Long Islanders were among the 18,000 pro-Israel advocates — including nearly 4,000 students — who massed in Washington this week for the annual AIPAC Policy Conference. Many shuls, yeshivot and day schools sent delegates who recharged their Zionist batteries and then spent Tuesday lobbying their representatives on Capitol Hill.
On Monday night, an adoring crowd greeted a communal favorite — United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley — with a standing ovation.
“When I come to AIPAC, I am with friends. In the United Nations, we sometimes don’t have many friends,” she said.
“We will continue to demand that Israel not be treated like some sort of temporary, provisional entity,” Haley said. “The U.N.’s bias against Israel has long undermined peace by encouraging an illusion that Israel will just simply go away. Israel’s not going away. When the world recognizes that, then peace becomes possible.”
The U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Five Towner David Friedman, said “a fundamental shift” was underway “in how America relates to Israel,” describing President Trump as the “greatest friend that Israel has ever had in the White House.”
“Seventy years from Truman to Trump. How blessed we are to be here today,” Friedman said.
Vice President Pence said the U.S. was continuing to prepare a plan for Middle East peace. “Any peace will require compromise, but the United States will never compromise the security of the state of Israel,” he said.
On Iran, he warned that unless the “nuclear deal is fixed in the coming months,” the U.S. would withdraw from it “immediately.”
Senator Charles Schumer said a looming problem for Israel is that “too many younger Americans don’t know the history” that explains why Israel must be on constant alert. He promised that “as long as Hashem breathes air into my lungs, I will fight to protect the Jewish people and the Jewish state of Israel.”
MORE: Speeches by Prime Minister Netanyahu, Vice President Pence, Ambassador Haley, and Senator Schumer; Embattled at home, Bibi’s a hero at AIPAC; Frum Jews at confab, and Trump may travel to embassy opening.