WASHINGTON (JTA) — Vice President Joe Biden will close this year’s AIPAC policy conference.
The announcement from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee came Saturday, the day before the start of its signature affair, drawing close to 7,000 delegates and ending in a blockbuster lobbying session on Tuesday afternoon.
Biden will address the closing session on Tuesday morning; that speaker is customarily seen as the motivator who endorses AIPAC’s legislative package and rallies delegates to sell it on Capitol Hill.
Biden, who throughout his long career as a U.S. senator from Delaware was regarded as pro-Israel in principle, has clashed with AIPAC in the past on tactics.
“AIPAC does not speak for the entire American Jewish community,” Biden said during last year’s presidential campaign after Republicans criticized him for bucking AIPAC on Iran sanctions votes. “There’s other organizations as strong and as consequential.”
Biden later made up with the organization, and has served as one of the Obama administration’s principal emissaries to the organized Jewish community.