Last week 43 hawkish senators sent a letter to the White House pushed by the Israel lobby group AIPAC calling on President Biden not to return to the Iran nuclear deal, as he promised, without addressing Iran’s “destabilizing activities” in the region.
The great news is that only 43 senators signed the letter, including 14 Democrats, one of them Israel lobby tool Bob Menendez. Forty-three is quite a fall from an AIPAC lobbyist’s boast 20 years ago (to Jeffrey Goldberg) that “In twenty-four hours, we could have the signatures of seventy senators on this napkin.”
Foundation for Middle East Peace says the letter was a key part of AIPAC’s lobbying agenda this spring, and an embarrassment.
[The] letter has been circulating since at least March 12, and was the subject of intense lobbying starting last week with AIPAC’s virtual lobby extravaganza. The fact that only 43 senators signed on to the letter, notwithstanding this lobbying, makes this a notably unsuccessful letter, compared to other AIPAC-backed efforts.
The headline at Responsible Statecraft was, “Hawkish Iran letter falls flat in the Senate.” Matthew Petti noted that only two Democratic members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee — Ben Cardin (Md.) and Chris Coons (Del.) — signed on, and only three Republicans.
Sina Toossi of the National Iranian American Council says that the letter was an effort to “hamstring” Biden and it failed in part due to the lobbying against the letter by his organization and others, such as Win Without War and J Street, the Democratic Party Israel lobby group..read more