New coalition goes after the mighty lobbying power of AIPAC

Reject AIPAC, a collection of more than 20 progressive groups, works to shield lawmakers critical of Israel's war on Gaza

Photo composite of Summer Lee, Jamaal Bowman, Ilhan Omar and Cori Bush alongside the Reject AIPAC logo and a Palestine flag
(L-R) Representatives Ilhan Omar, Cori Bush, Jamaal Bowman and Summer Lee are all facing AIPAC-backed Democratic primary challenges
(Image credit: Illustration by Stephen Kelly / Getty Images / AP)

This month, more than two dozen progressive organizations announced the formation of a new initiative designed to counteract what they called the "destructive influence of the Republican megadonor-backed AIPAC on the Democratic primary process and our government's policy towards Palestine and Israel." This newly formed Reject AIPAC coalition is comprised of left-leaning groups including Justice Democrats, Sunrise Movement, Jewish Voice for Peace Action, Our Revolution, and Jews for Racial and Economic Justice. It has called on candidates for federal office not to "take endorsements or contributions from AIPAC and/or aligned PACs" as Israel's ongoing war in Gaza has renewed attention on the infamous lobbying juggernaut. In a statement to The Guardian, Reject AIPAC accused AIPAC of doing "everything it can to silence growing dissent in Congress against Netanyahu's assault on Gaza" despite significant calls for a ceasefire from Democratic voters. 

Through its United Democracy Project Super PAC, AIPAC's "biggest targets are members of the so-called Squad of progressive House Democrats" including Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), and Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), although its "ambitions are broader" Politico said. The group is reportedly prepared to spend $100 million this election cycle and is monitoring "15 to 20 House races and polling in many of those districts." For the Reject AIPAC coalition, counteracting that enormous financial clout is a "crucial step in putting voters back at the center of our democracy," a spokesperson told The Intercept, explaining that Super PACs as a whole have "expanded the gap between voters and their elected leaders."

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