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2020 Candidates Skip AIPAC!

After MoveOn members asked candidates to skip the AIPAC conference, no 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are yet publicly committed to attend the AIPAC conference in DC this weekend!

The story comes after a number of leading candidates—Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Beto O’Rourke, Mayor Julián Castro, Governor Jay Inlsee, and Mayor Pete Buttigieg— said that they will not attend AIPAC’s conference.  

Iram Ali, campaign director at MoveOn, explained the significance:

“The influx of progressive candidates confirming they will not attend—even those who have gone in years past—shows how the momentum is shifting. In 2007, for example, both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton attended, going so far as to throw parties at the conference.

“AIPAC is clearly a partisan lobbying group that has undermined diplomatic efforts. It’s no secret that 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.  Meanwhile, they give platforms to Islamophobes and refuse to condemn the anti-Semitism stemming from Republicans. It should come as no surprise that progressives don’t want anything to do with this conference.

“The fact that no 2020 Democratic presidential contenders have as of yet publicly committed to attending AIPAC’s conference in DC this weekend—with seven candidates confirming they will definitely not attend—stands in sharp contrast to the past. MoveOn members applaud the candidates for taking a stand against AIPAC’s dangerous, partisan lobbying efforts.”

On Wednesday, MoveOn released the results of a member survey which found that more than 74 percent of MoveOn members who responded agree or strongly agree with the statement that “any progressive vying to be the Democratic nominee for President should skip the AIPAC conference.”

Here are some of the reasons MoveOn called on 2020 candidates to skip AIPAC:

  • AIPAC spent tens millions of dollars in 2015 to defeat the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by President Obama along with our European and international allies—a historic diplomatic agreement that Trump has tried to derail since taking office.
  • This year’s AIPAC conference is headlined by Benjamin Netanyahu … under whose leadership, according to the U.N., Israel may have committed war crimes in attacks on Gaza. Netanyahu also has been indicted on bribery and fraud charges, and recently made a deal to bring the “Israeli KKK” … party into the next government.
  • AIPAC has been known to traffic in anti-Muslim and anti-Arab rhetoric while providing a platform to Islamophobes.
  • AIPAC has refused to condemn the anti-Semitism of Republicans, such as Trump’s friend and advisor Steve Bannon. Bannon’s wife reported that he had their kids removed from a school because of “the number of Jews that attend,” and that “he didn’t want the girls going to school with Jews. While many groups condemned Bannon, Politico reported that AIPAC “declined to weigh in.” This is one of many examples.