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New PAC to push back on anti-Israel rhetoric in New York races

A group of activists and philanthropists are launching a new political action committee to push back against candidates and politicians they see as out of sync with the views of the mainstream Jewish and pro-Israel community.

The group, called the “Real Jewish Vote,” had been in the works in recent weeks, preparing to play a role in the upcoming NYC mayoral and municipal elections. But in wake of recent comments by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and other progressive politicians, the group decided to launch on Friday, ahead of when it had planned, to forcefully push back against increasingly strident criticism of Israel, sources familiar with the discussion told the Forward.

Moshe Friedman, the group’s co-founder, said they were motivated to act swiftly after witnessing violent clashes between pro-Palestinian protesters and Jews attending a rally in support of Israel in Time Square on Thursday and a spike in antisemitic incidents.

“The antisemitic attacks that we have seen in the last 24 hours are a direct result of the actions and statements of many of our elected officials and leaders,” Friedman said.

Real Jewish Voice ad

Image by Screenshot

In a video released on Friday, as part of its six-figure campaign, the group described elected officials speaking out against Israeli action in Gaza as “Hamas sympathizers.”

“In the next month, every elected official in New York City is up for reelection,” the ad’s narrator says in the video.“We must stop these terrorist sympathizers.”

The PAC — which will primarily focus on social media platforms — intends to get involved in city and state races with candidates which they deem openly anti-Israel and antisemitic. The group plans to announce its committee members within days.

“We have the largest Jewish community outside of Israel here in New York,” Friedman, who has not been active in politics before, said in an interview. “The only thing they understand is political activism. That’s why we are going to beat them at the ballot box.”

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