Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Seven Jewish Americans were arrested Tuesday for demonstrating at former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign headquarters in Philadelphia over the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate's support for AIPAC. (Photo: @IfNotNow/Twitter)

Jewish Activists Demanding 2020 Democrats #SkipAIPAC Arrested at Biden Headquarters

"Biden wants to lead the Democratic party, even as he plans to attend AIPAC's annual conference and perpetuate this broken status quo. We won't stand for that."

Julia Conley

Seven Jewish Americans were arrested Tuesday at former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign headquarters in Philadelphia, where they staged a public action demanding Biden skip the annual conference held by right-wing anti-Palestinian rights lobbying group AIPAC.

The protest was part of the #SkipAIPAC campaign led by IfNotNow, MoveOn, Indivisible, and the Working Families Party ahead of the annual meeting, which will take place from March 1-3 in Washington, D.C. The groups are calling on all Democratic candidates in the presidential race to skip the conference and condemn AIPAC's longtime support for the Israeli military occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, and the ongoing subjugation of Palestinians.

At the demonstration, IfNotNow members held signs reading "Biden and AIPAC's Destructive Legacy" and spoke about the impact of the Israeli occupation on Palestinians, including children.

"Hundreds of Palestinian children are arrested, often in the middle of the night," one member said. "In many cases neither they nor their parents are told why they're being arrested. The soldiers who carry out these abuses the military detention centers where these children are held—the U.S. government writes the checks: $10 million a day."

Biden has rejected calls to boycott the meeting this year, claiming he would go to "convince them to change their position."

"Biden and AIPAC have built a shameful, destructive legacy of permanent occupation in Israel/Palestine," said Philadelphia IfNotNow member Theo Toler in a statement. "It's time to end that legacy and work towards a new vision."

Contrary to Biden's claim that he aims to steer AIPAC and the Israeli government away from their position on Palestinian rights, the former vice president has a long history of vocal support for the occupation.

He has regularly attended the AIPAC conference and said at the 2013 meeting that he "did more fundraisers for AIPAC in the '70s and early '80s than just about anybody." Last November, Biden tweeted, "Israel has a right to defend itself against terrorist threats" after the Israeli military launched dozens of missile strikes into Gaza, killing dozens of people including children.

IfNotNow said Biden has joined AIPAC in leaving "a legacy of destruction and violence in Israel/Palestine."

"For decades, establishment leaders like Joe Biden have aligned themselves with AIPAC and parroted AIPAC talking points—with no accountability or political consequences," said Becky Havivi, a Philadelphia IfNotNow member who was arrested at the action. "Now Biden wants to lead the Democratic party, even as he plans to attend AIPAC's annual conference and perpetuate this broken status quo. We won't stand for that."

So far, only Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) have committed to skip the AIPAC conference.

Sanders said he was "concerned about the platform AIPAC provides for leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights."

IfNotNow is also planning an action at Sen. Amy Klobuchar's (D-Minn.) presidential campaign headquarters in Minneapolis on Friday, and will demonstrate against AIPAC in Washington during the conference next week.


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

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Sunrise Movement Warns of 'Betrayal' as Pelosi Bends Toward Corporate Democrats

"We need Dems to hold the line for a $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill, full stop."

Jake Johnson ·


Progressive Groups Warn Congress Against Including Carbon Tax in Reconciliation Package

"If lawmakers are really concerned about holding the costs of this spending bill, they should get rid of the billions of dollars we waste every year on subsidies to polluters."

Jessica Corbett ·


Opposing His Renomination, Warren Calls Fed Chair Powell 'A Dangerous Man'

"Your record gives me grave concern," Sen. Elizabeth Warren told Jerome Powell. "Over and over, you have acted to make our banking system less safe."

Jake Johnson ·


California Wildfire Victims Lead Calls for Tougher PG&E Criminal Penalties

"The power company is the biggest serial killer in state history, and all it gets is fines?"

Brett Wilkins ·


Progressives Warn Democrats Against Means-Testing Reconciliation Bill to Death

"Raising taxes on the rich is much more efficient than means-testing benefits and accomplishes exactly what the spending hawks claim to be concerned about!"

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo