AIPAC’s shy support for the peace process

AIPAC welcomes the resumption of direct talks between Israelis and Palestinians. AIPAC has been supportive of Secretary Kerry’s efforts to achieve direct bilateral talks, and we commend his determined hard work and commitment. We hope that these discussions will lead to successful negotiations.

It’s not on AIPAC’s front page. Nor is it on the peace process page.

It is on its press page, which is one click away from the front page and is featured on the banner over the front page.

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I found out about the link, dated July 19, when I asked AIPAC on Tuesday for a statement on the renewed talks. The statement seems never to have been emailed to reporters or to congressional staffers, although other major Jewish group published endorsements of the renewed talks, and AIPAC routinely emails its press releases. I’ve received every one on this page except for the peace talks endorsement.

I’ve confirmed the non-receipt with six other people, both on the Hill and in the media. A source close to AIPAC insists to me that the statement was widely emailed.

To be clear, AIPAC has strongly endorsed the renewed talks behind closed doors. This June 26 story about an off-the-record meeting with Democrats in the Senate, took place before the July 19 renewal of the talks, but well into Kerry’s efforts to get them started. At that point, the hearty endorsement conveyed by AIPAC was even more critical.

Which begs the question of why its July 19 statement is ostensibly only released upon request.

Ron Kampeas is JTA’s Washington bureau chief, responsible for coordinating coverage in the U.S. capital and analyzing political developments that affect the Jewish world. He comes to JTA from The Associated Press, where he worked for more than a decade in its bureaus in Jerusalem, New York, London and, most recently, Washington. He has reported from Northern Ireland, Afghanistan, Bosnia and West Africa. While living in Israel, he also worked for the Jerusalem Post and several Jewish organizations.

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