That New York Times story today about AIPAC’s obstruction of President Obama’s effort to prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb without a war is having an impact.

The National Journal, the most elite publication covering Congress, runs a piece by its top writer Ron Fournier that begins:

This paragraph from a New York Times story on proposed new sanctions for Iran sent a chill down my spine: Behind these positions is a potent mix of political calculations in a midterm election year. Pro-Israel groups like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, have lobbied Congress to ratchet up the pressure on Iran, and many lawmakers are convinced that Tehran is bluffing in its threat to walk away from the talks. I’m ambivalent about the debate over Iran: President Obama is pursuing an agreement with Tehran to suspend its nuclear program (sounds good), while many lawmakers don’t believe Iran can’t be trusted to comply with any diplomatic accord (makes sense). But I don’t want U.S. foreign policy swayed by lobbyists and politics.”

The phrase “sent a chill down my spine” is apt. I’m Jewish and, particularly for that reason, AIPAC’s behavior (along with its allied Jewish organizations) sent a chill down mine. You don’t understand why? Read some history. America is the safest home Jews have ever had? How dare a bunch of self-appointed power brokers jeopardize that. And for what? No, it’s not Israel. It’s Netanyahu and self-aggrandizement, plus the desire of some people with money to make the White House and Congress bend to their will.

My apologies for posting 3 pieces in 24 hours. But I consider this an emergency, one on which the Tikkun community can make a difference. Rabbi Lerner has been addressing this issue (the neocon lobby speaking in our name) for years. We all need to act.

I am happy to report that J Street and Americans For Peace Now have joined the National Iranian American Council in a combined effort (with 60 other organizations including MoveOn to defeat the AIPAC bill). Also 120 rabbis have joined with the Shalom Center to speak out for peace. This is our moment.


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