WASHINGTON (JTA) — U.S. Rep. Howard Berman slammed a Los Angeles-area group for anti-Israel billboards that call for an end to U.S. aid to Israel.
In his letter to The Coalition to Stop $30 Billion to Israel, Berman (D-Calif.) emphasized the importance of providing assistance to Israel.
“We are the leading voice in the international community, and have the world’s most powerful military, yet your organization would have us abandon our closest ally in the Middle East and allow its deterrent capability to wither on the vine," Berman wrote to the group, which posted its billboards in the San Fernando Valley. "That is not the way to demonstrate international leadership.”
Berman noted in a follow-up statement that aid to Israel was a top legislative priority for him. He is battling fellow Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman for the seat in California’s redrawn 30th Congressional District. Both are Jewish and both are known for their pro-Israel stands.
Sherman secured 42 percent of the vote and Berman 32 percent in a recent primary, but under California law the two top vote-getters on primary day face each other in the general election regardless of party affiliation.
In a statement, Berman said "I am not going to stand by and remain silent as some outside group comes into our community with these outrageous billboards calling for an end to our security partnership with Israel.”