Today is August 18, 2019 -

AIPAC Conference – Observations

Last weekend I attended the AIPAC policy conference in D.C. with 18,000 of my closest friends. A few observations:
  • Israel really does have supporters on both sides of the aisle. If we broadly define Zionism as the right for Israel to exist as an independent and democratic Jewish state, it is clear that much of our Congress supports Zionist ideals. Different members support different policy approaches, but we heard a lot of support.
  • Majority leader Steny Hoyer reminded us that there are 62 Democratic freshmen–“not three.”
  • Many of our speakers denounced anti-Semitism, equated BDS to anti-Semitism, and called out Congresswoman Ilhan Omar for her actions.
  • We constantly hear about the anti-Israel, or at best, apathetic viewpoints of our young people. It was incredible being with a reported 4,000 college students and large groups of high school students.
  • Many of the breakout sessions were geared toward our youth. Watching their excitement as they gave ovations was phenomenal.
  • Conference highlights for me usually include running into people whom I have not seen in many years. This year that role was filled by Cantor Howard Stahl, who introduced me to his colleague as one of his bar mitzvah students.
  • I also ran into David Pollock, our planned speaker for Tuesday night on the upcoming Israeli elections. He is looking forward to his trip here. Please see here for more information.

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