Réalité-EU, a group linked to The Israel Project, has been distributing USB drives to journalists outside the Nuclear Security Summit here in Washington. The USB drives contain a “press kit” (PDF) for the summit. Unsurprisingly, the kit is chock full of articles calling for stricter sanctions against Iran.
For those paying attention to the Nuclear Security Summit, Obama’s increasingly inclusive foreign policy, particularly the involvement and consultation with middle-ranking powers in the Non-Aligned Movement; the reemergence of U.S. leadership in multilateral diplomacy; and the arms-control momentum the administration has been building up in the run-up to next month’s review of the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) — aside from the sheer number of heads of state which have turned up here — are what make the last couple of days’ events remarkable and potentially even very important.
But it would be understandable if foreign journalists at the summit came away with the impression that The Israel Project and its campaign for sanctions or worse against Iran were the biggest issue inside the Beltway.
While Réalité-EU was handing out their USB drives to anyone with journalist credentials approaching the security checkpoint outside the Washington Convention Center (Falun Gong protesters and Réalité-EU were the only protesters at the checkpoint when I passed through yesterday), The Israel Project was blanketing the local CNN broadcasts with the following commercial.
At the same time, The Project was mobilizing its followers to send individual emails to the domestic and international media to remind them of the dangers posed by Iran and the importance of protecting Israel from any possible aggression. We at IPS received more than a dozen such emails, the shortest of which came all the way from Monza, Italy and read:
“Dear Inter Press Service,
down with Iran – mullah go to hell
Meanwhile, the American Jewish Committee ran full page ads in the (increasingly small) front section of the Washington Post from Sunday onwards with big photos and anti-Israel quotes of “Muslim Brother Leader Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi,” “Hezbollah Leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah;” “Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei;” and “Hamas Leader Khaled Meshal” with the message “Not Everyone Wants Israel to Live in Peace” and “We stand with Israel against the preachers of hate. And we stand with Israel in its age-old quest for peace.”
While the Obama administration’s efforts to bring the leaders of China, Turkey, Malaysia, and other countries attending the Summit on board for sanctions against Iran is, no doubt, a significant issue here, it is by no means the week’s biggest story.
But Réalité-EU, The Israel Project, and the AJC, among others, are doing their best to make it so.