Bernie Sanders Denounces AIPAC’s “Bigotry” after Headlining a Conference of Bigots

Feb. 27 2020

The Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has declared that he won’t attend the annual conference of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which begins this Sunday, because of the “platform [it] provides for leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights.” While Sanders has no qualms about libeling AIPAC—until recently a regular stop for political candidates of both parties—he has never attended one of its gatherings. Last year, however, he was the speaker for the annual conference of the Islamic Society of North America, where, writes Asra Normani, no small amount of bigotry was given a platform:

[The conference’s] theme was, “What’s your super-power for social good?” Some [of the] “super-powers” suggested at the conference: . . . the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement, which seeks a “one-state solution” with a “right of return” for Palestinians so that they outnumber Jews; the elimination of Israel from “the river to the sea,” as [endorsed by Sanders’s] ally Marc Lamont Hill; and violent hate, including a book, Reliance of the Traveler, which I bought in the conference bazaar for $39.99, sanctioning jihad as “war against non-Muslims” and “war upon Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians.”

[At the same conference], Sanders’s champion, Representative Rashida Tlaib, who supports BDS, [also] spoke. [And] the activist Linda Sarsour slipped into the Grand Ballroom to cheer “Uncle Bernie.” She has [also] backed the Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who condemned “Satanic Jews” and claimed to be an “anti-termite,” rather than an “anti-Semite.” The year before, at the same conference, I heard Sarsour say it’s a “problem” to “humanize” Israelis.

This past week, [meanwhile], Sanders said it is “an honor” to be endorsed by Emgage PAC, whose chief executive Wa’el Alzayat has defended Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s anti-Semitism.

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Read more at Jewish Journal

More about: AIPAC, Anti-Semitism, BDS, Bernie Sanders, Ilhan Omar, Linda Sarsour

Why Is Iran Acquiring Property in Venezuela?

In June Tehran and Caracas concluded a major twenty-year cooperation treaty. One of its many provisions—kept secret until recently—was the transfer of 4,000 square miles of Venezuelan land to Iranian control. Although the territory is ostensibly for agricultural use, Lawrence Franklin suspects the Islamic Republic might have other plans:

Hizballah already runs paramilitary training centers in restricted sections of Venezuela’s Margarita Island, a tourist area northeast of the country’s mainland. The terrorist group has considerable support from some of Venezuela’s prominent Lebanese clans such as the Nasr al-Din family, who reportedly facilitated Iran’s penetration of Margarita Island. . . . The Maduro regime has apparently been so welcoming to Iranian intelligence agents that some of Hizballah’s long-established Latin American network at the tri-border nexus of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay has been overtaken by Hizballah activities on Venezuela’s Margarita Island.

Iran’s alliance with Venezuela most importantly provides Tehran with opportunities to target U.S. interests in Latin America and potentially the southern United States. Iran, along with the Chinese Communist Party, is in the process of strengthening Venezuela’s military against the U.S., for instance by deliveries of military drones, which are also considered a threat by Colombia.

While air and seaborne arms deliveries are high-profile evidence of Iran’s ties with Venezuela, Tehran’s cooperation with Venezuelan intelligence agencies, although less visible, is also intense. The Islamic Republic’s support for Hizballah terrorist operations is pervasive throughout Latin America. Hizballah recruits from Venezuela’s ten-million-strong Lebanese diaspora. Iran and Hizballah cooperate in training of intelligence agents and in developing sources who reside in Venezuela and Colombia, as well as in the tri-border region of Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina.

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Read more at Gatestone

More about: Iran, Latin America, Venezuela