Fun in the Sun With the Israeli-American Lobby

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s monster of a yearly conference takes place at the Washington Convention Center. AIPAC’s chosen venue is a Metropolitan Museum-size netherworld of terrifyingly large ballrooms that’s hundreds of miles from the nearest naturally growing palm tree. Fortunately for the 3,000 people in attendance, the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Florida—site of the annual Israeli-American Council meetup this past November—is very much not the Washington Convention Center. “We have our uniqueness—we’re bilingual, our connection to Israel is not based on politics,” IAC founder Shoham Nicolet explained, as spumy white waves lapped an eggshell shoreline just beyond the windows of the conference room where we were meeting. Over the course of the weekend, I would marvel at how the Diplomat’s lobby bar is ingeniously designed so that half of it is outdoors, adjacent to the upper pool deck and a short, tastefully landscaped walk from the much larger and palm-forested lower pool deck.