AMERICAN AND ISRAELI flags fly during a demonstration in support of Israel at the US Capitol in 2002..
(photo credit: KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS)
A new Israel political advocacy organization called Pro-Israel America has been launched in the US to help voters identify pro-Israel Congressional candidates to vote for and donate to their political campaigns.
The organization formally launched on Tuesday and announced its endorsement of 27 candidates for races for 2020 Congressional races, including 13 Republicans and 14 Democrats who have been strong advocates for the US-Israel alliance.
Speaking to The Jerusalem Post, Executive Director of Pro-Israel America Jeff Mendelsohn said that there were “growing challenges” to the US-Israel relationship and that there is a need to get more pro-Israel members of the public involved in efforts to bolster it.
Concern has been voiced of late regarding support in the Democratic Party for Israel and a new poll by the Pew Research Center published last week found that support for Israel among Democrats is at a two-decade low.
Pro-Palestinian freshmen members of Congress, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, have shaken the Jewish establishment by strongly challenging US and Democratic support for Israel, although antisemitic statements made by the pair have generated considerable push-back.
Mendelsohn, who has previously worked as the national outreach director for AIPAC, remains positive, however, that support for Israel and America’s relationship with the Jewish state within the Democratic Party is still high.
“Democrats in Congress remain strong in their support for Israel, and while there are always people who disagree, there is still tremendous support for the relationship,” he said.
Mendelsohn argued that there is an untapped wellspring of support for Israel among the general US public, and that Pro-Israel America was coming to “galvanize” that support and provide a mechanism for such people to express that support.
The organization’s website will serve as a resource to help people identify which candidates in their districts are pro-Israel and which have been endorsed by the organization. It will also provide the means to donate to such candidates’ political campaigns directly or through the Pro-Israel America PAC itself.
“We see a need and an opportunity to get more people involved in the process on both sides of the aisle, and to create a one-stop shop to get them information about candidates and congressional races, and provide voters with online resource to show the opinions of the candidates,” said Mendelsohn.
The organization will not, however, be targeting candidates it believes are unsupportive of the US-Israel relationship. The organization was endorsed by former congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and former senator Joe Lieberman.
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