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AIPAC chair pushing sanctions on Iran is crucial Obama backer

on 19 Comments

Yesterday the New York Times ran an op-ed piece co-authored by the chairman of the leading Israel lobby group, AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, calling for congressional sanctions on Iran till it dismantles its centrifuges. Lee Rosenberg wrote:

Our message to Tehran should be clear: It will not achieve its objectives unless it satisfies ours…

the United States Congress should proclaim that Iran will pay a steep price for its recklessness

You wouldn’t know this from The New York Times, but Lee Rosenberg, a music executive, cultivated Obama in Chicago years ago on the part of the pro-Israel community, and introduced him at AIPAC in 2008, above. I heard Obama call him “Rosey” at one AIPAC conference and put his arms around his friend. This is AIPAC’s method. In the video here Rosenberg explains that Israel supporters must contribute to aspirants for higher office with the message: “I support you because you are pro-Israel.”

The Washington Post offers this background on Rosenberg:

Chicago entrepreneur Lee “Rosy” Rosenberg was one of President Barack Obama’s staunchest Jewish allies during his 2008 presidential campaign. He advised the president on foreign policy in the Middle East and Israel and delivered speeches to Jewish groups around the country…

Rosenberg has ties to several of Obama’s Chicago associates in the Jewish community including Lester Crowne, a local billionaire whose son, Jim, was Obama’s 2008 Illinois finance chairman; Penny Pritzker, the campaign’s national finance chairwoman; and Abner Mikva, a former congressman and federal judge and Obama mentor.

And you wonder why Obama was said to be “absolutely livid” in 2012 when the Democratic platform as drafted failed to call Jerusalem Israel’s capital.

Rosenberg is AIPAC’s chair because he is close to Obama. He has repeatedly held Obama’s feet to the fire on Israel. In 2010 he stood up for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and against the Obama administration after Netanyahu announced new settlements when Vice President Biden was visiting the country. At the time both Biden and Hillary Clinton criticized Israel for the move. Rosenberg says that the settlement was not a settlement but a neighborhood of Jerusalem.

“Allies should work out their differences privately. History shows that when American pressures Israel publicly, it provides an opportunity for those who wish to derail the peace process to have their way…”

AIPAC’s policy conference begins in a week. Should be pretty interesting. Thanks to Ira Glunts.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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19 Responses

  1. just on February 23, 2014, 9:31 am


    same old schtick.

    Anti- US interests and security.

    • bintbiba on February 23, 2014, 10:10 am

      ditto re-ugh!!

    • on February 23, 2014, 2:14 pm

      i can barely stomach to read the crap about aipac anymore. my once beautiful country being enslaved by this foreign little sliver of land.
      it’s like a tobacco company telling your loved one to smoke cigarettes because they’re good for you and your watching them everyday smoking away slowly committing suicide and you can’t stop them.
      why don’t they just fly an israeli flag over the US capitol and come out and admit it.
      just like the mafia or any criminal enterprise buys up politicians to do their bidding, so to does this aipac, the most essential part of the world’s biggest criminal enterprise, likud israel.
      and as the likud/israel boss netanyahoo so perfectly said ” if you want to help israel, help aipac”.
      by the way ,phil and all concerned mondo readers, i just did some intensive research last night into the king-crane investigation post ww1 where these two highly respected americans went to syria, palestine, and mesopotamia,iraq, to personally interview the citizens on the ground about what they felt and what their concerns were in regard to their future following the recent dissolution of their ottoman rulers.
      i urge everyone to check it out. to think that we, americans, considering our present day enstrangulately forced bias for israel, could embark on such an honorable expedition for truth and justice in such a fair unbiased way, just shows how far we’ve fallen. in less than 100 years, too.
      when the respondents in the investigation were asked what country they preferred to administer the mandate, all enthusiastically said they wanted america because of the honorable principals president wilson had set forth in the treaty of versailles of self-determination for the peoples.
      all, except some jewish zionists who wanted britain. btw, the census taken by the investigators then said 4/5ths were moslem,slightly under 10% were christian, and slightly over 10% were jewish.
      also, america, before our reputation had been polluted by israel, was highly respected as a country for being fair. they also were very impressed by the american school at beirut.
      and they didn’t trust france and britain to use them as colonial puppets to be exploied.
      reading all this made me proud to be an american again. its been so long i can’t remember. i now feel ashamed but this isn’t really america anymore.
      it’s western israel.

  2. Sumud on February 23, 2014, 10:34 am

    And you wonder why Obama was said to be “absolutely livid” in 2012 when the Democratic platform as drafted failed to call Jerusalem Israel’s capital.

    That event always struck me as a shot across AIPAC’s bow to demonstrate that a majority of rank and file Democrats are OVER Israel.

    So of course Obama is said to be livid, that’s all part of the schtick. And look what’s happened since, AIPAC has taken 2 very public beatings over the US not going to war with Syria and Iran.

  3. on February 23, 2014, 10:52 am

    Nice call, Phil and Ira.

  4. David Doppler on February 23, 2014, 12:22 pm

    Thanks, Phil, for completing the necessary information a reader needs to understand that op-ed. Mondoweiss has been Toto pulling the curtain back to show the carnival professor behind the screen, working the apparatus of the Great and Terrible Wizard of Oz. Only in history, time moves more slowly, and the moment of realization takes a decade or more to sink in among a large enough school of thought to justify overturning the prior order. Shame on the NYTimes for being such a willing tool – I guess it is reduced to being the microphone into which the professor thunderously shouts, “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain! I am the Great and Powerful . . . . “

  5. Talkback on February 23, 2014, 1:51 pm

    Application formular for higher office found in the future:

    Please mark at least one to improve approval chances:
    1. My expertise is in the field(s) of
    – Commerce
    – Defense
    – Justice
    – Agriculture
    – Labor
    – Education
    – …

    2. I have no expertise or education, but I’m pro-Israel. (marked)

    Stamp: Approved

    • James Canning on February 23, 2014, 6:18 pm

      Yes, stamping out “heresy” in office-holders is the name of the game. “Heresy” meaning failure to be sufficiently vocal in support of Israel “right or wrong”.

      • Talkback on February 24, 2014, 8:53 am

        That would be not “heresy” but “Enemy of freedom”.

    • lysias on February 25, 2014, 12:39 pm

      Penny Pritzker is now Secretary of Commerce.

  6. Citizen on February 23, 2014, 3:02 pm

    Does anyone think the upcoming latest annual AIPAC meeting will differ at all from those of the past? Maybe Beiden will perfect his last statement there that even the US is full of closet Jew-haters–including (this time) himself? Or do you think Beiden, Mr Blarney himself, will give a shout-out to Ireland for its clear support of the Palestinian cause?

  7. James Canning on February 23, 2014, 6:15 pm

    Great piece!

  8. Hostage on February 23, 2014, 6:49 pm

    And you wonder why Obama was said to be “absolutely livid” in 2012 when the Democratic platform as drafted failed to call Jerusalem Israel’s capital.

    I certainly do wonder why. His Secretary of State was still being sued in 2012, because Obama refuses to allow government officials to enter “Jerusalem, Israel” as the place of birth on Menachem Binyamin Zivotofsky’s passport.

    That sort of schizophrenic behavior makes you wonder if Obama hears voices other people don’t hear or if he believes other people are controlling his thoughts, or plotting to harm him”? No wait a minute, I forgot Netanyahu, AIPAC, and his friends like Lee Rosenberg probably are trying to do all of those things.

  9. Kathleen on February 23, 2014, 9:14 pm

    Hope folks contact their Reps this week and let them know the majority of the American public say no to new sanctions against Iran. Please encourage others to do the same. Our Reps are going to be hammered by Aipac attendees who will be pushing for more sanctions more pressure on Iran. A real effort to undermine negotiations with Iran. Contact your Reps… please

    • Bumblebye on February 23, 2014, 9:44 pm

      I think they already got more Kathleen –

      “The Barack Obama administration’s insistence that Iran discuss its ballistic missile programme in the negotiations for a comprehensive nuclear agreement brings its position into line with that of Israel and senators who introduced legislation drafted by the pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC aimed at torpedoing the negotiations.”

      Iran’s NON-nuclear ICBM’s will be ‘discussed’ despite the failure of that Bill or whatever it was in Congress a short time ago. However, of course, Israel’s NUCLEAR tipped ones will not be mentioned at all.

      • Kathleen on February 24, 2014, 9:32 am

        “discuss” is one thing. Demanding that Iran stop any type of enrichment of uranium is what Israel is demanding. Iran has a legal right to enrich as signatories to the NPT

  10. Shingo on February 24, 2014, 7:19 am

    Our message to Tehran should be clear: It will not achieve its objectives unless it satisfies ours…

    Because we own the world…we I mean…umm….the USA

    • lysias on February 25, 2014, 12:40 pm

      I wonder just what Israel’s objectives are that she thinks Iran ought to satisfy.

  11. lysias on February 25, 2014, 5:24 pm

    A book that I’m currently reading, Gareth Porter’s Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare, has a lot to say about the involvement of Israel and the Israel Lobby in perpetuating U.S. hostility towards Iran.

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