Biden to address AIPAC conference

Olivier Knox
The Ticket

Vice President Joe Biden will make a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the powerful lobbying group that advocates close relations between the U.S. and Israel, at its conference in Washington, D.C. next month. Biden will address the group on March 4, an aide told Yahoo News, confirming a report in JTA.

It was not immediately clear whether President Barack Obama would also speak to the group. But Obama is due to travel to Israel—his first visit there since taking office—in late March.

Biden has advocated close U.S.-Israel relations for decades, notably from his perch as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He could be expected to discuss such ongoing issues as Washington’s support for the “Iron Dome” missile defense system and escalating tensions over Iran’s suspect nuclear program. Other issues on the table at the gathering are likely to include how to approach the so-called "Arab spring" countries.

Other scheduled speakers at the March 3-5 conference include Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Democratic House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address the conference live via satellite from Israel, according to AIPAC spokesman Marshall Wittmann.