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Lobby’s Iran game is dangerous

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What follows is an excerpt from a long piece in the Jewish Journal of LA that demonstrates how there is really no line between AIPAC and most pro-Israel Jewish members of Congress, even liberal ones. Noticeably absent from this meeting between AIPAC lobbyists and the powerful California delegation was Bob Filner from Chula Vista who has taken a number of votes that went against the AIPAC line, including HR 867 which condemned the Goldstone Report (and who spoke honestly about the lobby’s financial leverage at J Street last fall).

Frankly, I think these members of Congress who are pushing for a confrontation with Iran are courting political suicide and maybe worse. Should they get their way and Iran is attacked either by Israel or the US, this time the finger of not just the Mearsheimers, Walts, and Blankforts will be pointing at organized American Jewry.

On Tuesday — traditionally the conference’s concluding day, when AIPAC members visit Capitol Hill to lobby their legislators — Los Angeles attendees were scheduled to gather en masse in the House of Representatives foreign affairs committee hearing room to meet Reps. Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks), Howard Berman (D-Van Nuys), Henry Waxman (D-Los Angeles), Jane Harman (D-Venice) and Adam Schiff (D-Pasadena). Earlier that morning, Senator Barbara Boxer was to address the group at the convention center.

In a session Monday that dealt with imposing sanctions on Iran, Sherman, a foreign affairs committee member, noted that all 10 of his addresses to AIPAC policy conferences have been on Iran.

Because time appears to be short for enacting sanctions to deter Teheran from completing development of nuclear weapons, the United States “now needs to put the pedal to the metal” rather than continue driving at five miles per hour, Sherman said. He urged AIPAC members to lobby for a sanctions bill “without any weakening” or “adulteration.”

Jeffrey Blankfort
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