NORPAC Passes On AIPAC Conference This Year
Dr. Ben Chouake with Senator Menendez - courtesy of NORPAC
NORPAC, which calls itself the nation’s largest pro-Israel political action committee, is hosting a fundraiser for Senator Bob Menendez the same time as AIPAC’s annual Washington Policy Conference — in New Jersey.
NORPAC President Dr. Ben Chouake told Jewish Insider that the date – Sunday, March 26 – was chosen by Menendez despite the fact that a number of would-be participants are expected to attend the AIPAC gathering in Washington, DC. “We are grateful for all participation in the process and while we regret the date, when a friend asks for help we are inclined to say yes even at difficult time slots,” he explained.
Menendez, a frequent speaker at the pro-Israel gathering since 2013, is expected to address AIPAC attendees on Tuesday, the third day of the conference, according to the Senator’s spokesperson. Although AIPAC’s website has yet to list him as a speaker.
Other high-profile speakers at the Policy Conference include Vice President Mike Pence, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, House Speaker Paul Ryan, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer.
As for Chouake, he will not attend this year’s police conference due to prior commitments to participate in two local events on Monday, other than hosting Sunday’s fundraiser. “The AIPAC conference is very worthwhile,” he told Jewish Insider. “I join other times with AIPAC during the year as a member of their National Council. They have four meetings a year. I prioritize those other three meetings when I am needed more. I hope my colleagues at AIPAC will give me a pass on missing the conference.”