This photo is for real. It was taken Sunday at the annual national conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), and it underscores the irony of the pro-Israel lobby’s efforts to both attract and ward off the press. (In an editorial last week, headlined “Why We Won’t Be At The AIPAC Conference,” The Jewish Week brought up anew an issue it raised last year about the pro-Israel lobby’s policy of barring members of the press from the vast majority of breakout sessions that take place at its annual policy conference. The editorial called for a more open policy on AIPAC’s part.)
Editors of several Jewish newspapers around the country, citing similar complaints as ours, responded to The Jewish Week’s editorial with requests to reprint it. And Haaretz reporter Allison Kaplan Sommer published a piece Monday (“Don’t Meet The Press”) about being one of three journalists on the AIPAC panel on freedom of the press who, according to the group’s policy, were not allowed even to be in the room.
Surely it’s time for AIPAC to revise its policy of inviting the press to its conference and then excluding coverage of most sessions.