Defending Israel part of my job: New York mayor

Defending Israel part of my job: New York mayor
Sat Jan 25, 2014 23:43:36

The new mayor of largest American city of New York has boasted before members of influential pro-Israeli lobby group AIPAC that being “a defender of Israel” is part of his “job description.

Bill de Blasio, who was sworn into office on January 1, made the remarks during an unannounced speech at a Thursday gathering of American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), The New York Times reported.

According to the prominent daily, reporters were denied attendance in the gathering and even a reporter who tried to attend the event was escorted out by security guards.

Blasio, who faced sharp criticism from reporters, has said the organizers of the event did not want any journalists to attend the gathering.

The AIPAC is the most powerful pro-Israel lobby group in the US that has recently intensified its anti-Iran efforts on Capitol Hill in order to convince US senators to co-sponsor a new sanctions bill against Iran.

The bill was introduced by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey) and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Illinois) in mid-December but is unlikely to ever get a vote on the Senate floor because key members of the Senate Democratic leadership oppose it.

US President Barack Obama has already said that he would veto the legislation which, according to congress.gov, has 58 co-sponsors.

However, the AIPAC, which wants to sabotage diplomatic efforts to resolve the West’s decade-old dispute with Iran over its nuclear energy program, has demonstrated its “open revolt against the White House’s Iran diplomacy,” according to Foreign Policy’s The Cable.

The AIPAC even attacked a pro-Israel Jewish Democrat in the House of Representatives, Florida congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, for being silent over the new anti-Iran legislation.

According to The Cable, the AIPAC’s attack on Schultz “raised eyebrows among some current and former AIPAC officials.”

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