Issue Memo

AIPAC's analysis of current issues, policy and legislation.

  • Issues Memos

    A Look Back: U.S. Action to Prevent a Nuclear Iran (PDF)

    February 01, 2010

    For more than 15 years, the United States has played a central role in international efforts to stop Iran's ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs. Since 1992, Congress has passed some 20 bills and resolutions sanctioning and condemning the regime for its support of terrorism and its nuclear weapons pursuit. In 1995, President Clinton issued a critical executive order banning all U.S. trade (with minor exceptions) and investments in Iran.

  • Issues Memos

    U.S. Foreign Aid: Serving American Interests (PDF)

    February 01, 2010

    Foreign aid, at about one percent of federal spending, is an essential, cost-effective tool for promoting American interests abroad and supporting our vital allies such as Israel. A robust international affairs and foreign aid budget reflects our humanitarian and democratic values and is critical to bolstering American national security and to building overseas markets for American goods and service and, in turn, creating jobs here at home.

  • Issues Memos

    Hamas Turned Gaza into Launching Pad for Terror (PDF)

    February 01, 2010

    Israel demonstrated its willingness to take dramatic risks for peace with the Palestinians when it unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in the summer of 2005. Israel's positive initiative was, unfortunately, met with increased violence. In June 2007, Hamas took control of Gaza through a violent coup against the reigning Fatah party. With a goal of destroying Israel, a position which has gone unchanged since its founding in 1987, Hamas has consolidated its power and turned Gaza into a launching pad for terrorist activity.

  • Issues Memos

    Key Provisions of U.S. Security Assistance to Israel (PDF)

    February 01, 2010

    Several provisions included in the annual State Department-Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill help Israel maximize the benefits of U.S. assistance. Below is a brief explanation of the key provisions or terms used when discussing American assistance to Israel.

  • Issues Memos

    The Importance of the Jewish State (PDF)

    February 01, 2010

    The modern State of Israel was established on the ancient homeland of the Jewish people in 1948. Based on the basic tenet of Zionism — that Jews must have their own country as a haven — Israel has served as a refuge for Jews the world over. Israel has been built on the principles of freedom and democracy, fulfilling both a political and historic imperative.

  • Issues Memos

    U.S.-Israel Trade: A Flourishing Relationship (PDF)

    February 01, 2010

    During the past 60 years, Israel has emerged as arguably America's premier Middle East trading partner and a leading source of investment opportunities and innovative technologies for U.S. firms and entrepreneurs. In recognition of the close alliance between the two nations, the United States signed its first-ever Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Israel in 1985, which resulted in a seven-fold increase in trade. This landmark agreement helped to orient Israel's trade posture toward America, strengthening the U.S.-Israel relationship and ensuring that Israel's greatest friend is also its largest trading partner.

  • Issues Memos

    Key Provisions of U.S. Security Assistance to Israel (PDF)

    February 01, 2010

    Several provisions included in the annual State Department-Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill help Israel maximize the benefits of U.S. assistance. Below is a brief explanation of the key provisions or terms used when discussing American assistance to Israel.

  • Issues Memos

    Strategic Cooperation Heightens U.S.-Israel Partnership (PDF)

    February 01, 2010

    For decades, the United States and Israel have shared a deep strategic relationship aimed at confronting the common threats to both nations. During the Cold War, the United States and Israel collaborated in limiting Soviet influence in the region. Today, in the post-9/11 world, the United States and Israel are working together more closely than ever before to defeat the common threats of radicalism, terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

  • Issues Memos

    Israel Carrying Out Vast Humanitarian Effort in Haiti (PDF)

    January 21, 2010

    In the wake of last week's devastating earthquake in Haiti, Israel sent an expert team of 220 men and women to help in the rescue and treatment of Haitians affected by the natural disaster. The team opened the first fully functioning field hospital in the ravaged country, allowing doctors to perform surgery and other advanced procedures. The field hospital, which has already treated hundreds of people, complements an Israeli search and rescue team still looking for survivors amid the rubble. Israel's efforts in Haiti mark a long tradition of the Jewish state sending immediate and advanced assistance to countries affected by natural disasters, including Sri Lanka, Turkey, El Salvador and India.

  • Issues Memos

    Divestment: An Important Tool in Preventing Nuclear Iran (PDF)

    January 06, 2010

    The international community must continue to use every diplomatic, economic and political tool to pressure Iran to halt its nuclear program. While the United States and U.N. Security Council have imposed increasingly tough sanctions on Iran, state-level campaigns to divest public pension plans from companies investing in Iran's oil and natural gas sector provide another means to pressure the regime. Divesting from these companies would reduce the risk to American shareholders while sending a strong signal to Iran that American states will not provide funds to help Iran advance its nuclear weapons pursuit and support terrorism.

  • Issues Memos

    FAQ: The Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act (PDF)

    December 11, 2009

    As Iran continues to defy international demands to suspend its nuclear program and refuses to enter negotiations with the international community, dramatic new sanctions will be needed to press Tehran to suspend its illicit enrichment of uranium. The Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act seeks to increase pressure on Iran by limiting Tehran's ability to import and produce refined petroleum products such as gasoline and diesel fuel. With Iran continuing to advance its nuclear program, it must be presented with a real choice now: continue its nuclear program or face crippling sanctions.

  • Issues Memos

    Continuing Iranian Defiance Demands Crippling Sanctions (PDF)

    December 04, 2009

    The United States and its allies should prepare a swift campaign of crippling sanctions in response to Iran's rejection of diplomatic overtures and Tehran's blatant threats to expand its nuclear efforts. The Obama administration is warning Iran that it has until the end of the year to demonstrate its seriousness to end its illicit nuclear pursuit. If Iran refuses, the United States and the international community must quickly move toward an overwhelming sanctions regime to persuade Iran to suspend its nuclear weapons quest.

  • Issues Memos

    Settlement Moratorium Shows Israel's Peace Commitment (PDF)

    December 04, 2009

    In a landmark effort to galvanize peace talks, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week began a 10-month West Bank settlement moratorium. The United States praised this unprecedented move, but the Palestinian Authority (PA) continues to rebuff Israel—claiming the Israeli initiative failed to meet its preconditions to resume negotiations. PA President Mahmoud Abbas should accept calls from Congress and the Obama administration to immediately resume direct talks with Israel without preconditions. The Arab states also must step forward in support of peace and normalization with Israel.

  • Issues Memos

    Defiant Iran Continues Nuclear Quest (PDF)

    November 12, 2009

    Instead of accepting President Obama's offer to engage, Iran has reneged on its agreement to ship low-enriched uranium (LEU) out of the country. At the same time, it continues to violate numerous U.N. Security Council resolutions by continuing its enrichment of uranium and funneling weapons to its terrorist allies, Hamas and Hizballah. If Tehran continues to rebuff diplomatic entreaties to suspend its nuclear program, the United States and its allies should impose crippling sanctions on the regime.

  • Issues Memos

    Palestinian Leaders Undermine U.S Peace Efforts (PDF)

    November 12, 2009

    Rejecting U.S. peace efforts, Palestinian Authority (PA) officials have refused to resume negotiations with Israel, posed additional preconditions, and sought to isolate Israel in international organizations. By contrast, Israel has offered to resume talks immediately without preconditions and has taken unprecedented steps to restrain settlement activity. The PA and Arab states should accept the Obama administration's call to begin direct talks with Israel and foster a climate for peaceful reconciliation.