TheGuardian.com – The US’s most powerful pro-Israel lobby group has been accused of putting support for Israel before American democracy after it declared its backing for the election campaigns of three dozen Republican members of Congress who tried to block President Biden’s presidential victory.
But the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has defended the move by saying that support for the Jewish state overrides other issues and that it is “no moment for the pro-Israel movement to become selective about its friends”.
In December, Aipac launched a political action committee that enables it for the first time to spend money directly supporting congressional candidates in this year’s midterm elections. Earlier this month the committee released a list of 120 political endorsements that include 37 Republicans who voted against certifying Biden’s victory following the January 6 2021 storming of the Capitol.
Among them are two members of Congress, Jim Jordan and Scott Perry, who plotted with Trump’s White House to overturn the election result. Perry has also publicly promoted racist “white replacement” conspiracy theories.
The lobby group’s move has been met by a storm of criticism, including from other pro-Israel organizations.
“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 the more moderate but less influential pro-Israel lobby group, J Street. “Whatever their views on Israel, elected officials who threaten the very future of our country should be completely beyond the pale.”
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