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Middle East on Edge


The Middle East’s Biggest Challenges Yields AIPAC’s Biggest Conference

March 4th 2012

Obama and flags

Happening right now in Washington, D.C. is the largest AIPAC (American Israel Political Action Committee) Policy Conference of all time, with more than 13,000 people in attendance.

While the annual AIPAC conference has traditionally brought Jews from all across the United States to the nation’s capital, this particular one draw a bigger, more diverse crowd.  A larger group of Christian evangelical supporters of Israel have come this year, and organized groups of African-Americans and Latinos have made it a point to come out for Israel this year as well.

Over the past 12 months or so, troubles within Arab countries have put more pressure on Israel.  The rise of the Moslem Brotherhood in the wake of the collapse of the Mubarak regime in Egypt has threatened the tentative peace between the two countries, and the amassing unrest in Syria has put Israel’s military on high alert as it watches uncomfortably as its president, Bashar al-Assad continues the slaughter of his own people.

The fall of regimes in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, and Yemen are seemingly yielding more radicalized Islamic regimes. The problems in Afghanistan, Iraq, Mauritania all building toward greater instability in the region put the United States and NATO in difficult positions as the push for decreased military presence of western countries grows in contrast the growing need for western interaction.

Then there is the pressing issue of Iran and its aggressive pursuit of nuclear power. The Iranians allege that they have a right to nuclear energy to power their country, but few accept the energy argument and believe Iran is seeking weapons of mass destruction. The United States President has made it very clear, both at the AIPAC opening session and in a recent interview with Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic, that he would not hesitate to employ America’s military might to keep Iran from achieving its nuclear dreams.

As the Middle East seems to be falling into a chasm of darkness and unpredictability, there is immense focus on Israel’s security and the likelihood of increased terrorist attacks and possibly war. Those thoughts cause supports of Israel, Jews and Christians, and those who see it as a democratic and economic beacon to the world, to shudder with anxiety. Perhaps, the events we have been watching unfold recently have made the year’s AIPAC conference the largest ever.
It is so big. AIPAC was unable to accommodate everyone who wished to attend. This year’s conference is being streamed live for anyone to see. You can watch what so many are talking about on Ha'aretz' website (right here).

The opening sessions are over, and tonight the audience will watch a pre-debut screening a new acclaimed film about the life of Yoni Neyanyahu by producer Ari Daniel Pinchot, Director Jonathan Gruber and executive producer Mark Manson, “Follow Me: The Jonathan Netanyahu Story.” It might be a good prelude to the highly anticipated meeting between Israel Prime Minsiter, Yoni’s brother, and President Barack Obama.

Juda Engelmayer is an executive with the NY PR agency 5W Public Relations and a contributor to the Cutting Edge News.

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