Elected officials who have publicly announced their backing of Bill Thompson for mayor, are now calling Anthony Weiner out for accepting campaign cash from a lobbyist for Al Jazeera, the NY Post reported.
City Councilman Lew Fidler (D-Brooklyn), called on rival candidate Weiner to return the $4,950 donation to lobbyist John Merrigan.
“Al Jazeera and its lobbyists are no friends to New York City or our Jewish community, and Anthony shouldn’t accept their support,” Fidler said. “They have spread hate and lies against Jews, not only here in New York but across the world. The right thing to do is to give this money back. Anthony should do exactly that.”
Assemblyman Alan Maisel, a Brooklyn Democrat who has endorsed Thompson, also chastised Weiner for taking the contribution from Merrigan, who has done extensive work with the network accused of being antisemitic, anti-Israel and anti-American.
“Anthony Weiner should know better than to accept contributions from friends [at] Al Jazeera, which has been a voice for terrorists and spewed hatred against Jews and the state of Israel,” Maisel said. “They have echoed and attempted to legitimize hate speech about wiping Israel off the map. It’s disgraceful.”
“While I respect Anthony, he has done wrong by accepting this terror-tainted money. Now he should do the right thing: return it,” Maisel insisted.
Mr. Weiner declined to comment to the NY Post, but in an appearance on the Dov Hikind Show Saturday night, Weiner accused the Bill Thompson campaign of smearing him based on this single contribution.
“It is funny, last week I was hit for being too hawkish on Israel and this week I being hit for being too close to Al-Jazeera,” said Mr. Weiner.
Mr. Weiner went on to defend himself for accepting the contribution saying Merrigan is a partner in DLA Piper – a state law firm that advocates for the Democratic Party’s causes.
“I’ve never met the man. I guess what Mr. Thompson’s supporters are saying this because he represented Al-Jazeera America… that somehow I’m supporting Al-Jazeera.” Mr. Weiner said, adding, “I’m not a supporter of Al-Jazeera. I’m not taking money from Al-Jazeera. This makes me smile but this is what happens, I guess, you start doing well.. old politics kick in.. People want to sell you up a bit to slow your momentum.”
Meanwhile, mayoral candidates Sal Albanese and Bill Thompson have been taking the extra mile in courting the Orthodox Jewish vote.
visited about a dozen locations during his 15 hour tour, starting Thursday evening into Friday afternoon, while Bill Thompson spent Sunday touring Jewish strongholds in the Catskills, meeting with community leaders and Jewish voters residing upstate New York for the summer.
“Any candidate looks for places where he can campaign with the greatest number of people in the shortest time,” State Senator Simcha Felder, whose Brooklyn district includes many Orthodox voters, told the NY Times. “And that’s the opportunity of the Catskills.”
About the Author: Jacob Kornbluh is described as an up and coming Orthodox Jewish Blogger, writing about Local, national and Israeli politics, and a freelance reporter for various publications. Kornbluh's work has been featured in Haaretz, the NY Times, local blogs, and on local Jewish Radio, Kornbluh also covers the NYC 2013 mayoral race in general and a focus on the Jewish vote in particular at: http://nymayor.blogspot.com. Follow Jacob on Twitter @jacobkornbluh and his daily blog: jacobkornbluh.com
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