Everybody has a PAC
Shuki Friedman’s concerns about AIPAC’s more direct involvement in electoral politics with its establishment of a PAC and super PAC require context (“AIPAC’s Gamble,” Opinion, Jan. 5).
Left-of-center groups such as Democratic Socialists of America, Justice Democrats, J Street and “the Squad” have already made Israel more of an issue in American politics. J Street has long had a PAC.
Pro-Israel incumbents targeted by one or more of these groups have lost to candidates far less supportive of Israel. For example, Democratic Rep. William Clay Jr. of Missouri lost a primary in 2020 to Cori Bush. She is a BDS supporter, smeared Israel as an apartheid state and was supported by Justice Democrats.
Currently, J Street is trying to defeat pro-Israel moderate Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar, of Texas, who is supported by Democratic Majority for Israel, the pro-Israel player in that contest.
Indeed, J Street issued a telling list of 10 of its “advocacy resolutions” for 2022. Was demilitarizing Gaza on its list? No. Maintaining Israel’s qualitative military edge? No. Strengthening the Abraham Accords? No. But on their list is: “Counter AIPAC’s Super PAC.”
This self-described “pro-Israel” group considers fighting AIPAC a higher priority than these pro-Israel goals.
Whatever the risks in AIPAC’s increased electoral involvement, they are outweighed by the greater risks to congressional support for Israel by failing to act. Truly pro-Israel Americans can no longer afford to support Israel with one hand tied behind their backs in the face of determined efforts in the electoral arena to undermine the U.S.-Israel relationship.
A little more like Purim
I was surprised to read the opinion headline “Jan. 6 must become an American Tishah B’Av” in your Jan. 13 edition. I think this is a poor analogy because: (1) The U.S. Capitol was not destroyed on Jan. 6, unlike the Temple in Jerusalem, and (2) hundreds of thousands of people were not driven out of the country on this day, unlike the Roman invasion of Jerusalem.
I think there are much better comparisons of Jan. 6 to the Jewish holidays of Chanukah and Purim. After all, in both of those holidays, the beginnings started out poorly, but ended up quite well.
BERNARD J. LIPSCHITZ