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PM Netanyahu To Address AIPAC Conference Despite Unprecedented Rebuke From Pro-Israel Lobby

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will address the annual mega-conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, despite receiving an unprecedented rebuke from the lobbying group that operates on his country’s behalf. AIPAC last week criticized the premier for overseeing the merger of two right-wing political bodies, one of which, Otzma Yehudit, is the offshoot of late Meir Kahane’s banned Kach party that advocated for the forced expulsion of Arabs from the Jewish state. Nevertheless, Netanyahu will join a star-studded line-up at the Washington confab that includes former American ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley. While in the U.S. capital, the prime minister also is expected to meet with President Donald Trump at the White House, where they will likely discuss the April 9 Israeli elections as well as the administration’s soon-to-be-unveiled peace proposal. The visit may give Netanyahu a much-needed boost in the polls just two weeks before the vote, as his ruling Likud currently is trailing by a significant margin the newly-formed Blue and White party headed by former military chief Benny Gantz and ex-finance minister Yair Lapid.