By Jackson Richman, Jewish News Syndicate
A new political action committee that seeks to strengthen the U.S.-Israel relationship and support candidates for and current members of Congress in both parties who advance the pro-Israel agenda was announced on Tuesday.
Pro-Israel America, founded by former AIPAC officials Jeff Mendelsohn and Jonathan Missner, has already endorsed 14 Democrats and 13 Republicans.
Whereas AIPAC seeks to strengthen the U.S.-Israel alliance through pushing for pro-Israel policy, without financially backing or endorsing candidates, the new group seeks to do the same but through the electoral sphere.
The slate includes Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.); Reps. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), Grace Meng (D-N.Y.), Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.), Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), Juan Vargas (D-Calif.), Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), Kay Granger (R-Texas), Will Hurd (R-Texas), Brian Mast (R-Fla.), Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and Joe Wilson (R-S.C.).
“There’s constant change in Congress,” Mendelsohn told JNS, emphasizing that “it’s important to engage members of Congress on the U.S.-Israel relationship.”
“We can’t take either the relationship or their support for granted,” he continued. “What we’re setting out to do is bring people from across the country from all different backgrounds, from across the political spectrum who [support] a strong U.S.-Israel relationship, want their members of Congress to support the strong U.S.-Israel relationship and provide them information about candidates that are supportive, [in addition to] the tools to allow them to support the candidates that they agree with.”