WASHINGTON (Jul. 12)
Rep. Geraldine Ferraro (D. NY), who was selected today by former Vice President Walter Mondale as his running mate in his campaign for the Presidency is one of Israel’s most avid supporters in Congress.
Mondale announced the selection of the 48-year-old mother of three as the first candidate for Vice President of a major party in Minneapolis this afternoon. He also broke precedent by naming his choice for Vice President before his official nomination by the Democratic national convention which is scheduled to take place in San Francisco Wednesday night. The Vice Presidential choice will be voted on during the last session on Thursday.
100% VOTE IN FAVOR OF ISRAEL
Ferraro, who represents a district in the New York City borough of Queens, has voted 100 percent in favor of Israel during her six years in Congress. She is among the first to sign any bill supporting Israel, including the current measures to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and to create a free trade area between Israel and the United States.
This spring, she visited Israel in the company of Reps. Barbara Kennelly (D. Conn.) and Barbara Mikulski (D. Md.).
Ferraro is chairman of the platform committee of the Democratic national convention which has recommended a strong pro-Israel plank, including a pledge to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. The platform will be voted on at the convention on Tuesday.
STRONG TIES WITH JEWISH COMMUNITY
Ferraro has strong ties with the Jewish community in her district and is considered very sensitive to Jewish issues. One story that she has been telling is that after she hired a young Jew in her district office his mother was especially pleased by her practice of attending services every Friday night in a different synagogue since her new aide has to accompany the Congresswoman. “It has taken an Italian woman to get my son to go to synagogue,” the mother said.
The selection of Ferraro may help counteract the damage in the Jewish community to the Mondale campaign caused by the Rev. Jesse Jackson. Mondale said yesterday that he could not select Jackson as his Vice Presidential running mate because of the deep differences between them.
Mondale, in naming Ferraro, said that although the choice had been difficult at first, it became easy because of the basic message he wanted to stress in the upcoming campaign against President Reagan. “We must go into the future together as one indivisible community,” he said. “America is not just for some of us … America is for everyone who works hard and contributes to our blessed country.”
Ferraro, who was accompanied by her husband, John Zaccaro, also stressed this theme. “American history is about doors being opened, docrs of opportunity for everyone no matter who you are as long as you are willing to earn it,” she said.