For those of you who have never been to the annual AIPAC Policy Conference, let me just say that it has to be experienced to be fully understood. The cavernous room filled with close to 20,000 supporters of the U.S.-Israel relationship is only the tip of the iceberg. Video clips and newspaper articles just do not do it justice. I should know. I’ve written a few.
I’ll admit it; I’ve drunk the AIPAC Kool Aid.
There are those who tell me that I am naive, that the policy conference is “all politics all the time,” rather than the love-fest I feel when I’m there. Maybe for “hardened” journalists that is true and, if so, I am very happy to remain in my happy AIPAC bubble. The truth is: I love the policy conference and look forward to going year after year. I remember last year, all the papers and online news outlets reported on the divisiveness and partisan politics as the main takeaways. Not me. All I saw was the love for Israel and the U.S.-Israel relationship.
And this year, there is so much talk about which candidates will come, whether President Trump will speak, etc. Last weekend alone, I saw two reports online: one that Elizabeth Warren does not plan to attend and another that Bernie Sanders has “no objection” to attending this year. And then there were IfNotNow’s comments and their backlash. I’m as curious as the next person about who will speak, and I guess I’m a little cynical after certain politicians declined AIPAC’s offer for them to speak in the past, but mainly I’m just excited to hear what they have to say.
I don’t live under a rock; I fully understand that, this year especially, politics plays a major role in who attends and what they say. I just choose to look at it differently. If someone agrees to attend and speak at the AIPAC policy conference, that is tacit support of what AIPAC stands for, at least in my opinion.
For those of you who don’t know me “in real life,” you may wonder exactly what my politics are, and which party I support. Am I a Republican? Democrat? Progressive? Socialist?
Does it really matter? In the end, everyone at the policy conference, regardless of political affiliation, loves Israel and supports the U.S.-Israel relationship. To me, that is the important thing.
Many of you will disagree. I understand that and I’m used to it. Feel free to email me your comments, to [email protected]
And remember, it’s not too late to sign up. The policy conference is March 1-3. I hope to see you there!