Third rail no more? MoveOn asks 2020 Dems to boycott AIPAC
Influential progressive activist group MoveOn.org has a favor to ask 2020’s army of Democratic presidential candidates: steer clear of the AIPAC conference. Do not pass Go; do not collect hefty campaign checks.
The activist organization with ties to controversial billionaire George Soros called on the growing swarm of Democratic candidates to boycott the pro-Israeli lobbyist conference, long considered a rite of passage for American politicians. While AIPAC itself only spent about $3.5 million lobbying last year, its influence lies in matching wealthy donors with favored candidates, “bundling” enormous sums to those it believes will do the most to advance Israel’s aims stateside.
#2 AIPAC has been known to peddle anti-Muslim and anti-Arab rhetoric while giving platforms to those involved in human rights abuses. Source: https://t.co/Jt7uah6leC— MoveOn (@MoveOn) March 20, 2019
MoveOn listed four reasons to stay away from AIPAC, including its efforts to defeat the Iran deal – which have found a sympathetic ear in President Donald Trump – plus its Islamophobia, its refusal to condemn Republican anti-Semitism, and its tacit acceptance of Israel’s long history of alleged war crimes, as well as the increasingly overt racism of the Jewish state.
Netanyahu also recently made a deal to bring the "Israeli KKK" ultra-racist party into the next government. Source: https://t.co/pbzZ2yFeDv— MoveOn (@MoveOn) March 20, 2019
The group specifically attacked Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu for forging an alliance between his right-wing Likud Party and the even-further-right Otzma Yehudit, or Jewish Power Party. Citing the faction’s links to the Kach party, which the State Department has declared a terrorist organization and Israel has banned entirely, MoveOn slammed Netanyahu for cozying up to the “Israeli KKK.”Also on rt.com Meddling, anyone? Pro-Israel groups spent $22 million on lobbying & campaign contributions in 2018
While mostly symbolic, MoveOn’s boycott request points to a seismic shift in American politics, with the issue once considered the “third rail” of American politics – criticizing or even acknowledging the Israeli lobby – now becoming an asset.
Responses to the gesture were largely positive,
AIPAC is toxic. Thank you!— Egalitarian ❄ (@LoveEachother14) March 20, 2019
As an Israeli-Jew, I applaud @MoveOn's call on 2020 candidates to boycott AIPAC's conference. AIPAC cynically uses the real threat of anti-semitism to silence criticism of Israeli's atrocities against Palestinians. It is a shameful organization that doesn't represent me. https://t.co/NJWReIpLuf— Abraham Gutman (@abgutman) March 20, 2019
Though some felt the candidates would choose AIPAC’s cash over MoveOn’s endorsement.
List of Dem candidates who will probably thumb their noses at MoveOn and attend anyway: Biden, Booker, Klobuchar, Harris, O'Rourke, Inslee, Gillibrand, Hickenlooper, Castro. Quislings on parade.— William Blake (@_William_Blake) March 20, 2019
Others accused the Democratic party, MoveOn, or both of anti-Semitism
Anti-semitism is and has always been a Democrat thing. Ask Ilhan her feelings.— The Comical Conservative (@joke_is_you) March 20, 2019
Such anti-semitism, you’d almost think moveon was a Soros puppet organisation— Stitch Jone’s Surplus Helmet (@Thisismyrailgun) March 20, 2019
...and one clever Tweeter thought to check the roster for AIPAC’s ‘Connected for Good’ conference, which lists none of the 2020 candidates – though it does include some of the loudest voices to condemn anti-Semitism, real or imagined, in the Democratic Party, including Reps. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), and Elizabeth Cheney (R-WY).
While AIPAC has always boasted of its bipartisan influence, Democratic support for Israel is at historic lows even as Republicans remain staunchly pro-Zionist. With Netanyahu clinging closer than ever to Trump in the face of bribery scandal probes and looming elections, Democrats are finding themselves more alienated than ever from the Israeli government. A recent UN resolution condemning the Israeli sniping of unarmed Palestinian protesters has only strained the relationship further, and the willingness of freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) to criticize the lobby’s influence in US politics has emboldened others in the party to speak up.Also on rt.com #StandwithIlhan: Social media users defend Ilhan Omar after her forced apology over anti-Semitism
Even if they don’t keep the candidates away from the financial feeding frenzy, MoveOn’s demands will “give a clear insight to 2020 candidates on where their base stands instead of prioritizing lobbying groups and policy people,” said MoveOn campaign director Iram Ali.
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