Grassroots Jewish Groups Push for Tough Line on Iran, Despite Barack Obama's Thaw

Congress May Turn Blind Eye to Charm Offensive

getty images

By Nathan Guttman

Published October 25, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 3 of 3)

Even if Iran had such a right, AIPAC’s memo argued, its government’s record of violating the NPT and U.N. Security Council resolutions would still deny it this privilege.

The main piece of legislation for which Jewish groups are now lobbying is a Senate version of a tougher sanctions bill already passed by the House earlier this year. The bill would limit the ability of international financial institutions to do business with Iran even more than current sanctions do.

Statements from leading members of Congress suggest that the Jewish lobbyists will not encounter much resistance in making the case against easing sanctions, or even for increasing them. Some have also spoken out against the idea of freeing some of Iran’s frozen financial assets as a goodwill gesture.

Republican Illinois Senator Mark Kirk, a close ally of the pro-Israel lobby, went as far as describing a temporary delay in Senate discussions on a new round of sanctions as bowing to a “European appeasement policy.”

Other ideas for legislation being discussed include a call to authorize the use of military force against Iran; setting limits, via statute, on what could be conceded in any agreement between the U.S. and Iran; and even limiting by law the ability of President Obama to meet with Rowhani.

But the real challenge for the organized Jewish community is not getting members of Congress to back tough new measures against Iran. It’s the conflict with the administration still waiting ahead.

“It’s just around the corner,” said a Democratic aide, describing what could be an open battle between the White House and Congress about the future of sanctions in which the mainstream Jewish advocacy community could play a central role.

Contact Nathan Guttman at guttman@forward.com or on Twitter @nathanguttman


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!
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • 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.