Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivers remarks to the AIPAC 2019 conference.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivers remarks to the AIPAC 2019 conference. (Photo: CSPAN screenshot)

As Bombs Rain Down on Gaza, Pelosi Praises AIPAC's 'Leadership'

"This violence that Israel exercises, Palestinians experience on a daily basis."

Eoin Higgins

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told AIPAC attendees Tuesday morning that Congressional support for Israel was "relentlessly bipartisan" only hours after Israeli bombs and missiles rained down on the Gaza Strip for a third day in a row. 

"Israel and America are connected now and forever," said Pelosi. "We will never allow anyone to make Israel a wedge issue."

Pelosi's speech—in which she praised AIPAC's "leadership"—came during a scheduled appearance at the annual conference which celebrates the lobby group's close ties with U.S. lawmakers from both major parties.

The California Democrat spoke after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer addressed the conference on Sunday night and just ahead of remarks by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. 

While no declared Democratic presidential candidates attended or spoke at the event, this year's conference coincides with a fresh wave of Israeli aerial attacks on the besieged Gaza strip that have increased in frequency and destruction over the last three days.Whether or not the two sides will reach a truce is in question. As journalist Rania Khalek pointed out on Twitter, Israel is demanding a halt to border protests against the occupation, a proposition that seems sure to go nowhere.

"That's insane," said Khalek. "So now Palestinians protesting their ghettoization is a pretext for a brutal Israeli bombing campaign?"

Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) may be preparing a land invasion of the territory, according to reporting from Democracy Now!

It's just part of the ongoing violence Palestinians live with on a daily basis, Gazan scholar and policy analyst Jehad Abusalim told Democracy Now!'s Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez.

"The Palestinian people in Gaza and beyond are victims to years and years of legal and structural violence that have been inflicted on them," said Abusalim. "And this violence that Israel exercises, Palestinians experience on a daily basis."

Palestinians called for the world to act in the face of Israeli attacks on the Occupied Territories. 

"The international community cannot remain silent to the Israeli airstrikes on Gaza," said Yousef al-Mahmoud, a spokesman for the Palestinian Authority, the government of the occupied West Bank.

Pelosi, in her comments, decried the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement—an international grassroots movement aimed at using economic and political pressure to change Israel's treatment of the Palestinians—as "bigoted and dangerous." 

"It does not recognize the right of Jewish people to national self determination," Pelosi claimed.

Reaction from progressives to Pelosi's appearance at AIPAC and her comments was critical, and some on the left expressed general disappointment over the Democratic treatment of what they on the left see as a repressive Israel poorly treating the Palestinians. 

Schumer's comments, in which he likened Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) to President Donald Trump, came in for disdain from journalist Glenn Greenwald. 

Emma Vigeland, a presenter with the progressive online news network The Young Turks, was even more succinct in her critique.

"Can't wait until all of the Democrats groveling at AIPAC are primaried out of office," said Vigeland. 


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Groups Blast Biden for 'Siding With Billionaires Over Rail Workers'

As criticism of the president's position mounts, some members of Congress are speaking out in support of including at least seven days of paid sick leave in any measure they pass.

Jessica Corbett ·

'A Very Good Day for Our Republic' as Key Jan. 6 Insurrectionist Convicted of Seditious Conspiracy

"Now the only remaining question is how much higher did those plans go, and who else might be held criminally responsible," said one former federal prosecutor after Stewart Rhodes, founder of the Oath Keepers militia, was found guilty.

Brett Wilkins ·

Australian Report Advises 'Urgent Action' to Combat Slavery in Clean Energy Supply Chains

"We need to see industry, government, the financial sector, and civil society working together to provide access to competitively costed, slavery-free renewable energy."

Brett Wilkins ·

Progressives Mobilize in Georgia for Dec. 6 Senate Runoff

Advocacy groups backing Sen. Raphael Warnock call the Democrat a "reproductive rights champion" who is also "fighting to stop the climate crisis and create good jobs in the process."

Jessica Corbett ·

Senate Report Details Failure to Confront 'Persistent and Lethal' Threat of White Supremacists

"The federal government has continued to allocate resources disproportionately aligned to international terrorist threats over domestic terrorist threats," the report reads.

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo