The powerful lobby and allied groups have poured money into defeating candidates who voice any criticism of Israel. Amid calls for a cease-fire in Israel’s war on Gaza, they’re back at it again.

by Naomi LaChance, In These Times

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 234188 to censure Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) — the only Palestinian member of Congress — on Nov. 7 for allegedly ​promoting false narratives” about Israel’s war with Hamas and assault on Gaza.

Of the 22 Democrats who joined nearly every Republican member in voting in favor of the resolution, at least 14 took campaign contributions from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (or AIPAC) in 2022. In total, these lawmakers received $900,000. Republicans have similarly raked in massive donations from AIPAC, which spends millions of dollars on lobbying and campaign contributions to push pro-Israel stances.

AIPAC convention with a speaker at the podium

The dramatic move to censure comes amid a broader effort targeting Tlaib over her expressions of humanity and compassion in support of Palestinian and Israeli civilians, including a television ad that went on air in Detroit earlier this month attacking the congresswoman over her voting record on Israel and Palestine.

And she refuses to answer even this horrific question” says an ominous voice while the ad displays an image of the congresswoman speaking into a megaphone. The ad then cuts to someone chasing Tlaib down a hallway with a recorder out: ​You can’t comment about Hamas terrorists chopping off babies’ heads?” the person asks. (The Israeli government has said it was unable to verify claims that Hamas decapitated babies in the deadly Oct. 7 attack.)

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