April 29, 2009
Influential Israeli lobby group in the US, AIPAC is to push for a newly crafted resolution designed to choke off Iranian gas imports.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which is scheduled to hold its annual conference next week, said the introduction of a new bill against Iran’s gasoline trade on Tuesday is no coincidence.
“It’s no coincidence that the bills, which are strongly backed by AIPAC, are “dropping” into Congress for consideration this week, having 6,000 conference-goers press for their passage next Tuesday is bound to give them a turbo boost,” the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) said on Monday.
The agency, which serves Jewish newspapers and media around the world, said on Sunday that “thousands of AIPAC lobbyists” would “tumble out of buses to make sure” the bill passes.
[efoods]One week after American lawmakers in the US House of Representatives introduced the ‘Iran Diplomatic Enhancement Act’, a bipartisan slate of US senators on Tuesday tabled a similar bill, seeking to put an end to Iran’s low-level nuclear activities by targeting the country’s gasoline trade.
The bill, which is slated to be introduced by Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) — an uber-Israel supporter — advocates the imposition of tough sanctions against countries that sell refined petroleum, including gasoline, to Iran.
The conference, which will see Israel’s ceremonial president, Shimon Peres representing Tel Aviv, excludes those opposed to such measures against Iran.
“Policy theorists in Washington who reject isolating Iran as counterproductive are absent from the conference schedule,” the report added.
Branded as “ the most important organization affecting America’s relationship with Israel” by the New York Times, AIPAC has been criticized for its “distorted American foreign policy in favor of Israel.”
AIPAC is a “de facto agent for a foreign government”, whose “success is due to its ability to reward legislators and congressional candidates who support its agenda, and to punish those who challenge it,” University of Chicago professor John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt from the Harvard University argue in their book: The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy.
Former President Jimmy Carter has also accused AIPAC of putting enormous pressure on politicians running for office who do not share AIPAC’s goals.
In 1992, the group’s then president David Steiner was forced to resign after he was recorded boasting about his political influence in obtaining aid for Israel.
Steiner claimed to be “negotiating” with the incoming Clinton administration over who Clinton would appoint as Secretary of State and Director of the National Security Agency
AIPAC members have also been linked to espionage cases, involving their role in gathering and disclosing classified national security information to Israel.
In 2005, AIPAC policy director Steven Rosen and AIPAC senior Iran analyst Keith Weissman were indicted for passing along secret US documents to Israel in violation of the 1917 Espionage Act.