Several Democratic Presidential Candidates to Boycott AIPAC

Anti-AIPAC protest in Washington, DC. (Photo: FIle)

Several Democratic presidential candidates will skip the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s policy conference this year after a leading advocacy group called on them to boycott the event.

MoveOn, a prominent progressive group with millions of members, called on Democratic presidential candidates to boycott the pro-Israel American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) annual conference.

Iram Ali, campaign director at MoveOn Political Action, said in a statement:

“It’s no secret that AIPAC has worked to hinder diplomatic efforts like the Iran deal, is undermining Palestinian self-determination, and inviting figures actively involved in human rights violations to its stage.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) participate in the event, which begins Sunday.

MoveOn decided to call on Democratic presidential candidates to boycott AIPAC’s conference after over 74 percent of its members expressed support for the move in an online survey.

In a series of tweets, MoveOn highlights four main reasons not to go to the AIPAC Conference.

“(1) AIPAC spent tens of millions of dollars in 2015 to defeat the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by Pre. Obama along w international allies. It was a historic diplomatic agreement that Trump has tried to derail since taking office, (2) AIPAC has been known to peddle anti-Muslim and anti-Arab rhetoric while giving platforms to those involved in human rights abuses, (3) AIPAC conference is headlined by Benjamin Netanyahu––under whose leadership Israel may have committed war crimes, (4) AIPAC has refused to condemn the anti-Semitism of Republicans, such as Trump’s friend and adviser Steve Bannon.”

AIPAC is an American pro-Israel lobby group based in Washington D.C. The AIPAC Policy Conference is the largest gathering of America’s pro-Israel community. The conference is a celebration of the U.S.-Israel partnership and the premier meeting to lobby their Congressional office to reinforce the U.S.-Israel relationship.  

AIPAC controversial history came under the spotlight after U.S. Congresswomen Ilhan Omar said that members of Congress support Israel because of money they receive from the pro-Israel lobby.

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