Issue Memo

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

  • Issues Memos

    President Obama to Tehran: Comply With Your Obligations (PDF)

    October 05, 2009

    Last Friday, President Obama focused on Iran's need to "take steps in the near future to live up to its obligations" — i.e., suspend its uranium enrichment and fully reveal its nuclear programs. In agreeing to open a newly disclosed enrichment facility to inspection, Iran's bow to international pressure could mark a positive first step. However, such a move does nothing to comply with U.N. Security Council resolutions, and some Iranian officials have already hinted that Tehran is backing away from commitments it made during the Geneva talks. If Iran does not suspend enrichment, disclose its illicit nuclear and weaponization secrets, and open all of its nuclear facilities, America and its allies must impose crippling sanctions on the regime.

  • Issues Memos

    Confronting Iran: Truth or Consequences (PDF)

    September 30, 2009

    Iran must come clean and halt its illicit pursuit of nuclear weapons or face severe consequences. During the P5 + 1 talks with the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany that start in Geneva on Thursday, Iran needs to disclose its secret nuclear facilities, open these facilities to international inspections and agree to suspend uranium enrichment by year's end. America should be on guard against Iran's likely tactic of making minor concessions to distract from its failure to suspend its enrichment program as required by the U.N. Security Council on three different occasions since 2006. If Iran continues to flout international law, the U.S. and its partners should impose crippling sanctions on Tehran.

  • Issues Memos

    Faulty U.N. Gaza Report Equates Self-Defense with Terror (PDF)

    September 18, 2009

    The report of the U.N.-appointed Goldstone Commission is a highly flawed and tendentious document replete with unsubstantiated claims. Israeli President Shimon Peres described the report as "a mockery of history" for failing "to distinguish between the aggressor and a state exercising its right for self-defense." The report focuses on alleged Israeli misdeeds, equating Israel's defensive measures that thwarted attacks against its citizens with the very terrorism that forced Israel's actions. Rather than illuminating the real causes of the Gaza conflict—eight years of Hamas' unrelenting rocket attacks on Israeli civilians—the commission merely rubber-stamped the Council's predetermined conclusion that Israel had committed "war crimes."

  • Issues Memos

    Faulty U.N. Gaza Report Equates Self-Defense with Terror (PDF)

    September 18, 2009

    The report of the U.N.-appointed Goldstone Commission is a highly flawed and tendentious document replete with unsubstantiated claims. Israeli President Shimon Peres described the report as "a mockery of history" for failing "to distinguish between the aggressor and a state exercising its right for self-defense." The report focuses on alleged Israeli misdeeds, equating Israel's defensive measures that thwarted attacks against its citizens with the very terrorism that forced Israel's actions. Rather than illuminating the real causes of the Gaza conflict—eight years of Hamas' unrelenting rocket attacks on Israeli civilians—the commission merely rubber-stamped the Council's predetermined conclusion that Israel had committed "war crimes."

  • Issues Memos

    More Pressure on Iran Critical to Halting Nuclear Progress (PDF)

    September 11, 2009

    Iran continues to advance its uranium enrichment capabilities and has so far failed to respond seriously to the U.S. offer of negotiations. The latest report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says Iran has stockpiled nearly enough low-enriched uranium (LEU) to produce two nuclear weapons and has failed to answer outstanding questions about the weaponization of its nuclear program. If Iran continues to defy the international community and to reject the West's package of talks and incentives, more robust economic, diplomatic and political sanctions will be needed to persuade Iran to end its illicit activity.

  • Issues Memos

    Israel Takes Steps for Peace; Palestinians, Arabs Demur (PDF)

    September 08, 2009

    The Obama administration has been making an enormous effort to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. Israel has assisted this effort by taking significant steps toward the Palestinians. Unfortunately, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Arab states have failed to reciprocate. The PA and Arab world need to fulfill their responsibilities in order to promote peace. As President Obama recently said, he expects to see "not just movement from the Israelis, but also from the Palestinians around issues of incitement and security, from Arab states that show their willingness to engage Israel."

  • Issues Memos

    Israel Takes Steps for Peace as Palestinians in Disarray (PDF)

    August 13, 2009

    Israel continues to take significant steps to advance the peace process and improve the Palestinian economy despite the failure of the Palestinian Authority and Arab states to take reciprocal peace gestures. At the recent Fatah General Conference, Palestinian leaders hardened conditions that Israel must meet simply to resume negotiations and refused to renounce "resistance." At the same time, Arab leaders continue to refuse calls to take steps to normalize relations with Israel. For the peace process to succeed, Israel cannot be the only party to act. The Palestinians and Arab states must begin to take substantive, tangible steps that demonstrate their commitment to peace as called for by the Obama administration.

  • Issues Memos

    Jerusalem Overview (PDF)

    August 12, 2009

    Jerusalem is a unified and open city and the capital of the State of Israel. Prior to 1967, Jerusalem was divided—no Israeli of any faith nor any Jew of any nationality was permitted access to the eastern part of the city, including the Western Wall—Judaism's holiest site and the heart of the Jewish people's more than 3,000-year connection to the Land of Israel. Today, people of all faiths—Jews, Muslims and Christians—are free to move and reside anywhere in the city. The current disputed project in Jerusalem, which was subject to extensive legal review, including that of Israel's Supreme Court, and approved earlier this year, will not affect Jerusalem's demographic balance and will not prejudice the outcome of final-status talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

  • Issues Memos

    Brutal Iranian Regime with Nuclear Weapons Would Pose Serious Threat (PDF)

    July 10, 2009

    World attention has rightly focused on Iran's harsh post-election crackdown, which illustrates the regime's true nature and the threat posed to the international community were it to possess nuclear weapons. As the political struggle inside Iran continues, the regime is pressing ahead with its nuclear program and rebuffing U.S. and European entreaties to enter serious talks. Indeed, Tehran has publicly mocked President Obama's outreach efforts. The United States will need to impose much tougher sanctions if Iran continues to violate U.N. Security Council resolutions and defy the international community.

  • Issues Memos

    Bold Steps by Arab States Needed to Meet Obama Challenge to Promote Peace (PDF)

    July 10, 2009

    In his June 4 address to the Muslim world, President Obama urged Arab states to take significant steps to facilitate peace between Israel and the Palestinians and said the Arab-Israeli conflict "should no longer be used to distract the people of Arab nations from other problems." Even as Israel has taken significant steps in recent weeks to advance the peace process, most Arab states remain on the sidelines. Much more can be done to respond to American and Israeli overtures. Arab states can heed the president's call by reinvigorating the Arab Peace Initiative with tangible measures to end the six-decade long campaign to isolate and delegitimize Israel.

  • Issues Memos

    Addressing the Emerging Holocaust Narrative - On Sacred Soil (PDF)

    June 18, 2009

    Addressing the Emerging Holocaust Narrative - On Sacred Soil

  • Issues Memos

    Addressing the Emerging Holocaust Narrative - Article Excerpts (PDF)

    June 18, 2009

    Addressing the Emerging Holocaust Narrative - Article Excerpts

  • Issues Memos

    Addressing the Emerging Holocaust Narrative - Ancient Connection (PDF)

    June 18, 2009

    Addressing the Emerging Holocaust Narrative - Ancient Connection

  • Issues Memos

    Netanyahu Backs Two-State Solution, Reiterates Israel's Commitment to Peace (PDF)

    June 15, 2009

    In a major policy address yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu backed a two-state solution and reiterated Israel's strong desire to reach peace with the Palestinians and the Arab states. Netanyahu urged the immediate resumption of peace talks with the Palestinians, and offered to travel to leading Arab capitals to help end the Arab-Israeli conflict. The prime minister asserted the deep historical connection of the Jewish people to the land of Israel—a connection that would ultimately have to be recognized by the Arab world if there were to be peace between Israel and its neighbors. A White House statement on behalf of President Obama welcomed "the important step forward in Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech."

  • Issues Memos

    IAEA: Iran Significantly Expanding Nuclear Capabilities (PDF)

    June 11, 2009

    The latest report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) shows that Iran continues to aggressively expand its nuclear capabilities in continued defiance of the international community. Tehran now possesses more than 7,000 centrifuges, enough to make the required fuel for up to two atomic weapons a year. The IAEA says Iran's dramatic expansion of its enrichment capabilities is making it increasingly difficult for the agency to fully monitor these activities. The United States and our allies should undergird a diplomatic approach to Iran with more robust economic, diplomatic and political sanctions to persuade Iran to end its illicit activity.