Nation: Jewish PAC Looks to Have More Influence

Posted November 7, 2008 at 5:57pm

Among the interest groups taking a victory lap after last week’s elections was JStreetPAC, the new pro-Israel political action committee that promotes a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The PAC endorsed 24 incumbent Members of Congress, Democrats and Republicans alike, all of whom were re-elected. It endorsed Sen.-elect Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and six incoming Democratic House Members: Debbie Halvorson (Ill.), Dan Maffei (N.Y.), Eric Massa (N.Y.), Gary Peters (Mich.), Chellie Pingree (Maine) and Jared Polis (Colo.). Three other House candidates that the group endorsed were in races that were still too close to call as of press time Friday.

JStreetPAC distributed more than $560,000 to 38 Congressional candidates this cycle.

“The success of JStreetPAC’s fundraising and of its candidates sends a clear message to the American political system: American Jews and other friends of Israel will provide serious political and financial support to candidates who define themselves as ‘pro-Israel’ through their commitment to diplomacy and to security through peace,” said Jeremy Ben-Ami, the PAC’s executive director.