Alan Solow, the chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, delivered the umbrella body’s traditional greeting to AIPAC’s annual policy conference.
Like Lee Rosenberg, AIPAC’s new president, Solow is Chicago-based and was a major fund raiser for presidential candidate Barack Obama. Unlike Rosenberg — and others in the AIPAC leadership — he didn’t call for tensions to be resolved behind closed doors.
Solow focused on rallying support for Iran sanctions and for the battle against the campaign to delegitimize Israel.
That’s consistent with how AIPAC and the PresCon dealt with the intensification of the crisis a week or so ago, when Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton berated Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for 45 minutes after Israel announced a major eastern Jerusalem building start during a visit by Vice President Joe Biden.
The PresCon called on both sides to tamp down the rhetoric:
The interests of all concerned would best be served by a prompt commencement of the proximity talks that had been previously agreed to by all parties, and all parties should act in a manner that does not undercut such talks. We urge the United States and Israel to resolve the controversy with the use of language reflecting their historic friendship.
AIPAC weighted the blame toward the Obama administration:
The Administration should make a conscious effort to move away from public demands and unilateral deadlines directed at Israel, with whom the United States shares basic, fundamental, and strategic interests.