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Progressive group MoveOn asks 2020 Dems to skip AIPAC
Progressive advocacy group MoveOn called on 2020 presidential candidates to skip the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's (AIPAC) annual policy conference in Washington next week.
The group in a press release Wednesday cited a survey of members who said they did not think candidates should attend the pro-Israel lobbying group's conference.
MoveOn said 74 percent of those surveyed agree or strongly agree with the statement that "any progressive vying to be the Democratic nominee for President should skip the AIPAC conference."
"This survey is less of a formal vote and more of a gut check on what MoveOn members think," said Iram Ali, MoveOn's campaign director.
"This should also give a clear insight to 2020 candidates on where their base stands instead of prioritizing lobbying groups and policy people who rarely step outside of D.C.," Ali added.
The group highlighted AIPAC's support for issues with which Democrats have disagreed, including its opposition to the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal.
Ali, in an interview with CNN, accused AIPAC of becoming "slightly an arm of the Republican Party" by refusing to condemn anti-Semitic statements by Republicans.
"AIPAC has been known to peddle anti-Muslim and anti-Arab rhetoric while giving platforms to Islamaphobes," Ali told the outlet.
The Hill has reached out to AIPAC for comment and is seeking comment from 2020 Democratic campaigns about plans to attend the conference.
The call comes shortly after Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) faced bipartisan backlash for her comments criticizing AIPAC's influence in Washington, which some suggested were anti-Semitic.