Israel and the U.S. Congress
The present battle by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) to scuttle the 14 July Iran nuclear agreement may prove to mark a pivotal moment in the history of the organization and its status as vanguard of the so-called “Israel lobby.” AIPAC is fully mobilized against the American president, and its success or defeat may very well determine its future clout on Capitol Hill. The organization has reportedly poured over $20 million into television advertising  against the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Acton and dedicated its website and social media accounts to broadcasting constant attacks against the deal’s terms.
Nonetheless, President Barack Obama looks likely to secure enough votes in Congress to sustain his veto of an inevitable Republican vote against the agreement. AIPAC may count on a unanimous Republican voting bloc, but this will hardly confer bragging rights as very few, if any, Republicans were poised to support the agreement. It is the Democratic Party that is increasingly critical of the Jewish state and whom AIPAC is alienating by working to sink the president’s key diplomatic achievement. In the off chance AIPAC’s lobbying convinces enough Democrats to side against their president, support for Israel will be greatly undermined among American liberals and war-weary Americans, especially if a failed agreement forces the United States into yet another Middle Eastern conflict.
For AIPAC and Israel, the Iran deal could foreshadow significant loss of domestic and international standing. Ever since professors John Mearsheimer (University of Chicago) and Stephen Walt (Harvard) published "The Israel Lobby"  nearly a decade ago, an increasing number of commentators have echoed their argument that organizations like AIPAC promote an American foreign policy at odds with American interests. A defeat for AIPAC over the Iran deal would likely add to the chorus and might encourage members of Congress to voice their own private concerns publicly. An AIPAC incapable of delivering on its highest priority and unable to persuade the representative with the largest Jewish constituency in the country  is a lobby that may be rebuffed on other issues as well, and the current moment may prove true a recent speculation in the New Yorker that AIPAC is “losing influence.” 
Israel faces similar stakes as related by our Institute for Palestine Studies Fellow Mouin Rabbani:
It matters a great deal that Israel has so publicly lost on an issue it has chosen to define as being of existential importance in an arena where Israeli governments have traditionally enjoyed greater support than in the Israeli Knesset. The clear message that when push comes to shove it is the United States and not Israel that dictates American foreign policy has not gone unnoticed. Those nations who have traditionally looked to Israel to assist their relations with Washington may well begin to look for other friends to help them obtain American benefits. 
For our September Special Focus – Israel and the U.S. Congress, we have made available a series of articles* from our Journal of Palestine Studies archive that address the history, context and consequences of pro-Israel lobbying of the House of Representatives and Senate, along with an interview with John Mearsheimer on the Israel lobby conducted by Palestine Studies TV. In addition, we would like to remind readers of our special Virtual Issue of the Journal of Palestine Studies on the U.S., Israel and Iran. For those interested in further study, we recommend original IPS publications American Jewish Organizations and Israel by Lee O'Brien, which may have been the first comprehensive study of pro-Israel lobbying organizations, and The United States and the Palestinian People by Michael E. Jansen, whose author challenges “the mistaken assumption that U.S. and Israeli interests coincide in the Middle East.”
Our Congressional Monitor tracks every legislative initiative introduced in the U.S. Congress that mentions Palestine or Israel or has bearing on the Arab-Israeli conflict, including the Iran nuclear issue. It is updated on an ongoing basis and features summaries of legislation from every Congressional session since 2005. Read the most recent summary: 113th Congress, Second Session: January 2014 - January 2015.
*Articles that were only made available as part of our monthly Special Focus have since been removed and may be purchased at our co-publisher's website, the University of California Press. Removed articles will automatically take you to the respective article at UCP's website.
Journal of Palestine Studies Articles:
Author: Lawrence Davidson
Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 41, No. 4 (Summer 2012), pp. 48-64
Author: Lawrence Davidson
Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 39, No. 4 (Summer 2010), pp. 28-42
Review by: Michael Neumann
Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 37, No. 3 (Spring 2008), pp. 96-98
Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 37, No. 1 (Autumn 2007), pp. 205-7
Special Document File
Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 35, No. 3 (Spring 2006), pp. 83-114
Author: Robert Byrd
Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 21, No. 4 (Summer 1992), pp. 130-39
Review by: Andrea Barron
Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 15, No. 1 (Autumn 1985), pp. 128-30
Interview: Paul Findley
Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 15, No. 1 (Autumn 1985), pp. 104-13
Author: Ghassan Bishara
Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 10, No. 1 (Autumn 1980), pp. 58-79
Author: Senator William Fulbright
Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 3, No. 2 (Winter 1974), pp. 177-82
Photo Credit: AFP.
 Hirschfeld Davis, Julie. "Pro-Israel Aipac Creates Group to Lobby Against the Iran Deal." New York Times 17 July 2015.
 Mearsheimer, John and Stephen Walt. "The Israel Lobby." London Review of Books Vol. 28 No. 6. 23 March 2006: 3-12. Print.
 Nussbaum Cohen, Debra. "Jerry Nadler Faces Wave of Ugly Criticism Over Iran Deal." Forward 25 August 2015.
 Mouin, Rabbani. "Senior Fellow Mouin Rabbani on Israel’s Defeat on Iran Deal." Palestine Square 29 August 2015.