NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will address AIPAC’s Policy Conference in Washington, D.C. on Monday, a City Hall official tells Jewish Insider.
De Blasio will deliver remarks during the Monday morning plenary session which is expected to focus on the progressive pro-Israel movement in the U.S. On Sunday, de Blasio will discuss the progressive pro-Israel movement and the importance of political activism during a breakout session in a Q&A with Marilyn Rosenthal, AIPAC’s National Director for Progressive Engagement, according to a postedschedule.
The New York mayor has been flirting with running for president in 2020 with visits to Iowa and New Hampshire in the last few weeks. In the past, presidential candidates have addressed the annual gathering during a presidential year, but there is no precedent for candidates speaking at the conference in a non-election year. An AIPAC official informs Jewish Insider that the same policy stands for ‘declared’ candidates.
On Wednesday, the liberal group MoveOn called on Democratic presidential candidates to skip this year’s conference, citing AIPAC’s links to the Netanyahu government and charging that AIPAC has flirted with Islamophobia.
Last week, the mayor came under fire for his appearance at a regional AIPAC event for women. The New York Post, a conservative tabloid, ran the headline: ‘De Blasio rushes to defend controversial AIPAC group.’
Defending his appearance, de Blasio told WNYC’s Brian Lehrer that AIPAC represents “a broad range of views.”
By Jacob Kornbluh in New York