The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) opened its 2019 Policy Conference in Washington, DC, on Sunday, launching three days of discussions and speeches on advancing the Israeli-US relationship.
Many Israeli politicians and more than a dozen US administration officials are slated to speak at the three-day conference. Most notably among them are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Blue and White Party chief Benny Gantz, and US Vice President Mike Pence.
Among Sunday’s speakers were AIPAC CEO Howard Kohr, Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer, House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer, former senator Joe Lieberman and TV host and author Meghan McCain, daughter of the late Sen. John McCain.
The heads of state of Cape Verde, Honduras and Romania also spoke.
Watch the live-stream above.
Monday will feature Pence, Gantz, former US envoy to the UN Nikki Haley and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Tuesday will bring a speech by Netanyahu as well as addresses by Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.
AIPAC made headlines recently when freshman Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, one of the first Muslim women in Congress, insinuated last month that lobbyists with AIPAC were paying lawmakers to support Israel. Her remark drew bipartisan criticism and a rebuke from Pelosi, and Omar ended up apologizing for her comments.
Since then a number of Democratic 2020 presidential candidates said they would not attend. AIPAC’s policy is that presidential candidates are invited to speak only in election years. However, candidates have in past years circulated at the conference and have held private parlors to meet with activists.