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Thursday, February 04, 2010

The Hamas 54 53 50?

Last week, I reported that 54 Democratic representatives had sent a letter to President Obama urging him to pressure Israel to lift its 'blockade' on Gaza. On Wednesday, I reported that the Hamas 54 had become the Hamas 53. Now it looks like they may be down to 50.
Three New Jersey lawmakers are expressing strong support for Israel after having signed a letter to President Barack Obama advocating an end to the Israeli blockade of Gaza.

Reps. Bill Pascrell (Dist. 8), Donald Payne (Dist. 10), and Rush Holt (Dist. 12) were among the 54 House Democrats who appealed to Obama on Jan. 30, urging the president to seek “immediate improvements for Gaza.”


“Israel’s right to defend itself and a concern for the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip are not mutually exclusive,” Pascrell told NJ Jewish News. “I believe that there can be a better way to deliver clean water, medicine, and food to a civilian population that continues to suffer from entrenched poverty and devastation that is consistent with Israel’s security interests.”


“This is not an anti-Israel letter to me,” said Payne. “A lot of very mainstream members of the House signed it.”

“There is a tremendous amount of concern about the people of Gaza since the military operation there, and this is something I felt would help move toward a peaceful solution to this crisis,” Payne added. “We want to bring everybody back to the table.”

In an e-mail, Holt told NJJN that he signed the letter “to reaffirm my strong belief that providing humanitarian aid to ordinary citizens in Gaza is important, not just for humane reasons, but for Israel’s security interests.”

Holt wrote that he continues “to support Israeli military and foreign assistance” and that he has spent “a considerable amount of time in Washington and on visits to Israel seeking ways to reduce the threat to Israel and to strengthen her ability to respond to threats.”

Pascrell also noted that he is “a strong and consistent supporter of Israel’s right to defend itself,” including its military actions in Gaza.

Mike Halfacre, the Republican mayor of Fair Haven who is seeking the GOP nomination to challenge Holt for reelection, issued an e-mail statement criticizing Holt.

“The idea that Israel — which has endured countless terrorist attacks and as recently as a year ago was under rocket attack from Hamas in Gaza — should be taking advice from Rush Holt on how to best provide security for their people is the height of arrogance,” wrote Halfacre.

Zach Goldberg, Holt’s communications director, said that other than Halfacre’s statement, “we haven’t heard from constituents on this one.”

Pascrell’s camp had a little more feedback.

“We’ve gotten letters from some constituents inquiring why Mr. Pascrell signed the letter,” said his chief of staff, Ben Rich. “We are in dialogue with those constituents.”
Pascrell represents the Northern New Jersey district in which we last lived before we moved to Israel and where we (Mrs. Carl and I and the four oldest kids) still vote. The district is heavily Jewish, but also includes a large Arab population (Paterson). I can't wait to see who runs against him.

Down to 50? Hopefully. But if you live in their districts, please send them letters (I know that people in Pascrell's district read this blog).


At 11:03 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Our Congressman in Indianapolis is Andre Carson, a Muslim. How do you think we can get him to back or at least not oppose Israel?

At 11:39 PM, Blogger Ashan said...

When it comes to a need to drum up Jewish votes in a tight election, these jerks always pretend to be pro-Israel. (Just look at the phonus-balonus act pulled by Hillary when she was a NY senator.)

Here's another phony who lied about his army service to get votes - John Kerry. And now comes the revelation that he supports the anti-Israel Code Pink, butt-smoochers for Hamas:
Letter Shows John Kerry Supported Anti-Israel Pro-Hamas Code Pink March:
"Massachusetts senior U.S. Senator John Kerry provided a letter on Senate stationery that supported constituents who participated in last December’s anti-Israel, pro-Hamas Gaza Freedom March, led by President Barack Obama ally Code Pink."

At 2:19 AM, Blogger Daniel Greenfield said...

I don't know that they're down to 50. They're not disavowing the letter, they're trying to justify it.

At 3:53 AM, Blogger Daniel Greenfield said...

on the other hand this is a retraction


so it is 53


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