Pro-Israeli MPs: Top Deputies Candidates to Lead the US House Democrats

Murad Jandali | a year ago




With House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 80, and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, 83, stepping down from their leadership positions, and House Whip Jim Clyburn, 82, wanting to do the same, all eyes are on the new guards that will succeed them, many of whom appear to be allies of “Israel,” according to a report by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

It is almost certain that they will be succeeded in their senior positions by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, Rep. Katherine Clark, and Rep. Pete Aguilar; these representatives have long been a favorite of pro-Israeli entities in the United States.

The newspaper also says that they will certainly try to keep the Democratic Assembly’s relationship with “Israel” away from the headlines, especially in light of the increase in the number of progressives who are preparing to take office and the imminent takeover of the extreme right in the Israeli government.

According to press reports, there is an agreement in the clearly pro-Israeli wing of the Democratic Party to elect the three figures because of their complete harmony with the consolidation of relations between the United States and “Israel.”


New Generation

On November 17, 2022, the Democratic Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, announced her intention to give up the leadership of the Democrats in the next House emerging from the last elections, according to the Washington Post.

Today, Pelosi is leaving the leadership of the Democrats at a time when the Republicans have taken control of the US House, leaving the position of Democratic minority leader vacant for the young faces who had urged her since 2016 to step down.

“For me, the time has come for a new generation to lead the democratic community that I so greatly hold dear, and I will not run for the Democratic administration in the next Congress,” said Pelosi, who was first elected speaker of the House in 2007 and was the first woman to hold the position.

But the task of vacating her position will not be easy, as Pelosi, who won her seat in Congress in 1987, was known for her superior skill in collecting and counting votes, and it is rare for her to put forward a bill in the House before making sure that it will obtain the votes required for its approval.

Pelosi’s decision destabilized the structure of the Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives, as immediately after her announcement of stepping down, her deputy, the current Democratic Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, confirmed that he would not seek to renew his term in the leadership position.

“Do you remember when Nancy said there was a right time and season for decisions like this? I think now is the right time and the right season, and we have excellent options to hand over our positions,” Hoyer said.

“Pelosi left an indelible mark on Congress and the country, and I look forward to her continued service and doing all I can to help our new generation of Democratic leaders,” Clyburn said.

Thus, senior Democrats are giving way to the younger faces of the party’s leadership, which has recently faced severe criticism due to the insistence of its older leaders to retain their seats, led by US President Joe Biden, who recently celebrated his eightieth birthday.

It is noteworthy that the names of Representatives Hakeem Jeffries, Katherine Clark, and Pete Aguilar appeared as the expected leaders for the next stage, especially since they officially announced their candidacy to occupy the three leadership roles of the Democrats in the House of Representatives.

What is also interesting is the relatively young age of the three candidates, as all three of them are under 60 years old, while the current leaders of the Democrats are all over 80 years old.

If the three candidates are elected on November 30, 2022, Jeffries will become the first African American to lead any party in either House of Representatives, Clark will become the second woman to hold the position of minority discipline officer, and Aguilar will become the second Hispanic deputy to head the Democratic Caucus.


Hakeem Jeffries

Hakeem Jeffries, 52, the head of the House Democratic Caucus, is the leading candidate to succeed Pelosi as the Democrats’ leader.

He was elected to Congress in New York in 2012 after defeating his main opponent, Charles Barron, a former member of the Black Panther Party who considers “Israel” the world’s largest terrorist organization.

Jeffries has become a staunch supporter of “Israel” since taking office, denouncing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement as harmful and rejecting calls to condition US military aid to “Israel.”

Jeffries has been visiting “Israel” frequently since he assumed the position within the delegations associated with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the last of which was last February. He was also among the delegation of lawmakers who visited “Israel” with Nancy Pelosi in 2018.

During his most recent visit to Tel Aviv, he also strongly rejected the Amnesty International report accusing “Israel” of apartheid.

Jeffries was one of the Democratic keynote speakers at the 2020 AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington after several presidential candidates chose not to attend for ideological reasons.

Jeffries is notorious for not seeing things with left-wing Democrats, and he is famous for his support of Eliot Engel, a staunch supporter of “Israel,” in his failed attempt to outsmart his progressive rival Jamaal Bowman, a young man seeking to overhaul the Israeli-Palestinian debate in Congress, in the 2020 primaries.

In the aftermath of Bowman’s victory, Jeffries said he wished Bowman would adopt a more pro-Israeli position.

There is no doubt that his embrace of centrist Democrats was further demonstrated by his support for Ohio Rep. Shontel Brown against progressive candidate Nina Turner, highlighting Shontel’s support for the Jews at the time.

Jeffries culminated in his efforts to counter progressives when he launched a political action committee, Team Blue, designed to support incumbents against their left-wing rivals.

He accused the hard left of failing to acknowledge that Trumpism and the extreme right are the real enemies, and not the main democratic current, which he exposed to criticism from the progressive members of the gathering—noting that he had earlier held the progressives responsible for alienating voters in swing areas.

Jeffries has long been an ally of the Jewish community in New York’s 8th congressional district, and has played a front role in relations between blacks and Jews.

He also supported efforts to combat anti-Semitism throughout the city, as his district is home to a large number of Jewish immigrants from the Soviet Union.

He had also been highly critical of Republican redistricting efforts, as they severed the historical connection between the ghettos of Manhattan and Brooklyn, New York.

American and Israeli newspapers described Jeffries as not only interested in issues related to “Israel,” but also loyal to it, while the heads of Jewish organizations described him as active in anti-Semitic issues since his first visit to “Israel.”


Katherine Clark

Katherine Clark, 59, holds a seat in Congress from the state of Massachusetts, and she is also Pelosi’s aide in the House of Representatives and a prominent candidate to assume a prominent position in the leadership of the House Democrats.

Clark previously served on AIPAC delegations to “Israel” and, along with Jeffries, condemned Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar’s remarks in 2019 that US lawmakers’ support for “Israel” was primarily about money.

Over the past year, Clarke has strongly condemned The Mapping Project, an initiative by an activist group in Boston to map local institutions supporting the occupation of Palestine.

“It’s troubling to have to plan for the spread of Jewish citizens, schools, organizations, and academics. It also reminds us of a dangerous history of Jewish identification and tracing,” Clark told Jewish Insider.

These maps are likely to motivate attacks against the Jewish community. I strongly condemn anti-Semitism, and I strongly demand that this map be abolished.

Clark also introduced the Online Security Modernization Bill, which has been hailed by anti-Semitism watchdogs as a powerful tool aimed at combating online hate and harassment because they often imply anti-Semitism.


Pete Aguilar

As for Pete Aguilar, 43, who is currently the vice president of the Democratic Caucus in the House of Representatives, he is the most prominent candidate to become the party whip for the Democrats in the House.

Aguilar is the highest-rated Hispanic candidate in the House of Representatives.

He was also among the members of the House Committee that investigated the Capitol events that took place on January 6, 2021.

He was among the four committee members who received the support of AIPAC in the last session.

He also had the support of the Democratic Majority for Israel group, as well as his support for Shontel against Nina in the primaries.

According to observers, the Democratic leadership in the US House will focus on serving as the minority party within the House and managing tensions with the growing progressive wing within the party.

The Republican majority is likely to seek legislation that will twist the Democrats’ hand on the so-called “Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” Such legislation would include the possibility of reducing financial aid to the Palestinians, redefining what a Palestinian refugee is, attacking the United Nations’ position on “Israel,” and combating the BDS movement.