2022 Watch

J Street endorses Jessica Cisneros in TX-28 House primary

The progressive challenger is seeking a rematch against Rep. Henry Cuellar


Jessica Cisneros

J Street, the left-leaning Israel advocacy group, is endorsing Jessica Cisneros in her bid to unseat Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) in Texas’s 28th Congressional District.

“Jessica Cisneros is an exciting young leader who is deeply in touch with the needs of her district and with the democratic values of our movement,” Laura Birnbaum, J Street’s national political director, told Jewish Insider. “She understands the importance of diplomacy, opposes disastrous wars of choice and is committed to peace, justice and self-determination and for both Israelis and Palestinians.”

Cisneros, a 28-year-old progressive immigration lawyer, is mounting her second primary challenge against Cuellar. Last cycle, she came within just a few percentage points of defeating the 66-year-old moderate incumbent, who prevailed with nearly 52% of the vote to Cisneros’s 48%. 

J Street endorsed Cisneros in 2020, and Justice Democrats, the formidable progressive group, is also backing her again. 

Justice Democrats supports conditioning aid to Israel, while J Street favors what it describes as “end-use restrictions” on U.S. aid to Israel to ensure the Jewish state uses such assistance only for “legitimate security purposes.” J Street says such restrictions differ from conditioning aid.

“J Street supports ongoing U.S. security aid to Israel, and believes that there should be clear restrictions and guardrails on that aid to ensure that it cannot be used as a blank check to support policies that deepen occupation, imperil Israel’s future and trample on Palestinian rights,” Birnbaum told JI. “We’re fully confident that Cisneros’s position on this issue is aligned with J Street’s and with the overwhelming majority of pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans.”

In July, Pro-Israel America, the bipartisan advocacy group, endorsed Cuellar — and more pro-Israel groups are likely to weigh in as the race heats up.

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