Daily Israel Report

AIPAC Prepares for 'Extraordinary' Annual Policy Conference

The AIPAC Policy Conference begins on Sunday, and preparations are already underway. Obama, Peres and Netanyahu will speak, among others.
By Elad Benari, Canada
First Publish: 3/2/2012, 11:02 PM

Netanyahu addresses AIPAC
Netanyahu addresses AIPAC
Israel News photo: AIPAC

The Policy Conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) will begin in Washington, D.C. starting Sunday, and preparations are already underway.

More than 13,000 delegates are expected to attend the AIPAC Conference. Arutz Sheva’s Hezki Ezra, in Washington to cover the conference, spoke on Friday with some of the participants.

One participant described the experience of the AIPAC conference as “extraordinary”, noting the conference turns the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in the capital into “a remarkable tourist site” for three days.

Among those who will address the body, the largest pro-Israel lobby in the world which considered one of the strongest in the United States, will be President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama. The three leaders will not be the only ones addressing the conference attendees. Also scheduled to speak are Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Republican Presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, among others.

“This year’s conference will be more interesting,” AIPAC told Arutz Sheva. “It is an election year, so there will be a lot of congressmen and senators who would do anything to get the Jewish vote.”

Likud MK Danny Danon, who spoke with Arutz Sheva on Friday, stressed the importance of the conference not just to American Jews but also to Israel.

“This is an important event which sends a message to the United States Administration,” he said, “That message is that Israel is important to U.S. Jews and to the entire world. I hope that Obama comes out of the AIPAC Conference with a clear message that he must address the Iranian issue.”

Danon added, “I also hope AIPAC sends a message to the Administration regarding the Palestinian issue, that what is happening today in the Palestinian Authority does not advance peace. The message should be that any pressure on Netanyahu is redundant, and that more pressure should be placed on Hamas and on PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.”

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)