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NORPAC May 2015 Newsletter

Our May 2015 newsletter has been released! Check it out here

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NORPAC Applauds the Passage of Iran Review Bill in U.S. House

May 14- NORPAC applauds the House of Representatives for its passage of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 (H.R. 1191), which concluded with an overwhelmingly favorable vote of 400 – 25. This bill ensures Congressional review of any deal with Iran regarding their nuclear program before such a deal is finalized.

This bipartisan legislation originated in the U.S. Senate, introduced by Senators Corker (R-TN) and Menendez (D-NJ) earlier this year. The bill passed in the Senate by a vote of 98 – 1 the week preceding the House vote.

1,500 NORPAC members went to meet with Members of Congress and their staff on May 13th to discuss the details that a final deal should entail, presenting offices with a scorecard list detailing each point of a satisfactory agreement. Among the nine points covered were ‘Aywhere, Anytime’ inspections of Iranian nuclear sites, limiting continued nuclear-related research, and phased lifting of sanctions.

As negotiations continue between the U.S. and Iran, Congress will have the ability to affect the course of the nuclear negotiations with Tehran to ensure that it does not achieve a nuclear weapons capability. This legislation will help re-enforce the role of Congress in determining the points of a satisfactory agreement.

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NORPAC Applauds the Passage of the Hezbollah Sanctions Bill in the House of Representatives

May 14- NORPAC applauds the passage of the Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act of 2015 (H.R. 2297) by an overwhelming vote of 432 – 0. NORPAC was the first organized group to advocate in support of Hezbollah Sanctions in 2014.

This bipartisan legislation, introduced by Reps. Royce (R-CA), Meadows (R-NC), Zeldin (R-NY), Deutch (D-FL), and Engel (D-NY), would cut off Hezbollah’s access to foreign financial institutions. It would also establish a means of preventing Hezbollah from broadcasting their terrorist propaganda network, Al-Manar, in the U.S.

NORPAC members requested Congressional support for the Hezbollah Sanctions bill in 2014 when we sent one thousand advocates to Washington, DC in April. In the six weeks after its original introduction, it had only about 20 sponsors. In the six weeks following our advocacy, it had over 300 sponsors and passed the House by a vote of 404 – 0.

The legislation did not get through the Senate Banking Committee in the last session. However, our discussions this week with the new Banking Committee Chairman, Senator Shelby (R-AL), indicated strong support to get it through committee. Our talks with members of the Senate were very positive for broad support and passage.

Hezbollah sanctions also pose a significant blow to Iran, which has helped fund the terrorist entity. With the passage of this bill, the U.S. is one step closer to ending Hezbollah’s attacks on Israel and other nations by stifling their ability to receive international financing.

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NORPAC February 2015 Newsletter

Our February 2015 newsletter has been released! Check it out here

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Op-Ed: To Speak or Not to Speak

Op-Ed: To Speak or Not to Speak
by Ben Chouake, MD, President of NORPAC
Feb 20, 2015

A controversial topic in the news is whether or not Prime Minister Netanyahu should give his planned speech on Iran to Congress.

It is important to first acknowledge how far we have come in limiting Iran economically. The Iranian currency has plummeted, their exports and GDP have suffered, and their currency reserves are dangerously close to default. Congress deserves credit, but so does the Obama Administration. This President embraced the Iran sanctions legislation passed during his first term in office, and worked with other countries to make it effective. No other President has enforced sanctions against Iran as competently as President Obama. By contrast, during the 8 year Presidency of George W Bush, despite his well-known affection for Israel, not a single Iran sanctions bill even got to the floor for a vote.

Iran is an expansionist Terrorist State, with proxies in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen. Even economically crippled, they are advancing their WMD program and have managed to support the wars in Syria and Yemen. A faulty agreement with Iran would undo all our hard work and likely result in even more aggressive behavior throughout the region.

Since the P5+1 negotiations with Iran began about 2 years ago, the Obama Administration has taken great pains to squelch any opposition to their sole jurisdiction and management of these negotiations. They have chastised Members of Congress supporting additional sanctions, accusing them of pushing America to war. Of course, the opposite is true. If the negotiations are again progressing after almost two years of Iranian stalling, it is because a more damaging Iran sanctions bill just passed the Senate Banking Committee 18-4. Similarly to excluding Congress, the Administration has largely shut Israel out of the negotiations process.

We implore the leaders in Washington, DC to remember the stakes. Iran has stated its goal – the destruction of America and Israel – repeatedly and in certain terms. For Israel, the threat is more palpable. With just one bomb, Iran can do to the Jews in 12 minutes what Hitler did in 12 years. The most devoted and knowledgeable strategists on this issue are our Israeli counterparts who understand that only a zero enrichment agreement is verifiable.

The P5+1 negotiations with Iran are scheduled to produce a political agreement similar to a letter of intent on March 24th. This is why PM Netanyahu believes he must speak out now against the dangers of a faulty agreement. Rescheduling this after the Israeli election may be too late.

We believe it would improve the outcome for President Obama to be inclusive, so that the Israeli leadership can have more input into the agreement. The House Speaker invitation for Netanyahu’s address to Congress and timing close to the Israeli election may break typical protocol, but there are life-threatening issues at hand. It is heartbreaking that some Members of Congress, with whom the pro-Israel Community has had deep friendships throughout their lives, have announced their intention to miss the Prime Minister’s speech. We encourage all Members of Congress to attend and for the President to reconsider meeting with the Prime Minister. By meeting now with the Prime Minister, President Obama will elevate the President’s office and enhance the Administration’s bargaining position with Iran.

Netanyahu’s upcoming address to Congress is not about insulting the honorable President, which no Israeli leader would gratuitously do. It is about a desperate Israel trying to save itself and the world from Iranian terror and its messianic ambitions. The Israeli PM will travel 6,000 miles to be heard, and the March 24th P5+1 negotiations deadline with Iran makes this time of the essence. We would ask the President and all Members of Congress to take a few minutes to show solidarity with our trusted ally in this perilous time.


Ben Chouake, MD (Dr Ben) is the National President of NORPAC, a political action committee committed to maintaining strong US-Israel relations. He also sits in the leadership of the Orthodox Union, the American Jewish Congress, the ZOA, and multiple other Jewish organizations.

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Register NOW for NORPAC Mission to Washington 2015

Registration is now open for NORPAC’s Mission to Washington 2015. Check here for more details and registration info:

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NORPAC December 2014 Newsletter

Our December 2014 newsletter has been released! Check it out here

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NORPAC November 2014 Newsletter

Our November 2014 newsletter has been released! Check it out here

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NORPAC August 2014 Newsletter

Our August 2014 newsletter has been released! Check it out here

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NORPAC Mission 2014 – SUCCESS!

Dear NORPAC Members, 

We did it! Our Mission to Washington 2014 was a tremendous success, and we are proud to have signed up over 1,000 participants this year to meet in the offices of a record 97% of the U.S. Senate and most of the House of Representatives to advocate for a stronger U.S.-Israel relationship.
At this year’s plenary session we were honored by the presence of such important figures to this relationship as Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez, Senator Ben Cardin, Senator Ted Cruz, House Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Eliot Engel, and New Jersey State Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg. 

What happened during the Mission?

You advocated for key legislation and Congressional action, including:

We are among the first pro-Israel advocates to organize a mission promoting the new House Bill H.R. 4411 – the Hezbollah International Financial Prevention Act. This bill curtails Hezbollah’s funding by sanctioning foreign banks which do business with the the organization. It also seeks to stem their international influence by hitting satellite providers who air al-Manar – Hezbollah’s television station which promotes terrorism world-wide.

What’s next?
Now that you’ve been on the Mission and met with Members of Congress and their staff, don’t forget to follow up! One of the most important aspects of the Mission is the ability to build a relationship with the respective Congressional offices which you visited. Your correspondence with these offices is key to keeping the issues of importance fresh in the minds of our nation’s leaders in Washington, D.C. Please thank them for their time meeting with you on Mission day, and remind them how important the U.S.-Israel relationship really is.

Thank you to everyone who attended, thank you to our Mission committee and staff, and thanks to all of our members who support our organization and our mission to strengthen the U.S.-Israel relationship!


Laurie Baumel  * Richard Schlussel * David Steinberg


Jeff Schreiber                                                Allen Friedman
Bergen: Alan Berger, Michael Blumenthal, Reuven Escott, Mollie Fisch, Mort Fridman, Rabbi M Genack, Jerry & Anne Gontownik, Robert & Irene Gottesman, Miriam Hermann, Arthur Kook, Leon Kozak, Saul Levine, Drew Parker, Zvi Plotzker, David Schlussel
Manhattan: Susan Canter, Dan Feder, Charles Gross
Edison/Highland Park
: Andrew Freedman, Marc Hanfling
West Orange: Barbara Bortniker, Bernard & Eliane Levy, Roz Feder Lipsky, Susie Mendelsohn
Bronx: David Frankel, Stanley & Ethel Scher
New Rochelle: Marc Berger
Monsey/Rockland: Richard Kroll, Richard Weinberg
Five Towns/Long Island
: Margie Glatt, Robert Margulies, Jason Muss, Avram Schrieber, Stanley & Trudy Stern 

Ben Chouake 

Avi Schranz – Executive Director
Mindy Berman – Director of Development
Sandi DubeScheduler