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Commander Kirk beams at N.J. pro-Israel fund raiser

On Sunday night, after traveling Chicago’s suburbs for three days, trailing the two Illinois Democrats vying to knock Mark Kirk out of the state’s 10th Congressional district seat (here and here), I finally caught up with the Republican incumbent lat night – in New Jersey.

Kirk spoke to a mostly Modern Orthodox group of donors at a newly constructed mansion in Englewood, at a fund raiser held for him by Norpac, a single-issue political action committee that raises around $1 million per year for pro-Israel incumbents in the House and Senate.

Out of about 20 guests, I was one of only two men not wearing yarmulkes.

Kirk’s voting record on Israel is impeccable: He has pushed for Israel to be included in whatever neo-Star Wars plans the government has in place, helped secure aero-missiles for Israel, and aided Israel’s successful effort to secure American “Eyes-in-the-Sky” data that would give the Jewish state 11 minutes warning if a missile attack was launched against it. Kirk has also been an outspoken critic of UNWRA, the U.N. agency charged with aiding Palestinian refugees and frequently accused of fostering anti-Israel sentiment.

Kirk, a Naval Reserve intelligence officer, who also works in the Pentagon, didn’t veer from those views last night, spending nearly 40 minutes speaking in depth about the short-term, medium-term and long-term threats Israel faces – the chief among them Iran.

“How do we as Americans committed to the security of our ally make sure she is always there and that a hundred years of Zionism is not wiped out in a single attack?” he asked.

Kirk has about $2 million in the bank so far for his upcoming race,
and Norpac raised about $15,000 for him last night, according to its
president, Dr. Ben Chouake. This was the third time Norpac has held a fund raiser for Kirk.

When asked about Daniel Seals and Jay Footlik, the two Democrats who will face off in the Feb. 5 primary to see who will run against him, Kirk said that he is not worried about a challenge from Seals.

“I won in the toughest year ever last year for Republicans and I
defeated Seals by a 7 percent margin,” he told me before he spoke to the Norpac crowd. “We know Dan Seals the best, and we know how to beat him.”

A side note: The Republican candidate recently was promoted in the Naval Reserves. He is now Commander Kirk.

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