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September 26, 2016 / 23 Elul, 5776
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J Street also claims to be pro-Israel

Will the Real Debbie Wasserman Schultz Please Stand Up?

The latest AIPAC letter extolled Wasserman Schultz's virtues as a friend of AIPAC and as pro-Israel. Whether or not she opposes the senate sanctions bill is the question, though.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Florida congresswoman and former Democratic National Committee Chair.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Florida congresswoman and former Democratic National Committee Chair.
Photo Credit: Facebook

“Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz has a strong record of support for the U.S.-Israel relationship,” read this AIPAC missive, written by Ike Fisher. “She is a good friend of Israel and a close friend of AIPAC, and we look forward to our continued work together for many years to come.”

Fisher, like Wasserman Schultz, is an inveterate supporter of President Obama.  According to (yet another) article in the Free Beacon about the matter, Fisher wrote to many pro-Israel activists in 2008 about then-candidate Barack Obama’s pro-Israel bona fides, implying that Fisher, like Wasserman Schultz may be pro-Israel, but even more than that, they are both pro-Democratic party.

After wading through the claims, the denials, the put-downs and the feigned even-handedness, it seems one can make a very few conclusive statements.

First, by the admission of her own spokesperson, and at least behind the scenes, Debbie Wasserman Schultz is not supportive of passing new sanctions legislation now. This is the case despite her having signed on to sanctions legislation as recently as this past summer, prior to the latest round of negotiations.

Second, it does seem as though someone at least connected with AIPAC contacted other AIPAC members who were unhappy with their impression that Wasserman Schultz was lobbying against the House Resolution supporting the Senate sanctions legislation.

Third, at least one AIPAC board member was unwilling to allow an impression to linger that AIPAC was unhappy with Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and so he went on the record extolling her virtues as a friend of AIPAC as well as a friend of Israel.

Fourth, that AIPAC board member did not address the question of whether or not Wasserman Schultz lobbied against the Cantor-Hoyer resolution in support of the current Senate sanctions bill.

In other words, in general, Wasserman Schultz can be considered pro-Israel.

J Street also considers itself pro-Israel.

The question that still needs to be answered is whether or not Wasserman Schultz tried to torpedo the House resolution and continues to try to torpedo the Senate sanctions bill.  Until Wasserman Schultz sets the record straight on that point, it looks like the WFB has made the more effective case.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the U.S. correspondent for The Jewish Press. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com


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