sharon, AIPAC 298.88.
(photo credit: GPO [file])
Delegates of the AIPAC conference will depart Tuesday to Capitol Hill for more than 450 lobbying meetings with their members of Congress. The two main issues on the legislative agenda of the organization are Hamas and Iran.
The delegates going to Capitol Hill will try to promote the Palestinian antiterrorist act of 2006, a bill which would prevent the administration from engaging with Hamas, stop funding for the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority and limit the ability to provide humanitarian aid to the Palestinians.
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They will also try to back the Iran freedom support act, which strengthens sanctions against Iran.
The Iranian issue took center stage on the first day of the conference, when AIPAC executive director Howard Kohr drew parallels between the Ahmadinejad regime and Nazi Germany.
"This is exactly the parallel that world leaders should not miss," he said. "Hitler transformed Germany from a weak power to one with enough military might to carry out his evil plans. Unlike the ominous days in the 1930s, this time we must not ignore the approaching thunder."
On Monday, House Majority Leader John Boehner and former vice presidential candidate John Edwards addressed the conference and US Vice President Dick Cheney will speak to the participants Tuesday morning. In previous years, the administration was represented by President George W. Bush, or by Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell and the fact that this year Cheney will address the conference is seen as an indication that the relationship between the lobby and the administration was not affected by the investigation into the actions of former AIPAC employees.
Labor Party chairman Amir Peretz, in a pretaped satellite speech, presented a tough stand toward Hamas, saying he would not negotiate with the group. "My red line is the green flag of Hamas," Peretz said.