Jewish activists shut down Biden headquarters to demand that he skip the AIPAC conference

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Jewish activists and their supporters descended on Joe Biden’s Philadelphia campaign office this morning to demand that the presidential candidate skip American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) annual policy conference. The protests come just weeks after the progressive groups MoveOn, Indivisible, and Working Families Party formed a coalition to encourage Democratic candidates to skip the event.

Earlier this week, Democratic frontrunner Bernie Sanders said he would not attend the AIPAC conference and accused the pro-Israel organization  of providing a platform for bigotry. The lobbying group called Sanders’ decision “shameful.” Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren also said she would skip it, but Biden has indicated that he’ll be attending.

“For every decade of his political career, Biden has worked in lockstep with AIPAC,” the progressive, Jewish group IfNotNow declared in a statement, “Together they’ve built a shameful legacy of shielding the Israeli government from consequences and doing nothing to end Israel’s brutal military occupation that strips Palestinians and Israelis of their dignity and freedom.”

IfNotNow has been live-tweeting the events, where a number of activists have been arrested over their civil disobedience.

AIPAC has had a few months. Earlier this year, it had to apologize for a series of Facebook ads comparing Democratic lawmakers to the terror-group ISIS. After that debacle, Minnesota Rep. Betty McCollum referred to the organization as a “hate group.”

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Here is why I think the Dems can do more good by having the courage to show up and speak. It is not a monolith. I have been there 7 times as press and any Dem would have a platform to speak and would have supporters. Here are my reasons why they should go and make good use of this golden opportunity.

Thank you IfNotNow and others! Sometimes a divorce is healthy, Joe. It’s better for the children in Palestine, too.

Not precisely on topic, but most relevant: “I’ve taught at six Jewish day schools. They’re preaching dual loyalty to Israel.” By Anonymous, The Forward, Feb. 21/20 “The Forward is publishing this article anonymously to protect the author, who currently teaches at a New York day school, from repercussions at work.” “A recent survey by the Anti-Defamation League found that nearly a quarter of Americans believe American Jews are more loyal to Israel than to… Read more »

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