James Besser in the Jewish Week reports on the wrangling over the congressional resolution passed this week calling on the U.S. to do anything to keep the Palestinians from issuing a unilateral declaration of statehood. Besser is one of the better and more cynical writers in the Jewish Press. He makes it clear that this was AIPAC's doing.
The resolution was pushed by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which sees a big battle over a unilateral declaration as increasingly likely in the wake of recognition by several South American countries. Less enthusiastic was J Street, which said that while it opposes unilateral action, the nonbinding resolution addresses only the single issue of unilateralism, and therefore is unhelpful.
Americans for Peace Now told congressional offices it wasn't taking a position on the legislation...
But the outcome was never in doubt; it's hard for lawmakers not to sign on to such broad-brush, non-binding resolutions endorsed by the pro-Israel lobby. This one, like so many AIPAC-backed resolutions, was artfully constructed to avoid criticism of the administration (to keep Democrats on board) while listing a long list of Palestinian sins.
And, as AIPAC undoubtedly planned, the measure was probably welcomed by some center-left lawmakers who are always looking for ways to boost their pro-Israel credentials without actually saying anything controversial.