AIPAC Has Become a Force for Moderation in U.S. Politics

In 2021, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee formed a separate organization for raising funds to donate to political campaigns. It is now pouring money into congressional primary races for both parties, hoping to unseat or to keep out of office anti-Israel candidates such as New York’s Jamaal Bowman. Josh Kraushaar analyzes the group’s tactics, which he terms “disciplined to a fault” in focusing on races it can win:

Along with other GOP outside groups, [AIPAC] spent over $1 million to secure a victory for the center-right representative Tony Gonzales (R-TX) as he faced a serious challenge from a right-wing candidate with a history of anti-Semitic rhetoric. They helped prevent the former Republican congressman John Hostettler, who wrote a book blaming Israel for U.S. involvement in the Iraq war, from returning to Congress. They helped a liberal Maryland state senator, Sarah Elfreth, with a record of support for Israel, prevail in a crowded [Democratic] primary, including against a candidate backed by national liberal donors.

Kraushaar notes that AIPAC’s influence has a salutary effect on American politics:

One of the great ironies about the progressive activists’ rhetoric against AIPAC is that it caricatures the group as a handmaiden of right-wing Republicans—even as the group has been mainly engaged on behalf of moderate Democrats and, overall, been a force against extremism on all sides. It’s a sign of the abuse of language—and overall bias in coverage—that a sinister narrative of AIPAC’s deep resources has overwhelmed the reality that they’re the biggest outside force for moderation in politics right now.

In that sense, AIPAC’s involvement in congressional elections is doing as much to improve the health of America’s democracy as it is to ensure the future of a strong U.S.-Israel relationship.

In a sense, this should not be a great surprise. Since the terms left and right came to have political meaning, it is the extremes of both that have gravitated most toward anti-Semitism.

Read more at Liberal Patriot

More about: AIPAC, U.S. Politics, U.S.-Israel relationship

While Israel Is Distracted on Two Fronts, Iran Is on the Verge of Building Nuclear Weapons

Iran recently announced its plans to install over 1,000 new advanced centrifuges at its Fordow nuclear facility. Once they are up and running, the Institute for Science and International Security assesses, Fordow will be able to produce enough highly enriched uranium for three nuclear bombs in a mere ten days. The U.S. has remained indifferent. Jacob Nagel writes:

For more than two decades, Iran has continued its efforts to enhance its nuclear-weapons capability—mainly by enriching uranium—causing Israel and the world to concentrate on the fissile material. The International Atomic Energy Agency recently confirmed that Iran has a huge stockpile of uranium enriched to 60 percent, as well as more enriched to 20 percent, and the IAEA board of governors adopted the E3 (France, Germany, UK) proposed resolution to censure Iran for the violations and lack of cooperation with the agency. The Biden administration tried to block it, but joined the resolution when it understood its efforts to block it had failed.

To clarify, enrichment of uranium above 20 percent is unnecessary for most civilian purposes, and transforming 20-percent-enriched uranium to the 90-percent-enriched product necessary for producing weapons is a relatively small step. Washington’s reluctance even to express concern about this development appears to stem from an unwillingness to acknowledge the failures of President Obama’s nuclear policy. Worse, writes Nagel, it is turning a blind eye to efforts at weaponization. But Israel has no such luxury:

Israel must adopt a totally new approach, concentrating mainly on two main efforts: [halting] Iran’s weaponization actions and weakening the regime hoping it will lead to its replacement. Israel should continue the fight against Iran’s enrichment facilities (especially against the new deep underground facility being built near Natanz) and uranium stockpiles, but it should not be the only goal, and for sure not the priority.

The biggest danger threatening Israel’s existence remains the nuclear program. It would be better to confront this threat with Washington, but Israel also must be fully prepared to do it alone.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy