Earlier this week nearly two dozen congressional Democrats joined Republicans to censure Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib over her comments on the Israel-Hamas war.
In total, 22 Democrats and nearly all Republicans voted in favor of censuring Tlaib. Five of these Dems are from Florida: Darren Soto, Jared Moskowitz, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Frederica Wilson and Lois Frankel.
Coincidentally, according to campaign finance records, all five of these Florida Democrats have received significant donations from the pro-Israel lobbying group American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
Between 2022 and 2023, AIPAC donated at least $17,716 to Rep. Darren Soto, $69,450 to Rep. Jared Moskowitz, $100,110 to Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, $11,630 to Rep. Frederica Wilson and $100,440 to Rep. Lois Frankel.
Collectively, the donations come to $299,346.
“AIPAC is one of the most fearsome entities in American politics,” wrote Alexander Sammon for Slate. “A multimillion-dollar influence machine at the heart of Washington politics, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee is a lobbying firm that can single-handedly make or break political careers and turn elections.
While AIPAC claims to be a bipartisan group, records show that its money usually flows to far-right candidates, and to pretty much anyone running against a critic of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.
“AIPAC at least pretended to be bipartisan when I first got [to Congress]. Now they’re basically a wholly-owned subsidiary of the GOP,” said Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan to the publication. “It’s time to call them out for what they are — a front group for conservative policy here in the U.S. — instead of being afraid of them.”
The vote to censure Tlaib, the only Palestinian-American in Congress, came after she referred to Israel as an “apartheid” state, and accused President Joe Biden of supporting the “genocide” of Palestinians.