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AIPAC Lobby Tries to Politically Kneecap Summer Lee In Pittsburgh Congressional Race


The powerful pro-Israel lobbying group American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has someone in its sights– would-be Squad member progressive Democrat candidate Summer Lee, who is running for Congress in Pennsylvania.

Lee is pro-reparations.

Pennsylvania state Rep. Lee wants to represent Pennsylvania’s 12th congressional district, which is located in north-central and northeastern Pennsylvania, including the Northern Tier region, parts of the Susquehanna Valley, State College, and part of Happy Valley. Lee earned a law degree from Howard University and has represented the 34th District in the state House since 2019. She has been vocal in her support for reparations and economic justice.

The AIPAC is trying to politically kneecap Lee in the congressional race.

AIPAC has released its super PAC’s first attack ads of the 2022 general election going after Lee.

This is not the first time the group has gone after Lee. In May, the organization spent a whopping $3 million on an ad campaign to take her down but it failed. And Lee, a former labor organizer, won Pittsburgh’s Democratic congressional primary. 

Lee, 34, came out on top in the Pennsylvania 12th Congressional District Democratic primary on May 17, narrowly beating DNC establishment favorite Steve Irwin, a 62-year-old business and labor attorney, in a tight race.

Now the United Democracy Project, the political action committee for AIPAC, has started a new attack as the Nov. 8 midterm elections nears. Just recently, it spent just under $80,000 on new mail ads against Lee’s campaign, and more than $600,000 on new television ads, The Intercept reported.

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“AIPAC’s Super PACs spent millions of dollars in the Democratic primary attacking Summer Lee, falsely suggesting she wasn’t a real Democrat,” Alexandra Rojas, the executive director of Justice Democrats, which recruited Lee to run for Congress, said in a statement Monday. “Now, eight days before Election Day, they are spending thousands to elect an extremist anti-choice, insurrectionist-aligned Republican.” 

Many are trying to figure out AIPAC attacks against Lee, who has said she “absolutely” respects Israel’s legitimacy as a Jewish state. The problem for AIPAC is that Lee “couples her recognition of the need for Jewish people to have ‘a safe haven’ in Israel with the position that it’s vital to ‘to protect and stand up for Palestinians,’” The Nation reported.

“Why would an organization go around criticizing someone like Summer Lee for not being a strong enough Democrat when they themselves have endorsed extreme right-wing Republicans?” asked Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who campaigned for Lee during the primary fight and will campaign with her again before the election. “In my view, their goal is to create a two-party system, Democrats and Republicans, in which both parties are responsive to the needs of corporate America and the billionaire class.”

Photo: State Rep. Summer Lee, left, who is running for Congress in Pennsylvania, at a campaign stop in Pittsburgh, May 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Rebecca Droke) / Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) 2020 policy conference, March 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

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