The Emergency Committee for Israel has written a letter to Sens. Charles Schumer and Carl Levin, harshly criticizing them for the letter they wrote to AIPAC yesterday. Schumer and Levin’s letter pushed AIPAC to support the new START treaty, as several Jewish organizations have publicly done this month, arguing that it was necessary for gaining Russia’s cooperation in working against Iran’s nuclear plans.
“Your letter—an effort to pressure an organization to lobby on a matter far outside its expertise and area of concern—is a disgrace,” wrote chairman Bill Kristol and board members Gary Bauer and Rachel Abrams. “We’ve rarely seen Senators stoop to this kind of public bullying. AIPAC ‘cannot afford to stand on the sidelines?’ What threat do you mean to convey by this statement?”
“Is it your position that if the Senate does not ratify START in the lame duck session, Russia will be justified in violating UN sanctions against Iran, or in selling Iran air defense missiles?” continued a later part of the letter. “If not, why do you appear to give the Russian government such a justification? Is that the action of true friends of Israel, or true opponents of a nuclear Iran?”
“We urge you to withdraw the letter to which you have so unfortunately lent your name,” the letter concluded.
AIPAC has not publicly commented yet on the Schumer and Levin letter.