Jewish Democrats asked to defend Israel to candidate

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The national body for Jewish Democrats asked its membership to make the case for Israel’s existence to a Jewish congressional candidate in California.

"Next week, Representative Jane Harman (D-Calif.) will face a primary showdown from challenger Marcy Winograd," said the e-mail appeal sent Wednesday by the National Jewish Democratic Council. "A key difference between the two candidates is their support for Israel. Harman is a staunch advocate for Israel and supports a negotiated two-state solution to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, placing her within the mainstream. Winograd, in complete contrast, supports a bi-national one-state solution — the same solution supported by some of Israel’s fiercest detractors."

Winograd in interviews has said she thinks a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians is "unrealistic" and "reinforces heightened nationalism." Both she and Harman are Jewish.

Winograd also has questioned whether Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), who in declaring his support for Harman has emphasized Winograd’s rejection of Israel as a Jewish state, is loyal to the United States.

"Winograd needs to know that support for a one-state solution is not acceptable to Jews, Democrats, and those who care about peace with dignity for Israelis and Palestinians," the NJDC said, asking its members to "politely and respectfully" make that case to her.

Harman, a longtime senior member of the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee and a chairman of the Homeland Security Committee’s intelligence subcommittee, beat a 2008 challenge from Winograd.

In that primary race, Winograd won close to 40 percent of the vote of the Los Angeles-area district by emphasizing Harman’s initial support for the Iraq war.

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