Pence lashes out at Omar, 2020 Dems in AIPAC speech

What can we learn from the Jews of the United States

Addressing the U.S. pro-Israel lobby AIPAC, Pompeo denounced a rise in anti-Semitism around Europe, the Middle East and in the United States but had especially strong words about Britain.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif, Tuesday looked to distance the Democratic party from any suggestion it was anti-Semitic after freshman lawmaker Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., publicly criticized Israel and its leadership.

Jain, who is a member of Penn Students for Justice in Palestine but emphasized that she was not speaking on behalf of the group, said she believes Omar was accurate about pro-Israel lobbying and her comments had no anti-Semitic undertones.

A tweet in February by Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar, a freshman legislator from Minnesota, was widely seen as echoing an anti-Semitic slur that Jews influence governments through money.

Hoyer also said, "I've been proud to help lead efforts in Congress to push back against the BDS movement".

Hoyer's statements come less than a month after Omar accused Jews of having a "dual loyalty" to the US and Israel, an ages-old anti-Semitic canard. "My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole".

Pence appeared to echo the rhetoric of his boss, President Donald Trump, who recently accused Democrats of abandoning Israel and as a result, called on Jewish-Americans to support Republicans instead.

"We stand with Israel because her cause is our cause, her values are our values, her fight is our fight", said Pence. So let me be clear on this point: "Anyone who aspires to the highest office in the land should not be afraid to stand with the strongest supporters of Israel in America".

This is a developing story. In the wake of the Omar furor, liberal groups demanded a boycott of AIPAC, and several of the party's leading presidential candidates complied with the boycott.

The minority leader was hardly alone in citing Omar at AIPAC's conference: So did Vice President Mike Pence, Meghan McCain and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), among others.

Yet attendees said Democrats need to tackle anti-Semitism directly and without lumping it in with other forms of bigotry.

Netanyahu took aim at Omar in his speech, saying: "From this Benjamin - it's not all about the Benjamins", in reference to USA support for Israel which Omar had highlighted in a tweet last month.

Democratic presidential candidates who are skipping the policy conference include Sens. Tlaib also "absolutely" backs withholding USA aid from Israel. AIPAC is working to counter rising public opinion in the United States in favour of the Palestinians on college campuses and among younger Jewish Americans.

Pompeo, a staunch defender of Israel, said it was legitimate in a democracy to criticize policies of Israel but not the very existence of the Jewish state.

"I can not stay silent when the entire Democratic Party is castigated as Jew haters when what we really need is leadership that unites this nation and the world against the rise of anti-Semitism, hatred and white supremacy across the globe", Menendez said.

The anti-BDS component of the legislation has divided Democrats.

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