According to Rep. Ilhan Omar, congressional support for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, is “all about the Benjamins, baby,” even though AIPAC is not a PAC and does not contribute to campaigns.
Wielding a surprising amount of influence for a freshman representative, Omar had the last laugh (literally) when the House watered down its censure of her anti-Semitic comments to an all-encompassing “hate is bad” resolution, and then she got to sit back and lavish in praise when all of the Democratic candidates for president said they’d be skipping AIPAC’s conference this year.
Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke, Julian Castro, and Pete Buttigieg all announced they’d be absent — boycotting, if you will.
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) March 21, 2019
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) March 21, 2019
Now maybe it’s just us, but if all of the Democrats who want to be president in 2020 and shape foreign policy with Isreal decide to stand you up because they’re afraid of a freshman representative, then yeah, it’s partisan.
Conservative blogger did some concern trolling:
Most AIPAC members are Dems, many this afternoon still annoyed over hyper partisan speech. Using Israel to score pts vs Dems not in spirit of AIPAC. https://t.co/rbNGMKRfJY
— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) March 25, 2019
Huh … “many” were annoyed over Vice President Mike Pence’s “hyper-partisan speech,” in which he said, “There was a time when support for Israel was not a partisan issue in Congress…. How things have changed.”
Is he wrong? Maybe one of the Democratic candidates could have refuted him if any had bothered to show up.
Go ahead and remove “conservative blogger” on your bio. It’s a lie.
— 🇺🇸Laura🦅 (@PaulKerseyFan) March 25, 2019
You’re actually criticizing Pence’s speech at AIPAC because he called out an anti-Semitic member of Congress who accused AIPAC/Israel of buying members of Congress?
— Michael Shapiro (@mis2127) March 25, 2019
The thing is, yes, Pence called out Omar, but no, he didn’t do it by name:
“Recently, a freshman Democrat in Congress trafficked in repeated anti-Semitic tropes, alleged congressional support for Israel reflected an allegiance to a foreign country, said that Israel had – and I quote – ‘hypnotized the world.’ And she accused Americans who support Israel of being bought off with campaign contributions,” Pence said, adding: “Anti-Semitism has no place in the Congress of the United States of America.”
He continued: “Anyone who slanders those who support this historic alliance between the United States and Israel should never have a seat on the Foreign Affairs Committee of the United States House of Representatives,” after which delegates got to their feet and gave him a standing ovation.
That was Haaretz reporting on the standing ovation.
Mike Pence slams Ilhan Omar at AIPAC — full transcript https://t.co/Z4LLeGl0b4
— Haaretz.com (@haaretzcom) March 25, 2019
We’re old enough to remember when Democrats at their national convention booed loudly when “God” and “Jerusalem” were added back into the party’s platform. That was 2012.
VP Mike Pence at #AIPAC: “Allow me to bring greetings from a friend of mine and someone history has already proven to be the greatest friend of the Jewish people and the state of Israel ever to sit in the Oval Office… President Donald Trump.” pic.twitter.com/1JnbT5p2kD
— The Hill (@thehill) March 25, 2019
Partisan? Maybe. But is he wrong?
— GOP (@GOP) March 25, 2019
Here’s a New York Times reporter covering AIPAC who seems to counter Rubin’s narrative that many were annoyed:
1. @IlhanMN “should never have a seat” on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
2. Shot at the Dem 2020 candidates for not being here: “It is wrong to boycott Israel and it is wrong to boycott AIPAC.”
— Sheryl Gay Stolberg (@SherylNYT) March 25, 2019
Let’s hope the Democratic candidates are pressed on why they decided this year of all years to boycott AIPAC; maybe some of the Democrats at AIPAC who were so annoyed by the “hyper-partisanship” should do something about it. Do they believe the alliance between America and Israel is an important one or has Israel just hypnotized the world and bought it Congress with the Benjamins?
Surprise: Democratic candidates ‘dropping like flies’ from this year’s AIPAC conference https://t.co/uojyp6NW6v
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) March 22, 2019