The long line outside the plenary hall for Sen. Joe Lieberman’s speech afforded some opportunities to chat. I began speaking with a woman who was offering her advice on good local Jewish theater (“The Interrogation of Baruch de Spinoza,” at Theater J in DC) and her thoughts on why New York Jewish deli is better than L.A. Jewish deli (I remain a West Coast loyalist there and in most other regards).
This woman has been coming to AIPAC for 36 years. The first meeting, she said, had 187 members and no speeches by politicos looking for votes. This year is the largest policy conference ever, with more than 13,000 participants and speeches — yeah, lots and lots of ’em.
I asked this seasoned AIPAC veteran what she thought of yesterday’s speeches by Israeli President Shimon Peres and President Obama.
She sighed for a moment, her face stoic.
“They were nice speeches,” she said. “Everybody gives nice speeches. Everybody. It’s what they do that matters.”