In Philadelphia, seven Jewish activists were arrested Tuesday outside Joe Biden’s campaign headquarters, calling on the presidential contender to skip the annual conference of AIPAC — the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Members of the progressive Jewish organization If Not Now are demanding Biden reverse decades of support for Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza — first as head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and later as vice president.
The protest came as the presidential campaigns of Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg said they would not attend this year’s AIPAC conference, following similar moves by Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. In a statement, If Not Now co-founder Dani Moscovitch wrote, “Even moderates in the Democratic Party are now refusing to attend a conference by a right-wing lobby that allies with bigots just to shield the Israeli government from any consequences for denying the Palestinian people freedom and dignity.”
Billionaire former New York City mayor and Democratic presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg is scheduled to attend the AIPAC conference in March as a keynote speaker.