Issue Memo

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

  • Issues Memos

    Congress Takes Steps to Provide Strong Backing for U.S. Diplomacy Amid Iran's Stalling (PDF)

    October 29, 2009

    Iran's latest efforts to stall negotiations by refusing to agree to the international offer to process its low-enriched uranium (LEU) add to already serious doubts about Iran's intentions. Given Iran's refusal to accept this offer or to meet its legal obligations to suspend uranium enrichment, the world needs to step up pressure on Tehran. Congress this week began advancing legislation to authorize crippling sanctions on Iran if diplomacy alone cannot change Iran's behavior.

  • Issues Memos

    Palestinians, Arabs Push Anti-Israel U.N. Agenda (PDF)

    October 22, 2009

    As the Obama administration tries to revive Mideast peace negotiations, Palestinian and other Arab leaders are mounting a campaign at the United Nations to isolate Israel. Reneging on a commitment to the United States, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas has asked various U.N. bodies to endorse the Goldstone report on the conflict in Gaza, which the Obama administration has described as "deeply flawed." Such biased action by the United Nations will likely frustrate American efforts to promote Israeli-Palestinian peace.

  • Issues Memos

    Israeli Measures in West Bank Easing Palestinian Travel, Boosting Economy (PDF)

    October 07, 2009

    Increased Israeli steps to improve travel and boost economic activity are having a significant impact on the economy of the West Bank. The International Monetary Fund estimates that the West Bank will grow at a 7 percent rate this year amid one of the worst global recessions in decades. Israel has removed significant numbers of roadblocks and checkpoints, including more than two dozen manned roadblocks, opened major crossings to spur trade and allowed more Palestinian businessmen and workers to do business in Israel.

  • 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.