Hundreds of pro-Israel activists lobby on Capitol Hill
Hundreds of activists from the pro-Israel group NORPAC descended on Capitol Hill earlier this month to lobby at congressional offices, according to a report by Jewish Insider.
Last week, the group of more than 600 volunteers from NORPAC had meetings with around 300 congressional offices, comprising around 80 Senate and 220 House offices, including several that have voted against recent pro-Israel bills.
The lobbying focused on continued military support for Israel, strengthening the Abraham Accords, and supporting technology and maritime defence programmes.
This was the group's first major live lobbying gathering since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Trudy Stern, a co-president of NORPAC New York and a NORPAC mission chair said the high turnout "makes a huge statement for the pro-Israel community" and also that "you cannot compare the difference in effectiveness that you have when you're in front of someone in person [rather] than on Zoom."
Dave Steinberg, a NORPAC mission chair, said that their meetings started by emphasising the significance of the United States' relationship with Israel since "our philosophical approach was that, with everything going on in the universe, we can no longer presume that Congress is an automatic rubber stamp for Israel."
He added that they "started by reiterating the importance of the US-Israel relationship. And in some offices, that was a two-minute conversation."
These meetings came amid a period of escalated violence in Gaza, months-long debates and demonstrations over policies by Israel's far-right government, and the 75th anniversary of the establishment of Israel, or the Nakba (catastrophe), as it's generally referred to by Palestinians).