Marek Siwiec MEP on Poland & Europe

Annual AIPAC (American Israeli Public Affairs Committee) conference consists of two types of activities. Firstly, for a few hours a day, there is a plenary session which gathers over 13 thousand delegates who come to listen to the speech of the star of the day. On Sunday, an outgoing Israeli Minister of Defence, Ehud Barak, was such a star.

He is a vivid and ambiguously perceived personality. He was a good prime minister of Israel- the last to be put forward by the centre-left Israeli Labour Party. He was in the office just for one term, due to the fact that he attached importance to peace talks with Arafat. The latter, however, shortly before the election refused the peace plan, leading to Barak’s loss against Likud – the party of the current Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu. And year later he left the Labour Party and took the office of Minister of Defence in the government of Netanyahu. He is said to be a good Minister, but the Labour Party has not been able to come back on its feet so far. At Sunday’s conference, Ehud Barak was talking about the vision of Israel surrounded by more and more hostile neighbours. He confirmed an idea of two states (Israel and Palestine), however, it was felt in the air that in the present situation the chances to implement such a plan are scarce.

After the plenary room gets empty, the second type of activity starts. There are hundreds of panel discussions, each one with the presence of a few dozens of people. European delegation had a chance to listen to the presentation of American analysts on the most advance methods to ensure airport security, on the ways of financing Hezbollah, and on the role of the social media in organizing modern terrorism.

On Monday, somewhere around 4 p.m. local time in Poland, Vice President Joe Biden appeared on the main stage. Shortly afterwards, we left to Europe.

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