News / USA

Iran, Israel and Palestinians To Top AIPAC Convention

Iran, Israel and Palestinians To Top AIPAC Conventioni
X
March 01, 2013
Iran’s nuclear program and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are expected to top the agenda when the pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC holds its annual convention beginning Sunday (03/03) in Washington. The convention convenes as U.S. President Barack Obama prepares for a visit this month to the Middle East -- including his first trip to Israel as president. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel has details from Washington.
TEXT SIZE - +
Meredith Buel
— Iran’s nuclear program and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are expected to top the agenda when the pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC holds its annual convention beginning Sunday in Washington.  The convention convenes as U.S. President Barack Obama prepares for a visit to the Middle East - including his first trip to Israel as president.

Every year, thousands of Jewish Americans arrive in Washington for the annual convention of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee - or AIPAC.

The group is the most influential pro-Israel lobbying organization in the U.S.

Ori Nir is spokesman for Americans for Peace Now, which promotes a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians.

“This gathering always sends a message that, as far as I am concerned, is a very positive message, that the American public stands with Israel, that Israel has major support here in the United States,” Nir said.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is to address the convention along with many members of Congress.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to appear via satellite.

Once again, concern over Iran’s nuclear program is expected to top the agenda.

President Barack Obama addressed the convention last year.

“No Israeli government can tolerate a nuclear weapon in the hands of a regime that denies the Holocaust, threatens to wipe Israel off the map and sponsors terrorist groups committed to Israel’s destruction,” Obama said.

The AIPAC gathering comes just a few weeks before President Obama travels to the Middle East, where Palestinian protesters and Israeli troops are clashing again.

Some analysts say this ongoing conflict is why Israel and the Palestinians should be brought back to the bargaining table.

“You now have a complicated situation in the region, in the Arab Spring and the uprisings. It is a reason to move faster, not to ignore it,” said Daniel Kurtzer of Princeton University.

At the start of his first term, President Obama made Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking a top priority.

But talks stalled over Jewish settlement construction in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Now Obama may try again.

“But I think if he could connect with, not just the Israeli public but also the Palestinian public, and find a way to say I still care about this issue,” said David Makovsky, an analyst at the Washington Institute.

Direct involvement of the President would bring hope.

“We hope that it does signal a seriousness of intent in terms of re-engaging in a positive and constructive way," said Hanan Ashrawi, a major figure in the Palestine Liberation Organization.

The civil war in Syria will be another important topic when President Obama visits the volatile Middle East.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid