This weekend I went to Washington, DC, to attend the AIPAC convention. AIPAC is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. It was extraordinary. The mission of AIPAC is to strengthen, protect, and promote the U.S.–Israel relationship in ways that enhance the security of both Israel and the United States. I hope we did that, but it’s hard to measure our impact.
As a news anchor and talk show host, I am often frustrated with politics in our country. I spent much of my career (when I was an anchor) trying to be unbiased. But when I became a talk show host, I was urged to “have a take” and “make my opinion known” and “get in the mix.” The latter is way more fun, and I can be more authentic on the air. Still, I hadn’t taken a strong public stand for any cause yet. I now realize that rather than us choosing our causes, they can find us. The worthy causes create a visceral reaction—the right one for you will present a need to get involved, and then you act. So I did.
I went to AIPAC not knowing what to expect, and I was surprised to see 16,000 supporters of Israel from all walks of life. Not only Jews, but Christians, Buddhists, African-Americans, Republicans, and Democrats. I left more educated, more afraid, and more motivated to protect Israel, America, and the rest of the world.
One of our speakers at the conference was Bret Stephens, the Pulitzer Prize–winning Wall Street Journal columnist. I recently interviewed him on my show about his new book, America in Retreat. To boil the book down to a sentence it’s this: “America has to be the policeman of the world.” Bret asks, “What is the alternative, Iran being the policeman?” I doubt any freedom-loving person would want that. His session at AIPAC wasn’t really about Israel; it was about the existential threat that terrorism, specifically, Iranian-funded terrorism, poses to the world, especially America. He left us with this to ponder: “Would Iran having a nuclear bomb make the world a better place?”
Iran is one of the most oil-rich countries on the planet. They have plenty of energy. They don’t need nuclear energy—so why do they need 190,000 nuclear centrifuges? I could go on and on about how the Iranian government has broken promises in the past and cannot be trusted with nuclear power, how they have funded terror cells (nearly all of them in the Middle East and Africa), and how their slogan is “Death to America.” If you listen to my show @wccoradio at 9 p.m., you will most certainly learn what I have learned.
As a Jew, I feel an inborn connection to Israel. As an American, I feel a natural connection to freedom and democracy. Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. I want to protect that. I found my cause.
This week I wish you passion, knowledge and the freedom to pursue how you want to heal the world.