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6 Mar, 2012 21:45

AIPAC pushing for war with Iran?

It’s annual tradition...more than 13,000 people gathering in the nation’s capital for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s annual conference.

“It gives people across the country a chance to revitalize their pro-Israel roots,” said attendee Howard Abrams.“It is very important that the United States will back up Israel and indeed the United States is committed to backing up Israel,” said another visitor.AIPAC is considered to be one of the most powerful lobbying groups in America, and they hold the conference each year showcasing American-Israeli unity.  But just how much power the group has over U.S. foreign policy stirs controversy.Speaking at the conference, President Obama reiterated America’s dedication to fostering strong ties with America’s closestally.“I have said that when it comes to Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon, I will take no option off the table, and I mean what I say. That includes all elements of American power,” said President Obama.Statements like that make the world wonder… is war with Iran just around the corner?“AIPAC and Israel are pushing us into a regional war that does have cataclysmic potential,” said Mark Bruzonsky of MiddleEast.org.“AIPAC supports war.  Jewish Voice for Peace and many Jewish Americans are on the side of peace. We're not on the sideof unnecessary wars," added Shelly Cohen Fudge, coordinator for Jewish Voice for Peace.Protesters outside the convention center say Israel and AIPAC are dragging America into war with Iran.  They’re also protesting the lobbying group’s enormous impact on U.S. politics.  AIPAC-affiliated groups pump exorbitant amounts of money into political campaigns.“Politicians know that if they attempt to speak up on this issue, they are going to be not just vilified, they're going to be defeated,” said Bruzonsky.In a meeting in the White House today, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told President Obama that Israel and America stand together.“We are you and you are us.  We're together,” he said.While Netanyahu stressed Israel will always be master of its own fate, President Obama insisted, “the United States will always have Israel’s back when it comes to Israel’s security.” This after Israel has warned it will launch an attack against Iran without giving the U.S. notice.So the question remains: With Israel ramping up pro-war rhetoric, and America dedicated to supporting them, is another war in the Middle East all but inevitable?“AIPAC has a lot of power and a lot of that is due to the fact that Congress and the media just eats it all up,” said Fudge.