Several of the Democrat Presidential candidates have decided they will not attend next week’s annual AIPAC conference held in Washington D.C. It is believed that their decision is over concerns of extremism. Those who have announced not attending include Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, former House of Representatives member Beto O’Rourke and Senator Kamala Harris of California.
Josh Orton, a senior adviser to Bernie Sanders, confirmed that Sanders would be absent from the conference, and said that Sanders, a Jew who had harshly criticized Israeli policy in the past, “is very concerned about the stage that AIPAC gives to leaders who have expressed extreme positions and who oppose the two-state solution.”
The Democratic Party’s disagreements over the US-Israel relations were evident last month when New Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, who is the first Muslim Congresswoman in US history, claimed that AIPAC lobbyists pay Congress members to support Israel. Her words drew harsh criticism from both parties, and Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also scolded her for the antisemitic statements. Omar eventually apologized.