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By David Keene
Conference showed that the values Reagan cherished still endure
Topic - American Israel Public Affairs Committee
Presidential press secretary Jay Carney uttered 10 words the other day that represent a major presidential challenge to the American Israel lobby and its friends on Capitol Hill. Referring to Senate legislation designed to force President Obama to expand economic sanctions on Iran under conditions the president opposes, Mr. Carney said: "If it were to pass, the president would veto it."
A noted pro-Israel lobby group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, finally broke its silence on Syria and said Tuesday that President Obama's call for military strikes is a good plan.
On Tuesday, as part of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference lobbying effort, I addressed a gathering attended by Rep. Rush Holt, New Jersey Democrat. With regard to the accusation of racism in Israel, I noted that in the entire history of Africa, Operation Solomon, the rescue of Ethiopian Jews by Israel in 1991, marked the only case in which whites have assisted Africans to freedom and provided for their security and economic well-being.
Chuck Hagel's notorious 2008 statement about the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the leading institution of the pro-Israel lobby, claimed that "the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here [in Congress]. I'm a United States senator. I'm not an Israeli senator."
Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren accused Iran of deceiving the West by opening new talks about its suspected nuclear weapons program, as he addressed a major Jewish conference in Washington on Sunday.
The Pentagon has begun a campaign to rebut what it calls "myths" about Defense Secretary-designate Chuck Hagel and is sending to senators documents purporting to show that he is pro-Israel and tough on Iran.
Two senators predicted Sunday that former Sen. Chuck Hagel would face a difficult confirmation if nominated by President Obama to be defense secretary.
Congress is pressing ahead with a new package of crippling sanctions on Iran, expanding on financial penalties and targeting Tehran's energy and shipping sectors in the hope that economic pressure undercuts its suspected nuclear weapons program.
House and Senate negotiators pushed to finish a new round of stifling sanctions on Iran, targeting energy, shipping and insurance sectors with punitive measures to derail Tehran's suspected push for nuclear weapons.
President Obama's speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee over the weekend showed that he can talk the talk. However, many of us here in the United States and in Israel are skeptical that he will walk the walk when Iranian nuclear push comes to Israeli existential shove.
The White House keeps waiting for "crippling sanctions" to have an impact on Iran's nuclear program. It will be a long wait.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Tuesday that the Iranians will face "severe and growing consequences" if they do not meet their international obligations and rejoin the community of nations.
Mitt Romney is angling to solidify his front-runner status and Rick Santorum to keep it a two-man race as voters in 10 states put Super Tuesday's imprint on the Republican presidential contest. Newt Gingrich just hopes to keep his struggling campaign alive with a strong showing in Georgia.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that time is running out to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, and suggested that Israel is prepared to take military action if necessary.
Barack Obama is obsessed with words, and he never learned to make a short speech. The Israelis understand that, however well-meaning he may be. The president may even believe most of the stuff he hears himself say.