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

Amid huge pro-Israel spending, former congressman Donna Edwards lost her case to return to Congress in the Maryland primary.

US pro-Israel groups claimed victory in yet another Democratic victory congressional primarieshelped defeat a veteran Israeli congressman who was endorsed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Former Prosecutor Glenn Ivey – assisted by the US Israel Public Affairs Commission (AIPAC), has spent millions to help his campaign – won over former congresswoman Donna Edwards in Maryland on Tuesday.

The race mirrors other Democratic primaries this election cycle, where the AIPAC-linked super PAC, the United Democratic Project (UDP), has funded ads that attack those who criticizes Israel on non-Middle Eastern affairs to support favored candidates.

But while in previous contests, UDP has mostly sided with candidates backed by the establishment against progressEdwards enjoys the support of many leading mainstream Democrats.

She is endorsed by former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as well as key lawmakers, including congressmen Adam Schiff; Pelosi also defended the former congresswoman against AIPAC attacks.

Edwards represented the neighboring House district of Washington, DC for nearly a decade, before launching an unsuccessful bid for the Senate in 2016. She hopes to return to Congress alongside the incumbent congressman. Anthony Brown to run for Maryland attorney general.

The area is overwhelmingly Democrat, so Ivey will almost certainly be elected to Congress after the November general election.

UDP spent nearly $6 million to help defeat Edwards, according to Open secret, a website that tracks election spending. The Democratic Majority for Israel (DMFI), another pro-Israel group, also spent $426,000 in support of Ivey.

Edwards enjoys some outside support but is nowhere near the level of resources that UDP and its allies put into the race. Another PAC, affiliated with J Street – a Jewish liberal protest group occupationspent $413,000 to support her.

It is unclear how such spending might affect the outcome of the race. The former congresswoman had a sizable lead over Ivey in an opinion poll earlier in May.

“Glenn Ivey dropped 21 points just two months ago. But with community support and our new political strategy, Ivey is back to win this all-important election,” AIPAC said in an email to supporters on Sunday. Wednesday.

On Twitter, the group added Ivey’s name to a list of nine Democratic candidates they have successfully backed in this year’s primaries.

“Pro-Israel is both good policy and good politics,” AIPAC said in a post. The DMFI also celebrated Ivey’s win with a similar statement.

Critics of AIPAC have called on Democratic leadership to denounce pro-Israel spending in the party’s primaries, especially since the group receives money from conservative donors and endorsed dozens of Republicans affiliated with the former President. Donald Trump.

Palestinian rights advocates told Al Jazeera earlier this year that while this type of election spending by pro-Israel groups could provide an immediate victory, it would not end the fight. debate on the issue, especially given the growing awareness among the American public of Israel’s abuses of Palestinians.

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and B’Tselem have accused Israel of having a racist regime. Meanwhile, in the United States, there were increasing calls to regulate military aid to Israel.

Beth Miller, political director at JVP Action, a political advocacy group affiliated with Jewish Voices of Peace, said Democrats need to be “quickly wise” before Super PACs run by financiers. Republican funding “reduces any chance of meaningful and progressive change.”

“AIPAC’s election book is very clear. They find races where hawkish, pro-racist candidates need extra support, and they spend millions on those races smearing progressives on political issues. the issue has nothing to do with Israeli or Palestinian interests,” Miller told Al Jazeera on Wednesday.

“When their candidate rode that multi-million dollar backing to victory, they turned around and declared that it was all about Israel when it never was. It’s about the role of right-wing Super PAC funding undermining progressive candidates. “

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