New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio expressed his support for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on Friday, saying he shares its view of protecting the small Middle Eastern country.
"From my experience with folks from AIPAC, they represent a broad range of views," de Blasio, a Democrat, said on a New York radio station, according to the New York Post.
"There's folks [who are] Democrats, Republicans. There are folks more conservative, more liberal. They do believe strongly in protecting the state of Israel, as do I."
Some progressive Democrats have questioned the role AIPAC plays in politics, with some claiming the group has infiltrated the U.S. government and has forced some lawmakers to get too cozy with Israel.
Politico reported Friday morning, meanwhile, that de Blasio attended an AIPAC event on Thursday and posed for pictures with attendees.
He said on the radio Friday, "First of all, this happened to be a house party that someone I know invited me to, and it wasn't clear I could make it until the very end, so that's why" it wasn't on the official schedule.
"It was a small event — not a big public event.
"I think it is important for people to walk across the different communities to fight Islamophobia, to fight anti-Semitism, sexism, racism."