March 24, 2017 at the National Press Club, Washington, DC


Delinda Hanley and Grant Smith

Organizers' Remarks

Delinda Hanley:  We’d like to thank our incredible speakers who came from around the world to talk about the Israel lobby.  We’re doing a little end-notes thing here.  Their talks will be available in the next edition of the Washington Report, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary with a new look and a new URL—washingtonreport.me.

Thank you, reporters, for showing up to shoot and write about this newsworthy event.  Thank you to our hardworking staff, exhibitors and advertisers, as well as this room full of attendees, including a record number of students from across the country, diplomats and community leaders, as well as the Delaware Neighbors Against the Occupation, who chartered a bus to come here.  Thank you to our generous donors.  Without you, this remarkable day couldn’t have happened.

Finally, I’d like to remind you that this conference has been dedicated to Washington Report’s publisher, Andrew Killgore, who died in December convinced that this conference would be a game changer.  To you, our audience, please make his hopes come true and loosen the grip of the Israel lobby on American policy.  Thank you.  Grant…

Grant Smith:  For those of you who stopped sending in question cards because some of the speakers weren’t able to take those, don’t be gun shy.  Send some in.  Ilan Pappé and Clayton Swisher will try to answer as many as possible.

I, too, would like to thank the donors—many giving $10, $15, $20 once they heard that this conference was coming, in addition to those who gave much more.  I also applaud some grassroots organizations.  One of my favorites, Northfielders for Justice in Palestine/Israel who have come here, very excellent work in my home state of Minnesota.  It takes time and money for people to come here personally and be here.  Whether you’re a student, a retiree, or have a job/don’t have a job, everyone who came here today did so because they care.

Next month, for those of you who keep asking me, IRmep will be filing an appeal in our lawsuit to block U.S. aid to Israel over its clandestine nuclear weapons program.  So I encourage those of you who want to follow that to sign up for the email list at irmep.org. 

There are representatives from many great organizations here today.  As we look around for coalition partners and worthwhile projects to engage in—whether humanitarian relief, policy research, grassroots action—I just encourage everyone to consider how your work will challenge, end-run, and transcend the Israel lobby—the biggest and longest running obstacle to peace in the Middle East.

Back to transcripts