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Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 12/ 1/2010

Obama admininstration pressures AIPAC?!

By Jennifer Rubin

The Obama administration, which has had a rocky relationship with Israel and with pro-Israel American Jews, took an extraordinary step yesterday. After inducing a number of Jewish groups, which rarely comment on non-Israel issues, to back the New START treaty, it appears to have prompted Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to apply pressure on AIPAC, the most influential pro-Israel group on the Hill. Moreover, the senators, in a public power play, released the letter to executive director Howard Kohr. An experienced Israel hand tells me, "Well, they of course claim there is a direct link to Israeli security. But, no, this must be very rare." A Capitol Hill adviser from another office says "I've never seen this done with AIPAC on a non-Israel issue."

Other pro-Israel activists are alarmed. A critic of the administration's stance on the settlement freeze e-mails me, "Isn't AIPAC supposed to be lobbying senators, not the other way around? And why would Schumer and Levin set themselves up for an embarrassing public rejection by leaking their own request? You can smell the desperation from a mile away."

No response yet from AIPAC. But stay tuned. I suspect this won't go down well.

By Jennifer Rubin  | December 1, 2010; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  American Jews  
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What did they hire Christine O'Donnell to use one of her magic spells on them? Are you suggesting those "induced" are not capable of thinking for themselves?

"Appear to have prompted" is the same thing as saying "according to my imagination". If you're just going to make stuff up why don't you save us all the time and post it on your facebook page. This is a well-established media company. You don't get to just make things up here.

Posted by: veritasinmedium | December 1, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

So, a neo-con with the last name "Rubin" is WaPo's idea of a "conservative"?

Posted by: pmendez | December 1, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I am trying to frame my letter to my Senator Schumer as to why he (and Levin) are solely feeding the anti-war left's delusion that AIPAC "controls U.S. foreign policy" by leaking a letter like this.

This is so bizarre that it makes me wonder if it is solely a political move (miscalculation) based on Schumer misreading the New York election returns.


Posted by: K2K2 | December 1, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Rubin's frequent use of "pro-Israel" is an affront to the large Israeli peace proponents and their American supporters, many of them good Jews who love Israel. Adherents of their views sincerely believe that Israel's hawkish methods and its constant humiliation of Arabs in Gaza and the West Bank have brought Israel more misery and world disapproval than benefit. And AIPAC's steady pressures on Americans to support Israel's most aggressive actions is a major cause of the terrorism now leveled against the U.S.and its European allies. The U.S. is, in a sense, anti-Semitic because its knee-jerk support of Israel helps to make that troubled nation less secure and ultimately more threatened by its Arab neighbors.

Posted by: ejmurphy414 | December 1, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

"non-Israel issues"?

I would think that a treaty that reduces the number of deployed nuclear weapons in Russia -- and thereby decreases the possibility of a "loose nuke" -- would be of prime interest to Israel, given that they would be a likely target of such threats. I'm surprised that you and "A Capitol Hill adviser from another office" (i.e. the sock-puppet on your other hand) don't see that link.

Posted by: jbesoin | December 1, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

This totally has implications for Israel, we need Russia's support in sanctioning Iran. Without Russian support, it would be much much more difficult to stop Iran's nuclear program.

Posted by: mikediaz1 | December 1, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I notice ejmurphy414, like most members of the American Peace Camp, can describe himself as a supporter of Israel, and then write a huge diatribe demonizing Israel, even going so far as to accuse Israel of fomenting anti Semitism! But with all his Israel bashing he seems unable to even mention in passing how Israel's "hawkish methods" could be in any way necessary to protect innocent Israeli civilians from being massacred by those same supposedly "humiliated" Palestinians who publicly proclaim and routinely act out their desire to destroy Israel and carry out genocide against the Jewish People. Any reasonable person would think that as a supporter of Israel ejmurphy414 could at least throw away one single, solitary four word sentence critical of the Palestinians and their hard line rejection of any peaceful settlement with Israel. Indeed, I have yet to read a comment by one single American Peace Camp alleged supporter of Israel, whether Jewish or not, who has ever made even a token criticism of the Palestinian's call for "armed struggle" against Israel, the non negotiable Palestinian demand for the "right of return" of every Palestinian refugee to Israel proper thus destroying all of Israel's Jewish character and probably all Jewish Israeli life, or the Palestinian denial of any and all Jewish historical or religious connection to Israel, Jerusalem, or even the Temple Mount. So if ejmurphy414 considers himself to be "pro Israel" or an American Peace Camp supporter of Israel or a member of the Jewish American Peace Camp, then with supporters like him Israel, and the Jewish People, really don't need any other enemies.

Posted by: Beniyyar | December 1, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

"I am trying to frame my letter to my Senator Schumer as to why he (and Levin) are solely feeding the anti-war left's delusion that AIPAC "controls U.S. foreign policy" by leaking a letter like this.

This is so bizarre that it makes me wonder if it is solely a political move (miscalculation) based on Schumer misreading the New York election returns."

This is an excellent point. I'm having a hard time seeing the upside either for the senators or the Jewish groups. Aside from the letter, the leaking is really minor league ball.

Readers- if you make smart comments or criticisms I will try to weigh in

Posted by: Jennifer Rubin | December 1, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

So Jennifer, I might as well ask the question up front. Do you, like Krauthammer, hold dual citizenship in Israel? Your regular readers may already know, but I'm a newbie, and frame of reference is important.

Posted by: 54465446 | December 1, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Readers, the blog writer says, if you make smart comments or criticisms I will weigh in.

Do you count censoring...which you've already done frequently this afternoon, as weighing in?
And shouldn't a disclaimer
precede anything you write...that this is Israeli prpoganda

and worse, amounting to intercine fighting by parasites on American foreign policy?

Posted by: whistling | December 1, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Uh, you know the Senate is a completely different branch of government than the Obama administration, right?

Posted by: thetk | December 2, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

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