One of the features starting off this AIPAC conference was a video by Ester Kurz, the director of legislative strategy, explaining the bottom line on foreign assistance (o0ne percent of the total budget, most of it spent here) and how it was critical to supporting Israel.
I haven’t seen dedicated sessions to maintaining foreign assistance in the full conference before (of course, they appear in the breakouts.)
And it just came up again in a bridging section, between Eric Cantor’s address and a panel in the 2012 elections, when a number of activists testified to the utility of congressional lobbying.
And maintaining the Israel funding came up in the three main addresses today: President Obama’s, Steny Hoyer’s and Cantor’s.
This is interesting, because the conventional wisdom is that AIPAC has put Israel funding behind it — no one serious opposes the funding to Israel.
That may be the case, but as I’ve written, however assured AIPAC and the pro-Israel community is about Israel funding, there are still jitters about over all foreign assistance funding.
The bottom line: AIPAC folks do not believe that Israel funding thrives for long outside of the context of sustaining overall foreign assistance. That’s something the Republicans do not necessarily buy into.
And so, despite repeated assurances, funding jitters persist.