September 18, 2019

Democratic Fault-Lines on Display at AIPAC

“To appreciate the predicament the Democratic Party finds itself in with respect to Israel, look no further than the speech that House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer delivered this week to the AIPAC conference in Washington, D.C.

It was an impassioned and enthusiastically received defense of the U.S.-Israel alliance, punctuated repeatedly with rousing ovations and betraying not a sliver of daylight between the House’s second-ranking Democrat and the hawkish lobbying group. Hoyer framed his address as a barely veiled rebuttal to a freshman member of his own caucus, Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, and her comments early this month that suggested supporters of Israel were pushing “for allegiance to a foreign country.”

“When someone accuses American supporters of Israel of dual loyalty, I say: Accuse me,” Hoyer thundered on Sunday evening to a crowd that organizers say numbered 18,000 people. “I am part of a large, bipartisan coalition in Congress supporting Israel—an overwhelming majority of the United States Congress. I tell Israel’s accusers and detractors: Accuse me.””

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