Mike Coogan

Workers prepare the stage at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference in Washington

This week Senator Ben Cardin introduced an AIPAC-backed amendment to a trade bill that seeks to thwart the growing BDS movement. The legislation is designed to pressure the EU, which is currently negotiating the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the United States, to reverse course on the steps it has taken in recent years to oppose Israeli settlements. If it passes it would set a dangerous precedent for free speech and solidify the United States’ role as the chief enabler of Israel’s occupation.

Stories of the power of the Israel lobby have long haunted efforts in the U.S. to advocate for a more balanced American policy toward Israel/Palestine. But at a moment when an unprecedented number of members of Congress are up in arms over Netanyahu’s efforts to sabotage the Obama administration’s policy towards Iran, there are other signs that the pro-Israel lobby may not be invincible in Washington. Here are seven pieces of news from the last year that proponents of a less lopsided policy towards Israel/Palestine should find heartening.