AIPAC convention to highlight strong US-Israel ties under Trump

AIPAC convention to highlight strong US-Israel ties under Trump

Today kicks off the three-day American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) annual policy gathering.

netanyahu-at-aipac-2014

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Today kicks off the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) annual policy gathering. For three days, over 18,000 people will convene to hear over 700 speakers including Vice President Mike Pence, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Since last year’s convention, Trump has recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, fought for tightening Obama’s 2015 Iran deal and defended these decisions at the UN, all amidst Netanyahu’s developing corruption scandal. Though Trump’s administration has satisfied these pro-Israel political asks, doing so has still not won over the strong majority of American Jews, who largely tend to vote Democratic — particularly given Trump’s silence on anti-Semitism during a year of increased slandering of Jews. For these voters and Democrats as a whole, religious affinity with Israel does not outweigh the political implications around supporting Netanyahu and a one-state solution as does the Republican party.

Speakers such as Democratic Representative Adam Schiff, currently investigating Russia’s involvement in Trump’s election, represent AIPAC’s attempt to encourage bipartisanship among a divided targeted audience. Expect this conference to orient policy suggestions around prioritising peaceful relations with a strong Israel rather than address solutions to the controversies around it.

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