AIPAC rejects report of differences with Jewish lawmaker on Iran sanctions
Report says Democratic representative, a staunch supporter of Israel, spoke against Iran sanctions bill.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee said an article describing differences between the group and U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was “inaccurate.”
“I wanted to forward a statement issued by AIPAC National Board Member Ike Fisher after The Huffington Post released an inaccurate article regarding AIPAC and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz,” said an alert sent to AIPAC activists on Friday by Mark Kleinman, AIPAC’s southeastern director.
The alert does not say what was inaccurate about the article, which described differences with Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) over Iran sanctions policy, but adds a comment by Fisher, a South Florida resident.
“Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz has a strong record of support for the U.S.-Israel relationship,” the statement quotes Fisher as saying. “She is a good friend of Israel and a close friend of AIPAC, and we look forward to our continued work together for many years to come.”
A query to AIPAC was unanswered. Sources close to Wasserman Schultz, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, confirmed that there had been an exchange of communications between AIPAC and the congresswoman leading up to the latest statement.
The January 15 Huffington Post story said Wasserman Schultz, a preeminent congressional supporter of Israel, spoke against legislation calling for new Iran sanctions at a meeting of White House staff and members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
AIPAC advocates new sanctions under consideration in the Senate, saying they will strengthen the U.S. hand in talks underway between the major powers and Iran aimed at keeping Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
The White House opposes the new sanctions, saying they could scuttle the talks.
The House overwhelmingly approved similar legislation last summer, before Iran agreed to join the talks; Wasserman Schultz backed that legislation.
The Washington Free Beacon, an online conservative news site, first reported differences between AIPAC and Wasserman Schultz.
The Free Beacon reported on January 14 that an AIPAC official had written to Florida Jewish leaders urging them to confront Wasserman Schultz about an earlier Free Beacon report that said Wasserman Schultz was instrumental in keeping House Democrats from backing a House resolution urging the Senate to advance that resolution.
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