In an op-ed in Jewish Week, Assemblywoman Grace Meng is going after her Republican congressional opponent, Queens Councilman Dan Halloran, for supporting Ron Paul’s erstwhile presidential candidacy.
Halloran has been publicly supportive of Israel during the congressional race, and is even taking a trip to the country in a show of support. But Halloran did support the candidacy of Paul, whose statements and votes in Congress have been perceived as anti-Israel.
My Republican opponent in this race, Dan Halloran, endorsed Rep. Ron Paul for president. Ron Paul has expressed disdain for Israel, attempted to end all U.S. aid to Israel, supported leaving Israel to face its many threats alone, and has opposed confronting the Iranian nuclear threat at all. He is also Dan Halloran’s choice for commander-in-chief. Speaking of Ron Paul, Gov. Mitt Romney said, “One of the people running for president thinks it’s O.K. for Iran to have a nuclear weapon.”
It’s great that Mr. Halloran says he would support Israel as a member of Congress. But it’s the president who dominates our foreign policy and commands our military, and it’s the president who arguably has more power in these areas than all of Congress combined. If Mr. Halloran had his way, Ron Paul would be our next President. While government and politics generally benefit from wide-ranging and spirited discussions, such outlier “fringe” positions should be recognized for what they are: dangerous. Ron Paul was one of only six members of congress to just vote against Iran sanctions this month, with 421 members voting in favor.
If Israel and the Iranian nuclear threat were really so important to Mr. Halloran, why would he endorse the one Republican presidential candidate — out of seven or eight options — who stood out for his anti-Israel views and his disinterest in the Iranian threat? Sometimes actions speak louder than words, and Mr. Halloran’s endorsement of Ron Paul is deafening, particularly for those who care about Israel.
There may be a diversity of opinions on President Obama, but no one can dispute that a Ron Paul presidency would truly have been devastating for Israel.
For his part, Halloran, a libertarian Republican, has said that he agrees with Paul on economic policy, but disagrees on Israel.
To my knowledge this is the first attack that Meng has launched against Halloran during their general election campaign, while Halloran has been making various allegations against Meng, including a press release yesterday (and another today) about Meng not voluntarily disclosing campaign bundlers. Of course, as was shown in the Democratic primary in NY-6, the Israel issue is quite a big one for anyone hoping to sway Jewish voters in the district.
In the op-ed, Meng also explains some of her differences on Israel with President Obama.
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