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March 2, 2020 2:14 pm

At AIPAC, Both Pence and Bloomberg Take Aim at Sanders Over Israel Views

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US Vice President Mike Pence delivers remarks at the annual AIPAC conference at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC, March 2, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Tom Brenner.

In remarks at the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference in Washington, DC, on Monday, US Vice President Mike Pence slammed Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders over his views on the Jewish state.

“The bipartisan consensus that has once supported our most cherished ally and has been so nobly and ably championed by you here at AIPAC is actually beginning to erode in one of America’s two major political parties,” Pence asserted, in a speech before a crowd of 18,000 people at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in the nation’s capital.

“Today, the leading candidate for the presidential nomination of the party of Harry S. Truman openly and repeatedly attacks Israel as a racist state and defames AIPAC as, of all things, as he said, a, quote, platform for ‘bigotry,’” Pence stated. “Even more troubling, when Bernie Sanders smeared Israel at last week’s debate, not a single candidate on that stage stood up to challenge him.”

“We must ensure the most pro-Israel president in history must not be replaced by one who would be the most anti-Israel president in the history of this nation,” Pence went on to say. “That’s why we need four more years of President Donald Trump in the White House.”

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Addressing the AIPAC gathering earlier on Monday, ex-New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg called the growing partisanship regarding US backing of “deeply troubling.”

“Unfortunately, not all of my fellow Democrats in this race have attended an AIPAC conference,” he said. “One of them, Senator Sanders, has spent 30 years boycotting this event. And as you’ve heard by now, he called AIPAC a racist platform.”

“Well, he’s dead wrong,” Bloomberg declared. “The reality is — AIPAC doesn’t fuel hatred. AIPAC works to combat it — and the violence that it can produce. And if more elected officials spoke to the people here, they’d understand that.”

New Jersey Senator Corey Booker — who dropped out of the Democratic presidential race in January – also spoke at the AIPAC conference on Monday, delivering an impassioned plea for bipartisan support for Israel.

“It is so good to be here in front of a crowd that is so representative of who we are,” he said. “There are people from all over our nation. There are people from all over the political spectrum. Today, we are united in our firm purpose — unequivocally and resolutely. We believe in the State of Israel. We believe in the unshakeable bond between our countries. We believe that Israel is our indispensable ally in an increasingly dangerous region and complex world.”

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