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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Senators to Obama: Resolve crisis amicably and in a manner that befits longstanding strategic allies

Senators Barabara Boxer (D-Cal.) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) have drafted a letter to Secretary of State Clinton urging her to resolve differences with Israel “amicably and in a manner that befits longstanding strategic allies.” Thousands of participants in this week's AIPAC convention (all of whom have someone else to clean for Pesach) will urge other Senators to sign the letter this week.
The letter, written by Barbara Boxer (D-California) and Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia) and addressed to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, along with its House companion will be centerpieces of Israel advocates’ lobbying as part of the AIPAC annual conference.

The conference, which begins Sunday and is expected to attract an unprecedented 7,500 attendees, comes as the US and Israel have been embroiled in their most serious crisis in years.


AIPAC activists will take to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to meet with individual legislators at the tail end of the conference and are also expected to press for swift passage of Iran sanctions and to back continued aid to Israel.

But the recent tensions have heightened the profile of the letters to be circulated among members backing the US-Israel relationship and looking to move forward on the peace process. The Senate letter also calls on Clinton to “reaffirm the unbreakable bonds between the United States and Israel.”
You can find the Senate letter here. A similar letter is also being advanced by the House.

Ben Smith has been through AIPAC's lobbying packet (which is online this year - last year I had to ask someone to send it to me) and reports that AIPAC is also going to be lobbying for 'crippling sanctions' against Iran.
The Iran "action" items:
• Urge members of the House and Senate to call on their leadership to conclude as soon as possible a conference agreement on the House’s Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act and the Senate’s Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act.
• Urge members of the House and Senate to sign letters to President Obama urging him to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran by imposing immediate and crippling sanctions.
And one of the letter sponsors on Iran in the House is - get this - Jesse Jackson Jr.


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