web analytics
August 23, 2014 / 27 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



AIPAC Makes Belated But Big Push On U.S. Response To Syria Chemical Attack

AIPAC-091313

WASHINGTON – Pro-Israel officials rolled their eyes this week in response to the opposing spins about their support for President Obama’s drive to punish Syrian President Bashar Assad for his purported use of chemical weapons against his own people.

Some suggested that once again the tail was wagging the dog and Israel was leading the United States into another Middle East war. Others charged that the president’s arm-twisting was forcing the pro-Israel community to take sides in a congressional debate it would rather avoid.

Whatever the truth, Obama’s concerns about letting the alleged Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack go unpunished dovetailed with broader pro-Israel concerns about maintaining U.S. credibility in the region and the dangers of unconventional weapons.

“A lot of folks are watching, friends and foes,” said David Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee. “If we blink, if we flinch, foes will draw their own lessons and the world will become a more dangerous place.

“And friends are also watching, including friends in the Arab world, friends in Israel, elsewhere. They will draw their conclusions, fairly or unfairly, that they cannot necessarily rely on the United States.”

Jewish groups were hesitant initially to support Obama’s push to strike following an attack that is said to have killed more than 1,400 Syrian civilians, including several hundred children. But the reluctance all but evaporated after top Obama advisers outlined the administration’s proposed legislation in a conference call last week with Jewish leaders.

The next day, Sept. 3, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee mobilized its grassroots to call members of Congress. On Tuesday, 250 of its top members held one-on-one meetings with lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

The lobby’s talking points, as outlined by an AIPAC official who spoke anonymously, are twofold. “One, there is a very strong strategic case: If we are to deter Iran from obtaining an unconventional weapon, we must stop its proxy Syria from using them without consequence,” the official said.

“Then there is the moral case: Barbarism on a mass scale must not be given a free pass. We have sent the photos and videos of hundreds of children being stricken, and it is imperative America must act.”

Despite the forcefulness of AIPAC’s push and the lobby’s vaunted clout on Capitol Hill, Obama faces an uphill battle in gaining support from Congress for a strike. In the U.S. House of Representatives, sentiment leans against authorizing a strike. The Senate appears to be split evenly.

The nod from AIPAC and other pro-Israel groups could help shift the balance – in part because lawmakers tend to defer to groups considered expert on a given topic, but also because of the fundraising prowess associated with the pro-Israel community.

AIPAC’s support is joined by that of other leading American Jewish groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. Notably, both partisan Jewish organizations – the Republican Jewish Coalition and the National Jewish Democratic Council – are backing Obama.

Despite the community’s caution to have the president lead lest it be blamed for another Middle East war, commentators already are fingering Israel as the catalyst for American military action.

“AIPAC wants this war” was the headline over a string of posts by Andrew Sullivan on his influential Daily Dish blog over the weekend. And the conservative Jewish radio personality Michael Savage blamed Israel outright on his syndicated talk show.

“I’m sick of this slavish worship of Israel,” Savage said, according to the conservative website Newsmax. “No, it’s America first and Israel’s the tail, not the dog. We’re the dog, they’re the tail. And I’m sick and tired of America being yanked around like we’re the tail and they’re the dog.”

Until recently, Israel had maintained a careful distance from pronouncing on the Syrian civil war, except to note that it would respond to any attack on Israel – by the government or the rebels. But The New York Times reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was reaching out personally to some congressional leaders at Obama’s urging.

Neither the Israeli embassy nor U.S. congressional leaders would confirm the Times report. But in the wake of the chemical attack, Israel has grown more vocal in supporting a response that would degrade Assad’s unconventional weapons capability.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “AIPAC Makes Belated But Big Push On U.S. Response To Syria Chemical Attack”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
4 yr old Israeli Daniel Tregerman, murdered by Hamas rocket on Aug. 22, 2014.
IDF: Israeli Toddler Murdered by Rocket Fired Near UNRWA School/Shelter
Latest News Stories
4 yr old Israeli Daniel Tregerman, murdered by Hamas rocket on Aug. 22, 2014.

Hamas murdered a 4 yr old Israeli boy with a rocket launched next to an UNRWA school/shelter for Gazan refugees.

Photo: Rotter.net / Tikonist

5:33pm Shabbat Shalom from Israel. It should be a peaceful Shabbat. 5:28pm Kerem Shalom 5:26 pm Kerem Shalom 5:22pm Nachal Oz 5:13pm Erez, Miflasim 5:13pm Gaza perimeter/Sderot, Erez, Miflasim 5:13pm Gaza perimeter/Sderot 5:02pm Erez, Miflasim 5:02pm Gaza perimeter/Sderot, Erez, Miflasim 5:02pm Gaza perimeter/Sderot 4:04 pm Sdot Negev, Shaar Negev 4:00 pm Sdot Negev, Shaar Negev […]

Living in Israel is an open ticket against intermarriage. Above: MK Tzipi Hotovely and Or Alon at their wedding last year.

If you are worried about your child marrying a non-Jew, and you should be, then move to Israel.

It is believed that this is a photo from the Friday afternoon execution outside a Gazan mosque.

Hamas publicly executed 21 people they accused of collaborating with Israel. Unlike ISIS, they didn’t behead them.

One woman fighter is enough to scare away 72 virgins.

Israel remains a lone outpost for those who know that talking to liars is not a diplomatic solution.

Obama, who is sure the “peace process” will make Hamas safe for democracy, now has crowned himself an expert on radical Islam.

There were soldiers inside the attacked Hebron building, but they managed to get out in time.

On Thursday, the Israel Air Force hit a motorcycle transporting 2 terrorists in Rafah.

Temple University’s SJP claims the pro-Israel Jewish student harassed and provoked them into assaulting him.

The White House has unblocked the weapons shipment to Israel that they had recently blocked.

10:58pm Negev 10:32 pm Eshkol 9:38 pm Ashdod, Ashkelon, Ashkelon Coast 8:47 pm Modiin-Maccabim-Reut, and area. Iron Dome Interception. 8:46 pm Beit El 20:00 pm  Iron Dome downs two rockets over Be’er Sheva; three others explode in open areas. 19:42 pm     Two warnings of rockets in Be’er Sheva, warnings of rockets Hatzerim , site […]

The IDF readies what it does not want unless there is no alternative – a deep ground invasion of Gaza. Hamas also is ready.

If “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” Diaspora Jews are in big trouble.

The security cabinet authorised Thursday the emergency call-up of 10,000 IDF reservists. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Israel would continue to pursue Hamas leaders anywhere and at any time, and added that the current campaign would “take time.” Ya’alon called on the Israeli public to display patience and strength while the army deals with the […]

More Articles from Ron Kampeas
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

President Obama in an April 25 press conference seemed ready to take a break. “There may come a point at which there just needs to be a pause and both sides need to look at the alternatives,” he said.

Secretary of State Kerry and Prime Minister Netanyahu

Obama himself suggested that a break from the process may be necessary.

But Israel’s stance is not sufficiently consequential to set off a fight between friends, neoconservative scholars said.

Tensions between Russia and the West are mounting over the Russian military takeover of the Crimean Peninsula, with the United States and European countries threatening to impose sanctions.

Expansive outreach, of course, is nothing new for AIPAC. But in the wake of battles over Iran sanctions legislation that pitted the pro-Israel lobbying powerhouse against the White House, many congressional Democrats and liberals more generally, AIPAC’s traditional emphasis on Israel as a bipartisan issue has taken on added urgency.

Administration officials and Jewish groups sympathetic to Kerry’s initiative say there is a longer-term agenda in preempting attacks on the framework peace agreement the Obama administration is expected to propose soon.

“As we have since the beginning of the process, we continue to support Secretary Kerry’s diplomatic efforts to achieve a secure and lasting peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians,” AIPAC spokesman Marshall Wittman said in a statement to JTA.

WASHINGTON – Until recently, the rule of thumb in the pro-Israel community was that the bigger the academic group, the less likely it was to consider a boycott of Israeli colleagues.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/us-news/aipac-makes-belated-but-big-push-on-u-s-response-to-syria-chemical-attack/2013/09/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: