Why We’re Re-Launching Pro-Israel America

January 9, 2024

Now is a critical time for leadership, and to me, that’s what Pro-Israel America is all about.

Antisemitism and unprecedented calls to deny Jewish people’s connection to their ancestral homeland cannot become normalized and accepted. Leaders at all levels must stand up to condemn terrorism and hatred, speak out in support of Israel and the Jewish people, and strengthen the alliance between the US and Israel, two great democracies.

Hamas’ brutal October 7 attack on Israel was a crime against humanity – from wholesale slaughter of over 1,200 innocent civilians to horrific acts of rape and sexual violence to the kidnapping of 250 men, women, and children, over half of whom are still being held hostage. The loss of innocent Palestinian lives throughout this conflict is a tragedy as well.  Hamas, a known terrorist organization, must be dismantled.  

And as the world processes these realities, we have seen some leaders take courageous stands while others have failed to respond. But when leaders fail to speak out, there are consequences.

Reports of antisemitic incidents are up 300-400%. Jewish students on college campuses have been harassed and are afraid to go to class or study in the school library. Jewish-owned businesses have been targeted and Jews across the country have been assaulted. Yet, presidents at leading universities could not say that calling for the genocide of Jews is unacceptable on campuses. Members of Congress have chanted “from the river to the sea” – calling for the eradication of Israel and the Jewish people who live there. This is horrifying.

There are many leaders who have risen to the occasion during this difficult time – demonstrating courage and a sense of obligation to help their community. Their voices are inspiring, and it’s critical that we elevate these leaders at this moment. On our website, you’ll find a “What We’re Watching” page, a growing collection of content from leaders who are working to dispel misinformation, call out antisemitism, and fight attempts to delegitimize the only Jewish state. We feature moments of leadership including Bill Maher laying out the facts about the history of Israel and Palestine, Ben Sasse showing campus leaders how to stand up to antisemitism when their campuses are faced with it, Jack Lew standing with families of those taken hostage by Hamas to light Hannukah candles, and Chelsea Handler and Noa Tishby working together to combat misinformation and explain how you can condemn Hamas but still believe in the rights of the Palestinian people.

We are also highlighting outspoken voices on our “Leaderboard” page, featuring quotes from dedicated leaders who are standing up for Israel and speaking out against antisemitism. These leaders are some of the most important voices in our society, and they’ve shown courage to stand up and speak out on behalf of Israel and the safety of the Jewish people during this critical time. Our leaders include prominent voices like President Joe Biden, Jerry Seinfeld, Gal Gadot, Governors Kathy Hochul and Glenn Youngkin, and U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism Deborah Lipstadt.

Pro-Israel America will also endorse candidates who demonstrate leadership by supporting Jewish self-determination, building a strong US-Israel alliance, and standing up to antisemitism. Our first endorsements are leaders who have shaped the US-Israel relationship for the better through both words and action: Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA-04), Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY-08), Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE-02), Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01), Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ-04), Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD-05), Rep. Young Kim (R-CA-40), Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL-21), Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX-10), Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY-05), Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL-25), and Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY-15).

We know that our leaders can make a huge difference in defining our relationship with Israel and standing up to the scourge of antisemitism, and we have both a privilege and a responsibility to make sure that they stand up and speak out.

In its first iteration, Pro-Israel America brought the power of grassroots citizens to politics to help strengthen the U.S.-Israel relationship across partisan divides. We succeeded in that mission – bringing new energy and leadership to the pro-Israel movement. Today, as we face a crisis of moral vision and clarity, we’re re-launching Pro-Israel America to hold our leaders accountable for their words and actions and ensure the bonds between the US and Israel remain strong.

– Samantha Garelick, Pro-Israel America Executive Director