(March 22, 2019 / JNS) The American Israel Public Affairs Committee did not invite any of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates to address this year’s annual policy conference, a source in the pro-Israel lobby told JNS.
“Since 2008, we have only had presidential candidates speaking in actual election years,” said the source.
AIPAC does not disclose who is invited to the conference, but rather, who has confirmed.
On Thursday, the following candidates stated their upcoming absence: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt), former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), former Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.), former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.
Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Ind., will also not be there.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) “is not planning to attend, but she will be meeting with her constituents,” her spokesperson told JNS.
JNS reached out to the remaining candidates to see whether or not they plan on attending, but has not received comment. They include Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), former Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), author Marianne Williamson and entrepreneur Andrew Yang.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former Israel Defense Forces chief of staff and Blue and White Party leader Benny Gantz, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) are among the main speakers scheduled to address the conference, which take place from March 24-26, just weeks before Israelis go to the polls on April 9.