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Tlaib and 'Squad' rally $100 million defense against AIPAC backlash

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Monday, April 15, 2024   

In the midst of political tensions surrounding Israel's handling of the conflict with Hamas, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., has voiced her support for colleagues facing backlash for their stance.

The "Protect the Squad" campaign is hoping to raise $100 million in an effort to stand up to rival race runners supported and funded by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC.

Tlaib emphasized the need for American citizens to stand up and advocate for peaceful solutions amid escalating violence. Tlaib's statements come as part of a broader discussion about the influence of organizations such as AIPAC on progressive lawmakers critical of Israel's policies.

"Please join me in supporting my colleagues that are standing up," Tlaib urged. "They're getting attacked right now, calls into their offices. They need to hear from the American people who know this is the answer to try to get a peace-loving solution to the violence."

AIPAC and other GOP megadonors plan to spend $100 million on campaigns targeting established progressive leaders such as Bush, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., Rep. Summer Lee, D-Pa., and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. The "Squad" is rallying to counter by raising funds by April 30, strategically timed for primary races against their AIPAC-backed opponents. The committee was filed with the Federal Election Commission Thursday.

All five Squad Democrats have condemned Hamas' Oct. 7 attack. However, their criticism of U.S. military aid to Israel and of America's unwavering support of Israel's fight in Gaza are seen as inflammatory by Israel's supporters. Bush emphasized the need for equality in humanitarian values.

"You must allow yourself to be consistent in your love and your respect for humanity," Bush emphasized. "You must not let yourself turn a blind eye to the mass murder of Palestinians, even as we strongly condemn Hamas for its appalling attack against Israelis."

Bush faces a tough primary against Wesley Bell in Missouri's 1st District of St. Louis County, trailing by 22 points in a February poll by Remington Research Group. Bell is supported by The Democratic Majority for Israel PAC and narrowly leads in fundraising by more than $5,000.

Meanwhile, Tlaib and Omar are financially thriving. Tlaib, who is the sole Palestinian American in Congress, raised $3.7 million in last year's fourth quarter, according to FEC filings, a sum comparable to Senate candidates.


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