Several Democrats seeking the 2020 nomination for president were notably absent from this year’s American Israel Political Affairs conference (AIPAC) following calls from progressive group MoveOn.org to boycott the event and amid a growing hostility toward
Jews Israel among congressional Democrat superstars.
Sens. Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke and many others have said they won’t be attending the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s annual Policy (AIPAC) conference, a move that coincides with a moneyed progressive advocacy group’s call to boycott the event.
MoveOn.org, a group that spent around $3.5 million in the 2018 midterm elections, called on the 2020 Democratic candidates to skip the conference, even though in the past all presidential candidates viewed the AIPAC conference as a crucial campaign stop.
This week kicks off Rev. Al Shaprton’s National Action Network meeting in New York City and that same Israel-shy posse will be showing up at that event to strut and preen for the attendees and Reverend Al in hopes of an endorsement.
The four-day convention, which begins in New York on Wednesday, includes Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) among its speakers.
Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D), former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro (D) — all 2020 candidates — will also be appearing.
That is quite a line up. The Hill tell us the event is a “a testament to both the importance of the black vote and Sharpton’s increasingly mainstream image.” But back in 2000, Sharpton was considered “controversial” according to the Washington Post.
In a March 2000 Washington Post story, the writer noted that “the mainstreaming of Alfred Charles Sharpton Jr. is underway, sparking a war of words over the acceptability of associating with this racially controversial figure.”
That debate is long over, at least among Democrats and liberals. The presence of the leading presidential candidates — as well as other leading lights of the party, including Ocasio-Cortez and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams — this week is testament to that.
Now in 2019, Israel has become controversial.
Photo by Al Drago/Getty Images