AIPAC hails defeat of Democrats for not being pro-Israel enough | Maryland
Pro-Israel groups have announced the defeat of a leading Democratic candidate for Congress after she paid millions of dollars to block her election for failing to support Israeli government policies enough.
Donna Edwards, who for months was the favorite to win the primary for a safe seat in Maryland, lost to Glenn Ivey on Tuesday after the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac) and allied groups got into the fight. race.
AIPAC proclaimed Ivey’s victory, 51% to 35%, as proof that “being pro-Israel is both good politics and good politics.”
Edwards’ defeat will be seen as a warning by other Democratic candidates not to criticize Israeli policies, or risk a well-funded campaign against them.
AIPAC and its allies have spent nearly $7 million through political action committees to block Edwards, who for eight years served as the first black woman elected to Congress in Maryland before losing a Senate bid in 2016.
Edwards was endorsed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other leading Democrats.
But she angered some pro-Israel groups during her previous stint in Congress by not supporting Israeli attacks on Gaza and for her support for the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran as it was strongly opposed by the Israeli government.
Following Ivey’s victory, AIPAC said it helped nine “pro-Israel Democrats defeat their anti-Israel opponents in 2022!” “.
Another group, Pro-Israel America, also announced Edwards’ defeat.
He said, “Ivey’s victory demonstrates once again that strong pro-Israel stances are both good policy and good politics, as his commitment to advancing U.S.-Israel relations stands in stark contrast to the positions of the candidate he defeated.
However, the campaign against Edwards rarely focused on his positions on Israel, and much of the spending that went to saturate the airwaves with hostile ads questioning his work ethic came from Republican billionaires.
AIPAC’s political action committee, the United Democracy Project, has received substantial donations from Trump campaign backers Paul Singer and Bernie Marcus, as well as Israeli-American Democratic billionaire Haim Saban.
A more liberal pro-Israel group, J Street, which supported Edwards, said it was “extremely alarmed” by the role AIPAC money played in deciding the Democratic races.
“They targeted [Edwards] for defeat simply for supporting mainstream, principled Democratic views on American diplomatic leadership in the Middle East, while their spokespersons baselessly vilified it as “anti-Israel.” It’s a deeply damaging trend that we’ve seen time and time again in this cycle.
J Street warned that AIPAC and its Republican backers are trying to steer Democrats ‘in a more right-wing direction on Israel and foreign policy’ by bullying candidates into ‘feeling they can’t criticize. in good faith Israeli policy, that they cannot verbally support Palestinian rights policy”.