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Democratic Majority for Israel

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U.S. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar speaking with supporters of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders in Las Vegas, Nevada, February 2020. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

Members of both parties spent months last year lambasting Rep. Ilhan Omar for claiming that the pro-Israel lobby influences US policy and discourse with its political spending. As the controversy’s latest installment plays out, federal campaign finance records show the pro-Israel lobby is doing just that. A Mondoweiss analysis of Federal Election Commission records and Facebook’s ad library found pro-Israel PACs have spend around $2 million in an effort to oust Omar.

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.

A new poll has Jamaal Bowman up by 10 points over incumbent, and Israel lobby favorite, Eliot Engel. “Though the Democratic old guard has frequently been criticized as out of touch with the party base, name recognition and the right donors have held most would-be challengers at bay. If this poll is accurate, that time is rapidly ending,” tweeted American Prospect executive editor David Dayen.