Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another


Is AIPAC Readying U.S. for “War With Iran?”

No, and some pundits are distorting a pro-Israel resolution to say so

Print Email
Senators Lindsey Graham and Robert Menendez(AP)

For more than thirty years, we have constantly been almost going to war with Iran. With Passover just around the corner, why would today be different than any other day then?

Ali Gharib, writing in Open Zion, warns that “a joint resolution set to be introduced declares U.S. support for an Israeli military strike against Iran’s nuclear program.”  Not to be outdone, Hayes Brown, in a hyperbolically titled article (“Hawkish Senators Ready Backdoor To War With Iran”), puts the point still bolder: “Two hawkish Senators want to set U.S. policy in favor of prematurely pulling the ‘military option’ trigger against Iran, pledging American backing of absolutely any strike by Israel against Iran and its nuclear program.”

Worse, Mr. Gharib tells us that the resolution “will be supported by the thousands of delegates to the [AIPAC] annual conference that will stream through the Capitol this weekend.” I don’t know about you, but I’m scared.

So is an attack on Iran imminent? (I really thought Israel would attack last summer.)


The resolution does not “press to green light” an Israeli attack on Iran, nor are these “hawkish” senators seeking a “backdoor” to war with Iran and its nuclear program, which a majority of Americans already support.

The actual text of the Joint Resolution:

Urges that, if the Government of Israel is compelled to take military action in self-defense, the United States Government should stand with Israel and provide diplomatic, military, and economic support to the Government of Israel in its defense of its territory, people, and existence.”

The Resolution goes on to note:

Nothing in this resolution shall be construed as an authorization for the use of force or a declaration of war.

In other words, the Resolution does not mention supporting a strike against Iran’s nuclear program, as Mr. Gharib suggested. Nor does it mandate that the US support “any” strike by Israel against Iran and its nuclear program, as Mr. Brown alleged.  Instead, it contains the rather banal statement that the US should “stand with Israel” if it is “compelled” to take military action in “self-defense”  (two qualifiers in that sentence).  It is noteworthy, too, that the Joint Resolution, in talking about military action, does not mention Iran directly.

Would AIPAC like for the US to state unequivocally that it supports any military action Israel may undertake against Iran and its nuclear program?  Maybe–perhaps they believe a credible Israeli threat, backed by the US, will make Iran think twice about taking a hardline at the negotiating table.  Does this Resolution state that?  Absolutely not.

So rest easy: Your friends and the “thousands of delegates” going to the AIPAC conference are not warmongers after all.

Print Email

Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.

Whatever the excesses of Ali Gharib’s writing, I’m sure we’re all grateful to Peter Beinart for broadening the dialogue and encouraging an open exchange of ideas.

herbcaen says:

Open Zion is an abbreviation for open season on zionism

Israel doesn’t need much of an excuse to go to war, so if this ties the US to act based upon Israeli ‘self-defence’ (which usually means offense) then Mr Hayes and Gharib are not as wrong as you claim. Also American public perception of Iran and how it should be handled is framed in large part through rather biased and misinformed media. So I wouldn’t put much stock into that.

JohnWV says:

Right now, right here in United States, disproportionate Israeli/Jewish media, financial and political control is rampant. Our country, not just Palestine, has been occupied by Israel. The Wall Street felons remaining unpunished and AIPAC actually writing congressional legislation attest to the depth of the occupation.

Once great America has been bankrupted by: 1. Our Mideast wars instigated by Israel. 2. Our support for the Jewish state’s Mideast conquests. 3. The Great Recession felonies of Wall Street’s ethnic Israel Firsters and their traitorous ethnic Israel Firster government enablers.

As a post WW2 student, I was proud of my country’s heritage of opportunity, democracy, honor, justice and stature among nations. Today, I grieve for our diminished America,
for our future, for our children and grandchildren.

    Cynthia Morris says:

    Perhaps it’s difficult to get a book in the Appalacians not written by David Duke or William Luther Pierce. But if you’re going to spew insane ethnic conspiracy theories and racist drivel, at least come up with something original. You Klansmen are such a bore.

      WakeUpPlze says:

      As are you Cynthia. Everything he said is true. There is no reason for the United States to even be remotely close to that part of the world, other than to be big brother to Israel. The Israeli people that live there, I feel for them. They are certainly in a pickle. But, not even the US’s closest ally Great Britain gets involved with these military occupations/wars anymore. It can not be sustained. Israel’s hatred of its neighbors is what continues to cause the unrest in the Middle East. I don’t see China, Russia, Germany, France, or any other large nation getting involved anywhere in the world. Its only the US. Why? Its because the elites in the US are all Jewish. The media is run by the powerful Jews. How many top news anchors are Jewish? Lots. Why? Propaganda. Brainwash. Make us continually feel sorry for the people of Israel…the “chosen ones”. Wall Street, made up like John said…of powerful Jewish, and unethical money makers…got away at the tax payers expense. Its out of control. We might as well rename the United Sates to the “New Israel”. Our love for a country that hates “different” countries, just as much as the radicals…it going to bring the war home. Israel wants war…do it yourself. Leave the US and the US servicemen, and women out of it. Draft all the Jewish citizens kids to war if they want it so bad. Sick of feeling sorry for a country that spews just as much hatred as that whole region does.


Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Is AIPAC Readying U.S. for “War With Iran?”

No, and some pundits are distorting a pro-Israel resolution to say so

More on Tablet:

Wolf Blitzer Explores His Jewish Roots

By David Meir Grossman — CNN host visits Yad Vashem and Auschwitz for the network’s ‘Roots’ series