AP/Invision/Greg Allen/Phil Long
Bill de Blasio

Bill de Blasio claimed he wouldn’t accept an endorsement from the leading pro-Israel advocacy group, which recently opposed candidates like Nina Turner, who promote the lie that Israel perpetrates “apartheid.”

By United with Israel Staff

Bill de Blasio faced accusations of antisemitism during his tenure as mayor of New York City after he singled out the Jewish community during the coronavirus pandemic, accusing Jews of flouting restrictions while ignoring the conduct of other groups.

De Blasio accused Jewish mourners at the funeral of a prominent rabbi of spreading “a disease that will kill other members of the community” even if “they didn’t mean to.”

Jewish leaders and organizations were outraged, accusing the then-mayor of stoking antisemitism in a city where Jews are regularly violently attacked on the street.

The former mayor, who is now running for a Congressional seat in a recently created district (District 10), announced this week that he would not accept an endorsement from the nation’s leading pro-Israel advocacy group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

De Blasio claims AIPAC is now “unacceptable,” according to a report in the New York Jewish Week.

He specifically mentioned failed candidate Nina Turner, who promoted the lie that Israel practices “apartheid” and appeared in a video alongside antisemitic UK politician Jeremy Corbyn hours before voting began in May 2022.

Corbyn presided over the UK Labour Party during a period in which it committed “unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination,” according to the UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission, and faced persistent accusations of promoting Jew-hatred.

Pro-Israel Democratic U.S. Rep. Shontel Brown defeated Turner twice.

De Blasio called Turner a friend, but said that “doesn’t mean [he] agree[s with every statement that she’s made.”

“[Turner is] an incredibly important progressive leader,” de Blasio added. “I thought the attack on her was not only horribly unjustified, it deprived our nation of someone who could have been a huge difference maker in terms of our progressive movement.”

“The ex-mayor’s remarks were a sharp turn away from previous instances in which he has defended AIPAC, made public appearances at AIPAC events and spoken at its policy conference, even as some Democrats have distanced themselves from the group in recent years,” reported Jewish Insider.

“De Blasio has long identified as a staunch supporter of Israel and has maintained close ties to Jewish community members in New York City throughout his decades-long career in politics.”