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Posted at 2:25 PM ET, 12/ 1/2010

Emergency Committee for Israel blasts senators

By Jennifer Rubin

The Emergency Committee for Israel, a new pro-Israel organization that caused a big stir in the 2010 campaign, is blasting Sens. Chuck Schumer and Carl Levin for dragging AIPAC into the debate over ratification of the START agreement. Board members Bill Kristol, Gary Bauer and Rachel Abrams wrote to the senators:

We write in response to your remarkable public letter to Howard Kohr, the Executive Director of AIPAC. His ongoing institutional responsibilities will probably prevent him from responding to you--two powerful Senators unafraid to use your power--as frankly as we can. But we will be frank.

Your letter--an effort to pressure an organization to lobby on a matter far outside its expertise and area of concern--is a disgrace. We've rarely seen Senators stoop to this kind of public bullying. AIPAC "cannot afford to stand on the sidelines?" What threat do you mean to convey by this statement?

It's clear that defenders of the New START treaty (on which, needless to say, the Emergency Committee for Israel takes no position) are frantic to have it ratified in the lame duck session, and they apparently lack the votes to ram it through. But your desperation about New START does not justify behavior unworthy of Senators.

Furthermore: Is it your position that if the Senate does not ratify START in the lame duck session, Russia will be justified in violating UN sanctions against Iran, or in selling Iran air defense missiles? If not, why do you appear to give the Russian government such a justification? Is that the action of true friends of Israel, or true opponents of a nuclear Iran?

We urge you to withdraw the letter to which you have so unfortunately lent your name.

This is, even for conservative activists like Kristol, Bauer and Abrams, exceptionally strong language. But, they would no doubt claim, the actions of these two senators are exceptionally unusual, and would set a dangerous precedent. Are Jewish groups now excepted to endorse other foreign policies of the administration?

I follow Israel policy and the American Jewish community pretty closely. I can't recall another instance in which senators who regularly appear at AIPAC events, and enjoy support from its members, have exerted pressure like this that would potentially jeopardize all of that. And for what? The treaty isn't going to pass or fail on the strength of AIPAC's approval. But rather than putting the screws on AIPAC, the senators have, it seems, only made the START ratification, and their own reputations, more precarious.

By Jennifer Rubin  | December 1, 2010; 2:25 PM ET
Categories:  American Jews, foreign policy  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Reaction to Schumer/Levin letter
Next: Is civility out of date?


Introducing Right Turn
Jennifer Rubin

| A new blog on politics from a conservative perspective.

Surely there must be more conservatives the WaPo could hire.

Posted by: knjincvc | December 1, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Are Jewish groups now excepted to endorse other foreign policies of the administration?

Senators are not part of the administration. You reported earlier that the administration has stated they had no part in this. Do you not read your own posts?

Posted by: veritasinmedium | December 1, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who thinks the Israel/Jewish lobby
AIPAC doesn't have it's treasonous tentacles on the flesh of any
American policy?

Particularly one that involves Russia or arms? Israel still thinks Russia is theirs, in time. What you think Georgia was about...with all the Israeli arms and
advisors there.

If Amerians knew of all the treachorous acations of AIPAC and other Israeli organizations in the US, Wall Street and the government, they'd revolt. Tme they are told.

Posted by: whistling | December 1, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Whistling, you're ranting. Facts or shut it.

Posted by: veritasinmedium | December 1, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Now the Post, the sinking zionist rag, proves exactly what it is...

we get (as news!)anexample of the constant
ugly but revealing fighting
among/between the Israli main stream news. Know how that'll make
people wretch?

But go ahead, more, more. It's time Americans catch on to what
Walt and Mearscheimer tried to tell us in their censored book some years ago.

(and here's to YOU, veritasinmedium)

Posted by: whistling | December 1, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Love the blog, Jennifer! Visited via the Weekly Standard and am here to stay (so it's fitting I comment on this report.

I also read you w/ Commentary.

The ECI hits hard! As its name would suggest, Mr. Kristol et al. defend Israel with urgency.

I am from the Philadelphia suburbs, and ECI ran clear and strong ads condemning a letter Joe Sestak had written after the Israel-Turkey incident. The ad aired during the MLB playoffs, generated buzz, and certainly affected the election.

This letter, like the ad before it, appropriately responds to misbehavior.

Posted by: dboselli | December 1, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Conservatives needed an Emergency Committee this election cycle - with all the attacks from the left

I hereby found the Emergency Committee for Conservatives.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 1, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse


Three Israeli posts in a day when virtually nothing is going on pertaining to Israel in the news? (no, letters to and from AIPAC about START are not news to the general public)

Is everyday going to be like this here? Even Krauthammer couldn't keep up with this pace!

Posted by: 54465446 | December 1, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I don't know where you came from or why we need another "conservative" blogger in WaPo, or why you feel a need to interpret and defend the neo-cons like Kristol and Bauer, but AIPAC has never NEVER shied away from pressuring US Senators or any other branch of government. Exactly why is it inappropriate for Senators to ask for their help on a crucial national security priority that will benefit Israel?

Posted by: wildcat1 | December 1, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

So let me get this straight: AIPAC wants to be consulted, but not in public? A little sunshine is too much "pressure" for their taste?

Well that's water under the dam. So tell us all, what did Bibi and Tzipi say? The American Senate wants to know.

Posted by: fzdybel | December 1, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Wow, amazing how politics in the US works for Jewish groups. They're bad if they lobby for something of interest and they're bad if they have to be forced by senators to lobby.
Especially bad being forced to lobby for the ratification of START, a deal with Russia that permits America to throw in the towel.

Posted by: barabeiro | December 2, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

"Board members Bill Kristol, Gary Bauer and Rachel Abrams..."

Now here's a rouge's gallery of hackery. Kristol and Bauer are well-known, and as for Ms. Abrams, she's the wife of Iran-Contra figure Elliot Abrams and the daughter of Midge Decter.

(BTW, Ms. Rubin's former editor, John Podhoretz, happens to be Ms. Abrams' stepbrother.)

As Jon Stewart has so wisely observed "Oh, Bill Kristol - will you ever be right about anything?"

Posted by: tracymohr | December 2, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

We need to ban all groups who lobby in any way on behalf of a foreign country.

Posted by: Thoughtful-Ted | December 2, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Ms Rubin, I've followed you at Commentary for some time; welcome to your new digs, albeit in a somewhat (intellectually) shabby neighborhood.

Nothing like a post featuring Israel, AIPAC, and those dread pirate neocons to bring out the anti-semites, eh?

For the record, I'm a Baptist, a former nuclear weapons security officer, who supports Israel and detests this administration's feckless approach to Russia and Iran.

In a few words, START weakens America, strengthens Russia, and harms proliferation by encouraging our enemies.

Posted by: Jack43 | December 3, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

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