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The Top 100 People Positively Influencing Jewish Life, 2017

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Lillian Pinkus

President, AIPAC

The first female president of AIPAC in a decade, Lillian Pinkus is faced with some formidable challenges; in particular, the rise of divisive and polarizing politics in the US.

Pinkus came into office in 2016 pledging to expand and diversify the powerful lobby, saying, “We need to grow the number of people who are involved in AIPAC and we need to grow the number of people that are involved in pro-Israel politics.”

But at the 2016 annual policy conference, then-candidate Donald Trump’s criticism of President Obama caused upheaval, prompting an emotional disavowal from Pinkus.

At the 2017 conference, Pinkus repeated her admonitions and a warning as well. “Support for Israel is not immune” from the intense partisanship of American politics, she said. “Elements on each side of the aisle are trying to fracture our movement.” She urged Israel supporters to “work harder than ever before to hold the ideological center.” (Photo credit: AIPAC.)

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