Just one more sign that Washington loves Israel like its only child

The predictable Israeli slap to America’s modest demands should surprise nobody.

Besides, the real test of America’s love affair with Israel and contempt for Palestinians is clear:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be the keynote speaker at this month’s annual meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, The Cable has confirmed.

Clinton will speak on the morning of Monday, March 22, the second day of a conference that will bring together a star-studded roster of American, British, and Israeli leaders in downtown Washington, D.C. Monday is shaping up to be the biggest day of the three-day event, with opposition leader Tzipi Livni giving the next major speech after Clinton and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speak Monday night.

A host of U.S. lawmakers will also convene on the conference Monday, including U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., as well as House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-MD, and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-VA.

Retiring Indiana Senator Evan Bayh will speak to the group Sunday, March 21, as will Israel’s Ambassador to Washington Michael Oren and the head of Google Israel Meir Brand. An interesting roundtable that day will feature the Foreign Policy Initiative’s Bob Kagan, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s Robert Satloff, and former Bush administration spokesman/soon-to-be Senate candidate Dan Senor.

Tuesday morning, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair will address the conference, just before the thousands of participants flood the halls of Capitol Hill, making their annual pilgrimage to lobby for strengthened sanctions against Iran and in support of robust foreign aid. The plan is to emphasize the group’s support for proximity talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians, “provided they lead to direct negotiations,” our insider said.

One conference speaker who isn’t as famous but should make for a lively discussion is Col. Richard Kemp, the former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, who has disputed that Israel committed any war crimes during 2008 and 2009 operations in Gaza.

“I don’t think there has ever been a time in the history of warfare when any army has made more efforts to reduce civilian casualties and deaths of innocent people than the IDF is doing today in Gaza,” Kemp told the BBC in this video.

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