The Texas Democrat running to unseat Senator Ted Cruz says he supports Israel but has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations from an anti-Israel group.
Rep. Colin Allred (D., Texas) has taken nearly $200,000 in campaign donations from J Street, which routinely criticizes Israel for defending itself against Palestinian terrorism. The group has given Allred, who claims to be a "strong supporter of the State of Israel," just under $8,000 since March, and $118,025 in total since 2018, according to federal election disclosures. It has also established an Allred donation page on its website, which also serves as a forum for attacks on Cruz and his pro-Israel policies.
The donations could hurt Allred’s chances of unseating Cruz, who has won praise in Texas for supporting Israel and fighting the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which wages economic warfare on Israel. Texas is home to around 120,000 Jews, and the state’s Republican Party enjoys close ties with Israel.
"Anti-Israel J Street’s endorsement of Texas Democrat Colin Allred comes as no surprise, because Allred aligns with J Street’s radicalism," said Sam Markstein, national political director for the Republican Jewish Coalition. "Allred fancies himself a moderate, but he voted to keep anti-Semite Ilhan Omar on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, supported the disastrous [Iran] nuclear deal."
Allred’s campaign disputes these claims, telling the Washington Free Beacon in a statement that the one-term congressman and former football player is a "steadfast supporter of Israel."
"Congressman Allred has been a steadfast supporter of Israel and is proud to have earned the support of both AIPAC and J Street," said a campaign spokesman, referring to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the country’s leading pro-Israel advocacy group.
J Street, which is funded by liberal billionaire George Soros, advocates restricting U.S. aid to Israel and has positioned itself as one of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's leading adversaries. The group accused Netanyahu earlier this year of "building and bulldozing [his] way to permanent, undemocratic control of the West Bank." The group, which employs notoriously terrible pumpkin carvers, boasts the support of notable anti-Zionist figures like the author Peter Beinart.
Allred's campaign also boasts that the candidate's "bipartisan and consistent record" on Israel "includes voting to condemn the BDS movement." But while Allred has pushed to defund universities that back the BDS movement, he has twice voted against congressional measures urging the United States government to condemn Israel boycotts.
In 2019, Allred voted against a Republican-led measure that stated it is "in the national security interest of the United States to condemn and oppose" the BDS movement. That same year, he voted against an amendment that would have required pension plans to abstain from Israel boycotts if they are to be eligible for federal funding.
Allred additionally came under scrutiny from the pro-Israel community in 2019 when he expressed support for a Muslim preacher who has described Israel as an "apartheid state."
Allred posted a picture of himself on Twitter alongside Imam Omar Suleiman, saying that, "now more than ever," Suleiman’s "message of peace, unity, and support for our fellow Americans is needed."
Suleiman has called for an "intifada," or violent uprising, against Israel and accused the Jewish state of waging a "genocide" against the Palestinians, according to the Washington Examiner. The preacher also defended Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) after she made a string of anti-Semitic comments accusing Jews of controlling politics with money.
Markstein said Allred’s record contradicts with his claims of being a pro-Israel moderate.
"Let’s be clear: Colin Allred is no moderate and would be just another Democrat rubber stamp for J Street’s anti-Israel positions."