, there needs to be a reminder that things will get still worse for Tehran if nothing changes soon on the ground,” Harris wrote. “Elaborate efforts on Iran’s part to buy time — with Tehran’s mastery of modulated feints, nods, winks, and hints of openness — just won’t wash.”
Fallout from the dispute included a pro-Israel official described as “close to the debate” accusing the ADL of “collaborating with a far left Israeli newspaper [Ha’aretz], one that in recent days compared Zionist films to Nazi propaganda, to minimize the deep concern that almost everyone in the Jewish community has” over the administration’s Iran policy.
[Photo: Vahed Akbari / YouTube]