I’m back from AIPAC (African Institute of Planetary Arts Committee) in Washington DC. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this Annual Gathering of the World’s Most Powerful Jewish Wizards and Witches (photographed below), which, I must assume, is most you, I, King of Jewish Baseball, sovereign leader of the largest and only Jewish baseball organization in the world will now explain what it’s like to step into this underworld of Jewish sorcery, in Washington DC, no less, Seat of All Power and Secrets.
The conference, understandably, took place at low-key, undisclosed locations for security purposes. AIPAC rented the Washington Convention Center AND the Verizon Center, home of the Washington Wizards, the Washington Capitols, and Georgetown basketball, for three-days of presentations and speeches, hand shakes and hugs, exchanges of business cards and downward glances at name tags. Nearly 20,000 people attended. Most impressive was the diversity. The crowd ranged from Upper Class American Jews all the way to Upper Middle Class American Jews. How could a group of people with such varied lifestyles, interests, and opinions all exist peacefully in one place, you ask?
At the convention center, in the “AIPAC Village”, we had a photo booth where you could get your very own Israel Baseball card printed, BE PART OF THE TEAM. Now, Ladies and Geetles, without further hubbub and excitement, I present to you, the AIPAC All-Stars, the starting line-up from the 2016 AIPAC policy conference in Washington DC.
Leading-off, from the Bronx, Jerome Fish.
Batting 2nd, playing right field, Yisoel Neuby.
Batting 3rd, playing pitcher’s helper, Harvey Young.
Batting Clean-Up, Dr. Babe Ruth.
Hitting 5th, “Speedy”, Ken Horowitz.
The 6th hitter, playing short stop, and 2nd base, Edie Barr.
7th hitter, Steamin’ Willie Hochman.
Batting 8th, Hillel “the Scribe” Kuttler.
Batting last, “Happy” Gilbert Achor.
And, as always, pitching today for Team Israel, Shlomo Lipetz aka Shlo J Simpson, the man with an iron right arm, and a stronger will. Looking into his eyes is like looking into the deep abyss of an empty well in New England in 1894, or any other year, and seeing at the bottom a baby lamb singing in the voice of Billy Holiday.
At the stadium, a video about Baseball Le’Kulam, our co-existence program, screened Monday evening between speeches by republican candidates Ted Cruz and none other than the man himself, Halloween Head, front runner for the Republican presidential nomination, Donald Trump, as his friends in Mexico kindly refer to him. People gasped as Trump took the stage. A boy behind me held his hand over his forehead and chirped in excitement after examining a picture of Trump he had snapped. Trump waltzed to the stage and deliver his finest stand-up comedy routine. He was a high-school football coach at a pep rally. The crowd, some of who had threatened to leave before Trump’s speech in protest, instead responded with thunderous applause like family members and fans ready for the big game Friday night. By the end, most of the stadium was on their feet as spotlights panned over the audience revealing wide eyes, bright smiles, and nods of approval.
I was mostly concerned with our presentation. Fadi and Niv, two boys from Baseball Le’Kulam, were waiting backstage to deliver their lines next to seasoned politicians. We had rehearsed the day before, but there weren’t many upon many thousands of people there. After a little confusion about where to stand, they took their rightful place at the podium. Check it out.
Boom. AIPAC 2016. Happened. In the books. Donezo. We came, we saw, we considered the options. And we raised our participation trophy high above our heads in victory!