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What role does AIPAC play in US elections?


The American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the most powerful pro-Israel lobby in the US, is holding its biggest annual conference yet with around 13,000 delegates in Washington.

For all those bidding to become the next US president, it has become an essential campaign stop. The group has strong ties to the religious right and evangelical voters. And it is a very influential force in Washington politics.

Demonstrators from the occupy movement held a small protest outside the event urging no war on Iran and no US tax dollars for Israel.

On Sunday, Barack Obama, the US president, took to the stage and told the audience that Israel had never had a better friend in the White House. But he did not support Israeli military action against Iran's nuclear facilities - at least not yet.
Three of the four Republican candidates bidding to unseat the US president addressed the conference on the biggest day of the nomination battle so far - 'Super Tuesday'.

Rick Santorum flew in especially for the event before heading back to Ohio, while Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich appeared via satellite link.

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