WATCH: GOP presidential battle takes AIPAC by storm

Follow the JPost's live updates of the pro-Israel lobby's annual policy conference.

March 21, 2016 23:35
1 minute read.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses AIPAC

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses AIPAC


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The three US Republican presidential candidates in the running for the White House - real estate tycoon Donald Trump, Ohio Governor John Kasich and Texas Senator Ted Cruz - will address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's annual policy conference on Monday evening.

The powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee believes its influence in Washington is predicated on maintaining bipartisan support. Every election year, when it holds its massive annual policy conference in the District of Columbia, this requires the pro-Israel lobby to invite candidates from both sides of the aisle – Democrat and Republican, friendly and hostile, quiet and blustering.

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In the midst of an historically divisive presidential campaign, AIPAC’s decision to invite Trump, the front-runner for the Republican nomination, has guaranteed a particularly raucous reception outside of the conference’s two large venues in downtown Washington.

Protests have been planned – beyond the typical gathering of anti-Israel activists – and AIPAC, scheduled to host more than 18,000 people this year, is preparing to take center stage in an ugly American conversation already defined by gutter taunts and identity politics.

Trump’s speech scheduled on Monday before a “very important group of people,” as he put it in a television interview last week, will be buffered by speeches from his two trailing GOP rivals. House Speaker Paul Ryan will also address the confab on Monday.

Earlier on Monday, in an aggressive and concerted attack against the GOP front-runner at AIPAC's annual policy conference Hillary Rodham Clinton said Donald J. Trump has "no business" being president of the United States if he is neutral on the issue of Palestinian terrorism.

Clinton also outlined her own position on the recent wave of violence against Israeli and American civilians in the country, explicitly condemning Palestinian leadership for "inciting violence" and for failing to condemn the killing. "These attacks must end immediately," she said.

Echoing Vice President Joseph Biden's speech to AIPAC the night before, Clinton also noted the potential for convergence between Israel and the Arab world on a host of security issues. If the Arab League can designate all of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, so too can Europe, she charged, once again to applause.

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