A diverse coalition of progressive advocacy groups representing Jewish and Muslim Americans is pressuring House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and other top Democrats to cancel planned speeches at AIPAC’s annual conference as a growing number of the party’s presidential candidates are vowing to skip the event.
“At a time when AIPAC’s power is clearly waning and we are watching change happen in real time, Nancy Pelosi is lending her legitimacy to them.”
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“Instead of speaking at their conference, Nancy Pelosi should be publicly condemning the far-right shift in Israel and AIPAC’s dangerous political behavior,” Michael Deheeger, congressional organizer with Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), wrote in an email to supporters Friday.
“Giving AIPAC cover right when progressives are finally responding to their constituents and turning away from AIPAC is simply the wrong thing to do,” he added.
To build momentum for the pressure campaign, JVP launched a petition urging Pelosi to cancel her planned appearance and “stand up for true democratic values.”
The campaign targeting Democratic leaders comes after MoveOn—a grassroots progressive group with millions of members—called on all Democrats running for president in 2020 to boycott AIPAC’s policy conference, which is headlined by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg have all vowed to skip the conference.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), however, is reportedly planning to attend the event, which begins on Sunday.
Jewish Voice for Peace said Pelosi’s attendance at the conference would “boost” AIPAC’s “all-star line-up of anti-Muslim, anti-Palestinian speakers.”
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