AIPAC has spent years reaching out to conservatives. In the age of Obama, the Israel lobby is seeking support from liberals and a broader cross-section of Americans.
The many challenges facing Israel and its relations with the United States were not lost on participants of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee annual gathering in Washington.
Neither President Obama nor Benjamin Netanyahu will attend AIPAC’s conference starting this weekend. In a sign of lowered peace hopes, there is no mention of the Palestinians, either.
AIPAC’s new spokesman Marshall Wittmann has a wandering eye, at least when it comes to politics.
President Barack Obama was more than half way through his address Sunday before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee before he mentioned the issue of the hour: Iran. That may well be because public officials tend to leave the thorniest subjects to later in their speeches. But it struck me as an apt metaphor for American Jewish reaction to the president in this white-hot election year.
The failure to forge a deficit-reduction deal will cost Israel $250 million a year in aid. So why is AIPAC, its strongest supporter, keeping so quiet?
It was an impressive line-up of speakers, by any standard. Organizers of the annual AIPAC policy conference, which ended Tuesday in Washington, managed to book the President of the United States, Prime Minister of Israel and top Republican and Democratic leaders of Congress.
American Israel Public Affairs Committee spokesman Josh Block is stepping down from his post at the pro-Israel lobby and setting up shop as a consultant for Democrats. Block, who has been AIPAC’s spokesman for the past 9 years, will be starting a new Washington media consulting firm with former Clinton White House aide Lanny Davis.