On Tuesday, many of the 14,000 delegates to this year’s American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference — by far the largest attendance ever — fanned out across Capitol Hill, with more than 500 meetings planned with congressmen and the staffs of all 100 senators. Their message: the U.S. should close ranks with Israel and get tougher with Iran.
Israeli public’s feelings on Iran a stark contrast to Netanyahu’s security warnings at AIPAC.
Jerusalem — You would think, given the number of headlines devoted to a possible Israeli or American air strike on Iran in recent weeks, that Israelis would be storming their supermarkets, stocking up on bottled water and other essentials, as they did prior to the 1991 Gulf War.
Yet other than a run on milk and bread in Jerusalem in anticipation of last Friday’s short-lived snowstorm, most Israelis seem to be taking the threat of a strike on Iran, and the war that would likely result, more or less in stride.
All eyes were on Bibi Netanyahu yesterday as he delivered his AIPAC speech. At times he was disarming, at others bellicose, both emphasizing that Obama has Israel’s back, but that if need be, Israel would go it alone. “The purpose of the Jewish state is to secure the Jewish future,” he thundered. “That is why Israel must always have the ability to defend itself, by itself, against any threat.”
Sanctions and diplomacy have not stopped Iran's nuclear push, and Israel cannot wait much longer for these efforts to succeed, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
"I appreciate President Obama's recent efforts to impose even tougher sanctions against Iran, and these sanctions are hurting Iran's economy, but unfortunately Iran's nuclear program continues to march forward," Netanyahu said in his address Monday evening to the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee annual policy conference.
President Obama said it was still possible to resolve Iran's suspected bid for a nuclear weapon through diplomacy, but added that a military option was still on the table and that containment was not an option.
"I firmly believe that an opportunity remains for diplomacy, backed by pressure, to succeed," Obama told the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference on Sunday in Washington.
On eve of policy conference, questions over whether bipartisanship can hold in current toxic climate; Iran looms.
James D. Besser
Special To The Jewish Week
Washington — Iran will once again be the top issue and presidential politics the buzz in the hallways as thousands of pro-Israel activists converge on Washington on Sunday for the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Defying its legion of critics, the giant pro-Israel lobby group appears more powerful than ever.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Newt Gingrich will address the AIPAC policy conference.
The former U.S. House of Representatives speaker, who is trailing in the race for the Republican presidential nod, is the first in the GOP field to announce his participation in the March 4-6 conference.
Gingrich is slated to speak March 5, a day after President Obama.
Today’s Israeli Navy defends its nation’s shores in German-built U-Boats, and Germany’s Luftwaffe is flying Israeli-built aircraft. Now the word is the two countries are going to collaborate on developing smart missiles that could some day be used by the Saudi Air Force.
Okay, my secret is out: I'm retiring after 24 years on this beat for the Jewish Week (please hold your applause and your decaying vegetables). It seems like the right time to reflect on the changes I've seen in the Jewish world and Jewish politics during that period.
Many of the activists I met way back in the day are still toiling in Washington, and some of the issues that preoccupied them more than two decades ago are still in play, while others are long forgotten. How many remember the Lautenberg Amendment? In 1987, it was on the lips of most Jewish leaders.