Jewish Groups Split on 60-Day 'Time Out' for Lobbying Over Iran Nukes

AIPAC Won't Give White House Grace Period

Muddy Waters: Some Jewish groups have given the White House two months to work on a dialogue with Iran over its nuclear weapons program. Or have they?
getty images
Muddy Waters: Some Jewish groups have given the White House two months to work on a dialogue with Iran over its nuclear weapons program. Or have they?

By Nathan Guttman

Published November 06, 2013, issue of November 15, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 3 of 4)

Meehan emphasized that the window for negotiations is limited. “If progress isn’t made, there may be a time when more sanctions are, in fact, necessary,” she said.

According to an administration official briefed on the talk, “there was no direct ask” in the meeting — meaning, no overt request to suspend Jewish lobbying for increased sanctions. But the official noted that the Obama administration’s wish to put off new sanctions on Iran was clear to all.

“They know how to send the message in a sophisticated way. It’s not the 2009 administration, it is 2013,” the official said, alluding to the Obama administration’s early days, when communication with the Jewish community was bumpy.

Following the meeting, which included representatives of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, AIPAC, the ADL and the American Jewish Committee, both sides issued statements that avoided the question of further sanctions. The Presidents Conference, in its statement, described the meeting as a “constructive and open exchange.”

But shortly after this, a leak published in the Israeli daily Haaretz, and later a public statement by the ADL’s national director, Abraham Foxman, made clear that the groups left the White House with different positions. In an about-face on the ADL’s previous policy, Foxman expressed his willingness to allow a two-month moratorium on new legislation. The ADL leader declined to be interviewed for this article.

AIPAC responded with an unusual public statement, issued on a Saturday, when most Jewish groups refrain from activity. In it, AIPAC President Michael Kassen emphasized that the lobby “continues to support congressional action to adopt legislation to further strengthen sanctions.”

“There will absolutely be no pause, delay or moratorium in our efforts,” the statement vowed.


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!
  • “I don’t want to say, ‘Oh oh, I’m not Jewish,’ because when you say that, you sound like someone trying to get into a 1950s country club, “and I love the idea of being Jewish." Are you a fan of Seth Meyers?
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • 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.