Rubio’s ‘Bibi’ Amendment

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who is about to announce his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination, thinks he has come up with a clever way to sabotage any nuclear agreement with Iran, drive a wedge between Jews and Barack Obama and raise money for his campaign.

This three-birds-with-one-stone strategy is an amendment to a Senate bill intended to require congressional review of any deal with Iran.

The legislation, introduced by Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee), would require the President to submit any Iran agreement to the Congress, which would then have 60 days to approve, disapprove or ignore it. The bill is to come up for a vote in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this week.

Rubio has said he’s thinking of offering his killer amendment that would require Iran to recognize Israel’s right to exist, as demanded by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, an outspoken critic of the Iran negotiations.

Republicans are backing the “Bibi” language because it sets up Democrats, especially Jewish ones, to choose between supporting Israel or the administration, which opposes the amendment. AIPAC will be lobbying hard for the amendment, if it is offered, and then notify its members who the real friends of Israel are and who doesn’t deserve their contributions and votes.

The added value of the Rubio’s amendment is that it not only splits Jews and Democrats but it would kill any chance of an agreement with the Iranians.

This is a blatantly transparent ploy because even if the “Bibi” amendment were enacted and the ayatollahs accepted it, the Republicans would still oppose any agreement negotiated by Obama.  It has nothing to do with nukes; it’s all about partisan politics, and Netanyahu is a willing accomplice.

And there’s more for Rubio. The Tea Party darling and presidential wannabe will be sending copies of his amendment and his Israel position paper to all potential Jewish supporters as well as his evangelical mailing list with an appeal to help him defend Israel with their generous contributions.

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.