AIPAC Points To Diversity as Conference Opens

Focus on Changing American Electorate and Israeli Innovation

getty images

By Nathan Guttman

Published March 03, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 2)

This was an effective segue to the presentation of African-American political leaders who support AIPAC, but a look at the audience made clear that AIPAC is still largely an organization made up of white Jewish activists. Opening the conference, AIPAC sought to stress American-Israeli cooperation rather than military challenges facing the country.

A tear jerking moment at the opening session of AIPAC’s policy conference, set the tone for the bigger-than-ever gathering of the pro-Israel lobby.

It was a moment crafted to drive home the message of a relationship between the American and Israeli people not based solely on security concerns but on innovative technology and shared human interests.

Staring the presentation was Dan Webb, an avid hunter from Pennsylvania who became paralyzed following a hunting accident. In a touching video Webb told the story of his injury and his miraculous recovery thanks to an Israeli medical innovation that allows paralyzed patients regain their ability to walk. Many in the gathering, filling to capacity Washington’s conference center, were already in tears, but when Webb solely walked onto the stage, assisted by crutches and the Israeli-made device, emotions bubbled over.

And if that was not enough to excite the crowd and send a message of cooperation between the two nations, Webb was joined on stage by Dr. Amit Goffer, founder of Argo Medical Technologies that developed the device. Dr. Goffer, in a wheelchair, promised that his company is working on further developments that will allow people like himself to walk too.

Adding to the point were a list of Israeli innovators, including an impressive presentation by a scientist who made a breakthrough in superconductor research, and an Israeli activist who managed a campaign in Africa to circumcise African males as a way of reducing transmission of AIDS.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "We know what it means to be in the headlines. We know what it feels like when the world sits idly by and watches the news from the luxury of their living room couches. We know the pain of silence. We know the agony of inaction."
  • When YA romance becomes "Hasidsploitation":
  • "I am wrapping up the summer with a beach vacation with my non-Jewish in-laws. They’re good people and real leftists who try to live the values they preach. This was a quality I admired, until the latest war in Gaza. Now they are adamant that American Jews need to take more responsibility for the deaths in Gaza. They are educated people who understand the political complexity, but I don’t think they get the emotional complexity of being an American Jew who is capable of criticizing Israel but still feels a deep connection to it. How can I get this across to them?"
  • “'I made a new friend,' my son told his grandfather later that day. 'I don’t know her name, but she was very nice. We met on the bus.' Welcome to Israel."
  • A Jewish female sword swallower. It's as cool as it sounds (and looks)!
  • Why did David Menachem Gordon join the IDF? In his own words: "The Israel Defense Forces is an army that fights for her nation’s survival and the absence of its warriors equals destruction from numerous regional foes. America is not quite under the threat of total annihilation… Simply put, I felt I was needed more in Israel than in the United States."
  • Leonard Fein's most enduring legacy may be his rejection of dualism: the idea that Jews must choose between assertiveness and compassion, between tribalism and universalism. Steven M. Cohen remembers a great Jewish progressive:
  • BREAKING: Missing lone soldier David Menachem Gordon has been found dead in central Israel. The Ohio native was 21 years old.
  • “They think they can slap on an Amish hat and a long black robe, and they’ve created a Hasid." What do you think of Hollywood's portrayal of Hasidic Jews?
  • “I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager. I didn’t think I would have to do it when I was 90.” Hedy Epstein fled Nazi Germany in 1933 on a Kinderstransport.
  • "A few decades ago, it would have been easy to add Jews to that list of disempowered victims. I could throw in Leo Frank, the victim of mob justice; or otherwise privileged Jewish men denied entrance to elite universities. These days, however, we have to search a lot harder." Are you worried about what's going in on #Ferguson?
  • Will you accept the challenge?
  • In the six years since Dothan launched its relocation program, 8 families have made the jump — but will they stay? We went there to find out:
  • "Jewish Israelis and West Bank Palestinians are witnessing — and living — two very different wars." Naomi Zeveloff's first on-the-ground dispatch from Israel:
  • This deserves a whistle: Lauren Bacall's stylish wardrobe is getting its own museum exhibit at Fashion Institute of Technology.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.