Sunday, May 22, 2011

AIPAC Opening Plenary Session Live-Blog

11:30 - Live feed of the event ends.

11:27: Video addressing the argument that AIPAC is a conservative organization.

11:24: AIPAC now showing a video about Israel activism.

11:22: Obama concludes his remarks. He reiterated his conditions for peace from Thursday's speech, including negotiations based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed land swaps, and clarified this position.

11:21: Obama quoting the Talmud "As long as a person has life, they should never abandon faith."

11:20: Obama: The burden of making hard choices must not be Israel's alone.

11:19: Obama: "Delay will undermine Israel's security, and the peace Israelis deserve."

11:15: Obama repeating his rhetoric from Thursday.

11:13: Obama: International impatience with the peace process is growing.

11:10: Obama: The broad outlines of peace agreements have been known for many years...at least since the Clinton administration.

11:07: Obama: In the wake of the Goldstone report, we stood up for Israel's right to defend itself.

11:07: Obama: "Israel's existence must not be a subject for debate."

11:05: Obama: "We remain committed to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons."

11:04: Obama references Iron Dome missile system and US funding for it.

11:03: Obama: We have increased our military cooperation to unprecedented levels.

11:02: Obama: We have a commitment to Israel as a strong secure homeland for the Jewish people.

11:00: Obama: "Even while we may at times disagree, as friends sometimes will, the bonds between the US and Israel is unbreakable."

10:59: Obama: I already gave a policy speech on Thursday. The Arab uprisings are a great challenge but also a great opportunity.

10:56: Obama discussing long relationship with Lee Rosenberg ("Rosy")

10:55: Rosenberg: Killing Osama Bin Laden was "heroic."

10:53: Rosenberg compliments Obama's record on Israel, in particular, funding. He calls for Iran sanctions.

10:49: President Rosenberg to introduce President Obama.

10:48: Hoyer is wrapping up his remarks.

10:44: Hoyer: "Peace must not be imposed, it must be negotiated."

10:42: Hoyer: "Israel's borders must be defensible and must reflect reality on the ground." - extended audience applause.

10:40: Hoyer: "We must stand firm against the Tehran regime's nuclear pursuit."

10:39: Hoyer: "US must maintain its commitment to the US-Israel Memorandum of Understanding." - this gets applause.

10:38: Hoyer: We will "Do everything to ensure the safety, security, and sovereignty of the State of Israel."

10:37: Hoyer: Despots may turn to scapegoating Israel as they struggle to maintain power.

10:35: Hoyer: "What an example Israel can be for those who seek to establish freedom and democracy...in their own lands."

10:32: Hoyer: "Israelis can teach all of us what it means to love country, and risk all for its survival and success."

10:30: Hoyer: "This era of the so-called Arab Spring is a time of great uncertainty...But I am here, secure in this faith: Israel will prevail and endure."

10:28: Hoyer referencing Abraham's journey to Israel, a land claimed by "three great faiths."

10:26: Rep. Steny Hoyer takes the stage.

10:24: Past AIPAC President Howard Friedman now speaking. He is introducing House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD).

10:22: Rosenber: next President of AIPAC will be Michael Kassen.

10:21: Rosenberg recognizing senior AIPAC staff.

10:19: Rosenberg speaking on "being the guardians of the US-Israel relationship...when there is tension, looking for ways to lower the temperature."

10:17: Extended applause for Israeli Ambassador to the US, Michael Oren.

10:15: Announcement that Bibi will be speaking greeted with huge applause

10:13: Rosenberg: 1500 students are at the conference from 400 schools.

10:10: AIPAC President Lee Rosenberg begins the session.

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