AIPAC is holding its annual policy conference next week in Washington (I’ve sought credentials, have yet to hear from the folks there). The general theme of the conference is upbeat/let us drown out the shouts of the critics: “Shaping Tomorrow Together” is the conference motto, with a logo of joined American and Israeli stars (youtube video here).
In that defiant spirit, check out next Monday’s breakout session, and this one about US government aid to Israel, featuring Caterpillar, a target of the boycott movement:
12:30 PM – 2:00 PM PANEL DISCUSSION – Foreign Aid: The Vital Role of U.S. Assistance
American leadership around the globe relies heavily on robust foreign aid, which comprises just 1 percent of the federal budget. The United States’ military assistance to Israel is vital to ensuring its security and safeguarding America’s interests in the Middle East. Aid to other countries in the region, and the conditions attached to those funds, play key roles in helping the United States pursue its foreign policy goals.
Mr. Bill Lane Washington Director for Government Affairs, Caterpillar
Ms. Liz Schrayer Executive Director, U.S. Global Leadership Coalition
Moderator Ms. Ester Kurz Director, Legislative Strategy and Policy, AIPAC
MJ Rosenberg, who used to work at AIPAC years ago, says the session is significant because Ester Kurz is AIPAC’s long time legislative director, and Schrayer was formerly AIPAC’s long time political director. This is their big session on foreign aid and obtaining foreign aid is, ostensibly, AIPAC’s raison d’etre. And they could pick any company that Israel spends US aid money on, because there are hundreds. But it chooses Caterpillar, a company known to most of AIPAC’s membership as the manufacturer of the bulldozer that killed American activist Rachel Corrie, 23, in Gaza ten years ago, March 16. What a signal!