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Sunday, December 16, 2018

On Sunday, more than 18,000 community and student activists from all 50 states will converge on Washington, D.C., to participate in the AIPAC Policy Conference.

The three-day event brings together more than half of the U.S. Senate, about a third of the U.S. House and large numbers of Israeli and American leaders.

It is ostensibly the seal of a bond between Americans and Israelis. Last year, keynote speaker Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, brought the crowd to its feet, saying there was a “new sheriff in town” when it came to the U.S. support of Israel in that international body.

Now the delegates get together in anticipation of the U.S. moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which is scheduled for May in time for Israel’s 70th anniversary as a nation.

Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been under fire for alleged scandals in Israel, is likely to find a warm, welcoming audience when he addresses the attendees from the podium. Certainly, Vice President Mike Pence and Ambassador Haley’s appearances are highly anticipated, as is the appearance of David Friedman, the U.S. ambassador to Israel.

There are certainly issues to contend with when it comes to strengthening the bond between America and Israel. Still, the crowd in Washington this week will most certainly emerge in unity as it anticipates Israel’s 70th anniversary as a nation.