HomeAmericasPoliticsPro-Israel Leaders May Oppose Susheela Jayapal’s Congressional Bid

Pro-Israel Leaders May Oppose Susheela Jayapal’s Congressional Bid

Pro-Israel Leaders May Oppose Susheela Jayapal’s Congressional Bid

WASHINGTON, DC (IANS) – Pro-Israel lobbyists in the US state of Oregon may oppose the candidacy of Indian American Susheela Jayapal from the state’s 3rd Congressional District, a media report said.

The elder sister of Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, Susheela announced last month that she was looking to succeed Representative Earl Blumenauer from the District, which includes parts of Portland, and is a Democratic stronghold.

According to a Jewish Insider report, the Congressional candidacy of the former Multnomah County commissioner is “alarming Portland Jewish leaders”.

A major source of contention stems from a Multnomah County board meeting days after the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel. During the meeting, Susheela Jayapal voted to reject a resolution seeking to show unified support for lighting a Portland bridge in blue and white — the colors of the Israeli flag.

“I don’t think I can acknowledge (the) loss of one group when there are Palestinian lives being lost as well,” Susheela said of the resolution.

In addition, she drew heightened scrutiny from Jewish and pro-Israel leaders after she chose not to include her name on a joint statement condemning Hamas and standing with Israel as well as Portland’s Jewish community.

“We were disappointed that she didn’t sign on… I can only surmise that she didn’t feel like it was balanced,” Bob Horenstein, the director of community relations at the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, had told Jewish Insider.

Sharon Meieran, the Jewish commissioner on Multnomah County’s board, alleged that Susheela Jayapal had also tried to remove a Holocaust reference from the draft statement.

Jayapal said in a statement to the Insider that it was “unequivocally false” that she had sought to excise the Holocaust reference. On the same day, she issued a statement saying: “My heart breaks for all those across Israel and Palestine who are living in a state of war and continued violence.”

Despite her opposition to the county board resolution, Susheela Jayapal told the Insider last week that she had been “clear and consistent” about her support for lighting the bridge.

Democratic Majority for Israel is “closely” following the Portland race but is still weighing where it will direct its resources, sources familiar with the matter told Insider. A spokesperson for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee told the news outlet that the group is “in the process of evaluating congressional races” but has “made no decisions at this time”.

With six months to go until the May primary, a pro-Israel leader in Portland who opposes Susheela Jayapal, said the race is almost certain to draw more candidates, setting up a potential clash between “an anti-Israel progressive and a pro-Israel progressive”.

Susheela Jayapal said in her campaign that her top issues include abortion rights, gun safety, and climate change. She said she is “committed to ensuring America lives up to its promise of opportunity for all, with no community left behind; and to the vision of a country that we can be proud to leave to our children and our grandchildren”.

Her sister Pramila — the most outspoken critic of Israel in the House — has endorsed her bid and called for grassroots donors to support her campaign.

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  • Thank God someone is opposing this candidate from Portland. WE have enough far left woke politicians in the congress that would to ruin of this country. We don’t need anymore of these. Look what Portland has become over the decades, once one of the most beautiful cities with a rose garden is in pitiful state with riots and clashes on a periodic basis.

    December 6, 2023
    • I am with you on this!

      December 6, 2023
  • I fail to see why House Representatives or candidates running for House Representatives have to make controversial statements that can get them in trouble. What is there to gain by making anti-Israel or pro-Israel or anti-Palestinians or pro-Palestinians statements? Instead of grandstanding, why don’t House Representatives keep their nose to the grindstone and do what they are supposed to do?

    A link, policycircle.org, provides guidelines on what a House of Representative is supposed to do, as follows.

    What does the House of Representatives do?
    Responsibilities of the House
    Per the Constitution, the House and Senate together make and pass federal laws, introduce bills and resolutions, offer amendments, and serve on committees that enable members to develop specialized knowledge on the matters under that committee’s jurisdiction. Though both make up Congress, there are a few distinctions between the two. In particular, the Constitution “provides that only the House of Representatives may originate revenue bills,” and by tradition it also originates appropriation bills.

    Additionally, while the Constitution does not specifically mention investigations and oversight, “the authority to conduct investigations is implied since Congress possesses ‘all legislative powers’.” The House initiates impeachment proceedings and passes articles of impeachment (the Senate sits as a court to try the impeachment).

    Finally, during a presidential election, the House of Representatives steps in if no candidate receives a majority of the total electoral votes. Each state delegation has one vote to choose the President from among the top three candidates with the largest number of electoral votes.

    December 7, 2023

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