Young Israel Statement on Senator Bernie Sanders and AIPAC

February 24, 2020

The National Council of Young Israel (NCYI) today defended AIPAC and supported the group’s criticism of Senator Bernie Sanders after the Democratic presidential candidate attacked AIPAC ahead of its annual policy conference in Washington, DC.


In a tweet on Sunday, Sanders said, “The Israeli people have the right to live in peace and security. So do the Palestinian people. I remain concerned about the platform AIPAC provides for leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights. For that reason I will not attend their conference.”


In response to Sanders’ tweet, AIPAC said, “Senator Sanders has never attended our conference and that is evident from his outrageous comment…By engaging in such an odious attack on this mainstream, bipartisan American political event, Senator Sanders is insulting his very own colleagues and the millions of Americans who stand with Israel.”


“Senator Sanders’ unprovoked and unbecoming attack against AIPAC, a bipartisan organization that works to strengthen and promote the U.S.-Israel relationship, is absolutely abhorrent,” said NCYI president Farley Weiss. “The insinuation that AIPAC is giving a voice to people who espouse bigotry is as insulting as it is outrageous. When over 18,000 people with diverse political, religious and ethnic backgrounds gather in our nation’s capital in the beginning of March, their sole objective will be to celebrate the strong and unique bond that the United States and Israel share. For Senator Sanders, who has never been at an AIPAC policy conference and therefore has no true sense of the incredible and important experience that it is, to denigrate this annual event based on fabrications and unfounded allegations is disgraceful and an affront to every single American citizen who supports Israel.”


For the past 108 years, the National Council of Young Israel has ably served the broader Jewish community. With more than 25,000 member families and approximately 135 branch synagogues throughout the United States, Canada, and Israel, the National Council of Young Israel is a multi-faceted organization that embraces Jewish communal needs and often takes a leading role in tackling the important issues that face the Jewish community in North America and Israel.