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Monday, February 08, 2010

Left concerned: Mark Kirk is too pro-Israel

President Obumbler's friends on the Left are concerned that Congressman Mark Kirk, who won the Republican primary for President Obumbler's old Senate seat, is too pro-Israel (Hat Tip: Jennifer Rubin).
Republican Rep. Mark Kirk enters the Illinois Senate race as the member of the House who has consistently reaped the biggest contribution totals from pro-Israel PACs, making a name for himself through five terms in Congress as a hardline leader on legislation relating to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Kirk, who is considered a moderate Republican on most issues, sailed to an easy victory in the GOP primary this week and goes into the general election race as a strong contender for Barack Obama's old Senate seat.

There are plenty of members of Congress who subscribe to the same hawkish pro-Israel positions as Kirk. But the money totals (and his legislative record) show that Kirk is a particular favorite of the pro-Israel community.

With polls showing Kirk in a strong position in his Senate race, activists and liberal Mideast policy groups are concerned that he could become AIPAC's point man in the Senate. (It's worth noting that AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, is a lobbying organization and does not donate to campaigns.)

Kirk's campaign Web site calls the congressman a "pro-Israel champion," listing accomplishments against Iran and Hamas. His Democratic opponent, Alexi Giannoulias, also touts "unwavering" support for Israel, though his site also endorses a two-state solution, which Kirk's does not.

In the House, Kirk has been a driving force behind a host of legislative efforts to sanction Iran (he's the founder of of the Iran Working Group), increase U.S. military support of Israel (including the integration of Israel into the American ballistic missile defense system), and cut any U.S. support for Palestinians (he wants to slash funding for the UN agency that is charged with aiding refugees).

He was also one of the leaders of the campaign against Chas Freeman, an Obama pick for the National Intelligence Council whose nomination was killed after a campaign by the pro-Israel community.

Kirk caused a mini controversy when, during the invasion of Gaza last year, he said: "To misquote Shakespeare, something is rotten in Gaza and now it's time to take out the trash."
Kirk sounds like the kind of guy we in the pro-Israel community ought to be supporting. And he has a good chance of winning. It seems that his opponent, Alexi Giannoulias is 'ethically challenged.' But then, it's Illinois and you probably expected that, didn't you?


At 7:10 PM, Blogger J. Lichty said...

There is no better elected US representative on Israel. His heart is pure and his aim true on this issue. He is more than a reliable vote, but is a real pro-Israel activist - espcially on the defense side - in Congress.

I cannot understate how important his voice is to Israel in Congress.


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