When Tom Dine, the former outstanding Executive Director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (1980-1993) says that AIPAC is no longer deserving of a dime of his money, every supporter of AIPAC and every congressional candidate that was endorsed by AIPAC ought to take note, follow his lead, refuse AIPAC’s endorsement, and stop supporting it.
I was once (30+ years ago) a supporter of AIPAC because of its solid record of advocacy in the United States on behalf of Israel’s security. Thirteen years ago I switched my engagement to J Street because I believe that its pro-Israel, pro-peace, pro-2 states for two peoples resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the only way for Israel to remain a democracy and Jewish. I now serve as a national co-chair of J Street’s Rabbinic and Cantorial Cabinet including more than 1000 clergy.
I know that strongly identified Americans and Jews have supported AIPAC over many years because of that organization’s advocacy for Israel and its security. I have disagreed with them politically on many counts, but I have always respected my colleagues and friends who are AIPAC supporters.
However, AIPAC has stepped over the line of acceptability as an organization that allegedly supports both Israeli and American democracy. As the title of this news release from J Street indicates, AIPAC has decided to endorse and fund more than 35 candidates for Congress who voted to not certify the Biden-Harris election in the House of Representatives and thereby overturn the election – part of the Trump campaign’s insurrection against American democracy and the US Constitution.
Is it not now time for AIPAC’s long-time supporters to withdraw their support of that once venerable organization? And is it not time for those Democrats and Republicans who were also endorsed by AIPAC and who refused to follow Trump’s insurrection of American democracy to refuse AIPAC’s endorsement (see the list of endorses in the link below)?
March 3, 2022
WASHINGTON, DC – J Street, the political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans, today expressed alarm and concern that AIPAC’s new PAC has endorsed over 35 congressional candidates who egregiously undermined American democracy by voting against the certification of presidential results after insurrectionists stormed the US Capitol on January 6th.
J Street has repeatedly urged all pro-Israel PACs to take a “Democracy Pledge” to never support such anti-democratic candidates. Yet AIPAC has now announced their intention to funnel millions of dollars to these dangerous politicians.
“AIPAC’s support for these candidates endangers American democracy and undermines the true interests and values of millions of American Jews and pro-Israel Americans who they often claim to represent,” said Laura Birnbaum, J Street’s National Political Director. “Whatever their views on Israel, elected officials who threaten the very future of our country should be completely beyond the pale. We call on AIPAC to immediately end their support for these candidates – or explain what could possibly justify supporting those who effectively sided with the insurrectionists on January 6th.”
Astoundingly, more than half of the Republican candidates newly endorsed by AIPAC voted against the certification of the 2020 presidential election results. Among these endorsees are elected officials who have repeatedly sought to obstruct and deter serious scrutiny, investigation and justice for the events of January 6th and the overall attempt to overturn and subvert the results of the election.
Claims of “bipartisanship” cannot excuse support for candidates who only respect election results when their party wins. Former AIPAC executive director Tom Dine has publicly said that if AIPAC contributes “to antidemocratic people who believe the last election was a fraud and they support the January 6 insurrection – no sir, I would not give them a dime.”
J Street is pleased that the Jewish Democratic Council of America and Democratic Majority For Israel have already publicly taken the Democracy Pledge. AIPAC’s eager support for candidates who subvert our democracy runs completely counter to the views and values held by the vast majority of American Jews and pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans.
A full list of the AIPAC PAC endorsees who voted against the certification of the 2020 election results on January 6th can be found here.