A New Super PAC Seeks to Unite Black and Jewish Democrats against Anti-Israel Progressives

The Urban Empowerment Action political action committee (PAC) was recently created by Black and Jewish leaders with the express purpose of supporting Black communities, but also appears to be focused on helping pro-Israel Democrats running for office. Dan Schnur writes:

The new super PAC has made it clear that [it is] committed to defeating the congressional incumbent Rashida Tlaib in her primary campaign for re-election this summer, and [has] promised to raise $1 million on behalf of her fellow Democrat Janice Winfrey, the Detroit city clerk who has filed to run against Tlaib. In stark contrast to Tlaib, a charter member of the so-called “Squad” and anti-Israel firebrand, Winfrey has outlined a strong Zionist agenda that is attracting broad Jewish support.

The campaign against Tlaib isn’t solely about Israel. The longtime Democratic civil-rights and political activist Bakari Sellers, who is advising the PAC, points to Tlaib’s vote against President Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure bill last year and other criticism of Biden since taking office. Sellers also noted that the retirement of Representative Brenda Lawrence, Michigan’s only Black congresswoman, would leave the state without an African American representative in Congress. But Sellers has long been active on behalf of pro-Israel causes and has stated that Winfrey’s support for Israel was a key reason for the group’s backing.

Tlaib’s strident anti-Israel language has made her the country’s harshest critic in Congress. She is the only member of Congress who has stated that Israel should not exist as a Jewish state, and recently introduced a resolution in the House to recognize formally the nakba, the term that many Palestinians use to describe the establishment of Israel in 1948. Even while the Squad continues to [expand] its membership, defeating Tlaib would send a strong signal of the political ramifications of such ardent anti-Zionism.

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Read more at Jewish Journal

More about: Black-Jewish relations, Democrats, Rashida Tlaib, U.S. Politics, US-Israel relations

Europe-Israel Relations Have Been Transformed

On Monday, Israel and the EU held their first “association council” meeting since 2012, resuming what was once an annual event, equivalent to the meetings Brussels conducts with many other countries. Although the summit didn’t produce any major agreements or diplomatic breakthroughs, writes Shany Mor, it is a sign of a dramatic change that has occurred over the past decade. The very fact that the discussion focused on energy, counterterrorism, military technology, and the situation in Ukraine—rather than on the Israel-Palestinian conflict—is evidence of this change:

Israel is no longer the isolated and boycotted outpost in the Middle East that it was for most of its history. It has peace treaties with six Arab states now, four of which were signed since the last association council meeting. There are direct flights from Tel Aviv to major cities in the region and a burgeoning trade between Israel and Gulf monarchies, including those without official relations.

It is a player in the regional alliance systems of both the Gulf and the eastern Mediterranean, just as it has also become a net energy exporter due to the discovery of large gas deposits of its shoreline. None of this was the case at the last council meeting in 2012. [Moreover], Israel has cultivated deep ties with a number of new member states in the EU from Central and Eastern Europe, whose presence in Brussels bridges cultural ideological gaps that were once much wider.

Beyond the diplomatic shifts, however, is an even larger change that has happened in European-Israeli relations. The tiny Israel defined by its conflict with the Arabs that Europeans once knew is no more. When the first Cooperation Agreement [between Israel and the EU’s precursor] was signed in 1975, Israel, with its three million people, was smaller than all the European member states save Luxembourg. Sometime in the next two years, the Israeli population will cross the 10 million mark, making it significantly larger than Ireland, Denmark, Finland, and Austria (among others), and roughly equal in population to Greece, Portugal, and Sweden.

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Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Abraham Accords, Europe and Israel, European Union, Israeli gas