The Weaponization of Israel/Palestine in US Elections Campaigns


The Weaponization of Israel/Palestine in US Elections Campaigns

Thursday, May 12th

Listen to this webinar as a podcast


Rania Batrice (Organizer, communications and legislative strategist, mediator, and advisor to elected officials, candidates, and non-profits both domestic and around the globe) &

Peter Beinart (Newmark J-School and CUNY Graduate Center; editor-at-large for Jewish Currents, MSNBC political commentator, and fellow at the Foundation for Middle East Peace)

in conversation with

Lara Friedman (President, the Foundation for Middle East Peace)

Israel/Palestine has long played an outsized role in US politics and elections. Candidates’ views on issues like aid to Israel, the status of Jerusalem, settlements and the two-state solution, and sympathy for Palestinians and Palestinian rights are actively elicited, to be used as levers to mobilize financial and political support for chosen incumbents and challengers, or as cudgels to to attack their opponents. On the Hill, members who express even mild support for Palestinian rights, or criticism of Israeli policies, or reservations about additional aid for Israel, open themselves up to being attacked as anti-Israel or antisemitic. 

In the run-up to the 2022 mid-term elections, Israel/Palestine has come up over and over, including with the decision by AIPAC’s new political action committee to endorse a long list of Republicans who sought to overturn the last presidential election; the huge investment by pro-Israel organizations and funders in targeted races, including in Michigan and Ohio; and the controversial recent decision by a Jewish Democratic pro-Israel organization to endorse a (non-Jewish) candidate in a primary battle against a (Jewish) incumbent previously endorsed by that same organization, apparently as retribution for the incumbent’s slightly more progressive views on Israel/Palestine.

What is going on now and how is it different from the past? For a deep dive into how Israel/Palestine is manifesting as an issue in the 2022 political cycle and what that means for the future, please join FMEP for this timely event, featuring Peter Beinart and Rania Batrice, in conversation with Lara Friedman. 

Resources shared in the webinar: 

Follow our participants: 


On AIPAC’s new PAC: 

Current races & dynamics: 

On the Michigan race and attacks against Andy Levin: 

On Ohio: 

North Carolina: 

On the erosion of the meaning of antisemitism: 

Democratic Majority for Israel (DMFI): 

  • The quote from Rep. Jayapal: ““The other thing we’re really looking at is do we need to have some kind of a change in endorsement based on whether somebody accepts this kind of giant PAC money, whether it’s from the crypto billionaires or whether it’s from DMFI [Democratic Majority for Israel].”” from 
  • And Jonathan Greenblatt’s response: “
  • @RepJayapal needs to clarify her remarks here, because singling out pro-Israel groups would be deeply problematic.” →
  • The DMFI Tweet about Shireen Abu Akleh on the day she was killed: “It is worth noting that Al Jazeera is owned by the government of Qatar, which funds and supports Hamas.” →


Rania Batrice is founder and president of Batrice & Associates, a strategic policy and public relations firm specializing in making progressive vision a reality. As a daughter of Palestinian immigrants, Rania has blazed a life path as a voice for the voiceless, working on issues ranging from gun violence and climate change to immigration and foreign policy. She has worked as a Democratic operative for nearly twenty years, lending her expertise across political, non-profit, legislative strategy and crisis management. For Bernie Sanders’ 2016 run for president, Rania served as Iowa Communications Director, the National Director of Surrogates and then as Deputy Campaign Manager. She tweets @RaniaBatrice

​​Peter Beinart teaches national reporting and opinion writing at the Newmark J-School and political science at the CUNY Graduate Center. He is editor-at-large for Jewish Currents, a MSNBC political commentator, and a fellow at the Foundation for Middle East Peace. He is also a nonfiction author and former Rhodes Scholar. His first book, The Good Fight, was published by Harper Collins in 2006. His second book, The Icarus Syndrome, was published by HarperCollins in 2010. His third, The Crisis of Zionism, was published by Times Books in 2012. Twitter: @PeterBeinart.

Lara Friedman is the President of the Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP). With more than 25 years working in the Middle East foreign policy arena, Lara is a leading authority on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, with particular expertise on the Israeli-Arab conflict, Israeli settlements, Jerusalem, and the role of the U.S. Congress. In addition to her work at FMEP, Lara is a Contributing Writer at Jewish Currents and a non-resident fellow at the U.S./Middle East Project (USMEP). Prior to joining FMEP, Lara was the Director of Policy and Government Relations at Americans for Peace Now, and before that she was a U.S. Foreign Service Officer, serving in Jerusalem, Washington, Tunis and Beirut. Lara tweets @LaraFriedmanDC.