By Paul Miller, Originally published in The Hill
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has a serious problem. The halls of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in our nation’s capital may no longer be able to accommodate the turnout for their annual policy conference.
With over 16,000 pro-Israel advocates attending this past March, herded cattle is the only way to describe how cramped together we were as we slowly moved between plenary and breakout sessions. This is the very definition of a good problem to have.
Later that same month, the far-left and self-described “pro-Israel, pro-peace” J Street held its annual conference at the same venue. The contrast was stunning.
To be fair, nobody expects J Street to draw the same turnout as AIPAC. But as I walked the various levels of the complex, I could have sworn that I saw tumbleweed pass me on the second level. I even took a photo of two women who were simply sitting around – spread out with their bags – having a better chance of being tripped over at the bottom of the Potomac.
J Street claimed to have 3,000 attendees. Maybe they did. But having attended the Christians United for Israel (CUFI) summit last summer at the same site, which attracted nearly 5,000 participants, the plenary sessions seemed to be a vast wasteland in comparison.