Four major Democratic candidates said they will skip the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference while Mike Bloomberg is set to speak at the annual event taking place on Sunday.
Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg will all skip the conference for various reasons.
Sanders has vowed to skip AIPAC’s conference, aligning with liberal activists who pushed every Democratic White House candidate to rule out an appearance. The decision by the Vermont senator is drawing sharp criticism from pro-Israel members of Congress and the Anti-Defamation League, making Bloomberg’s decision to attend a point of sharp contrast with his opponent.
Sanders said in a tweet the group gives airtime to “leaders who express bigotry.”
The Israeli people have the right to live in peace and security. So do the Palestinian people. I remain concerned about the platform AIPAC provides for leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights. For that reason I will not attend their conference. 1/2— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) February 23, 2020
Another Democratic hopeful, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, has said she would also skip AIPAC’s conference amid liberal concerns about its unwavering alignment with the conservative Israeli government to the exclusion of Palestinians.
Klobuchar and Buttigieg won’t attend the conference due to their conflicting schedules, according to media reports.