Nathalie Tamam is Political Director of Conservative Friends of Israel.
When considering this year’s America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Conference there is really only one takeaway; it’s finally decision time on Iran’s nuclear programme. The words ‘Peace Process’ or ‘Palestinian’ were barely uttered in the speeches of both Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu.
Whilst receiving a warmer reception than last year, praise for Obama was muted. His speech and ever impressive oratorical style was intended to reassure Israel and the American Jewish community of his on-going and committed support.
He asked the audience to look at his words and his deeds; the military and intelligence cooperation; the critical funding to deploy the Iron Dome system; and the diplomatic assistance given when the Goldstone Report was produced, during the flotilla incident and at the UN.
The audience clapped but the cheers and woops synonymous with AIPAC conferences in years gone by were suspiciously absent. The crowd was not entirely convinced.
And then Obama moved onto the main issue; Iran. He deployed all the usual rhetoric that everybody wanted to hear. The audience pepped up, they became interested in how far he would actually go.
Needless to say, he walked the line between giving too much away and saying too little, and re-enforced his commitment to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.