On January 22nd, U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz was reelected as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). A big reason for progressives to want Wasserman Schultz back as leader of the party is that she represents two large American voting blocks, women and Jews, blocks that the Democratic Party relies on to win elections and blocks that President Barack Obama relied on to be reelected, himself.
However, while the congresswoman represents these two groups, that does not necessarily mean she represents their best interests. Case in point: Wasserman Schultz’s lack of support for the Jewish state of Israel.
Wasserman Schultz is recognized as being an advocate for Israel. Upon visiting her congressional website, you will notice that the first two photos which pop up are her with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and her laying a wreath at Israel’s Holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem. And though these things appear as if Wasserman Schultz is a staunch supporter of the Jewish state, the reality is that they are a convenient cover for her anti-Israel activity.
In May 2009, Wasserman Schultz co-hosted an event for J Street, a left wing group linked to financier George Soros that promotes on its website a moral equivalence between Israel’s fighting in Gaza and Hamas suicide bombers. Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz told the Jerusalem Post that he believes “J Street has done more damage to Israel than any [other] American organization.” At the J Street event, Wasserman Schultz praised the group, saying that “J Street has worthy goals.” In October 2009, Wasserman Schultz was a featured speaker at J Street’s first major conference, even after a dozen other members of congress dropped out.
In February 2011, after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was imprisoned by Islamists, Wasserman Schultz ignored Mubarak’s role as Israel’s peace partner and took the side of his violent jailers. She stated, “For the past two weeks the world has heard a truly momentous grassroots call for democracy from the streets and squares of Egypt. Today, with the resignation of President Mubarak, the voices of the people of Egypt were finally heeded.” As a result of this tragedy, Egypt is now led by Israel’s enemy, the Muslim Brotherhood, and new President Muhammad Morsi, who not long ago referred to Jews as “the descendants of apes and pigs.”
In May 2011, when President Obama came out with his disastrous plan to push Israel back to her pre-1967 lines, which Prime Minister Netanyahu rejected as “indefensible,” Wasserman Schultz didn’t hesitate to throw her weight at the initiative. The headline from the Miami Herald read, ‘Debbie Wasserman Schultz backs President Obama’s remarks on Israel.’ The article stated, “The new chair of the national Democratic party – and prominent Jewish lawmaker – is out with remarks praising President Obama’s call for Israel’s pre-1967 borders…”
To say that she supported indefensible borders for Israel only to back the position of her boss, Barack Obama, would not be entirely accurate. In October 2011, just five months after the borders flap, Wasserman Schultz told an audience of mostly Jewish seniors that there are parts of Israel that are “not important” – quote “not important.” It took place at Wynmoor Village, located in Coconut Creek, Florida.
In September 2012, at the DNC Convention, Wasserman Schultz, the DNC leader, allowed the Democratic Party platform to be voted on without mention of Jerusalem as being Israel’s capital. Following criticism from the GOP – or as the Associated Press put it, “Embarrassed by Republicans” – the DNC amended the platform the next day to include the word “God” and Jerusalem (amidst boos from the crowd). When confronted about it by a reporter, Wasserman Schultz claimed that the platform was changed because President Obama wanted it changed. She said it was “directly the result of his personal view” – evidently not hers.
In January 2013, President Obama nominated former U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel to become Secretary of Defense. His nomination was seen as highly controversial, as Hagel’s past statements and voting habits made him appear as though he was anti-Israel and a defender of Israel’s enemies. Hagel complained about the existence of a “Jewish lobby,” a derogatory and conspiratorial term that suggests an unwarranted Jewish influence/intimidation in American politics. After he spoke to and apologized to Wasserman Schultz, she endorsed Hagel, saying that much of the concern “could be chalked up to misunderstandings over his true positions.” Both the apology and the acceptance of it smacked of political expediency.
All of the above paints a damning picture of U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz. It suggests that any notion of the congresswoman as being pro-Israel is a notion built on false perception and a lack of knowledge of her offending behavior. The image that Wasserman Schultz has created for the public is completely a facade. While she is indeed Jewish, her actions show a lack of care for the greater Jewish community in Israel.
Joe Kaufman is a candidate for United States Congress. He is an expert in the fields of counter-terrorism, foreign affairs and energy independence for America.
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