Sick of internecine Jewish warfare over whether a mosque (and interfaith outreach center) near Ground Zero is appropriate?
Come back to the internecine Jewish warfare over whether U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) is sufficiently pro-Israel for election to the U.S. Senate!
I covered the back and forth over Sestak when the Emergency Committee for Israel launched its first ad in his race against Republican Pat Toomey.
Now the Republican Jewish Coalition has weighed in. Below is the ad; here’s a grab from the press release:
Our first television ad, entitled "Rockets," highlights the fact that Joe Sestak was one of the "Gaza 54" — a group of 54 Democrats who signed a letter to President Obama, urging him to pressure Israel to ease its security restrictions on the border of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip at a time when innocent Israeli civilians were still under attack from missiles being launched from Gaza.
To nuance this slightly, the letter writers upheld Israel’s right to security protections, but said these were not at issue in the embargoes the letter opposed. (Israel has since lifted some of these embargoes, on some foods and equipment.) At the time, the RJC countered that it was up to Israel what constitutes security and what does not.
Meantime, Michael Bloomberg, the once-Democrat, once-Republican, now-Independent New York mayor is endorsing Sestak. (To be clear, Bloomberg has never been a Democrat as mayor — but a lot of speculation ensued from Bloomberg’s 2007 announcement as Independent as to whether he leans GOP or Dem. I guess that question is now put to rest.)
At the endorsement today, Bloomberg didn’t mention the Israel thing, although this political website, PA2010, says local reporters pressed the two men on foreign policy differences.
That Bloomberg is papering these over is interesting — I remember the mayor at an RJC-sponsored event during the 2004 convention in New York, when he essentially said that for Jewish voters, the only thing that should count was foreign and security policy.
Toomey’s campaign hit back — and hard — noting that Bloomberg is (gasp!) a Yankees fan.
Here are the vids:
And here’s Bloomberg: