THOUGHTS FROM THE AIPAC POLICY: TSTI Past-President Jack Fersko

This was the second year that Helene and I attended the AIPAC conference.  Once again it was exhilarating to hear what the leaders from both the United States and Israel had to say on the critical issues of the day – Iran, the “Arab Spring”, the peace initiative and related issues of Israeli security.

I was extremely troubled to learn that laws enacted by the United States to impose sanctions on companies doing business with Iran, are not being enforced with uniformity or vigor.  I left the conference with a deep sense that the international community, by and large, lacks the intestinal fortitude to do whatever it takes to stop Iran from developing a nuclear bomb despite the grave consequences that such a development portends.

Perhaps most interesting for me personally is the fact that I have been left wondering whether now is even a time that is appropriate for a peace with the Palestinians.  This is an issue that I have given much thought to since the conference.  A point made by Prime Minister Netanyahu, and well taken, is that any peace agreement has to survive the individuals making the deal.  If the Arab Spring has taught anything, it is that individuals come and go – raising a question concerning their agreements – and more to the point – the treaties which they make.  The Israeli-Egyptian Peace Treaty is not very old – yet it is now potentially in peril.    And so I am left to ponder whether a peace treaty at this time, made with this leadership, can remain viable enough to justify the concomitant risks.  While this assumes a deal can even be negotiated – I nevertheless am left perplexed whether now is the right time to even pursue such a result.  On the other hand — if not now — when?

I certainly don’t have the answers — but I don’t believe a conference such as AIPAC gives answers — just the information to raise more questions.  To my way of thinking – that is a good result.

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