[US][Election][Jewish community][Political activities] - The Economist - 2012.03.24

[US][Election][Jewish community][Political activities] - The Economist - 2012.03.24

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A lament for America’s Jews Inside the corridors of power, there we sat down and wept ELECTIONS are to special-interest groups what spinach is to Popeye. So it was no surprise that the  annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) at the beginning of this  month produced the usual pandering. Barack Obama, Arab-Israeli peacemaking on hold, said that when  the chips were down “I have Israel’s back”. When Mitt Romney’s video address began, one wicked tweet  wondered whether the Republican candidate would promise to make his inauguration speech from  Jerusalem. In the event, he promised only to make Jerusalem his first port of call as president. In recent years, however, mighty AIPAC has had to cope with an irritant: a small but dogged competitor.  On March 24th a different group of American Jews will meet in downtown Washington at the conference  of the organisation known as J Street. J Street is growing, though still a tiddler by AIPAC standards. It  now has 50-odd staffers, and has lined up Ehud Olmert, Israel’s former prime minister, as next week’s  keynote speaker. The J Streeters are peaceniks, always banging on about the two-state solution. AIPAC says it is neutral in  Israeli politics, but is closer to Israel’s Likud. J Streeters fret about the stateless Palestinians and the  damage Israel’s occupation of the West Bank does to its soul. The question at AIPAC is when Mr Obama  will send his bombers to squish Iran’s nuclear ambitions. At first glance, this looks like a quarrel about 
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