This year’s American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference, which begins Sunday, will take place against a more dramatic backdrop than usual: a looming crisis in U.S.-Israel relations, an administration squeeze on Israel and tumult in the American Jewish community over how to respond.
AIPAC conferences are always at their best when there’s a big U.S.-Israel crisis, according to longtime observers of the pro-Israel lobby group. This year’s crisis should provide plenty of fireworks.
Jewish groups divided over an all-out campaign by the pro-Israel lobby against a rumored administration squeeze on Israel.
Picking A FightWith Clinton?
The drill used to be simple. In times of tension between the United States and Israel, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee would lobby lawmakers to sign statements and letters to the administration backing Jerusalem. And the members would sign on, to pretty much universal applause from organized Jewry.
Washington — Ehud Barak, the general-turned-politician who hopes to lead Israel’s Labor Party out of the wilderness, tried out some of the themes that will drive his campaign for the post of prime minister this week during his first high-profile visit to the capital.
The battered peace process and Barak’s view that the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is damaging Israel’s security by allowing it to languish were at the top of his agenda.
AIPAC No. 2 On Power Scale
Anti-Israel groups have long complained that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee is one of the most powerful groups in Washington, and now it’s official: The current issue of Fortune Magazine rates AIPAC as the second most powerful lobby in the capital.
That appeared to delight officials of the pro-Israel lobby group, even though they generally seek to avoid the limelight.
Washington — Even as Washington seemed to back down from its ultimatum to Israel, leaders of the pro-Israel lobby here found themselves driven by fear that any positive statement about the administration’s efforts to break the Israel-Palestinian stalemate would be seen as endorsing administration pressure.
The fight over foreign aid could be tougher than ever in the upcoming Congress
James D. Besser
The fight over foreign aid could be tougher than ever in the upcoming Congress, and Israel’s support on Capitol Hill could be buffeted by the new violence and political upheaval in the region.
Last week the pro-Israel lobby began a preemptive effort to shore up support, especially among African-American members.
Lobbyists for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), concerned about what some see as a gradual erosion of support among members of the Congressional Black Caucus, met with a handful of Washington representatives for leading Jewish groups.
Washington — It didn’t exactly resemble a shul in Borough Park, but there was no mistaking the growing Orthodox imprint on the pro-Israel lobby when it gathered here this week.
Though no official of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee would estimate the extent of the new Orthodox strength, several Jewish leaders commented on what seemed to be a growing proportion of Orthodox among participants at the group’s annual policy conference.
In an unsettling reminder of a besieged Israel, more than 2,000 delegates to this week’s American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference met in a downtown Washington hotel transformed into a heavily fortified enclave.
Inside, the mood was unprecedented unity and commitment to the pro-Israel cause; the surge of anti-Semitic violence in Europe and the strong electoral showing by French ultra-right nationalist Jean-Marie Le Pen provided an ominous undertone.
Washington will be filled to overflowing with assorted protesters over the weekend, and some promise to turn their attention to the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
More than 3,000 pro-Israel activists from around the country, a record number, are expected to gather for the AIPAC event, which traditionally sets the tone and establishes the themes for the pro-Israel movement.
Washington – The specter of the 1930s overshadowed the Convention Center here as the pro-Israel lobby this week decried Iran as an existential threat to Israel and the West unseen since World War II.
In comparison, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s three-day annual policy conference largely played down the Jewish state’s longstanding conflict with the Palestinians.