AIPAC’s Tough Talk Is Not Fooling Anyone

The American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) published an op-ed in the New York Times Saturday in which its leaders made a passionate and well-argued case for continued pressure on Iran, and also for the role of Congress in setting foreign policy. The organization, the op-ed made clear, supports the Kirk-Menendez bill, i.e. the “Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act,” which would apply new sanctions “if, and only if, the talks fail.”

The op-ed notes that Iranian leaders have proudly declared that they do not intend to dismantle their nuclear program, and even includes what might be considered a little dig at the administration and its hostile attitude towards Congress in general: “At this moment, we must not allow Iran to dictate the appropriate role of Congress…..America’s elected representatives are not the problem; the unelected theocrats of Iran are.”

It is tough talk, and sets the agenda for AIPAC’s annual Policy Conference next week, which will bring many thousands of pro-Israel volunteers to Capitol Hill to lobby their respective members of Congress. But no one takes AIPAC’s tough talk seriously. That is because AIPAC sheepishly backed away from the Kirk-Menedez bill earlier this month, when it was clear that Democrats would not fight President Barack Obama’s veto threat.

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