WASHINGTON (JTA) — The leading pro-Israel lobby in the United States is telling lawmakers that they are free to criticize Israel’s looming annexation plans — just as long as the criticism stops there. Two sources — a congressional aide and a donor — say the American Israel Public Affairs… Read more »
Congressional letters urge Pompeo to protect Israel from International Criminal Court
WASHINGTON (JTA) — Letters signed by senators and U.S. House of Representatives from both parties urge Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to protect Israelis from International Criminal Court prosecution. The letters, which have strong backing from the prominent Israel lobby AIPAC, note the recent ICC decision to accept “Palestine”… Read more »
AIPAC alerts participants that some were in contact with coronavirus patient
WASHINGTON (JTA) — The American Israel Public Affairs Committee alerted the thousands of activists who attended its conference this week that a New York group in attendance had been in contact with someone who has the virus. “To our knowledge, no one who attended the conference has tested positive… Read more »
Hoffman to lead Federation, Foundation when Mellan retires
Stuart Mellan, who has been president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona since December 1995, will retire at the end of May. At that time, Graham Hoffman, who joined the Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona in September 2018 as president and CEO, will take on… Read more »
AIPAC and other Jewish groups join prominent lawmakers in criticizing Israel’s decision to ban Tlaib and Omar
This is a developing story. (JTA) — Israel’s decision on Thursday to ban Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from entering the country has quickly prompted a wave of impassioned responses from across the Jewish community. Pro-Israel groups, including AIPAC, and prominent Democratic lawmakers are already objecting to the… Read more »
Former AIPAC officials launch bipartisan political action committee
WASHINGTON (JTA) — Two former top AIPAC staffers are helming a new political action committee that will steer donations to candidates in both parties who adopt a centrist pro-Israel position at a time when that gold standard for pro-Israel giving is being challenged by the right and the left.… Read more »
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says AIPAC is coming after her. It’s not.
WASHINGTON (JTA) — “It’s official,” says the fundraising appeal from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., the freshman lawmaker who has become the flagbearer for the Democratic Party’s restive progressive wing. “AIPAC is coming after Alexandria, Ilhan, and Rashida.” Not only is it not official, it’s not true. The release starts… Read more »
Trump calls on Ilhan Omar to resign from Congress for ‘anti-Semitism’
WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Donald Trump called on Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., to resign from Congress for what he said was her anti-Semitism. “It’s terrible what she said and I think she should either resign from Congress, or she should certainly resign from the House Foreign Affairs Committee,” Trump… Read more »
Ilhan Omar said AIPAC pays lawmakers to be pro-Israel. Here’s how the lobbying group really operates.
WASHINGTON (JTA) — U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar started a firestorm by saying on Twitter that AIPAC pays lawmakers to support Israel. Both Democrats and Republicans have offered sharp rebukes, accusing the Minnesota Democrat of insinuating that Jews use money to get what they want. (On Monday afternoon, she said… Read more »
Ilhan Omar apologizes for tweets saying AIPAC buys politicians’ backing for Israel
WASHINGTON (JTA) — Rep. Ilhan Omar apologized for saying that AIPAC buys politicians’ support of Israel after the Democratic leadership called for an apology. “Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes,” the freshman… Read more »
Freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar says AIPAC pays politicians to be pro-Israel
WASHINGTON (JTA) — Days after a series of apologies for an old tweet seen as echoing anti-Semitic themes, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., said the American Israel Public Affairs Committee paid politicians to be pro-Israel, a falsehood that drew immediate rebukes. On Sunday Omar responded on Twitter to a threat two… Read more »
5 Jewish things to know about Kamala Harris
WASHINGTON (JTA) — Kamala Harris, the junior senator from California, is reportedly set to announce her bid for the Democratic presidential nod. Harris, 54, is a progressive on most issues who draws some ire from the left for her tough-on-crime posture when she was California’s attorney general. She pleased… Read more »
Most U.S. Jews oppose Trump. He was cheered at AIPAC. Awkward?
WASHINGTON (JTA) — A poll last year by the American Jewish Committee showed that 77 percent of American Jews disapproved of President Donald Trump’s job performance. American Jews had voted 70 percent to 25 percent in favor of Hillary Clinton over Trump. With the exception of the Orthodox, majorities of all… Read more »
He’s the Jew who inspired the PLO declaration of independence. Now he wants to take down AIPAC.
WASHINGTON (JTA) — Thirty years ago, Jerome Segal made headlines in Israel and the United States with an odd pedigree: He was the committed Jew who wrote the Palestinian declaration of independence. That was never quite accurate — the University of Maryland professor of philosophy wrote an op-ed for… Read more »
In Israel, Netanyahu is embattled. At AIPAC, he was at home.
WASHINGTON (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is mired in several corruption scandals back home, and his political future seems increasingly under threat. But you wouldn’t know it from his speech Tuesday at the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee: He looked energized and… Read more »
In outreach to progressives, AIPAC airs a hearty endorsement of the two-state solution
WASHINGTON (JTA) — The American Israel Public Affairs Committee opened its arms to progressives this week, launching its annual policy conference with direct appeals to pro-Israel liberals who have lately considered the lobby an unwelcoming extension of Israel’s solidly right-wing government. In addition to major speeches and smaller… Read more »
What is AIPAC’s role in the age of Trump?
WASHINGTON (JTA) — When candidate Donald Trump spoke at AIPAC’s Policy Conference in 2016 and said Barack Obama may be the worst thing that ever happened to Israel, many cheered, many choked and the organization apologized. The fallout from that event will haunt the proceedings when 18,000 activists, including… Read more »
How Jewish groups are reacting to Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital
(JTA) — Jewish groups expressed both disappointment and pleasure at the expected announcement by President Donald Trump that the United States will recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The Reform Jewish movement, the largest in the United States, called Wednesday’s announcement “ill-timed but expected.” The announcement, said Union for Reform… Read more »
Trump wants to sell lots of weapons to Saudi Arabia. Why are Israel (and its friends) keeping quiet?
WASHINGTON (JTA) – The year was 1981 and the director of AIPAC was calling for a “showdown” with the Reagan administration, saying “This country is being held hostage to the whims of the Saudis.” At issue was the sale to Saudi Arabia of AWACS, aircraft with radar-enabled surveillance capabilities that… Read more »
In the age of Trump, a quandary for Jewish leaders: Access or resistance
WASHINGTON (JTA) – The Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the umbrella body for the community’s policy groups, and J Street, the liberal Middle East peace lobby, held conferences this weekend about seven blocks apart. Downtown D.C. is pleasantly people-free on weekends, and the weather, weirdly unseasonable, was mild, so… Read more »