Rep. Betty McCollum has introduced legislation that condemns the Israeli government’s proposed annexation of the West Bank and blocks any U.S. aid that would potentially be used to fund it. The Israeli Annexation Non-Recognition Act is endorsed by over 30 progressive organizations and is cosponsored by six other Democratic House members.
Everything still looks solid for the Israel lobby at the top of the Democratic Party this year. But if we view the party as a pyramid, with its apex being the presidential ticket, its middle layer being its elected officials, and its bottom layer being its base, then the foundations of the Israel lobby’s hold on the party is quite evidently crumbling.
The beltway consensus on military aid to Israel is finally beginning to face a legitimate political challenge. There’s obviously still a long way to go, but it’s telling that so many Democrats now feel they can safely challenge aid without facing disastrous political consequences.
1000 alumni of J Street U fault the parent org’s efforts to stop Israeli expansion as toothless. “Time and again, J Street has organized letters of condemnation, Jewish communal pressure, and congressional measures that fall short of creating material consequences for Israel’s actions.”
Because Jamaal Bowman had taken positions calling for justice for Palestinians, “dark money” pro-Israel super-PAC’s spent an additional $2,000,000 in independent expenditures in an effort to tear down his character and reelect Rep. Eliot Engel, chair of House Foreign Affairs. They lost.
Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Pramila Jayapal, Betty McCollum, and Rashida Tlaib call for conditioning US aid to Israel if the country moves forward with annexation.
Embattled congressman Eliot Engel personifies a tradition in the Democratic Party of being “PEP” — progressive except Palestine. Engel has repeatedly hailed Black Lives Matter and endorsed the Green New Deal. But when it comes to Israel, he castigates Palestinians and says since 1947 Arabs have only wanted “to push Jews into the sea.”
Nine members of Congress have signed on to a letter asking the Trump administration to suspend U.S. sanctions on Iran amid the COVID-19 crisis. The letter comes amidst a wider effort by activists to raise awareness of the issue and pressure the Treasury Department to take immediate action.