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    For Israel Lobby Group, War Is Topic A, Quietly
    At Meeting, Jerusalem's Contributions Are Highlighted

    By Dana Milbank
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Tuesday, April 1, 2003; Page A25

    This week's meeting in Washington of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee has put a spotlight on the Bush administration's delicate dance with Israel and the Jewish state's friends over the attack on Iraq.

    Officially, Israel is not one of the 49 countries the administration has identified as members of the "Coalition of the Willing." Officially, AIPAC had no position on the merits of a war against Iraq before it started. Officially, Iraq is not the subject of the pro-Israel lobby's three-day meeting here.

    Now, for the unofficial part:

    As delegates to the AIPAC meeting were heading to town, the group put a headline on its Web site proclaiming: "Israeli Weapons Utilized By Coalition Forces Against Iraq." The item featured a photograph of a drone with the caption saying the "Israeli-made Hunter Unmanned Aerial Vehicle" is being used "by U.S. soldiers in Iraq."

    At an AIPAC session on Sunday night, Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom proclaimed in a speech praising Secretary of State Colin L. Powell: "We have followed with great admiration your efforts to mobilize the international community to disarm Iraq and bring democracy and peace to the region, to the Middle East and to the rest of the world. Just imagine, Mr. Secretary, how much easier it would have been if Israel had been a member of the Security Council.

    and remove the HR.

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