ECI Letter to Senators Schumer and Levin

Below is the letter sent by the directors of the Emergency Committee for Israel to Senators Charles Schumer and Carl Levin regarding their public call for AIPAC to support the New START treaty.


December 1, 2010

The Honorable Charles Schumer 313 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Carl Levin 269 Russell Office Building Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senators Schumer and Levin:

We write in response to your remarkable public letter to Howard Kohr, the Executive Director of AIPAC. His ongoing institutional responsibilities will probably prevent him from responding to you—two powerful Senators unafraid to use your power—as frankly as we can. But we will be frank.

Your letter—an effort to pressure an organization to lobby on a matter far outside its expertise and area of concern—is a disgrace. 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?

It’s clear that defenders of the New START treaty (on which, needless to say, the Emergency Committee for Israel takes no position) are frantic to have it ratified in the lame duck session, and they apparently lack the votes to ram it through. But your desperation about New START does not justify behavior unworthy of Senators.

Furthermore: 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? 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.

As ever,

William Kristol, Chairman Rachel Abrams Gary Bauer

Directors, Emergency Committee for Israel

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