Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) was texting “like teenager” with the president of the pro-Israel lobbying body and talked about unifying Senate against the boycott of Israel, his leaked speech at an AIPAC meeting reveals.
The audio of the closed-doors meeting has been obtained and published by the Intercept on Saturday. Booker spoke before the members of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) at the organization’s annual policy conference in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday.
Booker were one of the few Democratic presidential hopefuls who appeared before the AIPAC as many skipped the event after Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) stirred up the party with criticism of the lobby’s influence in US politics.
The candidate thanked the AIPAC president Mort Fridman for his “leadership and his friendship,” the audio reveals, and shared with the participants the details of their cozy relationship. Fridman and him, Booker stated, are trying to keep in touch and “text message back and forth like teenagers.”
Booker voiced his strong rejection of anti-Semitism, which comes in different forms, according to him – namely the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The BDS is a global movement focused on pressuring Israel to end occupation of the Palestinian territories and violation of human rights. Such pressure on Tel Aviv is unacceptable, Booker stressed.
“Let me be clear. Anti-Semitism is un-American. It is anti- American. It violates, most deeply, our commonly held values, and we must take steps on the global stage against vicious acts that target hatred.”
“That is why I’m a co-sponsor of Senate Bill 720, the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, which opposes international efforts to encourage BDS while protecting First Amendment rights,” Booker added.
The controversial bill discourages US companies from joining any organizations in boycotting Israel. While it received a sizable support, human rights activists have raised concerns over such legislation, while others criticized it as an attempt from the Dems to win Israeli lobby over Donald Trump.
Booker, however, stressed that bipartisan unity was very important in supporting Israel and seemed to be quite offended with the remarks of Vice President Mike Pence, who praised President Trump as the greatest friend of Tel Aviv ever –just before the latter recognized Israeli sovereignty over occupied Syrian Golan Heights. Both Democrats and Republicans can and should love Israel – and can actually get together through this, Booker argued.
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