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Israel Again Plays Unwanted Role in American Politics

The perceived loss of bipartisan American support for the state of Israel has long been a nightmare for the Jewish state. That vision is now playing out on multiple tracks as Jewish Americans join with Israel’s most vocal critics and presidential candidates speak of redistributing money earmarked for Israel in the annual U.S. aid package to Palestinian projects and for the first time in recent memory refuse to participate in the annual policy conference of the American lobby for Israel. As if to rub salt in the wound, Bernie Sanders, who is Jewish and who is currently the odds-on favorite to carry the Democratic standard to the polls in November, has accused the American Israel Public Action Committee, AIPAC, considered to be one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington, of being an organization “whose leaders express bigotry and oppose basic rights” for the Palestinians. It appears at this time that none of the Democratic candidates will attend the conference which, traditionally, is attended by overwhelming numbers of members of Congressmen and women and Senators.