The lobbying group Pro-Israel America is calling on J Street PAC to drop its endorsement of Rep. Marie Newman (D-Ill.), who is currently under investigation for an alleged bribery scandal having to do with her anti-Israel positions.
“In light of the latest details in her alleged bribery scandal and her unabashedly anti-Israel positions, Pro-Israel America is calling on self-proclaimed ‘pro-Israel’ group J Street PAC to immediately renounce its endorsement of Representative Marie Newman,” Pro-Israel America executive director Jeff Mendelsohn said in a statement.
Newman is currently under investigation by the House Ethics Committee after a report published at the end of January by the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) concluded that there was “substantial reason to believe” she had violated federal law by promising employment to a political rival as a part of a quid pro quo.
According to a report in The Daily Beast, Newman made an agreement with her former rival, a Palestinian-American academic Iymen Chehade, to drop out of the race in exchange for a role as her foreign policy adviser, where she would adopt an anti-Israel policy.
“In her freshmen term, Newman has already proven to be one of the most anti-Israel members in Congress—and one of only nine 9 members to vote against Iron Dome funding [to Israel]. On top of unseemly bribery charges, the Congresswoman’s alleged promise to Iymen Chehade if he agreed not to run against her in the 2020 IL-03 Democratic primary included adopting anti-Israel policy positions like opposing defense funding for Israel and opposing legislation that targets the harmful boycott, divestment and sanctions movement,” said Mendelsohn.
Newman is still listed as an endorsed candidate on the J Street PAC’s website, which describes her as supporting “the aspirations of both the Israeli and Palestinian peoples to be free, self-empowered, prosperous, safe and secure that are mutually agreed upon by both parties.”
“J Street, an organization that describes itself as ‘pro-Israel,’ has not only failed to condemn Congresswoman Newman’s increasingly anti-Israel stances and actions, but even raised money for the congresswoman’s re-election bid in 2022 a mere week after her ‘no’ vote on Iron Dome funding,” said Mendelsohn. “If J Street wants to live up to any remaining shred of its ‘pro-Israel’ name, it must rescind its egregious endorsement of Representative Marie Newman without delay.”