In my last post, I wrote about the AIPAC convention and the protests planned against the speech to be given there by Presidential candidate Donald Trump. That speech took place last week. As I hoped, AIPAC provided a resounding Jewish response to Trump. Unfortunately, the response was not the one I’d hoped for.
Hundreds of AIPAC attendees boycotted Trump’s speech, and walked out of the speech in protest. But thousands remained.
Today, the Jewish world may make some headline news.
Donald Trump is scheduled to speak today at the annual AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, D.C. The AIPAC Conference typically draws an “A” list of big name politicos, and during Presidential election years, the list of speakers at this conference includes most of the major Presidential candidates. Hillary Clinton is on this year’s list, along with Joe Biden, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Paul Ryan and others.
The AIPAC Policy Conference is a major event in Washington—Tablet Magazine’s Stephanie Butnick describes it as “the Jewish equivalent to the Oscars or the Grammys.” According to AIPAC’s web site, the conference will be attended by “more than 15,000 pro-Israel Americans,” including 2/3 of Congress. So, Trump is guaranteed a large crowd for his speech … or maybe not. Some of the Jews attending this meeting are planning to protest. Some may skip Trump’s speech, and other plan to walk out of the speech. Evidently, some plan to meet outside of the hall where Trump is speaking and hold some kind of study session, reading and considering passages of the Bible that contradict Trump’s message.
I’ve checked with some of the Rabbis I know, to encourage this protest. One wrote me back. You don’t expect that I’ll actually be there. I replied: I don’t think you’d be caught dead within a half mile of an AIPAC event. Therein lies a story.
Two events took place yesterday that intersected in my imagination.
Yesterday a Palestinian member of the terrorist group Hamas went on a stabbing rampage on a popular seaside boulevard in Jaffa, an ancient port city just south of Tel Aviv, Israel. He killed an American student and injured twelve others, including two Arabs. The attack was one in a series of similar attacks that have occurred in Israel over the last five months, resulting in the murder of 30 Israelis, a Palestinian and a second American student. According to the New York Times, about 180 Palestinians have also been killed during this same period, “most while attempting attacks, or suspected of attempting attacks.”