Campaign Begins to Challenge Aipac’s Impact on US Politics Ahead of 2024 Elections



The coalition of progressive organizations, Reject Aipac, plans to counter the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (Aipac) funding into primary campaigns against progressive Democrats. This is in response to Aipac’s growing involvement in election campaigns and their increased focus on funding through their Super Pac, the United Democracy Project (UDP), against progressive Democratic candidates. The coalition, which includes groups such as Justice Democrats and Jewish Voice for Peace, aims to highlight Aipac’s alliance with the far right and disrupt the foreign policy influence that the pro-Israel group exerts in Congress.

Progressive Coalition Counters Aipac’s Anti-Progressive Campaign Influence

A coalition of progressive organizations, including Justice Democrats, Jewish Voice for Peace, and the Sunrise Movement, has launched a fundraising and lobbying effort, Reject Aipac, to counter the influence of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac) on primary campaigns against progressive Democrats. The move is a response to continuous congressional support for Israel’s campaign in Gaza, which has resulted in over 30,000 Palestinian casualties since 7 October.

The coalition criticizes Aipac’s efforts to silence growing congressional dissent against the assault on Gaza, despite Democratic voters largely supporting a ceasefire and opposing further funding of the Israeli military. Despite its historically non-partisan approach, Aipac formed its political action committee in 2021 and has been funneling campaign funding through its Super Pac, the United Democracy Project (UDP), specifically targeting progressive Democratic candidates.

During the 2022 election cycle, the UDP heavily backed candidates opposing progressive Democrats who advocated for Palestinian rights. The group injected $2.3m into the Democratic Pennsylvania primary contest between Congresswoman Summer Lee and Steve Irwin, a former Republican congressional staffer turned Democrat. Although Lee won, Aipac is reportedly liaising with her 2024 opposition, Bhavini Patel, whose campaign is also connected to Hindu nationalist groups.

Aipac also poured millions into a primary campaign against Andy Levin, a progressive Zionist in Michigan, and a vocal defender of Palestinian rights. Levin lost to Haley Stevens, who consistently advocates for US military support for Israel’s military operations in Gaza.

Aipac is expected to invest $100m in the 2024 election cycle to eliminate candidates it deems insufficiently pro-Israel. Meanwhile, J Street, a liberal pro-Israel group that previously defended some candidates attacked by Aipac, will reportedly withdraw from this role in 2024. A 2023 Guardian analysis revealed a correlation between politicians most supportive of Israel’s campaign in Gaza and those benefiting from pro-Israel donations like Aipac.

The Reject Aipac coalition, planning a “seven-figure electoral defense campaign”, aims to challenge the foreign policy influence of the pro-Israel group in Congress. Coalition members also aim to highlight Aipac’s recent alliance with the far right. Top funders of Aipac-affiliated lobbying and fundraising groups include Republican mega donors and Trump supporters, and the group has endorsed several Republicans involved in the attempt to overturn Biden’s 2020 election victory.

Members of the coalition have urged Democratic candidates to reject any Aipac money or endorsements, calling them a “far-right group” endorsing insurrectionists and extremist candidates.

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