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‘Reject AIPAC’ coalition forms against Israel lobby in US

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators rally outside the Manhattan headquarters of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on February 22, 2024. (Getty Images)

Prominent progressive organizations in the United States are forming a coalition to defend those lawmakers targeted by the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and counter its sway in Congress.

On Monday, more than 20 advocacy groups announced the launch of the “Reject AIPAC” coalition.

The coalition includes mainstream left-wing groups as well as organizations focused on the Palestinian rights.

They seek to organize against the AIPAC’s campaign to​​ silence what the lobby group terms as the “growing dissent in Congress” against Israel’s war in Gaza.

“Rejecting AIPAC is a crucial step in putting voters back at the center of our democracy,” the coalition said in a statement.

The newly formed coalition cited reports that AIPAC is readying a $100 million offensive through its electoral arms to take on a handful of progressives in Congress who are “insufficiently supportive of Israel” or called for a ceasefire in Gaza early in the war.

AIPAC has the resources to tip elections, spends millions on lobbying, and wields its supporters as a potent grassroots activist army in Congress. 

That doesn’t just mean targeting progressive lawmakers who oppose Israel’s brutal war.

AIPAC recently spent $5 million unsuccessfully opposing a Democratic candidate who had criticized Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu and its settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank.

Beth Miller, political director at Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) Action, said the show of unity by progressive groups is “incredibly significant.”

She said the coalition represents “a unified response” by the US political left “to the threat that AIPAC poses both to the work that progressive groups are building here at home and to Palestinian lives in Palestine.”

Individual candidates and organizations have previously criticized AIPAC’s involvement in US election campaigns. But the coalition marks a collective and focused effort against the pro-Israel group.

Israel has led an unprecedented brutal military campaign in Gaza since October 7, 2023.

The group said it plans to counter “AIPAC’s lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill to defend Palestinian lives and human rights, building on the mass-scale grassroots mobilizations across the country calling for a ceasefire in Gaza and ending Congress’ unconditional political and financial support for the Israeli government.”

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