After AIPAC targeted a Jewish Democratic congressman, most Dem lawmakers won’t risk pressing Israel to stop its war.

by Amos Barshad, The Lever

As Israel’s war in the Gaza Strip rolls into its sixth week, the United States continues to offer its overwhelming support to its ally. When asked about the chance of a ceasefire last week, President Joe Biden shot back, “None. No possibility.”

According to the Gaza Health Ministry, over 11,000 Palestinians have been killed as a result of Israel’s assault. In 2023, Israel is scheduled to receive $3.8 billion in annual American military assistance as part of a decades long agreement — and may receive another $14 billion, after Biden’s emergency aid package passed the House of Representatives. A ceasefire resolution introduced by Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) has been cosponsored by just 17 other lawmakers. Meanwhile, the House has censured Palestinian-American Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) for her rhetoric in support of Palestine. Along with 212 Republicans, 22 Democrats voted to censure Tlaib.

aipac's president speaks at an event

What could explain this mostly unflinching and unexamined backing of Israel among Republicans and Democrats alike? In large part, this is a political moment created by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the pro-Israel lobbying group. In 2022, for the first time, AIPAC targeted Democrats in primaries — including a Jewish, self-proclaimed pro-Israel Democrat. Now, every Democrat likely knows that supporting anything short of the full AIPAC line — which currently equates to unwavering support of Israel’s siege — means that, in your next election, you may just be spent into the ground.

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