Politics

AIPAC Responds After Bernie Sanders Said Hes Skipping Pro-Israel Event

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) launched “an odious attack” against the groups upcoming event after Sanders said he wouldnt attend the conference.

“Senator Sanders has never attended our conference and that is evident from his outrageous comment,” AIPAC, which says it is Americas pro-Israel lobby, said in a statement on Sunday.

The annual conference features over 18,000 Americans from a wide variety of backgrounds and includes both Senate and House Democratic speakers.

“By engaging in such an odious attack on this mainstream, bipartisan American political event, Senator Sanders is insulting his very own colleagues and the millions of Americans who stand with Israel. Truly shameful,” AIPAC added.

The statement was in response to Sanderss announcement over the weekend that he wouldnt attend AIPACs conference, which is being held on March 1 and March 2 in Washington.

“The Israeli people have the right to live in peace and security. So do the Palestinian people. I remain concerned about the platform AIPAC provides for leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights,” he told supporters in a statement.

“As president, I will support the rights of both Israelis and Palestinians and do everything possible to bring peace and security to the region,” he added.

Sanders, a 78-year-old Jew who has been a federal lawmaker for decades, hasnt attended the AIPAC conference before but did offer to speak at the conference via video in 2016.

Epoch Times Photo
Epoch Times Photo
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) speaks during the AIPAC annual meeting in Washington on March 26, 2019. (Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)

Sanders cited a busy campaign schedule as the reason why he couldnt speak at the conference in person. His offer to speak via video was reportedly rejected by AIPAC.

AIPAC later shared dozens of social media posts praising its annual event, some of which attacked Sanders.

In one, New York rabbi Jason Nevarez wrote: “Unlike Bernie Sanders, I will be @AIPAC Policy Conf. I am a proud Jew and progressive Zionist who believes in a safe and secure Israel alongside a future Palestinian State. We need to show up and be a part of the discussion. Each voice matters.”

Added international lawyer Arsen Ostrovsky: “Having attended @AIPAC many times, I can unequivocally say @SenSanders could not be further from truth. AIPAC is unabashedly pro-Israel. But also support Palestinian rights & 2 SS. They have people from Right to Left and in between. It is about dialogue & engagement!”

Scheduled speakers at AIPACs conference include Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.).

Last week, AIPAC distanced itself from a political Read More – Source