Israel lobby presses Congress to soften Obama's tough stance on Netanyahu
American Israel Public Affairs Committee circulates letter urging White House to 'reinforce' relationship with Israel
Chris McGreal in Washington
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 30 March 2010 19.24 BST
Aipac has persuaded more than three-quarters of the members of the US House of Representatives to sign a letter calling for an end to public criticism of Israel. Photograph: Pete Souza/AP
America's main pro-Israel lobby group is mobilising members of Congress to pressure the White House over its bitter public confrontation with Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister.
The move, by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac), appears aimed at exploiting differences in the Obama administration as it decides how to use the crisis around settlement building in Jerusalem to press Israel towards concessions to kickstart peace negotiations.
Aipac has persuaded more than three-quarters of the members of the US House of Representatives to sign a letter calling for an end to public criticism of Israel and urging the US to "reinforce" its relationship with the Jewish state.
The open letter, which has been circulating among members of Congress for the last week, says that while it is recognised that there will be differences between the two countries, they should be kept behind closed doors. "Our view is that such differences are best resolved quietly, in trust and confidence," it says...link to complete article