Bringing Jews together is often hard, however AIPAC never has that problem. Though we may disagree on individual policy, evidenced by Vice President Cheney’s partial applause when he tried to link action in Iran against prolonged action in Iraq, or the reaction of the crowd to Speaker Pelosi when she said that the Iraq war was a failure on several scores, when it comes to Israel everyone from the left to the right rose and rose again in applause as speaker after speaker pledged support.
If only to see the numbers alone (close to 6,000!!) gathered in that cavernous room at the Washington Convention Center it would have been worth it. But even with the high profile attendance, the highlight of the event seemed to be the Roll Call- with half the Senate and most of the House in attendance (as well as ambassadors and delegates from just about everywhere) it’s clear that Congress makes the safety and security of Israel a priority.
Perhaps one of the most important speakers, Israel’s Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, put the prevailing attitude of the participant at the conference best when she said:
“I am optimistic – I can see new opportunities emerging. Moderate and pragmatic leaders are beginning to see Israel not as an enemy of the violent past, but as a partner in a common and peaceful future. The challenge we all face, as leaders in the Middle East, is to say this publicly to our people and to teach it to our children. We are ready to do our part, and we hope our neighbors are ready to do theirs.”