Who Was There?

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I’ve been following our guest blogger, Simona Fuma’s coverage of the AIPAC Policy Conference over the past few days. It is pretty crazy to read about how powerful (for good and for worse) the Israel lobby is in the US. It’s an amazing feat that a pro-Israel group can attract so many politicians, not only because it is a smart political move, but because these politicians truly support the Jewish State.

But I have one issue (not with Fuma, but with AIPAC). And it is actually the same issue that JStreet has with the organization. I just don’t think people who go to the AIPAC convention are in line with American Jewry (By the way, I think the same holds true for JStreet. I’ve written about this before. While AIPAC may be farther to the right than the Jewish community, JStreet is seriously far to the left).

My roommate was at the AIPAC conference and he said that the general feeling toward the Obama administration was generally luke warm. Of course, this is only from his eyes, but the recaps that Simona wrote, especially about Biden and Kerry’s speeches, tend to support the claim.

Here is what confuses me. A Gallop Poll came out last week saying that 79% of American Jews approve of the Obama Administration (second in religious groups to Muslim who are at 85%). Of course, this does not go into specifics (and I haven’t looked elsewhere). It may very well be that while a large majority of Jews support the Obama administration as a whole, they disagree with the President’s position on Iran and a two-state solution (both of which did not receive raucous applause when Biden talked about them).

My point is this. Who was at this AIPAC conference? Does JStreet actually have a point when it says that AIPAC does not represent American Jewry? And if 79% of Jews support Obama-Biden, why does the Vice-President feel a need to walk into a room just to be stared down angrily by the minority opinion?

A polling group should have been at the conference and asked some questions to the attendees. I think it would have answered a lot of peoples questions about where Israel’s loudest support in the US comes from.

Posted on May 6, 2009

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