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Sunday, August 01, 2010

NJDC goes after ECI

The National Jewish Democratic Coalition has attacked the Emergency Committee for Israel for attacking Democratic Senate candidate Joe Sestak for being a part of a CAIR fundraiser and for being one of 54 Democratic representatives to sign a letter calling for the United States to pressure Israel to lift its blockade on Gaza (Hat Tip: Republican Jewish Coalition Headquarters via Twitter). This is from the first link.
The controversial new pro-Israel outfit, Emergency Committee for Israel "is playing with fire," says David Harris, president and CEO of the National Jewish Democratic Council, which recently released a "fact sheet" aimed at exposing what it says are ECI's "dangerous" smear tactics.

ECI - founded earlier this month by neoconservatives and evangelical Christians - has been warring with J Street over the Pennsylvania Senate race, and both groups have sought to gain the upper hand by placing Israel front and center.

However, ECI, says Harris, has gone too far in its attacks on Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak.

"They're using Israel solely as a partisan wedge issue and they're employing tactics that have been decried by the organized Jewish community and the government of Israel - and those are the facts."

But isn't J Street also guilty of using Israel as a wedge issue in the race?

Harris disagrees.

"J Street and other groups are bi-partisan in their approach, first of all," he explained. "This range of Jewish community organizations traffics in facts, and they represent the mainstream of views within the American Jewish community, although individual Jew are free to disagree with them."
J Street responds by making Harris look like a fool. A partisan fool.
Jeremy Ben Ami, J Street's founder, responded to this blog with a statement about his group's "non-partisan" approach.

“J Street’s purpose is clear and non-partisan: to advance a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that brings peace and security to Israel and its neighbors," he said in a statement to me. "Attempts by Republican political operatives to shift elections toward candidates they support but who have poor records on Israel like Pat Toomey are transparent and bound to backfire.”
And even Harris cannot countenance the partisan attack on Pat Toomey (Sestak's Republican opponent).
Upon Learning of Ben-Ami's partisan pot shot, Harris immediately responded: "NJDC would not label a candidate like Pat Toomey as having 'a poor record on Israel.' We think it is destructive to the bipartisan nature of the U.S.-Israel relationship to tear down those who are Israel supporters, whether from the left or from the right."
So does Harris classify Sestak as a supporter of Israel? Do supporters of Israel raise money for the Hamas front CAIR? Do supporters of Israel sign letters in support of Hamas?

As to who is responsible for making Israel into a partisan issue, I wish it wasn't one. But every poll indicates that a far higher percentage of Republicans than Democrats supports Israel. Harry Truman must be rolling over in his grave.


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