More than twenty progressive organizations are forming a coalition before the elections to counter pro-Israel groups

More than twenty progressive organizations are forming a coalition before the elections to counter pro-Israel groups



March 11, 2024

Faced with a barrage of super PAC money, more than two dozen progressive groups come together to vigorously counter efforts by pro-Israel groups



in primaries

liberal members who have criticized Israel’s blistering military offensive in Gaza.

The coalition, called Reject AIPAC, includes Jewish peace organizations and Arab-American and Muslim groups that have organized in record numbers since the war between Israel and Hamas began in October.

Their efforts are a direct response to pro-Israel political action committees

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the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, better known as AIPAC, which are promising or planning to spend tens of millions of dollars in an effort to win over Democratic members of the


selection in this year’s primaries and general election. That campaign has turned otherwise safely Democratic districts into election battlegrounds.

These are a handful of Black and brown progressive incumbents under attack with a threat of $100 million in spending, and usually when someone is running for a sitting president, it’s Democratic leadership and establishment action,” said Usamah Andrabi, communications director for Justice Democrats.


the groups leading the coalition. But the energy is a little lighter when it comes to some of these progressives and that’s why we’re coming together to ensure they have the tools to defend themselves against AIPAC.

Progressive Democrats are testing new tough tactics

The strategy, according to Andrabi, is to connect the grassroots organizations behind a seven-figure election defense campaign that aims not only to protect members of Congress targeted by AIPAC, but also to shed light on what they see as the difference between group and the government. long-standing values ​​of the Democratic Party.

AIPAC has defended its track record and it is telling


The Associated Press said last month that it is fully consistent with progressive values ​​to stand with the Jewish state and that the group has a history of supporting members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Nevertheless, the coalition’s lobbying efforts will focus on promoting pro-Palestinian members and candidates and highlighting national polling showing that the majority of Democratic voters are aligned with their positions, including increasing calls for a ceasefire in Gaza and conditioning of US aid. for Israel as the number of citizens

The number of victims and deaths has increased

more than 30,000 Palestinians in just five months of war.

Israel’s air and ground offensive has also driven most Palestinians from their homes and pushed a quarter of the population to famine. In Oct. 7 attack by Hamas that gave rise to the


During the war, militants killed about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and took about 250 hostage.

In Congress, the war has driven a familiar wedge between Democrats, with even some legislation aligned with AIPAC refusing to officially discuss the dynamic.

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other progressives will visit left-ruled Latin American countries

Part of the new coalition’s strategy is to make these rifts public by requiring any candidate or member who joins them to sign a pledge, outright rejecting campaign money from groups.

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AIPAC, which has historically had enormous influence in Washington.

This comes as AIPAC


has morphed into its own strategy in recent years, from strictly a lobbying organization to helping elected centrist, pro-Israel Democrats. In 2022, it began challenging Democratic incumbents in primaries.

Before November, the group and PACs associated with its ethos again began contributing to candidates running against members of the squad. Democrats facing challengers include Jamaal Bowman of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Summer Lee of Pennsylvania and Cori Bush of Missouri, all of whom have not only called for a ceasefire but also demanded that American aid to Israel comes to an end.

In 2022, AIPAC spent approximately $27 million on progressive candidates. This cycle’s war chest is expected to be more than twice as large.

We will never be equal and that is the reality, Andrabi said. This has always been a David versus Goliath conflict and will continue to be so


but the best we can do now is organize in a concerted way and tackle them head-on in a way that people in previous cycles have not.

Amiri writes for the Associated Press.


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