by Gary Javitch
Nebraska Council Chair for AIPAC
The annual AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) Policy Conference (PC) begins in just one week. More than 14,000 people will gather at the Washington DC convention center for this three-day event, March 1 through March 3. They come from all across the country, representing liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, Libertarians and Independents, blacks and whites and different shades in between.
Among many goals, the attendees share at least one: strengthening the American-Israel relationship.
Toward that end, this bipartisan group will lobby our Nebraska legislators about the dangers of the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism: Iran. The P5 +1 (the five permanent members of the UN’s Security Council plus Germany), led by the United States, has the potential to enter into a treaty arrangement with Iran that literally could affect the entire world.
This issue of whether Iran becomes a nuclear power is not a partisan issue. It is, rather, a multifaceted challenge of international proportions that is at once both bipartisan (or nonpartisan) and significant: it is about world peace; it is about a potential nuclear arms race; it is about terrorism, and it is about courage and integrity.
We elect our Congressman and Senators, and oftentimes, we are uncertain where they stand on issues. Even worse, we let party politics get in the way of when we want to show our appreciation to an elected representative for taking a stand or addressing concerns about world issues.
Our newly-elected US senator from Nebraska is Ben Sasse. In this five-minute video, he takes a stand on the Iran issue that will permit you to get to know him a lot better. Sent to me by AIPAC area director (Nebraska, Colorado, in New Mexico), Craig Gardenswartz, this speech is one of the first “issue statements” the junior senator has made on a significant foreign policy topic and he states it directly to you. Consider his thoughts and draw your own conclusions.
In closing, five quick notes.
1. AIPAC Nebraska is sending seven pro-Israel college students/young adults to the PC (one from Lincoln). Special thanks go to Tom Fellman, Karen Javitch, anonymous, and Alan Parsow for their investment in and generous support of these young adults.
2. Thank you to Congressman Brad Ashford, who has invited me to be his special guest in the House chambers for the speech of Prime Minister Netanyahu.
3. Shortly after my return, I will give you a personal update on what took place at the conference.
4. Openings for One-year board positions are available on the Nebraska AIPAC Council. Please email me to let me know if you would like to serve…
5. Our goal for the 2016 conference is to get at least 100 attendees to represent Nebraska. (This upcoming conference will be my 13th. I can tell you, each one has been a fantastic learning experience and a great opportunity to advance AIPAC goals.)
This will be my 4th year as a member of AIPAC’s National Council (one step below the national board of directors). It has been an honor to represent our state in Washington, DC.