Karine Jean-Pierre, the new chief of staff for Kamala Harris as Joe Biden’s running mate, praised Democrats in 2019 for boycotting the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference, an annual pro-Israel gathering.
As a report in the Jewish News Syndicate notes, Jean-Pierre wrote an op-ed in Newsweek arguing that supporting the pro-Israel group was the “antithesis” of being “progressive”: “You cannot call yourself a progressive while continuing to associate yourself with an organization like AIPAC that has often been the antithesis of what it means to be progressive.”
Among the reasons Jean-Pierre cited: AIPAC opposed the Iran nuclear deal and invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak (as it does with every Israeli prime minister).
In 2019, MoveOn.org — where Jean-Pierre worked as a senior adviser and national spokesperson — ran a campaign pushing Democrats to boycott AIPAC:
& the list of 2020 presidential candidates who have made the decision to #SkipAIPAC continues to grow. Thank you for your leadership here @PeteButtigieg, @ewarren, @BernieSanders, @KamalaHarris, @JulianCastro, @BetoORourke, @JayInslee… who is next? pic.twitter.com/Bol61vv8Bc
— MoveOn (@MoveOn) March 21, 2019
Almost every Democratic Party presidential candidate stayed away from AIPAC — though many also attended the meeting of far-left J Street, a George Soros-backed organization that opposes most pro-Israel policies.
Harris joined her fellow candidates in skipping the AIPAC conference — but then met with AIPAC lobbyists and activists in her office privately.
Jean-Pierre has drawn controversy before. She was hired by the Biden campaign in May, though she had previously said that no one who had been “accused of sexual harassment or assault” should run for office.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.