Skip To Content
Fast Forward

Pro-Israel political action committee takes heat for anti-Bernie Sanders ads

(JTA) — A political action committee that is running ads against Bernie Sanders is taking heat from J Street and an online news website that backs Democratic Party progressives.

The Democratic Majority for Israel, a year-old group, ran a six-figure ad campaign in Iowa last month that questioned Sanders’ health and his ability to defeat President Donald Trump in November, The Associated Press reported. The ads are now running in Nevada ahead of its Feb. 22 caucuses.

J Street, the liberal Jewish Middle East policy group, called on the group to remove the anti-Sanders ads in Nevada.

“DMFI in reality represents a minority of pro-Israel Democrats who seem more concerned with targeting progressives over Israel policy than with confronting the destructive agenda of Donald Trump,” J Street president Jeremy Ben-Ami said in a statement.

The Democratic Majority for Israel was formed in January 2019 to counter a drift away from Israel by party progressives. Its founder is Mark Mellman, a longtime party strategist.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee has distanced itself from the group, according to AP, after The Intercept, a left-leaning website, reported that AIPAC was giving its donors benefits for contributing to the Democratic Majority.

AIPAC “is not and has not been involved in the ad campaigns of any political action committee,” the Israel lobby’s spokesman Marshall Wittmann told AP. “The accusation that AIPAC is providing benefits to members for donating to fund these political ads or this political action committee is completely false and has no basis in fact.”

Mellman defended his organization in a statement, calling it “independent of any other organization,” and saying it is “explicitly committed to advancing the interests of the Democratic party and to defeating Donald Trump.”

“We have been crystal clear that we also have problems with Senator Sanders’s views on Israel and his refusal to disassociate himself from antisemitic statements made by individuals he appointed to official positions in his campaign,” he said.

The post Pro-Israel political action committee takes for anti-Bernie Sanders ads appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.