Back in the day, all presidential candidates made an appearance at the annual AIPAC conference. By “back in the day”, I mean as recently as 2016. Alas, that was then and this is now. In 2019 a demand from MoveOn.org produced a mad scramble of today’s Democrat presidential nominee hopefuls to jump ship and quickly pledge to not show up during the annual three-day conference. Talk about falling in line!
So, to show their support for a wave coming out of Congress that is giving voice to anti-Semitism in America, Democrats running for the Democratic nomination – Senators Sanders, Harris and Warren plus Beto O’Rourke and Pete Buttigieg – have caved to MoveOn’s wishes. The questions that beg to be asked are these: do these candidates support the strong relationship between America and Israel? Do they specifically denounce anti-Semitism, not just the feel-good nonsense of “all hate” as the House resolution defined? Or, do they crave the approval of a far-left group so ardently that they are willing to justify the anti-Semitic comments of a couple of Muslim women elected to the House of Representatives and their Latina sister from the Bronx as free speech?
The trio of freshman females (Ilhan Omar, Rashida Talib, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) is pushing the Democrats over the cliff and these Democrats running to be America’s next president are willing to go along with them. Omar and Talib, both Muslims, tweet out ugliness against Israel and Ocasio-Cortez shows support for both women. It is particularly bizarre because Jewish voters are mostly Democrat voters. President Trump only received 24% of the Jewish vote in 2016. This conference is literally the Democrats’ audience. Why leave this opportunity to those willing to go?
There are some Democrats willing to go and are being publicized as speakers.
The three-day conference this year will be headlined by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and Democratic House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.
So far, only Bernie Sanders has issued a statement about his refusal to attend.
Sanders’ aide Josh Orton told media outlets that the leading candidate among the Democrats won’t be attending because “he’s concerned about the platform AIPAC is providing for leaders who have expressed bigotry and oppose a two-state solution” in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
This is particularly ironic from Sanders, who is Jewish. You’ll note that Sanders doesn’t have the nerve to actually back up his charges of bigotry and opposition to a two-state solution by naming names. He is hardly the profile in courage he thinks he is.
When asked about his absence from the AIPAC conference, Beto O’Rourke mentioned he’s in South Carolina and prefers to spend his time with voters who will be making the change necessary in Washington, or something. He essentially wrote off securing the predominantly Democratic Jewish vote. Oh well.
Meanwhile, a person described as “a major pro-Israel funder” has decided to decline speaking at the conference. The reason? Tweets from Omar and Tlaib.
Adam Milstein, a major pro-Israel funder, has withdrawn from moderating a panel at the annual AIPAC policy conference following a series of tweets in which he accused two Muslim lawmakers of clashing with “American values.”
AIPAC, by the way, distanced themselves from Milstein. That’s the thing. AIPAC denounces all expressions of hatefulness, from everyone. For the Democrat nominee hopefuls to point to AIPAC’s alleged expressions of hate is ridulous.
Here’s Milstein’s tweet that got him into trouble.
This whole thing is a mess. It’s a direct consequence of Democratic leadership in Congress’s unwillingness to call out anti-Semitism and instead to lump it in with any other form of ugliness. Nancy Pelosi bowed to the freshmen legislators and allowed that silly anti-hate resolution to be put to a vote in the House. Now she reaps the results of what she’s sowed.