Bernie Sanders
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Sen. Bernie Sanders ignited a feud with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee this weekend, claiming the lobbying group provided a platform "for leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights."

The dispute began when Sanders (I-Vt.), the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination, released a statement on Twitter Sunday announcing he would not be attending the annual conference, as is customary for leading presidential candidates.

"The Israeli people have the right to live in peace and security. So do the Palestinian people. I remain concerned about the platform AIPAC provides for leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights. For that reason I will not attend their conference," the Democratic socialist tweeted.

"As president, I will support the rights of both Israelis and Palestinians and do everything possible to bring peace and security to the region," he added.

While Sanders is known for bucking establishment traditions, including declining to attend last year's conference as he was launching his 2020 presidential bid, Sunday marked his first-ever public denouncement of the group.

In response, AIPAC released a scathing statement in which they said that the 2020 hopeful had never attended their conference.

"Senator Sanders has never attended our conference and that is evident from his outrageous comment," a spokesperson for AIPAC said in a statement, "In fact, many of his own Senate and House Democratic colleagues and leaders speak from our platform to the over 18,000 Americans from widely diverse backgrounds ... who participate in the conference to proclaim their support for the US-Israel relationship."

"By engaging in such an odious attack on this mainstream, bipartisan American political event, Senator Sanders is insulting his very own colleagues and the millions of Americans who stand with Israel. Truly shameful."