Jim Jobe reports on the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) annual three-day policy conference which, is describe by AIPAC’s press announcement as “consistently ranked as the most influential foreign policy lobbying organization on Capitol Hill.” Read excerpts from Lobe’s article regarding Iran below:
You can expect a strong focus on Iran and a very hawkish line towards same. The press release makes the point that “ALL three remaining Presidential candidates, ALL four leaders of Congress… AS WELL AS Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will address the conference. (Emphasis in the original.) So much for the argument that AIPAC really isn’t as powerful as its critics, like Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, claim.
Much attention, as in the past several years, will be devoted to Iran, which dominates the list of lobbying priorities (”taking action”) cited on AIPAC’s home page. A panel on financial sanctions against Iran will be monopolized by individuals who strongly favor them; same with another panel on divestment; and a third panel on “what does Iran really want?” will feature two Iran hawks, Ilan Berman of the American Foreign Policy Council, and Patrick Clawson of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), as well as a former adviser to the Israeli prime minister (although I don’t know which one). This group believes a lot more in sticks than in carrots.
Irancove @ June 2, 2008