New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s January appearance before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has garnered harsh behind-the-scenes criticism from his liberal Jewish supporters, newly revealed emails show.
“I am actually getting as many angry messages from Jewish non-AIPAC folks (Pro Israel, J Street and Peace Now Supporters) than I did on the east side snow problems,” State Senator Liz Krueger wrote to de Blasio’s senior aide Emma Wolfe on Jan. 30, the New York Daily News reported Monday, citing one of the emails it obtained.
Additionally, the Daily News reported that on Jan. 31, Victor Kovner, a board member of the “pro-Israel, pro-peace” lobby J Street emailed New York City Hall requesting to personally give de Blasio an alternative perspective on Israel and the Middle East to that of AIPAC.
In his private speech before AIPAC, which was not listed on his official schedule, de Blasio said that New York City Hall “will always be open to AIPAC,” and that he will always answer a call by the pro-Israel lobby and “answer it happily.”
Jonathan Tobin, senior online editor of Commentary magazine, questioned those who lashed out at de Blasio for the AIPAC appearance.
“It’s fascinating that the political left in New York is so obsessed with its opposition to Israel that they are keeping this story alive and actually holding a grudge against a politician who is otherwise very much to their liking,” Tobin told JNS.org. “But give de Blasio some credit. As much as public support for AIPAC might raise hackles for members of his liberal base in Manhattan, he seems to know that expressing public opposition to its centrist position is political poison elsewhere in the city as well as among many large donors to the Democratic Party.”