AIPAC Is Losing Control of the Narrative on Israel

Source: The Atlantic

KEVIN LAMARQUE / REUTERS
It was the final day of AIPAC’s annual policy conference in Washington, D.C., and the star of the gathering had finally appeared: Benjamin Netanyahu. An estimated 18,000 attendees sat in rows in a large downtown convention center, watching the Israeli prime minister address them through a patchy satellite feed on gigantic blue screens; although Netanyahu met with President Donald Trump in Washington this week, he cut short his trip after rockets fired from Gaza struck a home outside Tel Aviv.

Anxiety was a consistent theme throughout the conference: American and Israeli leaders condemned rising anti-Semitism and consistently took shots at Representative Ilhan Omar, the freshman Democrat from Minnesota who caused an uproar over her use of anti-Semitic tropes and criticisms of Israel. Many speakers wrung their hands over the way Israel is allegedly becoming a so-called wedge issue in American politics, lamenting partisan divisions over support for the Jewish state.

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