Let me begin with the obligatory statements. What happened on October 7, 2023, was horrible. Hamas launched an attack on Israel that some describe as “unprovoked.” But at an AIPAC (American Israel Political Action Committee) conference during the 2020 Presidential campaign, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bragged about annexing Palestinian land. While decrying the loss of life from October 7, one might also look at the provocation that prompted extreme action by Hamas.

There is another obligatory statement. Israel has a right to exist. But under what terms and on what land? When the Prime Minister encourages Jewish settlers to occupy Palestinian land, that’s an act of aggression. No wonder there are so many angry Palestinians, victims of Israel, who demand self-determination but deny self-determination to others. And if anyone dares question these tactics, they become a target for AIPAC. This rabidly pro-Israel organization refuses to recognize that Palestinians are human beings who also have rights. The organization has gone after those calling for a cease-fire and peace in the Middle East. They are raising $100 million to defeat progressive members of Congress who do not toe the narrow Israel line. And they are indifferent to the fact that as many as 13,000 children have been murdered by Israel’s aggression.

AIPAC and its co-conspirators spent nearly $7 million to defeat progressive Donna Edwards because she was not sufficiently pro-Israel. Instead, in a safe Democratic district, AIPAC supported the more moderate Glen Ivey, who was the State Attorney for Prince George’s County. Except for his blind support of Israel, Ivey and Edwards are politically similar, though Edwards’ positions are often to the left of Ivey’s. AIPAC’s political interference meant that Maryland’s Congressional delegation is now entirely male.

AIPAC is up to its old tricks in this election cycle. They’ve targeted New York Congressman Jamal Bowman, Pennsylvania Congresswoman Summer Lee, and Missouri Congresswoman Cori Bush because they aren’t pro-Israel enough for them. These are all African American members of Congress who have the best interest of the Black community at heart. AIPAC has placed itself in direct opposition to the African American community, but why should it care about the African American community?

Lee, Bowman, and Bush aren’t the only targets of AIPAC’s ire. They’ve gone after “The Squad,” especially Congresswomen Ilhan Omar (Minnesota) and Rashida Talib (Michigan). And they attempt to define anti-Semitism broadly so that even the slightest criticism of Israel is considered objectionable. But members of Congress abdicate their responsibility to raise budget issues if they don’t question why. Even before the April 20 Congressional action sending more weapons to Israel, our country allocated $3.3 billion to Israel’s so-called “self-defense.”

I object to my tax dollars being used to murder Gazan children. Those members of Congress who are raising questions are doing the right thing. Those calling for a cease-fire are responding to a moral imperative about the value of human life. Israel is using food as a weapon, blocking supplies to Palestine and killing innocent relief workers and people who are simply trying to provide food for the hungry in Palestine.

Senator Bernie Sanders, Jewish himself, described AIPAC as a “platform for those who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights.” He has described Netanyahu as a “reactionary racist.” Many in Israel oppose Netanyahu’s strong-arm tactics and would love to topple his government. He has cynically used the war with Hamas to maintain his political position. And Gazan children are dying. While many embrace the notion of an eye for an eye, Netanyahu wants twenty Palestinian eyes for every lost Israeli eye. He has vowed to eliminate Hamas. In practice, he is attempting to eliminate Palestine with his aggressive policies toward settlements and his ruthless land grabbing.

Negotiations about a cease-fire and hostage exchange continue, but children are dying, and AIPAC is blatantly indifferent. Conscientious members of Congress – Bowman, Lee, Bush, Talib, Omar, and others- are targeted because they dare ask questions. AIPAC’s bullying may help, not hurt, these progressive legislators as their supporters are rallying around them. Summer Lee raised more than a million dollars in response to AIPAC’s attacks, and they’ve decided to stop targeting her. Voters are concerned about the carnage in Gaza, some so concerned that they may withhold support from President Biden, potentially causing him the 2024 election.

I consider AIPAC and its affiliated groups enemies of humanity and decency. Their take-no-prisoners support for Israel ignores the humanity of the Palestinian people. Their fatwa against those who criticize Israel amounts to censorship. As the conflict continues to rage and more children die, Israel has much to be ashamed of. They are aided and abetted by the powerful AIPAC lobby that believes that Israel can do no wrong.

BC Editorial Board Member Dr. Julianne

Malveaux, PhD (JulianneMalveaux.com)

is former dean of the College of Ethnic

Studies at Cal State, the Honorary Co-

Chair of the Social Action Commission of

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated

and serves on the boards of the

Economic Policy Institute as well as The

Recreation Wish List Committee of

Washington, DC.

Her latest book is Are We Better Off?

Race, Obama and Public Policy. A native

San Franciscan, she is the President and

owner of Economic Education a 501 c-3

non-profit headquartered in Washington,

D.C. During her time as the 15th

President of Bennett College for Women,

Dr. Malveaux was the architect of

exciting and innovative transformation at

America’s oldest historically black college

for women. Contact Dr. Malveaux and