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Congressman Pascrell’s failure to speak out in favor of the Arab Spring and condemn the mass murder in Syria – even once – from the floor of the House is an egregious dereliction of duty for an elected representative of a large Arab constituency. Over the past few years Congressman Pascrell has found the time to sponsor legislation on recycling plastic, to reduce tax on pickled pepper, and to commend the New Jersey Devils’ goalie with an official Congressional proclamation. But in all that time, he has not found even a moment to address, from the floor of the House, the bombings of Arab civilians under Kaddafi in Libya, the murder of unarmed protesters in Tahrir Square in Cairo, or the shooting of children in the head at point-blank range in Syria. He has yet to call on the United Nations to indict President Assad for crimes against humanity. This unforgivable omission makes the notion of Congressman Pascrell being the pro-Arab candidate downright farcical. You are not pro-Arab simply by being a critic of Israel. You are pro-Arab when you advocate that the 400 million Arabs of the Middle East enjoy the same political freedoms and human rights that we enjoy here in the United States.

In New Jersey’s Ninth Congressional district we have one of the largest Arab-American populations in the country. They deserve a congressman who promotes and protects Arab life, and they deserve a discussion where they hear the two candidates for office discussing an American response to the Syrian slaughter, one of the great humanitarian tragedies of our time. It is in this spirit that I repeat my invitation to Congressman Pascrell to join me in a public debate about what each of us will do to end immediately the murder of innocent Arabs in Syria.

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