Influential Pro-Israel Group Suffers Stinging Political Defeat


The New York Times

WASHINGTON — Officials at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee knew the odds were against them in the fight to block President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran from surviving a congressional vote. But the influential pro-Israel group threw itself into a nearly $30 million advertising and lobbying effort to kill the accord anyway.

On Thursday, the committee, known as Aipac, was handed a stinging defeat. After Mr. Obama mustered enough Democratic backing in the Senate to halt a vote on a resolution of disapproval against the deal, a group known for its political clout saw its power and reputation in Washington diminished.

“They failed — they couldn’t even get a vote,” said Clifford Kupchan, an Iran expert and the chairman of the Eurasia Group, a consulting firm, who noted that Aipac had gone “all in” and tried everything to stop the deal. “It’s among the biggest setbacks for Aipac in recent memory.”

The loss has raised difficult questions about the future of Aipac, a group formed in 1951 just a few years after the birth of Israel. Aipac has long drawn its political potency from its reservoirs of loyalty among members of both parties, but that bipartisan veneer all but vanished in recent weeks as the debate over the Iran deal became increasingly bitter.

Republicans lined up unanimously with Aipac against the accord, which Mr. Obama had made his top foreign policy priority. The vast majority of Democrats supported it.

“They will be able to recoup, but it is inescapable that there will be stocktaking,” said Dennis B. Ross, a former senior adviser to Mr. Obama who is a distinguished fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “And one of the lessons they will have to learn is that you really have to be very careful about the fights you pick that take on what amounts to a purely partisan character, because that bears a cost to you as an organization.”

Aipac now faces a debate within its ranks about how to respond to the defeat, whether by exacting a political price from lawmakers — all of them Democrats — who defied its wishes and supported the Iran deal, or moving swiftly to mend fences with lawmakers and White House officials angered by the group’s efforts to kill the deal.

“On one hand, they will have a desire to show there are consequences when you go against them,” Mr. Ross said. “On the other hand, they certainly want to maintain a nonpartisan approach, so they will have to think this through.”

In interviews on Thursday, several people close to the organization said the issue was under active discussion. Marshall Wittmann, Aipac’s spokesman, said the group’s entire attention had been on the vote, “so we have not yet focused at all on the day after, but we are very committed to ensuring that Israel remains strong in the wake of this decision.”

To be sure, the loss was only the latest in a string of hard-fought defeats for Aipac, which has found itself at odds with presidents of both parties over issues Israel deemed essential to its security. It emerged from all of them with its reputation for lobbying superiority intact and in some cases stronger.

Aipac feuded with Jimmy Carter in 1978 over his plan to sell F-15 Eagle fighter jets to Saudi Arabia, and three years later battled with Ronald Reagan over Awacs reconnaissance planes for the Saudis. The group lost both times and suffered a similar defeat when George Bush opposed loan guarantees for Israel in 1991.

Stoking opposition to Iran, which has been openly anti-American and anti-Semitic, and to a nuclear deal that even supporters voiced strong reservations with, was in some ways an “organizational imperative” for Aipac, one that allowed it to underline its mission and mobilize its activists, said Aaron David Miller, a former Middle East negotiator now at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. At the same time, Mr. Miller said, the battle took on an striking degree of partisanship.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/11/world/influential-pro-israel-group-suffers-stinging-political-defeat.html?_r=0

  1. #1 by ariadnatheo on 09/11/2015 - 9:34

    This piece of hasbara would be more informative if it also presented a list of the Jews in the other gang: J-Street, the Sorosites, etc. As it is, it peddles the huge lie that it is about democrats vs republicans and pro-Israel vs Israel-neutral.

  2. #2 by Dante Ardenz on 09/11/2015 - 9:34

    Thisis the Jew Left /Matrix which THEY invented. Only National Socialist Germany Fascist Italy,and Imperial Japan broke this to spectacular economic and cultural revival last century.
    Some Arsb,and Asian lands managed this post 45, and Putin is achieving this now, to the Jews discomfort.

    AIPAC lost this ,because they where adept at being above both parties.

    The Republican Parties total control by the Jews ruined this illusion of the Lobby’s non partisen veneer.

    The entire ” Right”, today…all across the West, is tied to the Jews,and really their original home.
    Judaism is wholly reactionary, exclusive, and material centered.

    They only ever used ” The Left”, as a tool for their agitation against Gentile power.

    Thesis,Anti Thesis, Synthesis.

    Thus the Democrat base, reacted strongly against the Republicans rabid Anti Deal stance, to rally their party for it.

    So the Jews Matrix was broken ,a bit.

    This is the lesson…unity .

    When the Gentile world stops the Left/ Right / Religion / Economic divides the Jews created ,the Matrix will be broken .

    Christain ,v Catholic v ,Right Wing v ,Left Wing v,Capitalist v,Socialist v ,Athiest v Jew ,Muslim v Jew ,Looses !

    Only Gentile V Jew wins.

  3. #3 by Alan Kerns on 09/11/2015 - 9:34

    Yes, unity is strength. We gentiles need to do some very serious thinking about selfishness. The common good of ordinary people must come first. That requires mutual trust and mutual respect. Selfish people are neither good at respecting others nor are they/we respectable.
    Dante Ardenz mentioned: Christians, Catholics (no offence intended), Right Wing, Left Wing, Capitalist, Socialist, and Muslims.
    People of all those groups need to find common ground and a list of shared priorities.
    That will not happen without mutual compassion, mutual respect and mutual trust.
    Those are formidable challenges.
    Sister and brother thinkers: what doest thou think?

  4. #4 by fb on 09/11/2015 - 9:34

    I’m not convinced that the lobbyist lost,it’s all theatre for as us to get us to believe what they want us to to believe.They have to make us believe that the jews don’t control or have that much power or influence over us.Don’t get to excited.
    Like Dante wrote Thesis,AntiThesis,Synthesis.
    Please don’t forget read the protocols just to remind you whats happening and how powerful they really are.

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