NJ Republican candidate for Congress spent election day in Israel, meeting with Netanyahu

US Politics
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Boteach and Netanyahu
Boteach and Netanyahu

Earlier today I did a post on Rep. Bill Pascrell’s victory over an opponent supported by the Israel lobby in the Democratic primary in the new 9th Congressional District in New Jersey.

Well it turns out Pascrell’s next opponent, Republican primary winner Shmuley Boteach, rabbi and writer, is completely mobbed up with the Israel lobby. Here’s Boteach writing about a recent meeting with Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu on Huffpo. Boteach brought his daughter. She’s serving in the Israeli army. Why is this stuff on Huffpo?

Oh– and Boteach met with Netanyahu, and Netanyahu aide Ron Dermer, formerly of Miami, on the day of the primary. He was in Israel for his sister-in-law’s wedding. Wait, where are his priorities?

This is why I have trouble with the claim that it’s anti-semitic to speak about dual loyalty. If this isn’t dual loyalty, what is? Notice Netanyahu’s answer to that very question below: your daughter is fighting for America. These guys really are deluded.

I brought my daughter Chana, who is a soldier in the Israeli army, to the meeting and the prime minister welcomed her warmly. I told the prime minister that my wife and I were immensely proud of our daughter’s service in the Israel Defense Forces. I mentioned the well-circulated press reports of how my upcoming opponent, Bill Pascrell, had refused to repudiate some Arab-American supporters who had accused Congressman Steve Rothman, the opponent whom Pascrell recently defeated, of dual loyalties over his support of Israel. In particular Aref Assaf, president of the American Arab Forum, had written an op-ed in the New Jersey Star-Ledger titled “Rothman is Israel’s man in District 9” where he asserted that “as total and blind support for Israel becomes the only reason for choosing Rothman, voters who do not view the elections in this prism will need to take notice. Loyalty to a foreign flag is not loyalty to America’s.”

With Rothman being accused of dual loyalties simply over a pro-Israel voting record in government, what could I, who has a daughter serving in Israel’s military, expect from these same political opponents? What charges would they lodge against me? How ugly would the attacks be?

The Prime Minister looked at me solemnly and said, “Tell them your daughter is not only fighting to protect Israel. She’s fighting to protect America. Israel is the front line in the war for freedom.” Indeed. Israel, an America-style democracy in the world’s most dangerous region, seeks to live free amid being surrounded by an ocean of tyranny.

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