Non-Jewish AIPAC attendance increases

Monday, March 12, 2007 |  by Staff Writer
While more than 6,000 congregated in Washington to participate in AIPAC's annual policy conference, the number of non-Jewish students and public officials drastically increased.

The attendance of black and Christian college students grew by 25 percent, represented by 55 different schools. The numbers of student government presidents jumped by a third, to 160 representatives, the majority of whom are not Jewish.

AIPAC continued to gain support for Israel from the African-American, Latino and Christian communities.

Pastor John Hagee, founder of Christians United for Israel, gave the opening address at a dinner on Sunday.

In spite of campuses across the country being subject to great debate over Israel, 1,200 students attended to show they stand with Israel.

AIPAC spokesman Josh Block indicated that this diverse backing can create a better US-Israel relationship.

“As they [African-American students] and the folks from Hispanic background and evangelical communities continue their political involvement, it’s only going to strengthen the pro-Israel movement,” he said. “With close to 70 percent of Americans self-identifying as pro-Israel, obviously there are a lot of non-Jewish Americans in that group. The pro-Israel community is quite diverse, and the program reflects the work being done to reach out to all part of the American society that are pro-Israel.”

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