Proud. Energized. Alarmed. Exhilarated. These are just a few of the words that describe my experience at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s Summit - our premier foreign-policy conference held Oct. 30-31 at the Fairmont Princess Resort….
We were soberly reminded of the overwhelmingly dangerous and unpredictable threats to Israel’s safety and security, yet also armed with strategic tools to make a difference. We felt collective pride and awe as we saw a few examples of the amazing technology coming out of Israeli companies, including the Iron Dome missile-defense system and ReWalk, a powered exo-skeleton technology that actually enabled a paraplegic woman to rise from her wheelchair and walk.
We were entertained by the playful political banter among Paul Begala, Bill Kristol, Mike Murphy and Ann Lewis.
I think this is an important point. One difficulty with the Israel issue is that American Jews of my generation and older tend to close ranks in support of anything Israel does. And really there’s no difference between liberal Jews and rightwing ones, let alone Democrats and Republicans. Thus all the liberal Jewish Democrats who voted for the Iraq war, in part because Tom Lantos was calling Saddam “Hitler” because he backed suicide bombers. Thus Barney Frank, a big liberal, says he privately opposes settlements but he won’t go public unless Jeff Halper can find 5,000 Jews in his district who will support him.
The AIPAC anecdote explains Frank’s problem. His own sister Ann Lewis is a big liberal Democrat, close to Hillary Clinton, and she does a lot of work for AIPAC. She has said, “The role of the president of the United States is to support the decisions that are made by the people of Israel. It is not up to us to pick and choose from among the political parties.”(per Dana Milbank).
Really is there any difference on this issue between Ann Lewis and Bill Kristol? Israel is the royal road to neoconservatism.