Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others on Friday blasted the most powerful U.S. pro-Israel lobby for endorsing dozens of congressional Republicans who attempted to subvert the results of the 2020 presidential election.
"AIPAC's support for these candidates endangers American democracy."
Among the 120 congressional candidates from both major political parties endorsed by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) are 37 Republicans who voted against certifying President Joe Biden's 2020 electoral victory following a deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol motivated by then-President Donald Trump's "Big Lie" that the election was stolen.
Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tweeted that AIPAC is supporting "Republicans who voted to overturn the U.S. election on [January] 6 because, according to their statement, it's more OK to dismantle U.S. democracy than it is to question if U.S. tax dollars should fund detention and abuse of Palestinian kids."
The congresswoman also took her AIPAC-backed Democratic colleagues to task for "welcoming this kind of support."
AIPAC said Friday that its friends in Congress include "those who disagree strongly on issues surrounding the 2020 presidential election" but who share the group's mission of supporting Israel.
"Our job is to make America's friendship with Israel so robust, so certain, so broadly based, and so dependable that even the deep divisions of American politics never imperil that relationship and the ability of the Jewish state to defend itself," the group tweeted.
Several U.S.-based Jewish organizations also weighed in on the issue.
The Jewish Vote, a project of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, tweeted that "no progressive member of the New York delegation should embrace AIPAC and share an endorsement slate with insurrectionists, lending them political legitimacy," while calling on Reps. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) and Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.) to disavow the lobby.
"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," Laura Birnbaum, national political director at the pro-Israel group J Street, said in a statement.
"We call on AIPAC to immediately end their support for these candidates—or explain what could possibly justify supporting those who effectively sided with the insurrectionists on January 6th," she added.
James J. Zogby, founder and president of the Arab American Institute, tweeted, "I can't believe that in their own words AIPAC is making the case that their loyalty to Israel trumps their loyalty to American democracy."