Former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg told American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on Monday that campaign rival Bernie Sanders is "dead wrong" to call the pro-Israel lobbying group is a "racist platform."
During the last presidential primary debate, Sanders called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a "racist" and said AIPAC "provides for leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights."
"Unfortunately, not all of my fellow Democrats in this race have attended an AIPAC conference," Bloomberg said at the group's annual conference. "One of them, Senator Sanders, has spent 30 years boycotting this event. And as you’ve heard by now, he called AIPAC a racist platform. Well, let me tell you, he's dead wrong."
"This is a gathering of 20,000 Israel supporters of every religious denomination, ethnicity, faith, color, sexual identity and political party," Bloomberg added. "Calling it a racist platform is an attempt to discredit those voices, intimidate people from coming here, and weaken the U.S.-Israel relationship. The reality is: AIPAC doesn't fuel hatred. AIPAC works to combat it — and the violence that it can produce."
Sanders and Bloomberg are two of the first Jewish candidates to be considered major presidential contenders.