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  • Writer's pictureKaren Young

20+ progressive groups join forces to Reject AIPAC



 

Welcome to Team Tuesday!

 

I’m always excited when I see progressive groups working together, because that’s one of the most critical actions we can take to build power.  But 20+ progressive groups working together to draw a line between themselves and corporate Democrats taking big money?  It’s called Reject AIPAC, and it could be the start of something big!  

 

According to their statement, “Rejecting AIPAC is a crucial step in putting voters back at the center of our democracy.”  A majority of Americans want a ceasefire in Gaza and want America to stop arming Israel.  It’s progressives, not Democrats bought by AIPAC, who represent the people.

 

What is AIPAC?

 

AIPAC (the American Israel Political Action Committee) has been around for decades. It advocates unconditional US support for Israel and pushes back against criticism of Israeli governments, even as they have become more extreme.

 

AIPAC was not directly involved in funding candidates until 2022.  According to them, they supported 365 pro-Israel Democratic and Republican candidates in 2022 with more than $17 million.  You can see the bipartisan array of people who take their money here, including Hakeem Jeffries, many other Democrats, and many MAGA election deniers.  AIPAC is supported by Republican mega-donors.

 

98% of AIPAC-backed candidates won their general election races in 2022. 

 

Why are progressives taking a stand now?

 

The presence of progressives in Congress and their support for Palestine is apparently the impetus behind AIPAC’s ramping up their political spending.  The coalition cited reports that the group is readying a $100 million offensive through its electoral arms – AIPAC PAC and the United Democracy Project (UDP) – to take out our people, who called for a ceasefire in Gaza early in the war. 

 

According to Al Jazeera, in 2022 AIPAC PAC and UDP focused on Democratic primaries in liberal-leaning congressional districts, supporting conservative Democrats.  They poured millions of dollars into races across the country, attacking candidates critical of Israel, and often focusing on issues that have nothing to do with foreign policy.  Summer Lee is one who withstood a massive attack late in her campaign.

  

What is the coalition’s plan?

 

According to an email from Justice Democrats, the coalition will organize Democratic voters and elected officials to reject the destructive influence of AIPAC on the Democratic primary process, and on our government’s policy towards Palestine and Israel.

 

They plan to accomplish this through a seven-figure electoral defense campaign across paid media and field organizing efforts to defend members of Congress targeted by AIPAC, counterbalance AIPAC’s lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill, and call on members of Congress to support Palestinian rights and take a pledge to reject AIPAC’s money and endorsement moving forward.

 

Here are the groups who are signed on:

 

·      Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) Action

·      Common Defense US

·      Democratic Socialists of America

·      Dream Defenders

·      Future Coalition

·      Gen-Z for Change

·      Grassroot Global Justice Action

·      IfNotNow Movement

·      Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) Action

·      Jews for Racial and Economic Justice

·      Justice Democrats

·      Justice is Global Action

·      MPower Change Action Fund

·      National Iranian American Council Action

·      Our Revolution

·      Peace Action

·      Progressive Democrats of America (PDA)

·      RootsAction

·      Showing Up for Racial Justice

·      Sunrise Movement

·      US Campaign for Palestinian Rights Action (USCPR)

·      Working Families Party

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