Making the case for U.S. President Donald Trump’s re-election, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence warned on Monday that if elected, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) would be the complete opposite of Trump as it pertains to the U.S.-Israel relationship.
“We must ensure that the most pro-Israel president in history must not be replaced by one who would be the most anti-Israel president in the history of this nation,” said Pence at the annual AIPAC Policy Conference, where he slammed Sanders for calling Israel “a racist state” and defaming AIPAC as “a platform for bigotry.”
Sanders announced on Feb. 23 that he would skip the AIPAC conference.
Pence also criticized the Democratic candidates at last week’s debate in South Carolina for not challenging Sanders about his views on AIPAC and Israel.
“If we can agree on one thing, it should be this: Those who side with Israel’s enemies must never be allowed to call themselves friends of Israel,” said Pence. “It is wrong to boycott and slander Israel. It is wrong to boycott and slander AIPAC.”
Pence also said that “anti-Semitism is anti-Zionism.”
In his speech, Pence touted Trump’s pro-Israel achievements, including recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the U.S. embassy there; withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal; closing the PLO mission in Washington, D.C.; defunding U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority for rewarding terrorists and their families; defunding U.S. funding for UNRWA; combatting anti-Israel bias at the United Nations; deeming Israeli neighborhoods in the West Bank as not illegal; signing an executive order to combat anti-Semitism on college campuses; and eliminating Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
The vice president also touted the administration’s maximum pressure campaign on Iran in holding it “accountable for its destructive actions” and pledged that “America will never allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon.”
Pence also said that Trump’s Israeli-Palestinian peace plan as realistic.
Finally, Pence said, “Anti-Semitism must be universally condemned. It must be fought.”
Scheduled to speak at the AIPAC conference this afternoon are U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and House Appropriations Committee Chair Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.).
The conference concludes on Tuesday.