As controversy and mistaken impressions swirled recently about the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and the role it plays in American politics, a new group has been formed to support pro-Israel politicians.
Despite its name, AIPAC is not a political action committee, does not endorse or raise funds for candidates. The newly-established bipartisan Pro-Israel America “portal for political action” and Pro-Israel America PAC, on the other hand, does just that — and one of its first endorsements is from Alabama.
The PAC was established by Jonathan Missner and Jeff Mendelsohn, two former AIPAC staffers.
Mendelsohn was national outreach director for AIPAC, pioneering the group’s outreach to non-Jews. Missner, founder of AmericasDoctor.com, joined AIPAC to oversee the regional offices, then became managing director of national affairs.
“Pro-Israel America is focused on supporting the election of pro-Israel candidates,” they said. “We endorse specific candidates and have an easy-to-use online portal where our members can support pro-Israel candidates directly.”
“We can’t take support for the U.S.-Israel relationship in Congress for granted,” Mendelsohn said. “The best way to strengthen the U.S.-Israel relationship is to elect pro-Israel candidates to Congress, and that requires political action from the thousands of Americans who care deeply about this issue.”
“The U.S.-Israel alliance creates enormous benefits for both of our countries,” Missner added. “Pro-Israel America is launching to ensure our fellow Americans understand the importance of the U.S.-Israel relationship and have a one-stop-shop for action.”
In its first round of endorsements, 27 House and Senate members were named — 13 Republicans and 14 Democrats.
Among the endorsements is Sen. Doug Jones of Alabama, who pulled off what he called a “Chanukah miracle” in being elected as a Democrat in deep-red Alabama’s 2017 special election. His 2020 race is deemed “highly competitive,” and the PAC says Jones “is committed to advancing the U.S.-Israel relationship. He has voted to advance legislation that would impose sanctions on Syria, increase security cooperation with Israel and oppose the BDS movement.”
Additional endorsements are forthcoming, among current members of Congress, and for candidates who are challenging some of the more anti-Israel members.