Bernie Sanders, the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination, announced Sunday that he will not attend AIPAC’s annual conference.
He said no to the early March gathering because the powerful Israel lobby group provides a platform for “leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights.”
Earlier this month, Elizabeth Warren was the first Democrat vying for the presidency to say she would not attend.
AIPAC hit back hard at Sanders, calling his statement “truly shameful.”
The group tweeted that Sanders “has never attended our conference and that is evident from his outrageous comment.”
The right-wing organization – which nevertheless receives significant support from Democrats unwilling to challenge Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights – termed Sanders’ comment an “odious attack on this mainstream, bipartisan American political event.”
But AIPAC is losing progressive support at the grassroots level and knows it.
The group has repeatedly provided a platform to Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s bigoted prime minister – among many less prominent opponents of Palestinian human rights.
Sanders, whose campaign I support, has stated that Netanyahu is “a racist.”
Defenders of Israeli colonial expansion on Palestinian land and leaders of groups which have stood by as Israel has subjugated Palestinians for decades also spoke out on AIPAC’s behalf.’
Read more: AIPAC goes to war against Bernie Sanders