News Release

“AIPAC Has Taken Over the Democratic Primary Process”


NASA Future Forum (201108110005HQ) | U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards… | Flickr

The Washington Post and the Intercept report on how AIPAC spinoffs such as a group calling itself the “United Democracy Project” spent over $7 million flooding airwaves to defeat Donna Edwards’ congressional bid on Tuesday. Edwards went to Gaza in 2009, a rarity for members of Congress who often visit Israel.

The American Prospect recently reported in “AIPAC Has Taken Over the Democratic Primary Process” that: “AIPAC’s role in Democratic elections has changed drastically in just a handful of months. For many years, the group claimed to be a bipartisan entity, and didn’t officially endorse candidates. Until this election cycle, the group didn’t even have a super PAC; now, it’s on pace to spend nearly $20 million in the 2022 Democratic primary cycle alone, making it by far the most influential individual political group in Democratic electoral politics.”

AIPAC is now targeting Rep. Andy Levin whose primary is on Aug. 2. See from the American Prospect: “Will AIPAC Crush One of Congress’s Most Prominent Jewish Democrats?” — which notes: “Former union organizer and synagogue president Andy Levin is being challenged by AIPAC and other pro-Israel groups, largely over his progressive views.” Also see the piece “‘Anti-Israel’ and ‘Pro-Israel’ in Michigan Election” in Tikkun magazine on Levin.

The Prospect also notes a series of other races where rightwing AIPAC money was crucial this year: “The $2 million-plus that UDP poured into North Carolina’s First District resulted in an easy victory for anti-choice candidate Don Davis; $2.1 million pushed conservative Valerie Foushee over the finish line in NC-04; $2 million almost certainly made the difference in Texas’s 28th, where conservative Henry Cuellar squeaked past Jessica Cisneros by fewer than 300 votes; $2.7 million on behalf of Steve Irwin nearly closed a 25-point polling gap in Pennsylvania’s 12th District, as he lost by the narrowest of margins to progressive Summer Lee.”

The piece notes that the Democratic Party establishment has remained silent on AIPAC’s targeting: “If Pelosi doesn’t speak up soon, she might be targeted herself.”

Also see “Strong support for Israel is no longer ‘good politics’ in Michigan — Arraf poll shows” about the candidacy of activist Huweida Arraf and “Israel lobby flexes its millions to defeat Nina Turner again in Cleveland” in Mondoweiss.

But the flood of ads attacking Edwards don’t actually mention Israel, rather they claim that she had poor constituent services, a charge that The Intercept reports has been “rebuked” by elected officials, labor leaders and constituents supporting Edwards.