Jewish Republicans: Playing Politics With Israel Again

— David A. Harris

For Jewish Republicans or anyone to in any way question the stellar pro-Israel record of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is ridiculous and frankly mind boggling. But to make the suggestions that some have made recently regarding Rep. Wasserman Schultz and Israel’s security are much worse — they are offensive in the extreme.

First and foremost, this effort to smear an excellent choice is pure politics, plain and simple. President Barack Obama made an outstanding choice when he selected a true Jewish American leader — a member of the Forward 50 at that — to lead the Democratic National Committee. Rep. Wasserman Schultz has led on issues ranging from establishing Jewish American Heritage Month to expanding social services for Holocaust survivors, from ensuring Israel’s security to the domestic range of issues on which the vast majority of American Jews agree with the Democratic Party. Of course Republicans had to find something negative to say. But this is not it.

Rep. Wasserman Schultz clearly supported Israel’s actions in Gaza in 2008, for example, noting that “there is no one to blame for the escalation of violence but Hamas.” She went on to co-sponsor a resolution recognizing Israel’s right to defend itself that overwhelmingly passed Congress. She slammed the infamous United Nations Goldstone Report in 2009. She staunchly stood up for Israel’s right to self defense in the face of world condemnation during the flotilla incident in 2010. She has met with Israel’s leaders repeatedly, and led other members of Congress to Israel to help educate them. The list goes on and on.

Representative Wasserman Schultz isn’t just a pro-Israel member of Congress — she’s a genuine leader. Suggesting otherwise is profoundly offensive and wrong. And it plays politics with something of paramount importance, which should be above politics: the U.S.-Israel relationship.


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