AIPAC apologizes after Trump’s anti-Obama speech gets cheers
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee apologized on Tuesday for remarks made by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump — and the reaction they received during their conference a day earlier, the Washington Post reported.
“We say, unequivocally, that we do not countenance ad hominem attacks, and we take great offense against those that are levied against the president of the United States of America from our stage,” AIPAC President Lillian Pinkus said. “While we may have policy differences, we deeply respect the office of the United States and our president, Barack Obama.”
Trump called the president “the worst thing that ever happened to Israel” during his remarks at the conference, which bill itself as a non-partisan event.
He also set off a round of cheers at the beginning of the speech, when he said, “With President Obama in his final year” and added, “Yay!” The line appeared to have been ad-libbed, an outlier in a speech that was delivered with the use of a teleprompter, unlike Trump’s campaign speeches.
“We are disappointed that so many people applauded the sentiment that we neither agree with, or condone,” Pinkus said of the reaction. “Let us close this conference in recognition that when we say ‘come together,’ we still have a lot to learn from each other, and we still have much work to do.”
According to the Post, Trump was also criticized by Jewish media outlets for his remarks, including Jane Eisner, editor-in-chief for The Forward.
“I am ashamed that they would succumb to the pandering lies,” she wrote. “Donald Trump ought to have been received civilly but silently by AIPAC. Instead, the applause spoke volumes.”