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Multiple 2020 Democratic candidates to ship AIPAC conference | News



Washington – At least seven top candidates in the 2020 election will not attend next week's American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) annual policy conference.

The conference by the United States-based lobbying group, which advocates pro-Israel policies, both to Republicans and Democrats competing over speaker spots. But this year, Democrats have decided to shun the entire three-day event after growing pressure calling politicians to boycott the conference.

The Democrats who have so far said they would not include include Pete Buttigieg, Julian Castro, Kamala Harris Jay Inslee, Beto O'Rourke, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, liberal advocacy group MoveOn customs Al Jazeera. It is not clear if any of the politicians had planned.

A survey, published by MoveOn on Wednesday, found that 74 percent of its members agreed that "any progressive vying to be the Democratic nominee for president should ship the AIPAC conference" .

Iram Ali, director of political action at MoveOn, said the change of heart was not sudden. She said it changed years of changing conversation about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a shifting to how progressives view AIPAC.

"AIPAC is clearly a partisan lobbying group that has undermined diplomatic efforts and progressives because now it's part," customs Al Jazeera. "I think this means that AIPAC stances and policies are coming to the forefront. They can no longer pretend to be a bipartisan group," she added.

AIPAC has also been condemn to anti-semitic statements made by Republicans and Islamophobia, said that Congress freshmen have shown a willingness to take a different stance on the lobby group.

Sanders policy director Josh Orton confirmed to local media Sanders planned to ship the conference.

"He's concerned about the platform AIPAC is providing leaders who have expressed bigotry and oppose a two-state solution," he said.

According to the Associated Press news agency, Gillibrand's senior adviser, Glen Caplin, said, "Senator Gillibrand was not planning to speak at the policy conference and will not be attended. As she does every year, she will meet separately with her New York constituents. "

The AP also reported that John Delaney's presidential candidate would not attend due to a scheduling conflict. The change agency of the former congressman was "disappointed" to miss the conference.

"Change in the Democratic Party"

Ilhan Omar, one of the first two Muslim congressmen in US history, was under four for weeks earlier this year about what was labeled as anti-Semitic rhetoric, which led to an offshoot conversation of AIPAC's influence in Washington.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Warren warned that "branding criticism of Israel is automatically anti-Semitic has a chilling effect on our public discourse and makes it harder to achieve a peaceful solution between Israelis and Palestinians ". Harris also expressed concern about the condemnation Omar had received and called for a two-state solution to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute, said Omar was not the reason for the Democrats pulling out of the event. He said that the decisions at some were not a result of a "change in the Democratic Party, period".

"I am thankful ̵

1; never in my lifetime did we imagine or think people would see AIPAC [this way] , "he told Al Jazeera. He said a change in the polling demographics shows that people are moving away from policies put forward by the Israeli government.

"We have [US President Donald] Trump and [Benjamin] Netanyahu to thank for this," he said, adding that the duo were exhibiting the worse form of macho behavior. "They are changing in the constituency of the Democratic Party."

He added that both this boycott and the Omar were controversial of what was taking place in the larger political landscape in the country.

In response this morning to the event boycotts, Trump said, "Democrats have very much to be anti-Israel" and "frankly I think they are anti-Jewish".

Among those scheduled to speak next week at the AIPAC conference are Netanyahu, Vice President Mike Pence, Speaker House Nancy Pelosi and Senator Mitch McConnell.

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