Reject AIPAC: American Politicians push back against AIPAC Featured

By Gamal Khattab June 11, 2024 44


 “Reject AIPAC” is an alliance group of progressive organizations in the United States formed to oppose the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC. It criticizes AIPAC for trying to stifle debate in Congress on Israel's activities in Gaza.  AIPAC spends millions to target progressive lawmakers who have advocated for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Organizations Against AIPAC

Reject AIPAC, which includes organizations like Justice Democrats and Jewish Voice for Peace, consider the rejection of AIPAC crucial for democracy. Progressive organizations are collectively mobilizing against AIPAC's involvement in US elections, as they consider AIPAC a threat to progressive politics and Palestinian lives. AIPAC lobbies for unconditional support for Israel even as Israeli politics drifts further right.

Targeting Liberal Candidates

With AIPAC targeting liberal candidates, American progressives argue that AIPAC's targeting of left-wing candidates advances right-wing interests. Reject AIPAC will support progressive candidates being targeted by AIPAC through ad campaigns, and lobbying in Congress against AIPAC, and they are seeking out democrat politicians to reject AIPAC.

A Pledge Against AIPAC

 They aim to get signatories to sign a pledge against AIPAC, critiquing AIPAC advocating for US foreign policy to support Israel that disregards human rights and supports Israeli violations on Palestinians. Their aim to "Reject AIPAC" is to challenge AIPAC's interference in US politics and call for a more progressive and human rights-based approach to Israel and Palestine.

AIPAC, PAC and Super PAC

AIPAC, a powerful special interest in Washington, previously was separate from direct electioneering, AIPAC formed a PAC and a super PAC in 2022 to target critics of Israel. They were focused on Democratic primaries in typically liberal districts attacking unfriendly Israel candidates on other issues, they endorsed Republicans who supported Trump and opposed Biden's election certification address.

A Platform to Reject AIPAC

Justice Democrats and others are organizing against AIPAC's, rightwing influence in Congress. They are seeking to create a platform to reject AIPAC and influence policy towards Palestine and Israel. With the progress made by progressive democrats in recent elections, new lawmakers are at the forefront for advocating for Palestinian rights.

Despite a pro-Israel Congress, AIPAC is adapting strategies in response to some vocal left-leaning political figures. AIPAC's campaign spending, which has faced criticism for being overly aggressive, and is partially funded by conservative contributors. AIPAC's critics label its methods as manipulative. AIPAC has supported the Republicans and is now focusing on the districts of some key progressive candidates.

The move prompted AIPAC, a pro-Israel advocacy group, to target left-leaning politicians who have campaigned for Palestinian rights, ultimately sparking a coalition of groups to fight back against their influence.

Summer Lee

In 2022, AIPAC spent significant money in a House primary but ultimately lost. For example, AIPAC spent heavily in Pennsylvania, where Summer Lee defeated the incumbent, despite AIPAC's financial backing. "Reject AIPAC" has experimented saying that they plan to support candidates that AIPAC has targeted, but their funding pales compared to the pro-Israel group's nine-figure budget. As Andrabi has expressed and had plans to capitalize on previous victories, trying to show that they could still win against AIPAC, even if it is unfair. The Democratic base supports progressive discussions around Gaza and aid for Israel. Miller, of JVP Action, recognizes that they do not have the same kind of funding as AIPAC, but that their organization actually represents what most Americans want.

Despite, the bipartisan support in Congress for Israel and ignoring Palestinian suffering, some advocates are starting to feel disenfranchised with the political system. Andrabi implores the need to resist the lobbying force from AIPAC, the pro-Israel advocacy group, which works to hinder the ability to work on behalf of Palestine, even when the prospects for change feel dim. Miller insists on the urgency of not being discouraged and is comforted by the US promoting suffering for Palestine. Both Miller and Andrabi have expressed to continue taking action as a source of resilience against AIPAC.