From the AIPAC Policy Conference
Gilbert N. Kahn is a professor of Political Science at Kean University.
Senator John McCain appeared this on a panel discussion with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Israeli Air Force General (ret.) Amos Yadlin. Given the reception McCain received, it was not clear whether a return appearance by Romney would have been more exciting for the crowd. Considering the tepid response President Obama’s name has received from the gathering, it appears that only a minimum portion of his 69% of the Jewish vote came from this audience.
The reception for Vice-President Biden by the crowd was clearly wishful thinking; on both sides. For 40 years, Biden carried the water for the Jewish community. Now as the loyal soldier, Biden, not only soaked up the audience’s adoration, but did the President’s bidding. He also was clearly repeating to himself—and to Hillary–this group is with me in 2016!
While Secretary of State John Kerry‘s name has been mentioned to appropriate applause, no one has dared to mention the name of Chuck Hagel. While AIPAC’s public opposition to Hagel was virtually non-existent, the sense here is that despite no doubt warnings to greet all public figures mentioned respectfully, were Secretary of Defense Hagel’s name to be mentioned, it is not clear if the audience could contain itself.
D.C. Metro Sign
Exiting the large Gallery Place Metro stop closest to the Washington Convention Center where 13,000 delegates were gathered at AIPAC Policy Conference, Jewish Voice for Peace purchased advertisements throughout the station stating “Jewish and proud — and AIPAC DOES NOT speak for me.”.
This is not a group of Neturei Karta Hasidim protesting across from the Conference nor a group of Palestinian flag waving advocates nor even members of J Street — who were not even to be seen. This group chose a very public, clearly well financed, and quite determined strategy to make an impression.