Throughout this week’s AIPAC Policy Conference, notable Democrats, including Vice President Joe Biden, made it abundantly clear that the Democratic Party is firmly committed to the pro-Israel community’s agenda. Speaker after speaker continued to highlight the successes of President Obama’s support for Israel, including $275 million towards Iron Dome and $650 million towards Arrow 3 and David Sling in supplemental funding for Israeli missile defense systems and his committment to preventing a nuclear weapons capable Iran.
NJDC also had a strong presence around the AIPAC Policy Conference. Last Friday, NJDC Chairman Marc R. Stanley released an op-ed in The Times of Israel, highlighting Obama’s pro-Israel record by-the-numbers with an accompanying graphic. Throughout the conference, NJDC provided rapid response analysis on Twitter. NJDC was referenced in several publications including BuzzFeed, CBS, The Hill, The Huffington Post, and Tablet.
NJDC also distributed “Proud Pro-Israel Dem” buttons to particpants at the conference. Following the Vice President’s address, Democratic National Committee Chair Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) presented Vice President Joe Biden with his own button and tweeted out a picture of the exchange. If you did not get a button at AIPAC, you can request one online by clicking here.
DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) presenting Vice President Joe Biden with a “Proud Pro Israel Dem” button. (Photo from @RePDWSTweets)
Some of the notable highlights are below.
From the moment the President took office, he has acted swiftly and decisively to make clear to the whole world and to Israel that even as circumstances have changed, one thing has not: our deep commitment to the security of the state of Israel. That has not changed. That will not change as long as I and he are President and Vice President of the United States. It’s in our naked self-interest, beyond the moral imperative.
I’ve served with eight Presidents of the United States of America, and I can assure you, unequivocally, no President has done as much to physically secure the State of Israel as President Barack Obama.
So we have a shared strategic commitment. Let me make clear what that commitment is: It is to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Period. End of discussion. Prevent-not contain-prevent.
The President has flatly stated that… We’ll be in the security room…. he’ll turn to other people and say ... big nations can’t bluff. Well, big nations can’t bluff. And Presidents of the United States cannot and do not bluff. And President Barack Obama is not bluffing. He is not bluffing.
I have to admit I’m a little jealous that he gets to be the one to say “this year in Jerusalem,” but I’m the Vice President. I’m not the President. So I-when I told him that, I’m not sure he thought I was serious or not. But anyway.
I look forward to President Obama’s visit. It will give me and the people of Israel the opportunity to express our appreciation for what he has done for Israel.
I would like to express my personal appreciation to President Obama and Secretary Panetta for their resolute backing of Israel.History will surely record your immeasurable contribution to the strength of Israel, and the maintenance of the truly special relationship between our peoples.
On behalf of the people of Israel, I wish Secretary Hagel all the best in his new role. As Secretary of Defense he will, no doubt, serve his country with the same pride and honor with which he served, both on the battlefield and in Congress.
We must speak with unambiguous clarity: the United States will not accept a nuclear-weapons-capable Iran. They must know our clear intent and firm commitment. America and Israel cannot leave any uncertainty in the minds of those who describe us as their common foes.
Jewish history is and always will be intertwined with American history. And from helping to draw back an Iron Curtain to constructing an Iron Dome, it has been the privilege of my life to work with you to shape that history
The strength of Israel’s democracy will remain a beacon of hope for good governance, economic progress, and the power of an enlightened society to foster democratic ideals.
The argument for Israel’s legitimacy does not depend on what we say in speeches. It has been made by history. It has been made by the men and women who have made the desert green, by Nobel Prizes earned, by groundbreaking innovations and enviable institutions, by lives saved, democracy defended, peace made, battles won.
We can’t advocate America’s interests - including the protection of Israel - from the sidelines. We need to roll up our sleeves and engage in support of our ideals, values, and interests.