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.