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!
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • 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
  • 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.