Reporter denied access to “White Privilege” Conference

Guest post by Adam Tobias

MADISON, Wis. — We are fully aware of who Wisconsin Reporter is.

Stephanie Puentes tried to keep the smile from stretching across her face as she made that comment Thursday after denying my request to cover the White Privilege Conference here in Madison.

When I came back Friday morning, Puentes, a conference media representative, clearly seemed agitated. Puentes told me she was quite familiar with the previous stories I had done leading up to the seminar, which examines the concept that minorities may not be afforded the same privileges as white people.

And, again, she wouldn’t let me in.

Did it have anything to do with the story I wrote in early February, disclosing that taxpayers are underwriting at least $ 20,000 — and likely much more — of the cost of the forum at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center?

Or maybe it was because of my other piece Wednesday quoting Niger Innis, national spokesman for the Congress of Racial Equality, who called the White Privilege Conference an irrelevant and frivolous waste of taxpayer money.

Puentes insisted I wasn’t allowed in because I had not registered online in advance or called the conference’s offices ahead of time to make arrangements.

It’s not as if I didn’t try.

White Privilege Conference officials have failed to make themselves available for comment when I’ve attempted to contact them for past stories. How was I supposed to make arrangements when nobody would return my calls and talk to me?

It also didn’t help the conference’s website doesn’t include a section for media registration.

I tried to register in person Wednesday afternoon but was told by Monona Terrace staff that convention officials were busy setting up at a different location and that I should return Thursday.

That’s what I did, but apparently I was too late.

Onsite registration closed early Thursday morning because the conference was at full capacity, Puentes said.

No other media outlets signed up to cover the event, according to Puentes.

After telling Puentes that I was more than willing to pay the full registration fee, I pleaded to be let in because taxpayers should be given the opportunity to know how their dollars are being spent. And as a Madison taxpayer myself, I want those answers, too.

Puentes responded that she considers the seminar to be private.

“This is a private conference, being run by the (White Privilege Conference), and it’s paid for through registration money … it’s not public money in the sense that we’ve received grants or we are being funded by the university or any public money like that,” Puentes said.

Not so fast.

The White Privilege Conference is slated to get $ 18,375 from the Monona Terrace booking event assistance account, which is comprised of local hotel room tax revenue.

The city of Madison, Janesville School District, UW-Madison, UW-Eau Claire, Madison Area Technical College and other publicly funded institutions also are spending tens of thousands of dollars in registration and sponsorship fees to send several hundred people to the convention.

The White Privilege Conference, now in its 15th year, is built on the premise the United States was started by white people for white people. It tries to attract teachers, university faculty, activists, government officials and students to “dismantle this system of white supremacy, white privilege and oppression.”

Come to think of it, maybe their unwillingness to grant me access was their way of dismantling my white privilege.

Contact Adam Tobias at or follow him on Twitter @Scoop_Tobias

Doug Ross @ Journal

Report from AIPAC conference: “Bombshell” interview by Obama may create new strains in US-Israel relationship. Kerry & McCain set to address 14,000 activists today.

Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Labor Party) shared his vision of the future of Israel on Day 1 of the AIPAC Policy Conference.

Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Labor Party) shared his vision of the future of Israel on Day 1 of the AIPAC Policy Conference.

UPDATED: (Washington, D.C.) — The big question today: Just how far is President Obama planning to go to pressure Israel to make painfully deep concessions in the Mideast peace process, even as he appears to ease up pressure on Iran to give up its bid for The Bomb?

Secretary of State John Kerry and Sen. John McCain are scheduled to be the main keynote speakers on Day Two of the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, amidst a massive March snowstorm that has shut down the federal government, all area schools and many businesses. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu will close the conference on Tuesday morning.

The President declined an invitation to speak at the largest event in AIPAC history, attended by more than 14,000 pro-Israel activists, mostly Jewish, but including hundreds of evangelical Christians.

Strained relations between the Netanyahu government and the Obama administration could become even more strained as the result of the interview the President gave to Jeffrey Goldberg of Bloomberg that was published on Sunday.

“Until he read the breaking news of President Obama’s earth-shattering interview with Bloomberg’s Jeffrey Goldberg on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu might have anticipated that Monday’s meeting was going to be one of his less confrontational and unpleasant sessions of frank, allied diplomacy with his good friend Barack,” noted David Horovitz, editor of the Times of Israel. “But then came that bombshell Bloomberg battering. The timing could not have been any more deliberate — an assault on the prime minister’s policies delivered precisely as Netanyahu was flying in to meet with him, and on the first day, too, of the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC’s annual tour de force conference across town. At the very least, that might be considered bad manners, poor diplomatic protocol, a resounding preemptive slap in the face: I’ve just told the world you’re leading your country to wrack and ruin, Mr. Prime Minister. Now, what was it you wanted to talk to me about?”

I’ll be live Tweeting from the conference, which is set to begin at 9:30am eastern. You can follow by going to: @JoelCRosenberg.

Stopping Iran from building nuclear weapons and trying to understand what the Putin invasion of southern Ukraine — and President Obama’s hesitant response – means for the U.S.-Israel relationship were the dominant themes on Day One of the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, D.C. Main speakers included U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, former Israeli Shin Bet director Avi Dichter, former Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT), and Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Labor Party), who is waiting in the wings, hoping to emerge as Prime Minister should the Netanyahu government stumble.

There were excellent break out sessions, as well. The two I attended focused on the vital role the Kingdom of Jordan plays in the region, and the growing strains on the Kingdom, and the future of Russian policy towards in the Middle East, including what the crisis in Ukraine tells us about the leadership styles and character of Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama and rapidly shifting international perceptions of Russia and the U.S. i

It’s important to note that AIPAC has been working on reaching out to Christian pastors and grassroots leaders in recent years. While they have a long way to go to tap the enormous depth and breadth of Christian support for Israel, and mobilize that support on behalf of their lobbying efforts, they are moving in the right direction. I attended a “Christian Leaders Outreach Dinner” five or six years ago that AIPAC sponsored, and I can report that this year’s dinner was much better attended and revealed a growing warmth between AIPAC’s Jewish leadership and the Christian activists, evidence of the fruit being born by the Christian outreach team.

Here are the Tweets I sent out Saturday and Sunday tracking the latest developments at the conference, and in the crisis in Ukraine:

Saturday Night

  • Great 2b @ Christian Outreach Dinner tonight @Aipac w/friends Will & Penny Nance & other pro-Israel Christian leaders
  • John Kerry condemns what he calls “the Russian Federation’s invasion and occupation of Ukrainian territory.” (CNN)
  • Crimea falls to Putin without a shot fired; will #Ukraine suffer same fate? (Haaretz)
  • Stephen Harper: We join our allies in condemning in the strongest terms Pres. Putin’s military intervention in Ukraine
  • Netanyahu: I will be flying tomorrow to the United States, to represent the citizens of Israel. Wishing you all a wonderful week
  • The Czar Strikes Back? Russian Armor in Crimea (National Review)

Sunday — before conference began

  • Breaking: Ukrainian prime minister: ‘We are on the brink of disaster’  (WSJ)
  • Interim Ukrainian Prime Minister says actions by Russian forces in Crimea “a declaration of war.” (CNN)
  • Fmr Brit Ambassador to Moscow says UK & US signed 1994 agreement to defend Ukraine in case of attack (UK Daily Mail)
  • Context: Poll last Nov found more Ukrainians favor EU pact (45%) than competing customs deal offered by Russia (15%).
  • Context: in Dec, Ukrainian support for EU deal was 37% vs. 33% for customs deal w/Russia. Country was deeply divided
  • Context: 75% of Ukrainians in Western part wanted to join EU, but East wanted to join deal w/Russia. Split coming?
  • Ukraine has some 200,000 Jews & long history of anti-Semitism. Fears growing as synagogue firebombed. Pray for safety

Sunday — conference begins — morning session

  • Israeli Arab Christian who runs hospital in Galilee sharing at @AIPAC about how his team cars for Syrian casualties of civil war.
  • Over 14,000 here for opening session of Policy Conference, including hundreds of evangelical Christians. Largest conf in @AIPAC history
  • Fmr. Sen. Joe Lieberman, Shin Bet Director Avi Dichter & Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) discussing Iran threat @ #aipac2014
  • Fmr Shin Bet Director Avi Dichter tells @Aipac if diplomacy doesn’t work Israel will have to “kill” Iran nuke program
  • @JoeLieberman tells @AIPAC there used to be 2 stable democracies in Mideast: Israel & Turkey. Now just Israel. Says Turkey going wrong way.
  • Sen @ChrisCoons, a Democrat, expresses concern that US credibility is in doubt in Mideast for declaring red line in Syria but doing nothing.
  • Sen. @ChrisCoons tells @AIPAC that Putin is moving aggressively in south Ukraine in part due to US showing weakness & indecision in Syria.
  • @avidichter warns @AIPAC participants that Israel must control Jordan Valley in case Jordan is one day controlled by Iran. (God forbid.)
  • @AIPAC leader Howard Kohr: we want negotiations w/Iran to work. But success is full dismantlement of capacity to enrich uranium & build Bomb
  • Only way to force Iran to give up path to Bomb is pressure–sanctions, isolation & credible threat of force–says @aipac leader Howard Kohr.
  • Pressure forced Iran to the negotiating table. Now is the time to ratchet up pressure on Iran, not ease up, says @AIPAC leader Howard Kohr.
  • In final morning talk, Howard Kohr asks 14,000 @aipac delegates to take msg of “more pressure” on Iran to 535 Members of Congress this week.
  • Some say “we’ll ramp pressure on Iran if talks fail,” but that will be too late says @AIPAC leader Howard Kohr. Congress must weigh in now.
  • Key to effectiveness on Israel & Iran issues is bipartisan support, say leaders here @AIPAC Conference. Must work w/leaders of both parties.
  • Embarking for US, Netanyahu says Israel will reject pressures (Times of Israel)
  • Kerry Warns Russia of Possible Eviction From G-8 (NYT)

Sunday — afternoon break out sessions

  • Russia expert @Dr_Ariel_Cohen is speaking @AIPAC session. Says all eyes on how NATO responds to aggression against Ukraine.
  • @Dr_Ariel_Cohen says US, UK & Russia persuaded Ukraine to give up nuclear weapons in ’94 on basis that we would protect them from aggression
  • @Dr_Ariel_Cohen tells @aipac session Russian move on southern Ukraine most dangerous moment in Europe since collapse of USSR & Yugoslav war.
  • We don’t want war w/Russia. They have nukes. So does US, UK & France. But @Dr_Ariel_Cohen says Russia must pay price or they will take more.
  • @Dr_Ariel_Cohen: A US foreign policy that twists friends’ arms & appease enemies is a disaster. Not how you build a safe world. @AIPAC
  • @Dr_Ariel_Cohen says he doesn’t support Ukraine joining NATO @ this stage. Too provocative. Goal is draw clear line but step back from brink
  • Russian experts Dr. Mark Levin & @Dr_Ariel_Cohen say Russia is exploiting vacuum in Mideast that US creating by our withdrawals, vacillating
  • Overlooked during Sochi Games: Egyptian leader Gen. Al-Sisi went to Moscow to sign deals to buy Russian weapons for 1st time since 1973.
  • Russia expert Dr. Mark Levin (not radio host) just spoke to chief Rabbi in Ukraine. Says no attacks against Jews — yet. But real concern.
  • Excellent panel just finished @Aipac w/Russia experts Dr. Mark Levin & Dr. Ariel Cohen on Putin’s Mideast goals. SRO

Sunday — afternoon final main session

  • Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is now speaking to the @Aipac Policy Conference. Urging bipartisan support for Israel
  • Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Labor) is speaking @Aipac conference on his vision for the future of Israel.
  • US sanctions enforcer defends Iran interim deal to AIPAC (Jerusalem Post)
  • Blackpastor closed @Aipac w/passionate love4God & Israel & sang w/his choir. Wow, 14,000 Jews on their feet cheering
  • Pleased to welcome PM and Mrs. Netanyahu to the United Stares! (Dan Shapiro, US Amb to Israel)

Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

Day Two Report from AIPAC conference: Obama meets with Netanyahu, Kerry tries to reassure activists, but McCain steals the show.

Obama and Netanyahu during a meeting at the Oval Office in Washington, D.C., March 3, 2014. Photo by AFP

Obama and Netanyahu during a meeting at the Oval Office in Washington, D.C., March 3, 2014. Photo by AFP

Sec. Kerry was the keynote speaker on Day Two of the AIPAC conference in D.C.

Sec. Kerry was the keynote speaker on Day Two of the AIPAC conference in D.C.

(Washington, D.C.) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be the keynote speaker at 10am eastern at the closing session of the 2014 AIPAC Policy Conference.

The speech comes after a long and intense day of meetings on Monday between President Obama, Secretary Kerry and Mr. Netanyahu.

Coverage of the White House meetings:

More analysis over the next few days.

Short version for now: in his speech to AIPAC, Kerry did his best to reassure pro-Israel activists that the President really is a friend and faithful ally to the Jewish state, but Senator John McCain stole the show earlier in the day, winning multiple, rousing, standing ovations from the largely Democrat audience by excoriating President Obama’s “feckless foreign policy.”

I’ll be live Tweeting from the conference, which is set to begin at 9:30am eastern. You can follow by going to: @JoelCRosenberg.

Here are the Tweets I sent out on Monday tracking the latest developments at the conference, and in the crisis in Ukraine:

Monday morning with Sen. McCain:

  • British Official Calls Crimea Biggest Crisis in Europe This Century (NYT)
  • Report from AIPAC conference: “Bombshell” interview by Obama may create new strains in US-Israel relationship.
  • Let’s pray that The Lord gives great wisdom to @IsraeliPM Netanyahu as he meets with the President today. (I Chronicles 12:32)
  • Despite snow storm, @aipac conf underway w/interview w/head of Israel Chamber of Commerce on US-Israel business ties.
  • Dr. Dee Dee Coleman, a  Christian leader & @aipac board member, gets standing O making passionate defense of Israel
  • McCain says Russian occupation of Crimea is “the result of a feckless foreign policy” in which people don’t believe what the President says.
  • McCain tells @aipac situation is “crying out out for American leadership but it’s MIA.” Says “no military option” but many economic options.
  • McCain sharply criticizes Obama administration’s policy towards Iran. Says he doesn’t believe diplomatic talks will succeed. @aipac
  • McCain excoriates Obama policy towards Syria. Praises @aipac for supporting military action against Assad. blasts Obama flipflop on red line
  • McCain tells @aipac it’s time to pass a bipartisan bill with even tougher sanctions on Iran before the diplomatic talks are concluded.
  • Standing ovations and roars of approval at #AIPAC14 for McCain’s call Senate legislation of further sanctions (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz)
  • Fascinating session on Israeli innovation. Right now, blind woman showing how she uses Israeli product to read, shop
  • I’m attending panel on civil war & destruction of Damascus at the @aipac conf. One speaker calls situation “abomination of the 1st order.”
  • There are 30million Kurds in Mideast (northern Iraq, Syria, Turkey & Iran), largest ethnic group in the world w/out a country
  • Russia And China ‘In Agreement’ Over Ukraine (Sky News)
  • Britain’s Cameron to address Knesset March 12 (Times of Israel)
  • Abbas threatens a turn to ‘international organizations’, preparing to walk away from peace talks in April. (Ynet)
  • Amb. Itamar Rabinovich, fmr Israeli Amb to US & fmr chief negotiator w/Syria now sharing his perspective on crisis in Syria @Aipac breakout.

Monday afternoon panel on Syrian crisis

  • Amb. Rabinovich warns “Jordan could collapse under the weight of Syrian refugees.” One million Syrians in Jordan now, having fled civil war.
  • Amb. Rabinovich: “ticking time bomb” facing Israel from Iran which backs Assad & sold 50,000+ missiles to Hezbollah aimed at Israel. @AIPAC
  • Amb. Rabinovich says Syrian “no longer a military foe” — army denuded, chemical weapons “hopefully” being removed. Still a terror threat.
  • Amb Rabinovich says President George W Bush met w/PM Sharon at WH, said “let’s take out Assad.” Sharon said no, “Assad is the devil we know”
  • Amb Rabinovich says Assad is “devil” but there is a risk in removing him — what if al Qaeda or other jihadist groups take over & seize WMD?
  • Amb Rabinovich: Israel has red lines. One is Jerusalem will not allow Syrian missiles to be transferred to Hezbollah. Hit 5 convoys. @AIPAC
  • Amb Fred Hof, fmr special rep at State Dept on Syria, says “I don’t know” how US & the world stands by & does nothing after Assad used WMD
  • Amb Rabinovich cites Colin Powell rule, “you break it, you own it,” in saying why Obama didn’t act in Syria after Assad used WMD. @aipac
  • Amb Fred Hof says many foreign officials meet w/him trying to discern the real value of a mutual defense pact w/the US. Can US be trusted?
  • After session I asked Rabinovich to clarify: does he believe Assad should be removed? He said yes. Risk of jihadists? Dealw/that then @aipac
  • Tonight is enormous reception w/Members of Congress. But w/storm how many will show? 3 Congressmen texted me they cant get to DC #aipac2014
  • PM Netanyahu arrived at the White House (Barak Ravid, Haaretz)
  • President Vladimir V. Putin has yet to publicly address the conflict unfolding in Ukraine (NYT)
  • President Obama and PM Netanyahu speaking to reporters now in Oval Office.
  • The bell tolls for @AIPAC, the late, great pro-Israel lobbying group (Tablet magazine)
  • Tablet magazine publishes interesting article on @aipac. Says despite 14,000 attendees, group’s impact waning. True?
  • @JoelCRosenberg A common misperception.Syrian refugees are certainly straining resources and exceed 1 M but Jordan remains stable & strong. (Dana Zureikat Daoud, Jordanian Embassy)
  • .@DanaZkat @JoelCRosenberg Jordan (and Lebanon) aren’t made of elastic bands; at some point they will break – then, it will be too late. (Robert Satloff, Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
  • @robsatloff Every country has a breaking pt.Jordan’s strength lies in its inclusiveness & engagement w its pple & neighbors @JoelCRosenberg (Dana Zureikat Daoud, Jordanian Embassy)
  • You don’t need tanks, you need banks. They are all addicted to Putin’s cash. He thinks he can buy the West and so far he has been correct. (Gary Kasparov)
  • .@JeffreyGoldberg: “Obama was blunter about Israel’s future than I’ve ever heard him.” (Bloomberg)

Monday afternoon panel on “What To Watch For: Iran In 2014″

  • @aipac panel session about to begin on “What To Watch For: Iran In 2014″ w/Rep. Ilena @RosLehtinen, Valerie Lincy & Aish Jain.
  • Rep. Ilena @RosLehtinen (R-FL) is the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on the Middle East & North Africa.
  • @RosLehtinen bill to create US-Israel Strategic Partnership — 1st of its kind– has 352 co-sponsors & will be voted on tomorrow. #aipac2014
  • @RosLehtinen tells @Aipac that experts @ recent hearing indicate Iran has enough enriched uranium for 4 nuclear bombs
  • @RosLehtinen tells @aipac panel that interim nuclear deal w/Iran is top secret. She has seen & read it. But the American people have not.
  • Rep @RosLehtinen says interim nuke deal with Iran is “weak, lopsided & dangerous deal.” Adds: “if it’s so good, make it public.” #aipac2014
  • @RosLehtinen says Iran has installed centrifuges 15 times faster than old versions. Says Iran could dash to Bomb in just weeks. #aipac2014
  • @RosLehtinen says “Iran is playing us for time.” Believes we will get another interim deal & never get to final deal. #aipac2014
  • @RosLehtinen says our Iran nuclear policy has “failed.” Calls for more sanctions to increase pressure on Iran. #aipac2014
  • @RosLehtinen urges public to push President & Congress to pass more sanctions soon, not ease off. biggest gift to Iran us time. #aipac2014
  • Nuclear policy expert Valerie Lincy says Iran has enough enriched uranium for 6 to 7 nuclear bombs. Has 18,000 centrifuges. #aipac2014
  • Nuclear expert Valerie Lincy: uranium Iran has enriched would run nuclear reactor for only 3 months, but could build 6-7 bombs. #aipac2014
  • Based on current production rates, it would take Iran 10 yrs to produce enough enriched uranium for 1 year, says Valerie Lincy. #aipac2014
  • Interim nuclear deal does not require Iran to dismantle a single one of its 18,000 centrifuges, notes nuke expert Valerie Lincy. #aipac2014
  • Ash Jain, Mideast policy expert, says Iran has spent $ 40 billion on its nuclear program & about $ 130 billion in lost trade & economic growth
  • Ash Jain says either 1) Iran ready to give up pursuit of Bomb if it gets right deal. 2) Iran wants Bomb & needs to avoid US or Israel strike
  • Ash Jain says Obama admin basing its policy on assumption #1, that Iran genuinely wants to give up pursuit if Bomb if it gets good deal.
  • But Ash Jain says evidence favors scenario #2, that Iran is using negotiations to buy time until it can be fully ready to build the Bomb.
  • Russia’s U.N. envoy: Ousted Ukrainian Pres. asked Russia to send troops to “establish legitimacy, peace, law and order, stability.” (CNN)

Monday late afternoon general session with Schumer & Kerry:

  • Sen. Chuck Schumer tells @aipac anti-Semitism rising in Europe that is driving more and more European Jews to emigrate to Israel. #aipac2014
  • Schumer notes his bill would impose more sanctions on Iran if talks w/Iran do not bear fruit in six months. #aipac2014
  • Schumer says he does not support the reduction in sanctions on Iran (done by the administration) until Tehran gives up enrichment program.
  • Schumer: if negotiations don’t work then the US “must be prepared to use all — all — means” to stop Iran from getting The Bomb. #aipac2014
  • Schumer says those who are boycotting & delegitimizing Israel without applying same approach to Syria, Iran etc are practicing anti-Semitism
  • Ukraine claims 16,000 Russian troops have been deployed in the flashpoint peninsula of Crimea since last week. #fnpolitics (Bret Baier, Fox News)
  • Congressional leaders Eric Cantor & Steny Hoyer describe bipartisan letter they sent to President to be tough on Iran
  • Secretary of State John Kerry about address 14,000 pro-Israel activists at #aipac2014 conference. What will he say? How will he be received?
  • Secretary Kerry: “Israel has strived since Isaiah’s time to be a light unto the nations.”
  • Kerry receives standing O upon arrival.
  • Secretary Kerry affirms Israel’s “right to defend itself by itself.”
  • Secretary Kerry says he can sum up President’s policy in 10 words: “We will not allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon.” #AIPAC2014
  • Secretary Kerry: “This is not about trusting Iran. This is about testing Iran.” Adds: “If Iran fails this test, the US will not fail Israel”
  • .@JohnKerry: You don’t have to be a math genious to know that Israel is safer when Iran has zero 20% enriched uranium (Barak Ravid, Haaretz)
  • .@JohnKerry: The US will only sign an agreement that makes sure Iran can not obtain a nuclear weapon and expands breakout time (Haaretz)
  • @JohnKerry says he is shuttling to Israel again & again for the peace process to fulfill King David’s dream “to seek peace and pursue it.”
  • @JohnKerry speaking very highly of Netanyahu. Says he has spent hours & hours & days & days with “Bibi” and they have become “good friends.”
  • @JohnKerry now speaking highly of Mahmoud Abbas, says he’s a “partner for peace.” Dismisses naysayers that doubt Abbas’ sincerity #aipac2014
  • .@JohnKerry: I believe Abbas understands the costs of failure (Barak Ravid, Haaretz)
  • .@JohnKerry: President Abbas wants to be a partner for peace but he has a point of view about what is fair (Barak Ravid, Haaretz)
  • “Prime Minister Netanyahu has demonstrated his courage and his commitment in the pursuit of peace with security.” –@JohnKerry (AIPAC)
  • @JohnKerry: We are at point in history that requires US, as Israel’s closest friend, do everything we can to help end this conflict. #AIPAC (State Dept)
  • @JohnKerry says Gen. John Allen is helping Israel & Palestinians develop solid security plan for the Jordan Valley. Never been done before.
  • .@JohnKerry: We will never let the West Bank turn into another Gaza (Barak Ravid, Haaretz)
  • .@JohnKerry: Israel needs peace to create more prosperity (Barak Ravid, Haaretz)
  • @JohnKerry says peace must guarantee Israel as the “Jewish homeland.” #aipac2014
  • @JohnKerry now speaking highly of Saudi-backed #ArabPeaceInitiative that will lead to peace w/20 Arab countries & total of 57 Muslim nations
  • @JohnKerry: “We know what the end game looks like.” Security guarantees. Mutual recognition. End to all claims. Jerusalem as City of Peace.
  • “We must also stand together and with a single voice reject arbitrary and unwarranted boycotts of Israel.” –@JohnKerry (AIPAC)
  • Secretary @JohnKerry ends address w/story of 1st trip to Masada. Goal seems to be sound reasonable & a true friend.
  • Sec @JohnKerry gets standing O as he leaves. But not nearly passionate, thunderous response for @SenJohnMcCain earlier today. #aipac2014
  • Day 2 main sessions are over. Tonight reception with Congressional leaders. Finale tomorrow with keynote by @IsraeliPM Netanyahu. #aipac2014


Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

Quoting the Bible, Netanyahu says Israel must “choose life” in “historic” conflicts with Iran & Palestinians. Day Three report from AIPAC conference.

The PM brought the house down amidst 14,000 pro-Israel activists.

The PM brought the house down amidst 14,000 pro-Israel activists.

(Washington, D.C.) — Let’s put it this way: if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to jump into the 2016 presidential race, I suspect he would be far and away the front-runner for both the GOP and Democrat nominations.

He has enormous bipartisan support at the grassroots, and overwhelming support on Capitol Hill.

I lost count of how many standing ovations Netanyahu received from the 14,000 pro-Israel activists gathered here for the 2014 AIPAC conference.

It was a far warmer reception than he received from President Obama at the White House on Monday.

His themes were large and consequential.

The Prime Minister:

  • Urged the administration to intensify, not relax, pressure on Iran to give up its bid for nuclear weapons. 
  • Said he was ready to make an “historic peace” with the Palestinians, and urged Mahmoud Abbas to recognize Israel as a “Jewish state” once and for all — “No excuses. No delays. It’s time.”
  • Quoted from the Bible, specifically from Deuteronomy chapter 30, saying, “My friends, on behalf of the people of Israel, I bring you message from Jerusalem, the cradle of our common civilization, the crucible of our shared values. It’s a message from the Bible. (In Hebrew.)  ‘I have put before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life so that you and your offspring may live.’ Ladies and gentlemen, my friends, never forget — America and Israel stand for life. We stand together on the right side of the moral divide. We stand together on the right side of history.”

It is so interesting to hear an Israeli Prime Minister quote from the Bible. You might think it would be normal, but it’s not. So few Israeli leaders cite Scriptures, at least in English speeches or translations that I hear or read.

How will the speech be received by the President? That remains to be seen. The Palestinian leadership is already denouncing the speech. (see below).

I urge you to read or watch the full speech, as well as the transcripts of what he and the President said at the White House yesterday:

Here’s the latest coverage of the PM’s AIPAC speech:

Here are the Tweets I sent (or re-Tweeted) out as the PM was speaking:

  • It’s wonderful to see so many evangelical Christians attending #aipac2014. Now is the time for us to be standing humbly w/our Jewish friends
  • @IsraeliPM Netanyahu brings greetings from Jerusalem, “eternal undivided capital if the Jewish people” 4th standing O
  • Netanyahu says – “Israel is humane.  Israel is compassionate.  Israel is a force for good.” (Shannon Bream, Fox News)
  • PM Netanyahu: Israel has treated nearly 1,000 wounded Syrians. #AIPAC14 (Embassy of Israel)
  • Netanyahu: Nasrallah says Hezbollah loves death & Israel loves life & that’s why Hezbollah will win. #aipac2014
  • Netanyahu: Nasrallah right about 1st part. Hezbollah glorifies death. Israel does sanctify life. But “dead wrong” on 2nd part
  • @IsraeliPM Netanyahu: more pressure needed on Iran to get the right deal. More pressure makes war less likely, not more likely.
  • @IsraeliPM Netanyahu: 17 countries have peaceful civilian nuclear power, but they don’t enrich their uranium. Why does Iran?
  • @IsraeliPM Netanyahu: Wants the negotiations with Iran to succeed. Peace better than war. But vows to do all needed to protect Israel.
  • @IsraeliPM Netanyahu: I am prepared to make an historic peace with the Palestinians.
  • @IsraeliPM Netanyahu: calls on Abbas to recognize Israel as the Jewish State. “No excuses. No delays. It’s time.”
  • @IsraeliPM Netanyahu: can’t “gamble” Israel’s security on foreign military forces. Too often, peacekeepers leave under fire. #aipac2014
  • Netanyahu says “as we work in the coming days and the coming weeks on forging a lasting peace” Wonder if that wording is significant (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz)
  • @IsraeliPM Netanyahu: says BDS movement (to Boycott, Divest from and Sanction Israel) will fail. Morally wrong. #aipac2014
  • @IsraeliPM Netanyahu: the BDS movement is not about legitimate criticism. It’s about delegitimizing Israel. #aipac2014
  • @IsraeliPM Netanyahu: throughout Mideast Christians fleeing for their lives, but BDS fights Israel, which protects Christians. #aipac2014
  • .@Netanyahu: the boycott Israel crowd doesn’t seek 2 states for 2 peoples – they seek destruction of Israel. #fact (Josh Block)
  • Another Bibi zinger: “How could anyone fall for the BS in BDS” #AIPAC14 (Chemi Shalev)
  • Good line. Netanyahu: Israel is boisterous democracy,everyone has opinion and states it.  In Israel, self-criticism is on steroids. (Herb Keinon, Jerusalem Post)
  • I’ve completely lost track of the number of standing ovations for @IsraeliPM Netanyahu. #aipac2014
  • @IsraeliPM Netanyahu: closes quoting from the Bible, “I have put before you a choice between life and death. Choose life.” #aipac2014


Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

Here are videos of all the messages delivered at “The People, The Land & The Future of Israel” conference.

CPMconf-2013-videosIf you missed the recent conference in Manhattan that focused on “The People, The Land & The Future of Israel,” I’m glad to announce that all of the messages are now posted online.

You can watch them free of charge by clicking here.

It was absolutely fascinating conference and the messages are rich in Biblical content and quite thought-provoking.

Here is a list of the speakers and the messages they presented, and a link to the specific video of their presentations:

  • Dr. Mitch Glaser, president of Chosen People Ministries, giving the conference introduction. WATCH THE VIDEO.
  • Panel discussion on the current dynamics in the Middle East. WATCH THE VIDEO.
  • Pastor David Epstein, senior pastor of the historic Calvary Baptist Church in Manhattan, giving a powerful and moving presentation on “The People, the Land and the Future of Israel and the Local Pastor.” WATCH THE VIDEO.
  • Testimony of Pastor Michael Zinn. WATCH THE VIDEO.
  • Dr. Hormoz Shariat, president of Iran Alive Ministries, and whom I call “the Billy Graham of Iran,” sharing his testimony of how he turned from by a radical Shia Muslim in Iran to a follower of Jesus Christ, and someone who understands and appreciates God’s love and plan for Israel and the Jewish people. WATCH THE VIDEO.
  • Dr. Michael Rydelnik, professor of Jewish Studies at Moody Bible Institute, speaking on “The People, the Land and the Future of Israel as Evidence for the Truth of Scripture.” WATCH THE VIDEO.
  • Dr. Michael Brown, scholar, speaker and author of 22 books, including The Real Kosher Jesus, speaking on “The People, the Land and the Future of Israel and Traditional Jewish Expectations.” WATCH THE VIDEO.
  • Dr. Craig Blaising, executive vice president and provost, as well as professor of theology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, speaking on “The People, the Land and the Future of Israel and Hermeneutics.” WATCH THE VIDEO.
  • Dr. Eugene Merrill, distinguished professor of Old Testament at Dallas Theological Seminary, speaking on “The People, The Land, The Future of Israel According to the Torah.” WATCH THE VIDEO.
  • Dr. Robert Chisholm, department chair and professor of Old Testament at Dallas Theological Seminary, speaking on “The People, the Land and the Future of Israel According to the Prophets.” WATCH THE VIDEO.
  • Dr. Michael Wilkins, dean of the faculty and distinguished professor of New Testament at Talbot School of Theology, speaking on “The People, the Land and the Future of Israel According to the Gospels.” WATCH THE VIDEO.
  • Dr. Darrell Bock, senior research professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, speaking on “The People, the Land and the Future of Israel in Luke and Acts.” WATCH THE VIDEO.
  • Dr. Michael Vanlaningham, professor of Bible at Moody Bible Institute, speaking on “The People, the Land and the Future of Israel According to the Book of Romans and the Pauline Epistles.” WATCH THE VIDEO.
  • Dr. Craig Evans, distinguished professor of New Testament at Acadia Divinity College/Acadia University, in Nova Scotia, Canada, speaking on “The People, the Land and the Future of Israel According to the Book of Hebrews and the General Epistles.” WATCH THE VIDEO.
  • Dr. Mark Saucy, professor of systematic theology at Talbot School of Theology, speaking on “The People, the Land and the Future of Israel: A Necessary Theme in Biblical Theology.” WATCH THE VIDEO.
  • Dr. John Feinberg, chair of the department and professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, speaking on “The People, the Land and the Future of Israel: An Eschatological Necessity?” WATCH THE VIDEO.
  • Dr. Mitch Glaser, president of Chosen People Ministries, speaking on “The People, the Land and the Future of Israel and Jewish Evangelism.” WATCH THE VIDEO.
  • Dr. Michael Vlach, associate professor of theology at Master’s Seminary, speaking on “The People, the Land and the Future of Israel in Church History.” WATCH THE VIDEO.
  • Dr. Barry Leventhal, distinguished professor at Southern Evangelical Seminary, speaking on “The People, the Land and the Future of Israel in Light of the Holocaust.” WATCH THE VIDEO.
  • Joel C. Rosenberg, author, speaking on, “Will There Ever Be Peace For Israel & Her Neighbors?” WATCH THE VIDEO.

Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog