Ariz. pol who faced Israel questions defeats two Jewish Dems in primary


(JTA) — An Arizona congressional candidate who has faced questions about her Israel stances defeated two Jewish Democrats in a heated primary.

Kyrsten Sinema, a former state legislator, beat out David Schapira, the state Senate’s Democratic leader, and Andrei Cherny, a former aide to President Bill Clinton and a past chair of the Arizona Democratic Party, to win Tuesday’s Democratic primary in Arizona’s 9th Congressional District.

Sinema had faced criticism during the race from Cherny and others on the issue of Israel. Her detractors have cited her leadership roles in anti-war groups that have been harshly critical of Israel.

She has stated that she has "long been a supporter of Israel." Her campaign’s policy statement on the issue expresses support for the U.S.-Israel relationship and says that Israel has "the right to defend herself from her neighbors and from terrorist organizations."

Sinema took 42 percent of the vote in the primary to Schapira’s 31 percent and Cherny’s 27 percent. She will face Republican Vernon Parker in the general election. 

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