Proponents of Israel in Oregon may express opposition to the candidacy of Susheela Jayapal, an Indian-American running for the 3rd Congressional District seat, as reported by a media outlet. Susheela, sister to Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, declared her candidacy last month, aiming to succeed Representative Earl Blumenauer in the Democratic stronghold, which includes parts of Portland.
According to a report from Jewish Insider, Portland Jewish leaders find Susheela Jayapal's Congressional candidacy concerning. Tensions arose during a Multnomah county board meeting following the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel when Jayapal voted against a resolution supporting lighting a Portland bridge in the colors of the Israeli flag.
Susheela justified her vote, stating, "I don’t think I can acknowledge (the) loss of one group when there are Palestinian lives being lost as well." She also faced criticism for not endorsing a joint statement condemning Hamas and expressing solidarity with Israel and Portland’s Jewish community.
Bob Horenstein, director of community relations at the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, expressed disappointment over Jayapal's decision not to sign the statement, suggesting it might be due to a perceived lack of balance. Meanwhile, Sharon Meieran, a Jewish commissioner, accused Jayapal of attempting to remove a Holocaust reference from the draft statement, an allegation Jayapal vehemently denies.
Susheela Jayapal, despite opposing the county board resolution, affirmed her consistent support for lighting the bridge. The Democratic Majority for Israel is closely monitoring the Portland race, evaluating where to direct resources, while the American Israel Public Affairs Committee is in the process of evaluating congressional races but has made no decisions yet.
As the May primary approaches, a pro-Israel leader in Portland, opposing Susheela Jayapal, predicts more candidates entering the race, potentially setting the stage for a clash between anti-Israel and pro-Israel progressives. Jayapal's campaign emphasizes issues such as abortion rights, gun safety, and climate change, with a commitment to ensuring equal opportunity and a promising future for all Americans. Her bid is endorsed by her sister, Pramila, a vocal critic of Israel in the House, who encourages grassroots donors to support the campaign.
(With Agency Inputs)