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Sunday, May 22, 2022

‘Squad’ wannabe Summer Lee stuns Jewish voters ahead of Pennsylvania primary

Summer Lee is a Bernie-Sanders-backed progressive who has tweeted against American politicians. support for israel and in favor of one”plan … to destroy [the Democratic Party].” She has also publicly called out President Biden “for”accidental racism,

Polls show him leading the Democratic nomination in District 12 of western Pennsylvania before the Congressional primary on May 17.

Many Democratic leaders look to Lee, a Howard University Law School graduate, who won a landslide election in Pennsylvania’s state home in 2018 as a rising Democratic star. Many believe his political trip to Washington D.C. will inevitably see him join “squad” members like Ilhan Omar (D-Min.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mitch.) – both of whom last week supported them.

But a determined pocket of Pennsylvania voters says no so quickly.

Pennsylvania State House Rep. Summer Lee (foreground) is sworn into office in January 2019 after winning a landslide election.
Associated Press

At a time when Senate Democrats have a scant majority and 30 Democratic incumbents have announced retirement, pitting moderates against hard-left upstarts for the medium term will heavily shape Congress for years to come. This is why the Pennsylvania primary is seen by many as a key race in the fight for the spirit of the Democratic Party.

The election will fill a seat vacated by Mike Doyle, the Democratic incumbent from District 12 — which includes Pittsburgh — who is retiring after 27 years, leaving the recently redistributed seat open.

Lee’s views on Israel have become the primary flashpoint; Not only that, a campaign has been going on since March to persuade pro-Israel Pittsburgers to vote for Steve Irwin. An attorney from Squirrel Hill, the heart of the city’s Jewish community, Irwin is Lee’s strongest contender for the Democratic nomination.

Steve Irwin
Some Pennsylvanians, fearing that Lee harbored anti-Israel sentiments, launched a campaign to persuade Republican voters to support lawyer Steve Irwin (above).

The volunteer effort — run by teachers, businessmen, lawyers, nurses, doctors and housewives — is grassroots, and, according to Pittsburgh attorney and co-organizer Charles Saul, is not funded or promoted by any organization.

Although pro-Irvine is primarily aimed at Democrats, organizers have added an intriguing twist: asking Republicans and independent voters to change their party affiliation (at least for the election) in order to vote for Irvine, which Widely seen as pro-Israeli. In a dark blue field where democratic dominance is absolute but absolute (“no Republicans can get elected here,” one voter told me)—this is a really radical idea.

But not completely unexpected. Antisemitism has become a particularly “home-town” issue in Pittsburgh after the 2018 shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill, which killed 11 worshipers. Israel’s spring 2021 incursion into Gaza – which Lee condemned – also saw progressive Democrats take an increasingly tough stand against Israel. Former President Donald Trump’s 2017 relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem established Israel as a partisan issue – as did the BLM movement, which portrayed Israel as an “apartheid” state of Palestine. Supporter position. Israel is also experiencing a new wave of terrorist attacks, raising security concerns among potential voters.

Pittsburgh Attorney Charles Saul (above) helped lead a grassroots effort to persuade Republican voters to switch sides and vote for Democrat Irwin.
Pittsburgh Attorney Charles Saul helped lead a grassroots effort to persuade Republican voters to switch sides and vote for Democrat Irwin.
Rob Larson for the NY Post

According to Saul, Irwin provides liberal and conservative-leaning voters a voice that has long been denied. “It’s a dark blue district, so for anyone to vote meaningfully … whether it’s for mayor or Congress, you have to register as a Democrat,” regardless of your views, 72 Years, who believes the last effort has persuaded several hundred area voters to support Irwin.

The Jewish Association of Pittsburgh, a charitable non-profit serving the Jewish community, held public interviews with all candidates in April. Saul, who attended Lee’s show, said that she came across as “bright … and likeable”, but that only made her “more dangerous”.

Local voter Andrea Chester doubts that Lee will inevitably become part of Progressive Democratic "squad," Which he believes harbors anti-Israel sentiments.
Local voter Andrea Chester suspects that Lee will inevitably become part of the Progressive Democratic “Squad”, which he believes perpetuates anti-Israel sentiments.
Courtesy Andy Chester

He is concerned that Lee’s supporters include Sanders, Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), chair of the Congress Progressive Caucus, and Rep. Ayana Presley (D-Mass). , which “I consider anti-Semitic.”

But it’s not just Lee’s consistency. Saul argues that most worrying are his thoughts.

He pointed to a previous tweet in which Lee compared Gazan to black Americans in terms of harassment in the context of Hamas’ terrorist bombing campaign in May 2021. Saul also opposed Lee’s defense of the Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign to economically isolate Israel. (Lee says he is “not part” of the BDS movement.)

Andrea Chester, an English composition instructor at Allegheny Community College in Pittsburgh, fears that if Lee is elected, she will join radical forces.

Antisemitism is a major concern in Pittsburgh's Jewish community home and the site of the 2018 synagogue shooting that killed 11 worshipers.
Anti-Semitism is a major concern in Pittsburgh’s Jewish community home and the site of the 2018 synagogue shooting that killed 11 worshipers.
Associated Press

“It would be really bad for someone else to be part of the team,” Chester said. “They… don’t understand Israel’s need for self-defense.” Chester sent several dozen e-mails attempting to persuade Republicans to switch parties and vote for Irwin.

Cheryl Moore, 57, a nurse and research program manager at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, is a Democrat who appealed to fellow Democrats to opt out of the vote for Irvine and to cross party lines and support Republicans. encouraged. “It’s been a grassroots effort that has asked for a little bit of time to explain things,” Moore said.

For Moore, the issue is insurgency versus moderation.

“Lee is going to intensify the partisanship, but Irwin is a listener, a negotiator and a bridge builder,” Moore said. “I can admire revolutionaries like Lee, but I think it’s Dr. Kings – not Malcolm X – who are more accomplished.”

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