- The main Democratic candidates to the primary have refused to attend the annual conference of AIPAC, the powerful Israeli lobby in the United States
- “The Democrats have proven to be anti-Israel, there is no doubt and it is a disgrace, I do not know what happened to them, but they are totally against Israel and, honestly, I think they are anti-Jewish,” Trump said before the conference began.
- Trump has shown unconditional support for Netanyahu, who is running for re-election on April 9 with an increasingly radicalized position.
The honeymoon between Israel and the United States annually experiences its sweet spot with the holding of the conference of AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee), the powerful pro- Israel lobby of the United States. Claimed as a bipartisan event, this year, however, has served to aggravate the polarization in the US.
“The Democrats have proven to be anti-Israel, there is no doubt and it is a disgrace, I do not know what happened to them, but they are totally against Israel and, honestly, I think they are anti-Jewish,” Donald Trump said on Friday. conference (24-26 May) and the refusal of several Democratic candidates to attend.
The Democratic candidates for the presidency seek to distance themselves from Israel and from Trump’s policy towards his Middle Eastern ally. Seven candidates for the primary announced publicly that they would not attend this year’s event, including Senators Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Kamala Harris, as well as Beto O’Rourke and Julián Castro, among others. However, in the event, there has been a Democratic presence. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Charles Schumer, leader of their Senate training, are part of the program.
“Sanders has no intention of going to the AIPAC conference and is concerned about the platform AIPAC is giving to leaders who have expressed fanaticism and who oppose a two-state solution,” said his adviser, Josh Orton.
The pressure that the Democratic candidates feel for distancing themselves from the pro-Israel lobby has even led Kamala Harris, who participated in the 2017 and 2018 conference, to make public his intervention ‘off the record’ last year.
O’Rourke, for his part, has openly criticized Netanyahu at several rallies and meetings with voters. “We have a prime minister in Israel openly placed next to racists and who in previous elections has warned that the Arabs were going to vote,” the Democratic candidate said last week when asked if the donations he had received from Israel’s defenders They had influenced their policies. O’Rourke was already the victim of a critical AIPAC campaign in 2014 after voting against sending more aid to Israel during the Gaza offensive.
Beto taking the gloves off against Bibi… pic.twitter.com/QJascMyILA
— They call me Mr. Kornbluh ✍️ (@jacobkornbluh) March 20, 2019
“First embracing right-wing extremism Now manipulating the free press, accepting bribes and trading with government favors The accusations against Prime Minister Netanyahu are serious,” Elizabeth Warren said earlier this month in what is an unusual wave of criticism towards the Israeli ruler.
The doubts regarding the conference, in which the Secretary of State of the United States, Mike Pompeo, participates; the vice president, Mike Pence; and the former US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, among many others, have been increased by the radicalization of the Israeli prime minister and the unconditional support he receives from the Trump government.
Netanyahu is presented for re-election in the April 9 elections with a very tough speech in which he has even advocated a pact with the far-right party Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power), involved in violent attacks against Palestinians and whose members celebrate an attack that killed 29 Palestinians in Hebron in 1994. Even AIPAC has criticized Netanyahu’s approach to this formation. “AIPAC has a policy of not meeting with members of this racist and reprehensible party,” the lobby said in its social networks.
Changes are also taking place in the Congress: Democrat Ilhan Omar has been widely criticized and accused of being anti-Semitic for questioning Israel’s influence in the US, as well as AIPAC’s level of influence over congressmen. Another congresswoman, Rashida Tlaib, of Palestinian origin, proposed after being elected a trip to the West Bank for a congressional delegation, showing her rejection of the traditionally paid trip organized by AIPAC for the new congressmen.
Last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Israel less than a month before the general election. The visit was perceived as a clear sign of support for Netanyahu ahead of the elections. “[The trip] does not send any message, Israel is an ally, we are not going to get into the domestic politics of another country,” the State Department spokesman said. With Pompeo there, Trump announced the recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, territory occupied by Syria after the 1967 war. This decision involves an alteration of the policy of not recognizing territorial changes achieved by force.
“Trump has just made history, he has done it again, first he recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moved the US embassy, then he retired from the disastrous treaty with Iran and again imposed sanctions, but now he has done an act of equal historical importance: has recognized the sovereignty of Israel in the Golan Heights, “said Netanyahu in front of Pompeo.
From AIPAC, they downplay the absence of the Democratic candidates: “Since 2008 we have only had candidates for the presidency in election years.” However, the absence of these candidates at the conference and their open criticism of the Israeli Government’s policy do pose a possible future break in the traditional bipartisan consensus in favor of Israel.