Monday, 28 Nov 2022

Pittsburgh Jews decry pro-Israel groups support for Republican extremists

Pittsburgh Jews decry pro-Israel groups support for Republican extremists


Pittsburgh Jews decry pro-Israel groups support for Republican extremists

More than 240 Jewish American voters in Pittsburgh have signed a letter denouncing the US's largest pro-Israel group for backing extremist Republican election candidates while spending millions of dollars to oppose a Democrat who would be Pennsylvania's first Black female member of Congress.

The letter condemned the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac) for its attempts to defeat Summer Lee, a candidate for the district that includes Pittsburgh, after failing to block her during the Democratic primaries earlier this year because of her criticisms of Israel's oppression of the Palestinians.

The signatories said they were "outraged that at this critical moment in American history, Aipac has chosen to cast Democrats like Lee as extremists" while endorsing more than 100 Republican candidates who voted to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

The letter suggested that Aipac does not represent the views of the majority of American Jews and is working against their interests by also endorsing Republicans who promote white supremacy, a particularly sensitive issue in a city where 11 worshippers at the Tree of Life synagogues were murdered in an antisemitic attack four years ago.

"We also condemn Aipac endorsement of lawmakers who have promoted the antisemitic 'Great Replacement' conspiracy theory that helped inspire the murder of eleven members of the three synagogues housed at Tree of Life," the letter said.

"Clearly, their definition of 'extreme' is completely opposite to that held by the majority of American Jews - who worry about the stark rise in antisemitism and white nationalism in our state and in our country."

It is the first time Aipac has funded support for a Republican contender for Congress over a Democrat in a general election, marking a further shift away from its once more bipartisan approach.

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