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Left-wing MoveOn warns 'progressive' presidential hopefuls to skip pro-Israel AIPAC conference if they want nomination


'AIPAC has … been known to peddle anti-Muslim and anti-Arab rhetoric while giving platforms to Islamophobes.'

Image source: YouTube screenshot

Even after prominent Democrats criticized fellow party member U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar for anti-Semitic remarks — including that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee pays off U.S. politicians to make them publicly take a pro-Israel stance — left-wing outfit MoveOn is hitting AIPAC as well.

The organization is sending a stark warning to "progressive presidential candidates."

"We are formally asking 2020 presidential candidates to not attend the conference," Iram Ali, MoveOn's campaign director, told CNN Wednesday.

MoveOn just published the results of a member survey, asking them if they believe progressive presidential candidates should skip the AIPAC Policy Conference, which runs from Sunday through Tuesday in Washington, D.C. — and the results were pretty emphatic.

What were the survey results?

More than 74 percent of MoveOn members said they agree or strongly agree with the statement that "any progressive vying to be the Democratic nominee for President should skip the AIPAC conference," the group said.

MoveOn also provided "several facts" prefacing the survey statement, the group noted. They read as follows:

  • 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 [Israel Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu. … who 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 peddle anti-Muslim and anti-Arab rhetoric while giving platforms to Islamophobes.
  • AIPAC has refused to condemn the anti-Semitism of Republicans, such as Trump's friend and adviser 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.["]

What did else did the MoveOn official have to say?

"This survey is less of a formal vote and more of a gut check on what MoveOn members think," Ali noted in MoveOn's piece. "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. We asked our members what they think so that we can make more informed decisions — and over 74 percent agreed that progressive presidential candidates should skip the AIPAC conference. This should also give a clear insight to 2020 candidates on where their base stands instead of prioritizing lobbying groups and policy people who rarely step outside of D.C."

Ali told CNN that MoveOn didn't consider Omar's comments or the reaction to them but rather that "AIPAC has become more and more partisan over the years" as well as Netanyahu's presence at this year's conference.

In addition, Vice President Mike Pence, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy are scheduled to speak, CNN said.

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