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Thu Feb 27, 2014, 08:33 AM

Shifting US foreign policy views force rethink by Israel lobby


Shifting US foreign policy views force rethink by Israel lobby
By Geoff Dyer in Washington
February 27, 2014 12:24 pm


Even though this yearís meeting is expected to draw a record 14,000 attendees, it is also likely to be a more muted occasion than normal. For the second time in two years, Aipac has found itself rebuffed by Congress on one of its key objectives, in this case a new Iran sanctions bill.

The opposition to new Iran sanctions is part of a broader trend where more hawkish policy views on the Middle East appear to be losing some of the backing they have enjoyed in Congress over the last decade, even while support for Israel remains rock solid.

Since the end of last year, Aipac has thrown its weight behind a bill that threatens dramatically tougher sanctions on Iranís oil industry if it does not reach a final agreement over its nuclear programme in the coming months.

However, the bill has stalled after the White House threatened a veto and after some leading Democrats in the Senate sharply criticised it as an attempt to scupper diplomacy.

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