Issue Memo

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

  • Issues Memos

    Hizballah: Amassing Arms in Unstable Lebanon (PDF)

    October 13, 2010

    Hizballah is a terrorist organization — supported by Iran and Syria — with global reach that poses a direct threat to Israel and to American interests at home and abroad. Hizballah has killed more Americans than any terrorist group other than al-Qaeda and has exploited Israel's full withdrawal from Lebanon to bring about a bloody war in 2006. Today, the U.S.-designated terrorist group has amassed more than 42,000 rockets aimed at Israel.

  • Issues Memos

    Is Syria Ready for Peace? (PDF)

    October 13, 2010

    Syrian President Bashar Assad must take serious steps to demonstrate he is interested in peace with Israel.For decades, Syria has been a force for instability in the region. Damascus' continued support for terrorism, cooperation with Iran, ongoing interference in Lebanon and support for insurgents in Iraq have harmed American interests and cost the lives of numerous U.S. military personnel. As Syria works to end its international isolation, Damascus must take concrete steps to demonstrate its readiness for peace and stability in the Middle East.

  • Issues Memos

    U.S.-Israel Energy Cooperation: A Renewable Resource (PDF)

    October 13, 2010

    In an era of booming populations, shrinking resources, environmental degradation and over-reliance on fossil fuel for energy, Israel is a world leader in critical fields such as solar power generation and seawater desalination. Israel's cutting-edge technologies promise to improve energy efficiency as well as reduce oil dependence, while making industry more efficient and minimizing the environmental impact of human activities. As the United States focuses on energy security issues, Congress and the administration have sought to expand cooperation with Israel to harness the Jewish state's expertise.

  • Issues Memos

    Homeland Security: Expanding U.S.-Israeli Cooperation (PDF)

    October 13, 2010

    The reality of life in Israel during the past 60 years has forced Israelis to defend against constant terrorist threats. As a result, the Jewish state has become a leader in designing techniques and technologies in the arenas of homeland security and counter-terrorism.

  • Issues Memos

    Key Principles of the Peace Process (PDF)

    October 13, 2010

    The United States and Israel have long shared the goal of establishing peace between Israel and all of its Arab neighbors, including the Palestinians. For decades, the United States has engaged in diplomatic efforts to facilitate negotiations between Israelis and Arabs. Throughout these efforts, successful American diplomacy has been founded on several core principles. These remain key to improving the likelihood for future success in Israeli-Arab talks.

  • Issues Memos

    Iran Increasingly Isolated but Remains Defiant (PDF)

    September 16, 2010

    Recently stepped-up sanctions are shaking the Iranian economy with accompanying signs of fissures in the Iranian government and society. Nonetheless, Tehran continues to advance its nuclear program in defiance of the international community. The latest International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report raises serious concerns about Iran's increased ability to enrich uranium and the agency's declining ability to monitor Tehran's activities. The United States and the international community must further press Iran to change course before it achieves nuclear weapons capability.

  • Issues Memos

    U.S. Sticking to Key Principles Critical to Talks' Success (PDF)

    September 16, 2010

    By promoting the resumption of direct negotiations, America has helped create an historic opportunity for Israelis and Palestinians to resolve their differences. The United States can enhance prospects for a successful outcome by adhering to key principles that have guided previous U.S.-led negotiations. These principles include: facilitating negotiations and eschewing efforts to impose a solution; encouraging the parties to persist in direct talks even in the face of near-term setbacks; insisting on broad Arab support for the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the talks; maintaining American commitments to Israel's security; and dealing with disagreements that may arise privately.

  • Issues Memos

    Direct Talks — Not Preconditions — Can Lead to Peace (PDF)

    September 16, 2010

    During the past 18 months, Israel has offered numerous goodwill gestures to woo Palestinians back to direct peace talks: calling for a Palestinian state, reducing barriers to movement in the West Bank, and implementing a West Bank housing construction moratorium. Unfortunately, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas refused to resume direct talks until it became clear that this would lead to no further Israeli concessions. He is now threatening to quit the nascent talks when the moratorium expires at the end of September and said he will make no concessions in the talks. Such behavior threatens the prospects for peace, which can only be achieved through serious, direct talks between two sides willing to make the necessary compromises — steps Israel has repeatedly shown it is prepared to undertake.

  • Issues Memos

    Palestinians Must Match Israel's Dedication to Peace (PDF)

    August 31, 2010

    Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas’ decision to resume direct negotiations with Israel is a welcome development since such talks are the only viable path to achieving peace. But Abbas must do more than come to the table. Israeli-Palestinian talks can only succeed now if the PA, with strong support of the Arab states, matches Israel’s commitment to conducting peace talks without preconditions or excuses, demonstrates a willingness to make the necessary compromises at the negotiating table, and ceases incitement against Israel. For more than six decades, Israel has repeatedly demonstrated its willingness to make heartrending sacrifices—altering borders, relinquishing territory and uprooting entire communities—in the pursuit of peace.

  • Issues Memos

    LAF Provocation Demands Tough International Response (PDF)

    August 04, 2010

    The Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) yesterday opened fire on Israeli soldiers performing routine maintenance on Israeli territory. This follows increasing LAF cooperation with the U.S.-designated terrorist group Hizballah, which now has amassed up to 60,000 rockets and missiles, vastly improved its weapons capabilities, and stepped up its threats against Israel. The United States and the international community must strongly support Israel in defending itself and firmly press the government of Lebanon to take concrete measures to repair the deteriorating security situation along the Israeli-Lebanese border.

  • Issues Memos

    New U.S. Sanctions Isolating Defiant Iran (PDF)

    July 16, 2010

    Just two weeks after being signed into law, the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act (CISADA) — the toughest Iran sanctions legislation to date — is already having a significant impact. Combined with the latest round of U.N. Security Council sanctions, the new U.S. law is convincing many foreign companies to sever ties with the Iranian regime — although some continue to defy the international community and are stepping up business with Iran. President Obama must strictly enforce and implement CISADA in order to dramatically increase the pressure on the Iranian regime and maximize the chance of persuading Iran to suspend its nuclear program.

  • Issues Memos

    Implementing Unprecedented Sanctions Could Prevent Nuclear Iran (PDF)

    July 08, 2010

    Congress' passage of the most comprehensive and toughest Iran sanctions legislation to date will — if implemented promptly and aggressively — dramatically increase the pressure on the Iranian regime to halt its illicit pursuit of nuclear weapons. The Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act, passed by the Senate 99 to 0 and by the House 408-8-1, aims to stifle Iran's energy sector, restrict Tehran's ability to conduct international financial transactions, and hamper its ability to obtain components for its nuclear and missile programs. Quick implementation and strong enforcement by the president — who signed the bill into law on July 1 — and his administration hold the last best hope of persuading Iran to suspend its quest for nuclear weapons through political, economic, and diplomatic means.

  • Issues Memos

    U.S., Israel Repeat Calls for Direct Talks with Reluctant PA (PDF)

    July 08, 2010

    The July 6 White House meeting between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reflects a continuing effort by the two allies to restart serious direct Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. During the meeting, both the president and the prime minister affirmed the need for the two sides to move quickly from indirect "proximity" talks to direct talks. In an effort to pave the way for such talks, Israel has already taken a series of bold steps to condition the environment for peace. Unfortunately, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Arab states continue to insist on unreasonable preconditions that block progress.

  • Issues Memos

    Hamas' History of Terror (PDF)

    June 29, 2010

    When Israel intercepted the recent flotilla headed toward Gaza, many of its passengers openly expressed support for Hamas, the Iranian-backed terrorist group ruling Gaza that explicitly seeks Israel's destruction and is blocking international organizations from visiting an Israeli soldier it has held captive for four years. Designated by the United States as a terrorist organization in 1997, Hamas has killed more than 500 innocent civilians, including two dozen Americans. Hamas can be a legitimate partner for negotiations only when it meets three conditions articulated by the international community: it must accept Israel's right to exist, reject violence, and endorse previous Israeli-Palestinian peace agreements.