SPONSORED:

Pelosi at AIPAC: 'We will never allow anyone to make Israel a wedge issue'

House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiVoters want a strong economy and leadership, Democrats should listen On The Money: Biden to nominate Yellen for Treasury secretary | 'COVID cliff' looms | Democrats face pressure to back smaller stimulus Democrats face increasing pressure to back smaller COVID-19 stimulus MORE (D-Calif.) stressed at a pro-Israel conference Tuesday that congressional support for Israel remains bipartisan, saying no one should be allowed to make it a wedge issue.

“Israel and America are connected now and forever. We will never allow anyone to make Israel a wedge issue,” Pelosi said during her address to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference Tuesday morning.

“That pledge is proudly honored in this Congress, where support for Israel remains ironclad and bipartisan,” she added.

ADVERTISEMENT

Her remarks come after President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden team wants to understand Trump effort to 'hollow out government agencies' Trump's remaking of the judicial system Overnight Defense: Trump transgender ban 'inflicts concrete harms,' study says | China objects to US admiral's Taiwan visit MORE has criticized Democrats as "anti-Israel" and "anti-Jewish" in recent weeks, seemingly trying to drive a wedge between voters focused on Israel and the Democratic Party.

Pelosi’s appearance at AIPAC comes weeks after she had to manage a Democratic caucus divided on how to respond to a controversy over comments from Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarGOP congresswoman-elect wants to form Republican 'Squad' called 'The Force' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden eyes new leadership at troubled public lands agency | House progressives tout their growing numbers in the chamber at climate rally | Trump administration pushes for rollback of Arctic offshore drilling regulations House progressives tout their growing numbers in the chamber at climate rally MORE (D-Minn.) criticizing AIPAC that were widely condemned as anti-Semitic. 

Caught between lawmakers who wanted to condemn anti-Semitism and Omar supporters who said she was being unfairly singled out, Pelosi ended up bringing to the floor a resolution that broadly condemned hate in many forms.

Trump's remarks targeting Democrats as anti-Israel, and his promotion of the so-called Jexodus movement that seeks to split Jewish voters from the Democratic Party, followed that controversy.

Pelosi, a regular at AIPAC's conference, referenced the Omar controversy in her speech Tuesday, touting that the “the full House came together to condemn the anti-Semitic myth of dual loyalty and all forms of bigotry.”

“In our democratic societies, we should welcome legitimate debate at how best to honor our values and to advance our priorities without questioning loyalty or patriotism,” she said.

“I simply declare that to be anti-Semitic is to be anti-American,” she added to applause. “It has no place in our country.”

While Pelosi referenced the controversy, her speech to Tuesday morning’s general session was less fiery than her deputy’s, Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerDemocrats face increasing pressure to back smaller COVID-19 stimulus Hoyer on Trump election challenges: 'I think this borders on treason' Capitol's COVID-19 spike could be bad Thanksgiving preview MORE (D-Md.), two days prior.

“So when someone accuses American supporters of Israel of dual loyalty, I say: Accuse me,” Hoyer said Sunday.

On Monday, Hoyer sought to clarify a separate line in his speech in which he stressed that there are “62 freshman Democrats … not three” by saying his intention was not to call out the three but to lament that the media does not pay attention to the others.

The Trump administration's efforts to capitalize on the Omar controversy has been on display at AIPAC. 

Vice President Pence addressed the conference at the Monday morning general session, saying the Democratic Party “been coopted by people who promote rank anti-Semitic rhetoric and work to undermine the broad American consensus of support for Israel.”