Rep. Brad Sherman calls on pro-Israel groups to help him take control of the House Foreign Affairs Committee

Rep. Brad Sherman appeals to the Israel lobby: "Eliot Engel was Plan A. I strongly supported him. But now I’m going to try to ask you to go with Plan B."
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When progressive insurgent Jamaal Bowman beat incumbent Rep. Eliot Engel in New York’s 16th district this summer, he didn’t just change things in the Bronx. Engel is the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and now he needs to be replaced.

In a zoom event hosted by the lobbying group Democratic Majority for Israel (DMFI) Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) made it clear that, if appointed to the position, he would defend Israel with the same zeal that Engel has. He also called on pro-Israel organizations to support his effort to become chairman of the committee. “You went to bat for Eliot Engel in a huge way, and demonstrated that you understood how important that chairmanship is,” he told DMFI members. “Eliot Engel was Plan A. I strongly supported him. But now I’m going to try to ask you to go with Plan B. And I won’t compare myself to my good friend Eliot Engel, except to say that when it comes to having one’s heart in the right place, Eliot and I are in the exact same place.”

Reps. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) and Joaquín Castro (D-TX) are also competing for the spot. Castro (who supports conditioning military aid to Israel) is certainly the most progressive House member of the bunch, but Sherman made it clear that he’s also to the right of Meeks when it comes to Israel. Both Castro and Meeks boycotted Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to congress in 2015, where the Israeli Prime Minister attacked the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran. “Prime Minister Netanyahu is not my favorite Israeli, and I’ve never met an Israeli who doesn’t criticize him for one position or the other, but I attended the speech because Prime Minister Netanyahu embodies the Jewish state,” Sherman explained.

Sherman also called out progressive groups like Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and IfNotNow for supporting Castro’s candidacy, claiming that anti-occupation organizations were building a movement to block him from acquiring the chair.

“For the first time in a very long time, the chairperson for the House Foreign Affairs Committee could actually be guided by the belief that all people, including Palestinians, deserve human rights and dignity. For years, HFAC was a committee where hawkish, anti-Palestinian policies thrived and where calls for accountability were silenced,” Jewish Voice for Peace Action Governance Affairs Manager Beth Miller told Mondoweiss.

“Thanks to the defeat of Rep. Engel, we finally have a chance to change this. As he made clear in this DMFI briefing, Rep. Sherman has no interest in pursuing justice or lasting peace. While Jewish Voice for Peace Action has not officially endorsed anyone running in this race, Rep. Castro stands out as the only one of the three contenders to demonstrate an interest in including Palestinian voices and in pursuing a foreign policy that puts people and human rights first.”

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Imagine trying to secure the Chairmanship of the House Foreign Affair Committee by publicly asking for support and telling a lobby group for a foreign country that your number one priority is the security and defense of that same foreign nation! Not the security of America, not the security of Americans, not the security of American assets and infrastructure across the globe, not the interests of American values abroad, not the Constitution, not the Bill… Read more »

It all depends on who is willing to put Israel over his/her own country’s interests the most. The more they are willing to kiss up to Israel’s large behind the better for Israel. Engel was just like that, so I guess his successor must show he can outdo him where the unwavering devotion is concerned.

Racist, fascistic “Israel’s” grip on the U.S., its protector & prime source of 72 years of ever increasing huge economic aid, (well over $134.7 billion since 1948) is weakening.  Americans, especially all important youth, including enlightened Jews, are rapidly comprehending the truth & viewing “Israel” as an illegal/brutal expansionist occupier & ethnic cleanser of the indigenous Palestinians & a major liability for their country. It’s only a matter of time before the U.S., a declining world power in… Read more »

Bearing in mind that today is September 11th: Truthout, Sept. 11/20 – VIDEO: “US Wars Displaced at Least 37 Million People Since 9/11 Attacks” “As the United States marks 19 years since the September 11 terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people, a new report finds at least 37 million people in eight countries have been displaced since the start of the so-called global war on terrorism since 2001. The Costs of War Project… Read more »

I have a special place in my heart for Brad Sherman. When I and the other dozen or so Americans returned from our stay in Israeli prison for participating in the 2010 Gaza Freedom Flotilla, it was Mr. Sherman that publicly pronounced he wanted to throw us all in jail under the Patriot Act. One of Obama’s aides had to pull him aside to talk him into backing off. Jailing fellow American citizens for being… Read more »