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Hillary to headline AIPAC conference

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be the keynote speaker at this month’s annual meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, The Cable has confirmed. Clinton will speak on the morning of Monday, March 22, the second day of a conference that will bring together a star-studded roster of American, British, and Israeli leaders ...

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Getty Images
Getty Images

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be the keynote speaker at this month's annual meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, The Cable has confirmed.

Clinton will speak on the morning of Monday, March 22, the second day of a conference that will bring together a star-studded roster of American, British, and Israeli leaders in downtown Washington, D.C. Monday is shaping up to be the biggest day of the three-day event, with opposition leader Tzipi Livni giving the next major speech after Clinton and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speak Monday night.

A host of U.S. lawmakers will also convene on the conference Monday, including U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., as well as House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-MD, and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-VA.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be the keynote speaker at this month’s annual meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, The Cable has confirmed.

Clinton will speak on the morning of Monday, March 22, the second day of a conference that will bring together a star-studded roster of American, British, and Israeli leaders in downtown Washington, D.C. Monday is shaping up to be the biggest day of the three-day event, with opposition leader Tzipi Livni giving the next major speech after Clinton and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speak Monday night.

A host of U.S. lawmakers will also convene on the conference Monday, including U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., as well as House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-MD, and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-VA.

Retiring Indiana Senator Evan Bayh will speak to the group Sunday, March 21, as will Israel’s Ambassador to Washington Michael Oren and the head of Google Israel Meir Brand. An interesting roundtable that day will feature the Carnegie Endowment’s Bob Kagan, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s Robert Satloff, and former Bush administration spokesman/soon-to-be Senate candidate Dan Senor.

Tuesday morning, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair will address the conference, just before the thousands of participants flood the halls of Capitol Hill, making their annual pilgrimage to lobby for strengthened sanctions against Iran and in support of robust foreign aid. The plan is to emphasize the group’s support for proximity talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians, "provided they lead to direct negotiations," our insider said.

One conference speaker who isn’t as famous but should make for a lively discussion is Col. Richard Kemp, the former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, who has disputed that Israel committed any war crimes during 2008 and 2009 operations in Gaza.

"I don’t think there has ever been a time in the history of warfare when any army has made more efforts to reduce civilian casualties and deaths of innocent people than the IDF is doing today in Gaza," Kemp told the BBC in this video.

Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at josh.rogin@foreignpolicy.com.

Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.

A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.

Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin

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