WASHINGTON (Nov. 8)
Marvin Josephson, the New York businessman who founded the National Political Action Committee (NatPAC) to support pro-Israel candidates for Congress earlier this year, believes that “positive results” were achieved in the November 2 elections.
The election “shows we were able to be effective,” Josephson told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. He said that in the 31 Senate races to which NatPAC made contributions, 28 of the candidates it supported won. In the House races, NatPAC contributed to 57 candidates who won and to 16 who last. It made the full $5,000 contribution allowed by law to each of the candidates it backed, Josephson said.
NatPAC was formed late last summer because of a belief that support for Israel was eroding in Congress. Its aim is to back candidates who believe that a strong Israel is in the best interests of U.S. foreign policy, Josephson said. He told the JTA that NatPAC will remain in existence for the 1984 elections when it hopes to be able to contribute to candidates in every Senate and House contest.
Meanwhile, Hyman Bookbinder, the American Jewish Committee’s Washington representative, noted in a postmortem on last Tuesday’s elections that “there was a gratifying absence of anti-Semitism even though an unprecedented number of Jews ran for office in 1982.” He said that the eight Jews in the next Senate and the 30 Jews in the next House “were not elected as Jews and they will not be serving as Jews. They will not constitute a Jewish bloc in Congress,” Bookbinder said.
“What is gratifying is that Jews feel free to aspire to public office without undue concerns that their Jewishness will become a campaign issue, either pro or con,” the AJCommittee official said. He predicted that “The next Congress will be at least as supportive of basic Israeli related issues as the present one.”
Bookbinder, who presented his analysis at the AJCommittee’s national executive council meeting, which was held over the weekend at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, also noted that the new right groups and their social issues suffered major setbacks in Tuesday’s elections.