The 14 Words

Sunday, 26 January 2014

NYC mayor: "Defending Israel is part of my job"

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

The new mayor of New York City has told members of the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) that part of his “job description is to be a defender of Israel.”

Bill de Blasio, who took office on January 1, made the remarks during an unannounced speech at an AIPAC gathering on Thursday, The New York Times reported. According to the Times, reporters were denied attendance and even a reporter who tried to attend the gathering was escorted away 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, 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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