The presidential candidates were on their game and said the right words. But though we may wish them to, candidates don’t exist in an AIPAC vacuum, and few of us are one-issue voters anyway.
Many of us have a history with these candidates going back decades.
The real decision we have to make is who is more likely to stick to their campaign promises, and who is more likely to sell Israel down the river when a bigger payoff comes along. At least with Bernie Sanders, we know he was telling his truth, in his prepared remarks sent from Utah, when he explained that he cares for the plight of the Palestinians and feels the economic conditions in Gaza are deplorable. It may not help us that he legitimized Palestinian terrorism by sympathizing with these men and women who have decided to kill and maim to protest their “economic plight,” but it’s what he believes and we know where he stands. With the others, it’s harder to tell.
We’ve been down this electoral path before. In the days, weeks and months leading into the summer conventions, we will likely learn more than we ever wished about these candidates. If anything, remember what you heard from AIPAC’s Policy Conference, and compare that with what the candidates will say in the time heading into the general election.
Who the President is really, really matters in the world today. As we read about the terror in Brussels, we want a strong leader who will face up to ISIS and the scourge of violent extremism, wherever it occurs, and fight to end it.
AIPAC is but one platform to hear from candidates. Now as we depart the Policy Conference, we’ll hear what they all really represent when it comes to Israel, terrorism and many other important issues.
AIPAC, for some of us, was a good start. But there’s still a long way to go.