Pro-Israel lobby buys Alabama house seat say Muslims
A prominent national Islamic advocacy group is calling Rep. Earl Hilliard's (D-AL) loss Tuesday in a runoff primary in Alabama's 7th Congressional District a "defeat for democracy," an insult to African-Americans and a victory for pro-Israel extremists. (In the heavily Democratic district, the winner of the primary will almost certainly be elected to the House.)
Hilliard's opponent, Artur Davis, had been heavily backed by out-of-state supporters of Israel who opposed the five-term incumbent's criticism of American policies in the Middle East and his support for Palestinian rights. In fact, a CAIR analysis of a recent Davis donor list revealed that 81 percent of his campaign contributions came from outside Alabama, mostly from New York. The donations from the pro-Israel lobby began to flow after Davis traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with representatives of AIPAC, the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee.
The effort to impose a candidate on a majority African-American rural district in Alabama caused tension between pro-Israel activists and the Congressional Black Caucus. Many African-American leaders and elected officials saw the move as a return to the time when outsiders tried to pick leaders of their community. (Both Hilliard and Davis are African-American.)
"Rep. Hilliard's loss shows that the domestic lobby for a foreign government is willing to use its considerable financial resources to force hand-picked 'leaders' on the African-American community. This is a defeat for democracy and civil rights and a victory for those who would institute a pro-Israel litmus test for American political candidates," said CAIR Board Chairman Omar Ahmad. Ahmad added that our nation's voters deserve representatives who put America first, and are not compromised by allegiance to special interest groups.