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GOP Rep. lashes AIPAC for ‘foreign interference’ after Iron Dome vote attack ad

American Pro-Israel lobby defends Facebook ad, which noted that ‘when Israel faced rocket attacks, Tom Massie voted against Iron Dome’

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US correspondent based in New York

Republican congressman Thomas Massie walks down the House steps after a vote at the Capitol, September 17, 2020. (Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images/JTA)
Republican congressman Thomas Massie walks down the House steps after a vote at the Capitol, September 17, 2020. (Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images/JTA)

A Republican congressman on Monday accused AIPAC of “foreign interference” after the pro-Israel lobby published attack ads against him for voting against legislation to replenish Jerusalem’s Iron Dome missile defense system.

“How is THIS not foreign interference in our elections?” Rep. Thomas Massie tweeted above a screenshot of the American lobby’s ad on Facebook captioned, “When Israel faced rocket attacks, Thomas Massie voted against Iron Dome.”

Massie was one of nine House lawmakers — and the only Republican — to vote against the additional $1 billion in funding for Iron Dome, saying afterward that “it’s extreme to bankrupt our country and put future generations of Americans in hock to our debtors.”

AIPAC responded to Massie’s tweet with one of its own, saying it “will not be deterred in any way by ill-informed and illegitimate attacks on this important work.”

“We are proud that we are engaged in the democratic process to strengthen the US-Israel relationship. Our bipartisan efforts are reflective of American values and interests,” the lobby group stated.

AIPAC has come under fire on the other side of the aisle for some of its ads in recent months.

In August, a spokesman for Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar accused the pro-Israel lobby of putting his boss’s life at risk with its latest ad campaign headlined, “Stand with America. Stand against Terrorists.”

The ad featured a picture of Omar and the declaration: “For Ilhan Omar, there is no difference between America and the Taliban; between Israel and Hamas; between democracies and terrorists; tell Rep. Omar: Condemn terrorists, not America.”

The ad referred to a controversial tweet Omar posted in June in which she wrote of the “unthinkable atrocities committed by the US, Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan and the Taliban.”

AIPAC dismissed the staffer’s allegation of Islamophobia as a “baseless attack.”

The pro-Israel lobby was also criticized by its dovish rival J Street along with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer for the ad.

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