AIPAC Plans 'All-Out' Push for Syria Vote

250 Activists Will Lobby on Capitol Hill

All-Out Push: Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) arrives for a briefing on Syria. AIPAC plans a major push to convince Congress to back President Obama’s request to authorize use of force.
getty images
All-Out Push: Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) arrives for a briefing on Syria. AIPAC plans a major push to convince Congress to back President Obama’s request to authorize use of force.

By Forward Staff

Published September 06, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

AIPAC is putting its bodies where its mouth is on Syria.

The pro-Israel group, having backed President Obama’s push to authorize military strikes against the regime of Bashar al-Assad, plans to dispatch more than 250 leaders and activists to lobby Congress starting early next week.

The hawkish group decided to double down on its support because it sees any sign of U.S. weakness as an invitation to aggression by other enemies of Israel, like Hezbollah and especially Iran, Politico reports

“History tells us that ambiguity [in U.S. actions] invites aggression,” an AIPAC source who asked not to be named told Politico. The source added the group will now be engaged in a “major mobilization” over the issue.

The activists plan to visit hundreds of lawmakers from both parties as Obama mounts an uphill struggle to convince Congress to give him the green light to punish Assad for a deadly chemical weapons attack that killed hundreds of civilians.

AIPAC normally doesn’t get involved with legislation that doesn’t directly affect Israel.

But its leaders joined a broad coalition of Jewish groups, including the Anti-Defamation League and scores of prominent rabbis, in pushing for the Syria measure.

Its help is sorely needed. Tea Party Republicans are expected to line up virtually unanimously against the bill. And liberal Democrats, including Jewish and black lawmakers who usually support Israel, are deeply conflicted.

Liberal Jewish Democrat Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) has already predicted that the measure is “doomed” but it may be too early to count out Obama — and AIPAC — just yet.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.