Issue Memo

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

  • Issues Memos

    After 35 Years, Israel-Egypt Treaty Marks Key Benchmark for Middle East Peace (PDF)

    March 27, 2014

    This week marks the 35th anniversary of the 1979 Treaty of Peace between Israel and Egypt, which stands as the foundation of all Arab-Israeli peace efforts. Egypt became the first Arab state to officially recognize Israel and normalize relations; for its part, Israel returned the entire Sinai Peninsula to Egypt and pledged to negotiate a peace accord with the Palestinians. Since 1979, Egypt, Israel, and the United States have frequently worked together to promote regional security. Despite intense turmoil in the Middle East and within Egypt itself, the Israel-Egypt treaty has held firm, protecting the citizens of both nations from the devastation of war. It remains an indispensable foundation for regional peace.

  • Issues Memos

    The 2014 AIPAC Briefing Book (PDF)

    March 25, 2014

    The AIPAC Briefing Book analyzes the key planks of AIPAC's policy agenda in 2014, including the U.S.-Israel strategic partnership, Iran's nuclear program, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and foreign aid.

  • Issues Memos

    Beyond the Nuclear: Iran's Extremism Persists (PDF)

    March 18, 2014

    As Iran and the P5+1 resume nuclear discussions this week in Vienna, and members of Congress assert their role in the talks, Tehran continues to demonstrate destructive behavior. Most recently, Israel seized an illegal Iranian weapons shipment to Gaza terrorists, a U.N. report castigated Iran’s human rights record under President Hassan Rouhani, and a U.S. government official revealed that Iran illicitly continues to seek parts for nuclear weapons in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions. Iran’s continuing support for terrorism, human rights abuses, and flouting of U.N. Security Council resolutions will make it much more difficult to conclude a successful negotiation over Tehran’s illicit nuclear program. It also makes it essential that any final agreement require Iran to physically dismantle existing facilities and submit to an extraordinarily thorough inspections regime.

  • Issues Memos

    Israel as a Jewish State (PDF)

    March 12, 2014

    Today, the State of Israel is negotiating with Palestinian leaders to reach an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a two-state solution. Israel recognizes the Palestinian right to establish a Palestinian state, and calls upon the Palestinians to recognize Israel as the Jewish state. As Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas prepares to meet with President Obama this Monday at the White House, it is clear that Palestinian acceptance of Israel’s character as a Jewish nation-state has become an essential component for resolving the conflict.

  • Issues Memos

    Guidelines for Promoting a Successful Peace Process (PDF)

    March 04, 2014

    As the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians progress, it is critical that the Obama administration keep in mind a number of key principles that are vital to supporting successful negotiations.

  • Issues Memos

    Agreement Must Guarantee Nuclear Weapons-Free Iran (PDF)

    February 18, 2014

    Today, the P5+1 and Iran begin negotiations in Vienna on a final agreement to define the contours of Tehran’s nuclear program. President Obama has said any agreement must “make it impossible” for Iran to develop a nuclear weapon. In order to achieve this objective, the United States and its partners must insist that Iran discontinue elements of its current illicit program and dismantle existing capabilities to prevent it from developing a nuclear weapon. Unfortunately, in the run up to Vienna, Iran’s leaders have publicly rejected dismantling any part of its program. Tehran must dramatically alter its position if the Vienna talks are to have any chance for success.

  • Issues Memos

    Final-Status Issues for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations: Challenges and Complexities (PDF)

    February 07, 2014

    Israel is committed to the peace negotiations with the Palestinians and hopes they are successful. The issues confronting them, however, go to the heart of Israel’s security concerns. Any successful effort will require direct negotiations between the two parties without outside coercion. Below is an overall analysis of five key final-status issues – security, borders, refugees, Jerusalem, and mutual recognition. Over the coming months, we will discuss each in greater depth in separate issue briefs.

  • Issues Memos

    Beyond The Nuclear: Iran's Extremism Persists (PDF)

    January 21, 2014

    The interim agreement between Iran and P5+1 on Tehran's nuclear program has now entered into force, kicking off negotiations on a final deal. Ideally, these negotiations would be accompanied by Iranian actions calculated to build trust. However, Iran’s new government has actually worsened its radical behavior at home and throughout the Middle East. Tehran has increased its repression domestically, its support for terrorism abroad, and its backing of the Assad regime in Syria. Even in the nuclear arena, Iran’s leaders have made clear that they have no intention of coming into compliance with their international obligations. As final negotiations commence, the United States must continue to avoid illusions. Among other key prevention measures, the United States must insist on unusually tough verification standards to protect itself and its friends from Tehran’s ongoing threats to peace and stability.

  • Issues Memos

    Congress Must Act to Ensure Iranian Compliance (PDF)

    January 14, 2014

    The interim agreement between Iran and the P5+1 goes into effect on January 20, with ongoing concerns remaining about Iran’s continued nuclear program and the extent of sanctions relief it will receive. As implementation of the agreement begins, Congress must take three important steps: (1) strictly oversee Iranian compliance; (2) lay out the contours of an acceptable final agreement; and (3) advance legislation that will spell out the consequences for Tehran if it violates the interim deal or rebuffs a verifiable final pact ending Iran’s nuclear weapons pursuit.

  • Issues Memos

    Israeli Actions Building Atmosphere for Peace (PDF)

    January 10, 2014

    Since the resumption of peace talks in the summer of 2013, Israel has taken important low-key steps to improve the daily lives of the Palestinians and enhance the prospects for productive dialogue. The international community should acknowledge Israel’s efforts for peace and encourage the Palestinian leadership to match them and cease its hostile rhetoric of incitement.

  • Issues Memos

    American Public Opinion on Iran (PDF)

    December 20, 2013

    Three recent national polls were conducted to gauge the American public’s opinion on Iran. This document presents questions and answers from those surveys.

  • Issues Memos

    Key Lawmakers Urge Increased Pressure on Iran (PDF)

    December 04, 2013

    Key congressional leaders from both parties are continuing to scrutinize the recent interim agreement signed with Iran. A senior bipartisan group of senators is arguing the importance of confronting Iran with prospective additional sanctions if it violates the agreement or continues its nuclear weapons quest. Former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George Shultz have echoed these sentiments, insisting that any deal with Iran be “something other than a tactical pause on Iran’s march toward a military nuclear capability.”

  • Issues Memos

    U.S. Must Prevent a Nuclear-Capable Iran (PDF)

    November 25, 2013

    Now that the P5+1 has inked an initial agreement with Iran, America must not only ensure full Iranian compliance but also insist that any final deal deny Tehran a nuclear weapons capability. Tough sanctions legislation passed by Congress and vigorous diplomacy pursued by the administration have brought Iran to negotiations. However, the initial agreement raises many concerns—including implicit acceptance of Iranian enrichment. Congress has provided the leverage to spur Iran to seek talks; now it must press the administration to negotiate a verifiable agreement that will prevent Iran from ever building nuclear weapons. Congress must also legislate additional sanctions, so that Iran will face immediate consequences should it renege on its commitments or refuse to negotiate an acceptable final agreement.

  • Issues Memos

    Israel Takes Robust Steps to Advance Peace Prospects with the Palestinians (PDF)

    November 15, 2013

    Israel has initiated a variety of important measures over the past six months to improve the daily lives of the Palestinians and enhance the atmosphere for peace negotiations. The international community should acknowledge Israel’s steps for peace and encourage the Palestinian leadership to match them.

  • Issues Memos

    Iran Has No 'Inalienable' Right to Uranium Enrichment (PDF)

    October 17, 2013

    In the run-up to the P5+1 nuclear talks with Tehran this week, Iranian leaders asserted an “inalienable” right to enrich uranium. In reality, as U.S. Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman has clearly asserted, the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) does not speak about the right of enrichment. Even if there were such a right, Iran’s extensive decades-long violations of the NPT would have negated it. The international community has spoken explicitly to that issue through United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions directing Iran to suspend enrichment. These resolutions constitute the highest form of international law. Tehran must comply forthwith and halt all of its illicit nuclear activities. Instead, Iran has the uncontested ability, utilized by many other countries, to pursue peaceful nuclear energy without domestic enrichment.