AIPAC-backed candidate wins in closely watched US Democratic race | Elections News

Amid heavy pro-Israel spending, former congresswoman Donna Edwards loses bid to return to Congress in Maryland main.

US pro-Israel teams have claimed victory in one other win in Democratic congressional primaries, serving to defeat a veteran former lawmaker crucial of Israel, who was endorsed by Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Former prosecutor Glenn Ivey – backed by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which spent thousands and thousands of {dollars} to assist his marketing campaign – gained in opposition to ex-congresswoman Donna Edwards in Maryland on Tuesday.

The race mirrored different Democratic primaries on this election cycle, the place the AIPAC-aligned tremendous PAC, the United Democracy Mission (UDP), has been sponsoring advertisements attacking Israel’s critics on points unrelated to the Center East to prop up its favoured candidates.

However whereas in earlier contests UDP largely got here on the aspect of establishment-backed candidates against progressives, Edwards loved the help of many prime mainstream Democrats.

She was endorsed by former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in addition to key lawmakers, together with congressman Adam Schiff; Pelosi additionally defended the previous congresswoman in opposition to AIPAC’s assaults.

Edwards had represented the Home district neighbouring Washington, DC for practically a decade, earlier than launching an unsuccessful Senate bid in 2016. She hoped to return to Congress with incumbent congressman Anthony Brown working for Maryland lawyer normal.

The district is overwhelmingly Democratic, so Ivey is nearly definitely to be elected to Congress after the final elections in November.

UDP spent virtually $6m to assist defeat Edwards, in keeping with Open Secrets, a web site that tracks election spending. The Democratic Majority for Israel (DMFI), one other pro-Israel group, additionally spent $426,000 in help of Ivey.

Edwards loved some outdoors backing however nowhere close to the extent of sources UDP and its allies put into the race. One other PAC, aligned with J Road – a liberal Jewish group that opposes the occupation, spent $413,000 to again her.

It isn’t clear how such spending might have affected the end result of the race. The previous congresswoman had a large lead over Ivey in an early public opinion ballot in Might.

“Glenn Ivey was down 21 factors simply two months in the past. However with the help of our group and our new political technique, Ivey got here again to win this critically necessary election,” AIPAC mentioned in an e mail to supporters on Wednesday.

On Twitter, the group added Ivey’s identify to a listing of 9 Democratic candidates it has efficiently backed in primaries this 12 months.

“Being pro-Israel is each good coverage and good politics,” AIPAC mentioned in a publish. DMFI additionally celebrated Ivey’s victory with an analogous assertion.

AIPAC’s critics have known as on the Democratic management to denounce the pro-Israel spending within the celebration’s primaries, particularly for the reason that group receives funds from conservative donors and has endorsed dozens of Republicans aligned with former President Donald Trump.

Palestinian rights advocates informed Al Jazeera earlier this 12 months that whereas this sort of election spending by pro-Israel teams might yield quick victories, it won’t finish the controversy in regards to the concern, particularly with rising US public consciousness of Israeli abuses in opposition to Palestinians.

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and B’Tselem have accused Israel of apartheid. In the meantime, in the US, there have been growing calls for conditioning army support to Israel.

Beth Miller, political director at JVP Motion, a political advocacy group linked to Jewish Voice for Peace, mentioned the Democratic Celebration must “get smart quick” earlier than Tremendous PACs funded by Republican donors “convey down any likelihood of significant and progressive change”.

“AIPAC’s electoral playbook is evident. They discover races the place hawkish, pro-apartheid candidates want additional help, they usually flood these races with thousands and thousands of {dollars} to smear progressives on points unrelated to Israel or Palestinian rights,” Miller informed Al Jazeera on Wednesday.

“When their candidate rides that multimillion-dollar help to a victory, they flip round and declare it was all about Israel when it by no means was. It’s in regards to the function of right-wing Tremendous PAC funding undermining progressive candidates.”