Issue Memo

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

  • Issues Memos

    Key Points: Hamas' Assault on Israel (PDF)

    January 07, 2009

    Since Israel’s full withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, Hamas has indiscriminately fired more than 6,300 rockets and mortars at Israeli population centers. Last spring, Israel tested whether Hamas would move toward peace by accepting Egypt’s proposal for a six-month lull in the fighting. Instead, Hamas significantly enhanced its arsenal, and ultimately resumed its rocket assaults.

  • Issues Memos

    Israel Seeks to Minimize Civilian Casualties, Facilitate Humanitarian Assistance (PDF)

    January 06, 2009

    Israel is carrying out its defensive operations in Gaza using an appropriate application of force and is taking dramatic action to minimize civilian casualties. Israel puts the lives of its own soldiers at risk by providing advance warning to civilians that it intends to carry out operations in specific locations. In contrast, Hamas deliberately attacks Israeli civilians and cynically uses its own people as human shields. Despite the risks to Israel posed by Hamas rocket attacks and threats against the Israel-Gaza border crossings, Israel has facilitated the transfer of more than 450 trucks of food, medicine and energy supplies into Gaza during the past 10 days.

  • Issues Memos

    Hamas: A History of Terror (PDF)

    December 31, 2008

    Hamas is an Iranian-backed terrorist organization founded in 1988 with the stated aim of destroying Israel. Hamas has carried out attacks that have killed more than 500 innocent civilians, including two dozen Americans. In June 2007, the terrorist group violently seized control of Gaza from the Palestinian Authority and targeted Israelis with thousands of rockets and mortars. Funded and supported by Tehran in order to disrupt Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts, Hamas will be a legitimate partner for negotiations only when it is ready to live in peace with Israel. As President-elect Barack Obama stated last June, "We must isolate Hamas unless and until they renounce terrorism, recognize Israel's right to exist and abide by past agreements."

  • Issues Memos

    Israel Forced to Defend Citizens After Years of Attacks (PDF)

    December 30, 2008

    Israel began forceful action this past weekend to quell Hamas' terrorist threat to Israeli civilians. Since Israel's 2005 withdrawal from Gaza, Hamas has indiscriminately fired more than 6,300 rockets and mortars—including 600 in the past six weeks—at Israeli population centers. Last spring, Israel tested whether Hamas would move toward peace by accepting Egypt's proposal for a six-month lull in the fighting. Instead, Hamas significantly enhanced its arsenal, and ultimately resumed its rocket assaults. Despite Hamas' aggression, Israel continues to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance and is acting to limit civilian casualties in Gaza.

  • Issues Memos

    America Supports Israel's Defensive Actions (PDF)

    December 29, 2008

    American leaders on a bipartisan basis are voicing critical support for Israel's defensive actions in Gaza. Israel responded strongly this weekend to Hamas' abandonment of a six-month long lull in fighting and its resumption of large-scale rocket barrages on Israeli civilians. American and some Arab officials have squarely placed the blame on Hamas, which has cynically used its grip over Gaza to attack Israel rather than see after the needs of its own people. Despite that, Israel continues to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance and is acting to limit civilian casualties in Gaza.

  • Issues Memos

    MAP: Terrorist Buildup in Gaza (PDF)

    December 29, 2008

    Terrorist Buildup in Gaza

  • Issues Memos

    MAP: The History of Israel's Borders (PDF)

    December 29, 2008

    The History of Israel's Borders

  • Issues Memos

    MAP: Israel Size Comparison (PDF)

    December 29, 2008

    Israel Size Comparison

  • Issues Memos

    MAP: Israel's Narrow Waistband (PDF)

    December 29, 2008

    Israel's Narrow Waistband

  • Issues Memos

    MAP: The Iranian Missile Threat (PDF)

    December 29, 2008

    This map dramatically illustrates the Iranian missile threat to the Middle East. Iran has ballistic missiles that could carry nuclear, chemical or biological warheads 1,500 miles — threatening U.S. troops, Israel, other U.S. allies and vital energy resources.

  • Issues Memos

    MAP: Hizballah Rocket Ranges (PDF)

    December 29, 2008

    This map illustrates the ability of the terrorist group Hizballah's rocket arsenal to strike large parts of Israel.

  • Issues Memos

    Hamas Abandons Pretense of Calm with Barrage of Attacks (PDF)

    December 23, 2008

    After weeks of rocket attacks against Israeli civilians, Hamas formally announced that it will not extend the six-month Egyptian-mediated lull in fighting, which officially ended Dec. 19. During the past six weeks, Hamas and other terrorist groups have fired nearly 400 rockets and mortars into Israel, doubled their stockpile of rockets and upgraded the weapons' capabilities. Israel remains committed to reducing hostilities and facilitating humanitarian assistance to Gaza while simultaneously defending its citizens against attack. Further violence directed at Israeli civilians from Hamas-controlled Gaza may require Israel to take tougher measures in self-defense.

  • Issues Memos

    Iran Reaching Critical Milestone in Nuclear Quest (PDF)

    November 21, 2008

    Iran is reaching a critical milestone in its quest for a nuclear weapons capability. In the view of some experts, Iran has now enriched a sufficient quantity of uranium that it could produce a nuclear weapon if it decided to further enrich that material to weapons-grade level. As Iran continues to defy U.N. Security Council resolutions, the U.S. must lead the international community in an urgent effort of increased intensity to impose comprehensive economic, diplomatic and political sanctions to persuade Iran to turn away from this dangerous course.

  • Issues Memos

    Hamas Undermines Calm with Barrage of Attacks (PDF)

    November 20, 2008

    Hamas has stepped up its rocket attacks, weapons smuggling and efforts to infiltrate the Jewish state to carry out terrorist attacks during the past two weeks. Since Nov. 4, Hamas has fired 150 rockets and mortars into Israel, raising serious questions about the terrorist group's commitment to maintain the Egyptian-mediated calm with Israel. Israel remains committed to efforts to reduce hostilities and to facilitating humanitarian assistance while at the same time taking the necessary measures to defend its citizens amid this increase in attacks.

  • Issues Memos

    Syria Must Be Pressed on Illicit Nuclear Program (PDF)

    November 20, 2008

    An investigation by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) provides strong evidence that a Syrian site bombed by Israel last year was a nuclear facility. The IAEA concluded—based on hard evidence—that there is strong reason to believe Syria was nearing completion of a nuclear reactor. The international community must press Syria to fully cooperate with IAEA inspectors and come clean on its illicit nuclear activity.