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New Jewish Mayor of San Diego Has Dubious Record on Israel

Filner is one of a growing list of Jewish politicians who have been embraced by J Street and endorse its commitment to supporting Israel by trying to destroy her.

Bob Filner on Election Night.

Bob Filner on Election Night.
Photo Credit: Sam Hodgson

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On Tuesday, Rep. Bob Filner (D-Calif.) was elected mayor of San Diego. Filner is Jewish, born in Pittsburgh, in Squirrel Hill, and loves to reminisce about his earliest political act as a young Jewish person, when, at age 18, he was arrested in Mississippi as a Freedom Rider. Decade later, in 1975, Filner served as a staffer for Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota. He was elected to the San Diego City Council in 1987, and in 1992 was elected to Congress from California’s 50th (now 51st) district.

Congressman Filner, 70, a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, won 51.5 percent of the vote on Tuesday, to edge out his Republican opponent, City Councilman Carl DeMaio. Filner is the first Democrat to be elected mayor of San Diego in 20 years.

Filner is one of a growing list of Jewish politicians who have been embraced by J Street. And, in the spirit of J Street’s commitment to supporting Israel by trying to destroy her, back in May of 2009, the congressman, along with Barney Frank (D-Mass.), refused to sign an AIPAC-backed House letter calling for “every effort” to be made to realize an Arab-Israeli peace while laying out certain “basic principles” to achieve it.

The letter stated that “the proven best way forward is to work closely and privately together both on areas of agreement and especially on areas of disagreement,” adding that the U.S. must be both “a trusted mediator and a devoted friend to Israel.”

The letter also insisted on an “absolute Palestinian commitment to end violence, terror and incitement” and urged “far greater involvement and participation by the Arab states both in moving toward normal ties with Israel and in supporting moderate Palestinians.”

329 House members signed the letter, but out of the 31 Jewish members, only 29 did, while Frank and Filner declined.

Then, in May of last year, Congress voted 411-2 to reaffirm US cooperation with Israel. The AIPAC-sponsored, bi-partisan bill, acknowledges Israel’s right to defend herself in the face of terror attacks, stressing Congress’ support for the “unique and special relationship” between the U.S. and Israel. The bill also supported a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. J Street-supported Reps. Bob Filner, Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), and John Dingell (D.,Mich.), voted against. Later, Filner and Eshoo amended their votes to support the vote.

Congressman Filner has a +4 rating on Arab-Israeli issues by The Arab American Institute, indicating an impeccable pro-Arab and pro-Palestine voting record.

Filner supported a bill to encourage democratic aspirations in Egypt. He voted no on a bill to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to relocate to Jerusalem the United States Embassy in Israel. He voted no on a bill to withhold U.S. contributions until the UN retracts accusations of Israeli war crimes. No on opposing any unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state. No on prohibiting any US government document from referring to “Palestine.” No on defunding the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees. Yes to continue aid to the Palestinian Authority. Voted Absent on ensuring that United States taxpayer dollars are not used to fund terrorist entities in Lebanon.

Obviously, with that voting record, Israel and the Jewish people at large should offer their heartiest approval to Congressman Filner’s decision to switch from meddling with Middle Eastern issues to tending to his own back yard. We should wish him much success in his new endeavor, and perhaps even persuade him to bring over to his beautiful city large groups of enterprising Palestinians whose lives he has done so much to improve.

Some JTA content was used in this article.

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About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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37 Responses to “New Jewish Mayor of San Diego Has Dubious Record on Israel”

  1. Charlie Hall says:

    How did the San Diego orthodox community feel about this race? Filner's opponent DeMaio is openly Gay.

  2. Yori Yanover says:

    Charlie — I checked all three Jewish publications and only one of them, Orthodox, mentioned it in a long list of election results. You probably noticed I didn't say he was a bad man, just openly pro-Palestinian.

  3. Charlie Hall says:

    Filner has served in Congress for 20 years, and I can't name any significant accomplishment of his. I know nothing about DeMaio either other than he is a Gay Republican.

  4. Charlie Hall says:

    While San Diego is a Republican city, this was a big Wave election in CA. Democrats appear to have gained 2/3 majorities in both houses of the California legislature — for the first time since the 1880s. Local elections in CA are in theory nonpartisan but it seems like everyone knew Filner was a Democrat and DeMaio a Republican.

  5. Yori. Is this a news article?

  6. Hinda Blas says:

    Please read history. Some Jews in Germany even voted for the mad Hitler too. It's a shame that those who support terrorism will be made to regret it.

  7. Rose Galston says:

    As an L.A. native…I'm ashamed that my sister city of San Diego has such a crazy Jew as mayor!

  8. Arie Rosenrauch says:

    Let's look at reality. Barney Frank being called a Jew is a stretch at best. He is however one of the most corrupt politicians on the hill who allowed his gay lover to use his congressional office as a male prostitution center and is the one that caused the housing bubble and collapse that almost destroyed our country.Filner voted to fund terrorism by US taxpayers. And now, we see that he is on the payroll of soros, owner of 'j'udenrein street. As for what 'j'udenrein street is really al about – one need only look to the comment made by ben-ami, 'j'udenrein street director, soros lover, and payer of kickbacks to corrupt politicians on the soros payroll: he described the founding of the State of Israel as "the greatest single tragedy of the 20th Century." That said, perhaps media should be a little more conservative as to who they describe as "Jewish." filner is NOT a Jew!

  9. I am tired of Israel and people who are closely attached to that country are constantly judging our politician accordingly so. Let Israel be Israel and stay out of American politics and please let the US drop Israel's politics like a dirty shirt. Keep their and our religion out of politics and government, it is poison.

  10. Arie and Rose, who gives a fuc% if Bob Filner doesn't fit your delicate mould of what a Jew is. Your religion like all others are a cancer upon this earth and have no business in a free government.

  11. Yori Yanover says:

    With the U.S. being the only super power today, sort of Rome of the 21st century, it's only natural that many states feel they must influence American policy or live to regret it. This is why the Saudi ambassador to Washington spent so much quality time in the Oval Office back in September of 2011, to make sure U.S. policy didn't fall on him like a ton of bricks. You can't amass military power 20 times bigger than the next 20 countries on the list combined and expect other countries to lay off and trust your judgment. Your judgment is faulty, and you have the power to destroy the world. So we all do our best to instruct you.

  12. Ben II says:

    how is this guy any different to the jerk off Wise who was sucking up to FDR? another liberal democrat traitor, they never change their stripes. people like this are the furthest thing from Judaism. Always meddling in the internal affairs of other countries, they should send him to Syria, see if he makes it out alive.

  13. Charlie Hall says:

    Name ONE Jews who voted for Hitler y"s. Just ONE!!!

    I don't know which is worse. To call those of us who voted for Obama supporters of terrorism, or to compare the President whom Israel's Defense Minister has identified as being the most supportive of Israel in history to Hitler? Probably the latter because you've defamed the memory of the six million.

  14. Arie Rosenrauch says:

    @Pierre: I am closely attached to the US. And may I say that your favored politician is naught more then a kapo nazi who would have no problem seeing all Jews exterminated.

    By the way, I notice how much you like Colin Powell's endorsement of obama – the SAEM Powell who forced a second Iraq war with his cowardice and who openly admits Louis Farakhan (another obama supporter and "leader" who has repeatedly called for the extermination of the Jewish people) his best friend. You are judge by those you support Pierre. And your support of the above is telling of you. I presume too much agent orange in Nam!

    Thank you for your interest!

  15. Arie Rosenrauch says:

    Well, I appreciate your concern pierre. But I must point out that, even as you allege that religions are cancers, how do you describe your support of Louis Farrakhan, a vile little cretan that has openly called for the extermination of all Jews? Wait, I know. That DOES fit your model. Much like hitler's!

    Thank you for your candor

  16. Arie Rosenrauch says:

    Careful Ben: This is where the obamaton's and Jew demonizers like Pierre refer to you as a "cancer" because they cannot fathom true peace and love betwixt people, only the venom that comprises their makeup

  17. I am more concerned with Senator Diainne Feinstein who stated she would not support a strike on Iran under any circumstance.

  18. Eylon Shamir says:

    I take an issue with your characterization of J-street.
    J-street is a Pro Israel Jewish movement that is committed for future democratic Jewish state in Israel.

    Eylon,

    San Diego

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