Contact: Ariel Gold | National Co-Director | [email protected] | 510 599 5330
Medea Benjamin | Co-Founder | [email protected] | 415 235 6517
March 22, 2019, Washington, D.C. - Speaking on the Lead with Jake Tapper today, former Communications Director for Ted Cruz and current CNN contributor Amanda Carpenter attributed Kamala Harris’ decision to pledge to not attend the AIPAC conference to pressure from CODEPINK and MoveOn.org. “All of the Democratic presidential candidates are boycotting AIPAC. Why is that? Last time around Kamala Harris went and she had a talk with them. This time she didn’t. Why?” Carpenter asked. “Because MoveOn.org and CODEPINK, which are on the fringe, told them to boycott that,” she replied answering her own question.
Yesterday, Kamala Harris and fellow 2020 presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders Kirsten Gillibrand, Beto O'Rourke, Julian Castro, Pete Buttigieg, and Jay Inslee announced they will not attend the annual American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) taking place in Washington, D.C. this weekend.
Around the beginning of March, 2019, CODEPINK began advocating for Kamala Harris not to attend this year’s AIPAC conference. “Last year Kamala Harris told a group of over 3,000 students at the AIPAC conference that the history of the U.S. Civil Rights movements is what inspires her today to support a strong U.S.-Israel relationship,” said CODEPINK national co-director Ariel Gold. “A strong U.S.-Israel alliance is code for unquestioned U.S. diplomatic and financial support for Israel’s policies of violent policies of occupation and apartheid. It is the exact opposite of what the U.S. Civil Rights struggle was about and how Sen. Harris is positioning herself as a progressive presidential candidate,” she continued. “By refusing to attend this year’s AIPAC conference in any capacity, Kamala Harris is shifting her position to be one of supporting Palestinian rights rather than the status quo.”
CODEPINK began their campaign by sending out a mass email and petition asking the Senator not to attend AIPAC this year. Soon after, Jewish Voice for Peace began a campaign requesting that all members of Congress skip AIPAC and, later, MoveOn began to request that all 2020 presidential candidates skip the conference.
“As an anti-war organization, CODEPINK has been protesting AIPAC for many years. Originally it was just a few of us outside the conference center as we watched streams of congress members enter and exit the convention doors either as AIPAC attendants or speakers,” said CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin. “That multiple organizations, and even members of Congress, are now being openly critical of AIPAC is a watershed moment. We hope this trend soon translates into changes on the ground so Palestinians no longer suffer daily human rights abuses.”