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May 02, 2009
Vice President Joe Biden will headline the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's annual conference, which begins tomorrow in Washington, D.C., a source at the group said.
The announcement that Biden will speak Monday morning comes a day after a victory for the group and the pro-Israel community; the Justice Department decided to drop charges of mishandling classified information against two former AIPAC staffers.
The conference, a chance for AIPAC to flex its unmatched Beltway muscle, is expected draw 6,500 people, and a phalanx of top officials of both parties. Other speakers include Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, Newt Gingrich and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, as well as congressional leaders Steny Hoyer, Dick Durbin, Eric Cantor, and Jon Kyl.
The event typically draws more members of Congress than any outside a joint session or State of the Union. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will also be addressing the group, live via satellite from Jerusalem, getting up at 3:00 a.m. local time to do it. Rep. Jane Harman, who was investigated in connection with the dropped case against AIPAC staffers, will also be speaking.