Pro-Israel AIPAC plans to drop huge sums to unseat the Squad in 2024

Washington DC - AIPAC, a pro-Israel political action committee, is reportedly prepared to spend enormous sums next year in an effort to unseat progressive members of Congress.

US Representatives Ayanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Rashida Tlaib attend a rabbis news conference on Capitol Hill calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.
US Representatives Ayanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Rashida Tlaib attend a rabbis news conference on Capitol Hill calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.  © MANDEL NGAN / AFP

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is ready to invest $100 million in the 2024 election cycle and is aiming to eject the Squad – a group of progressive lawmakers of color, most of whom are women – from Congress, according to Slate.

On the hit list are Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Cori Bush of Missouri, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Jamaal Bowman of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, and Summer Lee of Pennsylvania.

AIPAC-backed challengers have already come forward to take on Bush, Bowman, Lee, and Omar, while recruiting continues in the other districts.

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The reporting comes as the progressive representatives continue to take against Israel's ongoing siege of Gaza. Led by Bush, 18 members of Congress have signed onto a Ceasefire Now resolution, while Omar has introduced a resolution to block a US weapons sale to Israel.

The Squad members' position is by no means fringe. Polling from Data For Progress found that 66% of Americans – and 80% of Democrats – support a ceasefire to save Palestinian and Israeli lives.

Progressive candidates of color face AIPAC-backed challengers

Representative Cori Bush, primary sponsor of the Ceasefire Now resolution, speaks at the rabbis news conference on Capitol Hill.
Representative Cori Bush, primary sponsor of the Ceasefire Now resolution, speaks at the rabbis news conference on Capitol Hill.  © Anna Moneymaker / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

AIPAC and adjacent groups like the United Democracy Project and Democratic Majority for Israel have a track record of trying to undermine popular, progressive primary candidates of color, but their planned 2024 spending would reach new all-time highs. The groups regularly raise money from Republican megadonors.

"If what AIPAC was lobbying for was truly popular in our districts, they wouldn’t need to spend millions to smear us. We win because we fight for the people we represent, not Republican Super PACs," Omar posted on X.

All members of the Squad run grassroots campaigns and reject big-money spending as anti-democratic.

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Heading into 2024, AIPAC also has its sights set on progressive candidates challenging centrist incumbents. One of those is Pervez Agwan, who has been an outspoken advocate for Palestinian rights since launching his bid to unseat conservative Democrat Lizzie Fletcher in Texas' seventh congressional district in Houston.

"AIPAC has officially endorsed my opponent for re-election. I'm not afraid of their lies because we can’t afford to cower to special interests," Agwan wrote on X.

"I'm proud to be the only candidate in this race who isn't backed by lackeys for MAGA extremist insurrectionists."

Cover photo: MANDEL NGAN / AFP

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