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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2018 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


April 22, 2016  RSS feed

Text: T T T

Aother view of AIPAC Policy Conference

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor:

In response to the article which appeared in the March 25 Jewish Press entitled “AIPAC’s plan to ‘come together’ undone by Trump” let us tell you about what really took place in Washington D.C. March 20-22.

The AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) Policy conference is a 3-day event, covering 30 hours of pro U.S.-Israel talks, including live appearances from candidates for President: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Gov. John Kasich, Sen. Ted Cruz, and businessman Donald Trump, as well Vice President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. Appearing on the same stage was House Majority Leader, Kevin McCarthy (R) and Minority Leader, Steny Hoyer (D). In addition, via satellite, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the 18,900 attendees. All speakers expressed strong, unwavering, bi-partisan support for Israel, including financial support for missile defense systems, sanctions on Iran as a result of their missile testing and many other pro-Israel issues.

This conference included over 150 breakout sessions led by world experts and leaders on subjects ranging from the 2016 United States elections, Israeli technology and innovations, the geopolitical environment in Syria, Egypt and Turkey to Israeli craft beer, the LGBT movement in Israel, Black Caucus, Christian and Hispanic support, to name a few of the topics. But most touching and inspiring were the over 3,000 high school and college students from across the country. Each breakout session was introduced by one of these students, Jewish and non- Jewish, white and black, Hispanics, Democrats and Republicans, who spoke articulately and passionately about why Israel was important to them.

The culmination of this moving 3-day event was over 10,000 pro Israel supporters going to Capitol Hill to lobby their local Congressional leaders to support three separate pieces of legislation.

1. Continued foreign aid for Israel’s defense to allow Israel to have a qualitative military edge (QME) including aid for missile defense systems such as the Iron Dome and David’s Sling, in accordance with the 10-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

2. Direct negotiations with the Palestinians to achieve a successful peace agreement for a two-state solution.

3. To continue the sanctions policy on Iran, which is running out at the end of this year, which will allow the “snap-back” provisions to be enacted if Iran violates the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. (JCPOA)

What makes AIPAC successful, unlike any other organization, is its outreach to both sides of the aisle to garner support for the US-Israel relationship. For it realizes that no legislation will ever pass, without Democrats and Republicans alike standing behind it and supporting it.

As you can see AIPAC’s Policy Conference wasn’t all about Trump and the audiences’ responses.

AIPAC, as an organization, does not promote any comments from its speakers nor does it encourage any comments from its audience.

AIPAC remains a bi-partisan organization that does not rate, endorse or support any candidates and is not responsible nor can it be responsible for anyone’s response.

As participants in the crowd, we felt the audience was equally respectful and welcoming to each and every speaker.

Now you know the real story.

Debbie and Brian Taub
AIPAC Tampa Bay region co-chairs

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