The real Iran is led by a leader who once again attacked the United States and was responded to with chants of “Death to America” 2/2
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) November 21, 2013
— khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) November 20, 2013
Other leaders are being diplomatic. The British are trying to save the deal. David Cameron tweets that he is the first British PM to call an Iranian president in more than a decade, and the Iranian president reciprocates:
— Hassan Rouhani (@HassanRouhani) November 19, 2013
Liberal Zionist groups have come out strongly on behalf of the Obama administration. J Street:
J Street reiterated Wednesday its strong support for efforts by the United States and its partners in the P5+1 to reach an agreement with Iran that could serve as a significant first step in efforts to prevent the Iranians from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
… J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami [said a deal] “should be welcomed by the whole world, including Israel, as a major step toward averting the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran without resorting to military action.”…
While Peace Now’s Lara Friedman also urged her membership to call their Senators to oppose amendments to the Defense authorization act that would tighten sanctions on Iran. Great message:
I am outraged by efforts by some in the Senate to undermine the Obama Administration’s ongoing diplomacy with Iran.
…If there is even the slightest chance that diplomacy can resolve U.S. concerns over Iran’s nuclear program, I believe it would be reckless and grossly negligent for the Senate to undermine that chance.The American people want a diplomatic solution with Iran, not more war.
The neoconservatives are panicking as they find themselves battling for purchase in the US establishment. Lee Smith at Tablet says that the Obama administration embodies J Street policy. True; though it can never say so publicly.
Then he says that the administration is anti-Semitic!
“American officials apparently feel that trafficking in stereotypes about Jewish deceptiveness and appetite for blood is fair play because of the size of the stakes involved.”
How did Smith get there? Here’s his evidence:
the administration and its allies have outflanked both the Israeli prime minister and America’s pro-Israel lobby with a very nasty public campaign of its own…
During a Senate briefing last week, Sec. of State John Kerry effectively called the Israelis liars
And he says that by having AIPAC carry the water on his abandoned Syria policy, Obama hung AIPAC out to dry. I agree; Obama meant to expose AIPAC. But Smith says this was anti-Semitic, as it exposed the lobby group
to the typical anti-Semitic charges—Jewish war-mongering on behalf of Israel—but it did much worse, in helping to paint AIPAC as an over-eager lackey
Then Smith brings in Laura Rozen of Al Monitor, as part of his anti-Semitic claim:
Al-Monitor’s Laura Rozen tweeted that Mark Dubowitz, an official at the Washington-based think tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies, who has been instrumental in building support for the Iran sanctions regime in Congress, was taking his “talking points” from Israel. If you’re not 100 percent behind Obama, you just want to send American boys off to die for Jewish causes.
Adam Kredo had reported that tweet:
Foreign policy reporter Laura Rozen tweeted, and then deleted… “I do not think Israel is being well served by people they have picked on U.S. side to promote their talking points.”
Lee Smith argues that weakening the special relationship with Israel is a way of marginalizing Jews– because our power in the U.S. derives from Israel:
the power of American Jews doesn’t rest on their control of oilfields, advanced fighter planes, and other traditional sources of geopolitical power. It rests on their connection to Israel and Israel’s connection to them.
So now Chuck Schumer and Eliot Engel and Jeffrey Goldberg and Dennis Ross and Jerrold Nadler will lose power.
Israel will be fine on its own…. [But] The first and most noticeable impact will be on the institutions and all of the personages who have served as mediators and interlocutors on behalf of the relationship between Israel and the United States government. Someone else will fill the vacuum left by America’s exit from the Middle East, and that means that Israel’s significant foreign interlocutors—the ones who will get red-carpet treatment in Jerusalem and key interviews with sitting prime ministers—will no longer be found in the United States but elsewhere. Russian rabbis, like Berel Lazar, or French MPs, like Meyer Habib, will play the role that John Hagee or Chuck Schumer once did because of their access to key decision-makers in Moscow and Paris.
Smith has a point about the full employment program for “all of the personages who have served as mediators and interlocutors on behalf of the relationship between Israel and the United States government.” Jeffrey Goldberg gets key interviews with prime ministers and presidents because he embodies the lobby. Ari Shavit is having a brilliant career because he’s necessary to the amour-propre of liberal Zionists, he makes them feel idealistic again. But Israel didn’t give them that power, the incredible rise of American Jewry, and the lobby, gave some Jews that power. As David Remnick said the other day, Jewish Americans supplied the influence and pressure on behalf of Israel inside American foreign-policy-making circles. (Out of a religious devotion to the Jewish state, which is now ebbing inside American Jewish life.)
Oh and look at this: Illinois Senator Mark Kirk frankly described the influence of AIPAC inside our Congress during a call to supporters that Salon’s Eli Clifton and Ali Gharib managed to get access to:
The Illinois Senator was unsure whether he would succeed in ramming through new sanctions. He said Majority Leader leader Harry Reid, whose procedural powers have reportedly held up the amendment, was sending mixed signals to the Senate Banking Committee, “which [per Kirk transcript] is always where AIPAC wanted this legislation written because it has such a potential for bipartisan support in the senate banking committee”—one of Kirk’s assignments.
“Plan B is marking up in the banking committee with something that [AIPAC chief] Howard Kohr and AIPAC have gotten us floor time from Harry to do an amendment to the upcoming NDAA [National Defense Authorization Act] whose debate is coming up as early as this week,” Kirk told his supporters on Monday, apparently not anticipating Reid’s block. (Neither AIPAC nor Reid’s office responded to requests for comment. Reid announced today he supports passing new sanctions after the Thanksgiving recess.)
I seem to remember that Gharib left the Center for American Progress after he got in trouble for tweeting that Kirk was the Senator from AIPAC. Yeah, a canard. In this incident, AIPAC has plenty of power over the Majority Leader, too.