(March 26, 2019 / JNS) “Let me go on the record, anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told a massive cheering crowd at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) annual conference on Monday.
“Just a short while ago, President [Donald] Trump, alongside Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu, signed a decree—a decree affirming Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan,” Pompeo told the crowd of 18,000. “What a truly great two days for two great nations.”
The signing took place at the White House just before Netanyahu left for Israel following a missile attack from Gaza on a house in the upscale neighborhood of Mishmeret, north of Tel Aviv. Pompeo, who was in attendance, had visited the Golan just a week earlier as part of a visit to Israel and other countries in the vicinity.
Criticizing supporters of the BDS movement, including new congresswomen Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Pompeo said “this bigotry is taking on an insidious new form in the guise of anti-Zionism. It’s invested on college campuses in the form of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. It’s discussed in our media. It’s supported by certain members of Congress, I suspect none of whom are here tonight.”
“Don’t get me wrong,” he continued, “criticizing Israel’s policies is an acceptable thing to do in a democracy. But criticizing the very right to exist of Israel is not acceptable. Anti-Zionism denies the very legitimacy of the Israeli state and of the Jewish people.”
Also addressing the AIPAC plenary on Monday, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said “support for Israel … has been a long, bipartisan tradition in the Congress, spanning generations. But how things have changed.”
He told participants in attendance that the Democratic Party has been “co-opted by people who promote rank anti-Semitic rhetoric.”