Issue Memo

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

  • Issues Memos

    FAQ: Gaza and the Israel-Hamas Conflict (PDF)

    February 09, 2009

    After Hamas ended a six-month Egyptian-mediated calm by firing more than 400 rockets and mortars at Israeli population centers during the last week of December, Israel decided to engage in a major offensive against Hamas to significantly impair its capabilities and restore deterrence. Although both Israel and Hamas each announced unilateral cease-fires in January, Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza continue to carry out attacks against Israeli civilian targets and prepare for future violence. Despite the violence and threats, Israel remains committed to ending hostilities and facilitating the transfer of humanitarian aid into Gaza.

  • Issues Memos

    Iran Forges Ahead With Nuclear Weapons Pursuit (PDF)

    February 06, 2009

    Iran is maintaining a rapid pace in its progress toward a nuclear weapons capability. Tehran may have already enriched a sufficient quantity of uranium to produce a nuclear weapon if it further enriched that material to weapons-grade level. It also is advancing the technology needed for ballistic missiles as evidenced by its first satellite launch using an indigenous rocket launcher. The United States should undergird a diplomatic approach to Iran with more robust economic, diplomatic and political sanctions to persuade Iran to turn away from its dangerous course.

  • Issues Memos

    Gaza Terrorists Continue Attacks, Call for More Violence (PDF)

    February 06, 2009

    Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza continue to carry out attacks against Israel and prepare for future violence. Despite the violence and threats, Israel remains committed to reducing hostilities and facilitating the transfer of humanitarian aid into Gaza. The United States and the international community should work with Israel—which reserves the right to defend its citizens from continuing attacks—to prevent Hamas from smuggling arms into Gaza and threatening Israeli civilians.

  • Issues Memos

    U.S.-Israel MOU Aimed at Preventing Hamas' Rearmament (PDF)

    January 16, 2009

    The United States and Israel today signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) pledging joint efforts to stem the flow of weapons to Hamas and other Iranian-backed terrorists in Gaza. The agreement recognizes that Hamas' acquisition and use of arms against Israel were "the direct causes of recent hostilities" and that a durable and sustainable cessation of hostilities depends on denying weapons to terrorist groups and countering Iran's destructive activities.. The agreement also strongly underscores American support for the security of the Jewish State and the importance of the U.S.-Israel relationship to America's national security.

  • Issues Memos

    Israel Boosting Humanitarian Efforts in Gaza (PDF)

    January 16, 2009

    Israel has dramatically stepped up its efforts to provide humanitarian aid to Gaza to alleviate the suffering of innocent civilians despite continuing rocket attacks against its own civilians. Hamas bears responsibility for this conflict and the resulting impact on Palestinians in Gaza because it abandoned the six-month "calm" and escalated rocket attacks on Israel. Hamas has exacerbated the situation in Gaza by stealing food and medicine intended for those in need and using innocent civilians as human shields in schools, hospitals and mosques.

  • Issues Memos

    U.S.-Israel MOU Aimed at Preventing Hamas' Rearmament (PDF)

    January 16, 2009

    The United States and Israel today signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) pledging joint efforts to stem the flow of weapons to Hamas and other Iranian-backed terrorists in Gaza. The agreement recognizes that Hamas' acquisition and use of arms against Israel were "the direct causes of recent hostilities" and that a durable and sustainable cessation of hostilities depends on denying weapons to terrorist groups and countering Iran's destructive activities.. The agreement also strongly underscores American support for the security of the Jewish State and the importance of the U.S.-Israel relationship to America's national security.

  • Issues Memos

    Hamas Must Not Be Allowed to Fire Rockets, Rearm (PDF)

    January 14, 2009

    Diplomatic efforts seeking to end hostilities in Gaza must provide for an immediate end to rocket attacks on Israel and a mechanism to ensure Hamas cannot rebuild its military arsenal via smuggled Iranian weapons shipments. U.N. Security Council Resolution 1860 is nonbinding and merely calls for such an outcome, but provides no mechanism to guarantee it. Hamas used the recent "period of calm" to build up its military capabilities and prepare for attacks on Israeli civilians. Israel remains committed to peace; its actions in Gaza are designed to help create the long-term conditions necessary for a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

  • Issues Memos

    MAPS: Hamas Rocket Ranges by U.S. City (PDF)

    January 09, 2009

    These maps show the range of Hamas' rocket arsenal when superimposed over several major American cities, dramatically illustrating the real-time threats that Israeli civilians face.

  • Issues Memos

    MAP: Hamas Rocket Ranges (PDF)

    January 08, 2009

    This map graphically illustrates the range of Hamas rockets, which the terrorist group has significantly upgraded with Iranian assistance. Hamas rockets now threaten more than one million Israelis and critical infrastructure.

  • 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

    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.