Home / World / Mike Pence smears Ilhan Omar in the AIPAC speech: Has he just proved her point?

Mike Pence smears Ilhan Omar in the AIPAC speech: Has he just proved her point?

Vice President Mike Pence received a standing ovation from more than 18,000 people on Monday at the 2019 Political Conference of the United States Public Affairs Committee, having murdered the freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., And the Democratic presidential candidate had blasted for "boycotting" the most prominent gathering of politically active American Jews.

Although he never mentioned Omar by name, Pence pointed to the recent controversy over her criticism of Israel for accusing Democratic leaders of propagandizing rampant anti-Semitism in their ranks.

"It's amazing to think that Harry Truman's party … was co-opted by people who work for anti-Semitic rhetoric ranks," Pence said. "And when I stand before you, eight Democratic presidential candidates boycott precisely this conference. Let me be clear on this point: Anyone who aspires to the highest office in the country should not be afraid to be among America's strongest supporters. "

" It's Wrong to Boycott Israel and It's Wrong to Boycott Israel AIPAC Boycott ", he added, equating the state of Israel to a lobby organization in Washington. Obviously, AIPAC is not the same as Israel. Or at least it should not be. Top Democratic presidential candidates, including Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Beto O'Rourke and Elizabeth Warren, did not attend this year's conference. However, the organizers have pointed out that it is not customary to invite presidential candidates to speak in the election years. Hillary Clinton, for example, did not attend the AIPAC conference in 201

5, but did so in 2016. The same goes for Trump in 2015 and 2016. Interestingly, the President rejected this year's conference.

While the progressive advocacy group MoveOn encouraged Democrats to skip AIPAC's political conference in Israel's protest against Israeli treatment of Palestinians and minorities in Israel, no 2020 candidate has used the campaign as a basis to skip this year's events , More progressive Democrats, however, have strongly criticized the policies of the current right-wing Israeli government – including Omar, the first African refugee elected to Congress. It is becoming increasingly clear that the Progressives in the Democratic Party are advocating a more honest conversation about the US-Israeli Alliance before the 2020 election, even though Trump is pursuing a policy in step with Israeli right-wing government. Republicans, led by the president and the vice-president, are increasingly moving to stifle this burgeoning debate.

"Anti-Semitism has no place in the Congress of the United States of America," Pence said to a loud applause from the AIPAC participants. "Those who slander those who support the historical alliance between the United States and Israel should never have a seat on the Foreign Affairs Committee of the United States House of Representatives."

Pence's boss has demanded an even stricter punishment from Omar for criticizing AIPAC and urged newcomers to resign from Congress after suggesting that US support for Israel should be driven by celebrity donations – Israeli Lobby Group. Pence's request to remove Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee reflects a common Republican point of discussion: that the extremely influential Congressional Committee rejects everything against Israel.

"Anti-Semitism is on the rise all over the world," Pence said. "On the campus, on the marketplace, even in the convention halls. You know, there was a time when Israel's support here in Washington was not a partisan problem … but how things have changed.

Despite Pence's assertion, apart from Omar's comments, which were condemned by her congressional colleagues with a conviction hate speech – in the leadership of the Democrats, nothing much has changed in relation to Israel or even AIPAC. High-ranking Congressional Democrats, including House spokesperson Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Minority Council Chairman Chuck Schumer will speak at this year's conference. At AIPAC on Sunday evening, Steny Hoyer, D-Md., The House Majority Leader, reiterated his support for Israel "proudly and unapologetically." Since then, even two new pro-Israeli groups, one of former AIPAC executives, have been established by Omar's designs with the express intention of promoting pro-Israel Democrats.

Pence, however, continued to attack Democratic presidential candidates who oppose legislation to block boycott, divestment and sanctioning (BDS) supporters from accessing federal treaties. Many progressive Democrats see in such bills an attempt to suppress the rights of American citizens to freedom of expression.

"As Governor of Indiana, I was proud to sign the strictest anti-BDS legislation in all the states of the Union. But remarkably, today, all but one Democrat who has applied for the president voted against the Combating BDS Act in the United States, "Pence said. (The exception he mentioned was Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.)

Pence's attack came at the AIPAC Hours before Trump welcomed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House for the signing of a presidential proclamation celebrating Israel's long-disputed authority over the Golan Heights. This decision overrides decades of US policy and ignores recognized international law on the borders of Israel's borders. When the move was mentioned on Monday by AIPAC President Mort Fridman, the crowd burst into wild applause.

Earlier in the day, President Trump repeated to reporters that "Democrats hate Jewish people." He has repeatedly used the overthrow of Omar's criticism of AIPAC to paint Democrats as dangerously anti-Semitic in the hope of creating a "Jexodus" of Jews emigrating from the Democratic Party. Such hope has little basis in reality. In the middle of 2018, the Democratic candidates won more than 75 percent of the Jewish votes for the parliamentary seats. In the 116th Congress, there are 26 House members who are Jewish, 24 of whom are Democrats. Seven out of eight Jewish senators are Democrats – and the eighth is Bernie Sanders.

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