So much for standing up for what you sponsor.
According to a follow-up report from the Washington Free Beacon‘s Adam Kredo, U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Madison) failed to appear at an anti-Israeli forum he was sponsoring on Capitol Hill. Pocan was exposed as being the chief sponsor last week, but his press office failed to either confirm or deny his involvement; preferring instead to deny numerous media inquiries by both Media Trackers-Wisconsin and the Free Beacon.
Despite many public calls for the event to be canceled, it continued on as scheduled in the Cannon House Office Building.
The forum, “50 Years of Israeli Military Occupation & Life for Palestinian Children,” included several speakers known for criticism of Israel and support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, or BDS, which has been called anti-Semitic in nature.
Speakers at the event accused Israel of waging a “military occupation” of Palestinian lands and accused the Israeli Defense Forces, or IDF, of engaging in “torture, beatings, detention without trial, [and] assassination” of Palestinian citizens.
Pocan’s absence from the event—which was not attended by a single member of Congress— was noticed by those in attendance.
“With all due respect, Congressman Pocan is a coward,” said one senior congressional official who has been tracking the situation. “If you’re going to sponsor anti-Israel propaganda, at least have the dignity to take responsibility for it.”
“Instead, he chose to facilitate a pro-BDS smear campaign using taxpayer dollars without even showing his face at the event,” the source said. “As millions of Jews and non-Jews alike celebrate the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, Congressman Pocan and his J-Street lackeys are spending their time working to undermine the state of Israel.”
A senior official from a national Jewish organization offered similar sentiments.
“This is an event where the speakers very obviously had Jews on the brain,” said the source. “They barely bother hiding it. Instead they tried to hide who was behind the event. Not only did the speakers decline to effusively thank Pocan for giving them space, but he was obviously so embarrassed he didn’t even show up.”
Groups involved in organizing the event included several advocacy organizations that work to undermine the IDF and Israeli government.
So where was Pocan instead? According to his official Twitter account; shortly after the forum began at 9:30 AM ET, the Madison area congressman was promoting his afternoon appearance on a nationally syndicated liberal talk radio to discuss his views on the on-going testimony of former FBI director James Comey.
— Rep. Mark Pocan (@repmarkpocan) June 8, 2017
Guess the media blackout for Pocan is over.