Former New York Senator Al D’Amato spoke to The Jewish Press by phone to express his feelings about financier and liberal activist George Soros’s recent endorsement of Bill de Blasio for mayor of New York City.
“I’m very concerned about this endorsement Soros has given to de Blasio, and [that] de Blasio welcomed it with open arms,” he said.
“Soros believes that Israel is the major obstacle to peace,” D’Amato added, referring to a 2011 op-ed by Soros in the Washington Post. “And he has berated AIPAC, compared Israel to apartheid South Africa, has been in favor of the BDS movement, and has said Israel should go back to ’67 lines.
“He basically denies Israel’s right to exist, because that’s what he’d really doing if he advocates going to back to ’67 lines. Soros is no friend of Israel or of reality.”
D’Amato invoked the special relationship between the United States and Israel.
“America and New York City have an unbreakable bond with Israel. And whoever we elect as mayor will have a major platform to speak out on issues like Israel.
“It troubles me that there could be a mayor who doesn’t understand this, and I’m worried that Jewish voters might not know about this. Instead of welcoming his endorsement, de Blasio should deny his hate speech and refuse the endorsement.”
D’Amato said he has endorsed Bill Thompson for mayor. “He’s the only grown-up in the Democratic primary.”
Asked to respond to D’Amato’s remarks, a spokesman for de Blasio said, “Bill believes a strong and secure Israel is vital to the United States’ interest and has been one of Israel’s staunchest defenders against terrorist threats and the daily danger its citizens live in.
“Bill has time and again declared Israel’s right to defend herself, and continues to use the power of the Office of the Public Advocate to combat a nuclear Iran, and to pressure Saudi Arabian Airlines to stop their unlawful discrimination against Israeli citizens.”