The Israel Lobby Is an Enemy of Democracy
AIPAC and its allies are blatantly distorting the electoral process in service of their extremist agenda.
On paper, former Rep. Donna Edwards’ campaign to win back her old seat in Maryland’s Fourth Congressional District was as establishment-friendly as they come. Edwards, who had previously planted herself on the party’s insurgent wing, was now running in the Democratic primary with the backing of everyone from Nancy Pelosi to Hillary Clinton. This institutional backing, combined with her name recognition and history of representing the seat, would seem to have given her the advantage in the race.
On Tuesday night, though, Edwards was defeated by her primary opponent, Glenn Ivey, and it wasn’t even close.
So what on earth happened here? In a word, AIPAC happened.
AIPAC—or the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the biggest and most powerful arm of the Israel lobby—is not satisfied with having the support of the vast majority of the political system. Now that a handful of pro-Palestinian voices on the Democratic left, like Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, are gaining more popular support, it has decided to act. Just to be sure that Israeli apartheid is never challenged, and no Palestinian is ever treated with even a modicum of respect or fairness by an American politician, AIPAC has begun actively intervening in elections across America so that it gets the representatives it wants in Congress. Edwards was just the latest in a long line of Democratic primaries where AIPAC—an extremist organization that has aligned itself with supporters of the January 6 attack—put its thumb on the scale this election cycle.
The United Democracy Project, a super PAC tied to AIPAC, has spent $21 million in the Democratic primaries—much of it coming straight from Republican donors. This has been enough to make it what the American Prospect calls “by far the most influential individual political group in Democratic electoral politics.”
Nearly $6 million of that money went to defeat Edwards, whom AIPAC portrayed as a threat to Israel. This is despite the fact that Edwards has made only the tiniest kinds of rebellions against pro-Israel policy.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Discourse Blog to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.