Alhadeff at AIPAC

May 26, 2011 by Vic Alhadeff
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Vic Alhadeff, the CEO of the NSW JewishBoard of Deputies, attended the AIPAC Washington meeting addresseed by US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He reports…

Vic Alhadeff

While the AIPAC policy conference which was held in Washington DC this week shattered records in terms of record attendances on all fronts, the addresses by US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu were the standouts in terms of political consequence.

A record 10,000 delegates attended the conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), including 350 senators and congressmen and congresswomen and 1500 university students.

Netanyahu’s address was repeatedly interrupted by a dozen left-wing protestors from groups calling themselves Code Pink and Move Over AIPAC. One at a time, the activists, who had inserted themselves in the audience, stood up – some on chairs – and yelled slogans at Netanyahu: “Occupying Palestinian land is indefensible”, “Starving Gaza is indefensible”, “Bulldozing homes is indefensible”, “Displacing refugees is indefensible”, “Silencing dissent is indefensible”.

The demonstrators were swiftly escorted out of the massive hall by security as members of the audience cheered loudly. They then sprawled outside the entrance to the conference venue, so that when the thousands of delegates poured out of the building at the conclusion of the evening, robust exchanges ensued, with delegates breaking into Hebrew songs, and pushing and shoving occurring. Police moved in quickly to disperse the throngs.

Netanyahu’s address followed Obama;s speech 36 hours earlier, when he went to lengths to explain his “1967 lines” remark, emphasising the need for any future land arrangement to be accompanied by mutually agreed swaps.

The conference also featured Kadima leader Tzipi Livni and an impressive array of American political analysts and experts on a breadth of subjects from the situation in Iran and Israel’s relations with Pakistan and India to the future of the Palestinian leadership and the situation at the UN.

* Vic Alhadeff attended the conference as CEO of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies.

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