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April 11, 2007

NJDC Defends Pelosi From GOP Smear

Listed in: Israel, Other Foreign Policy, Stop the Smears, NJDC News, Press Releases

Days After Calling For Bipartisansip In Foreign Policy, RJC Launches Vicious Partisan Ad Campaign Against Pelosi

WASHINGTON - Today, the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) condemned the Republican Jewish Coalition's (RJC) misguided television advertising campaign, which smears Speaker Pelosi's recent Middle East trip. The RJC makes the ridiculous claim that Speaker Pelosi's trip "weakened America's security."

"The notion that the Speaker's trip to the Middle East had negative ramifications for American national security is laughable," said NJDC Executive Director Ira Forman. "If RJC wants to do something productive for our national security, they should stand with the majority of Jewish Republicans, Independents and Democrats in opposing the administration's failed Iraq policy."

The RJC announced its campaign only days after Executive Director Matt Brooks told the New York Jewish Week that "our national security should not be a political football." [Washington Jewish Week, 4/6/07, ]]

"Turning serious national security matters into partisan ‘gotcha' politics is never in the best interest of American -- or for that matter Israeli -- security," continued Forman.

The RJC campaign is apparently part of a broader Republican effort to score political points from the Speaker's visit. The White House's previous silence on Republican visits to Syria has exposed the administration's criticism for what it is: political gamesmanship.

Reports the San Francisco Chronicle: "the White House had no criticism of the trip to Syria by three Republican House members before Pelosi's delegation arrived there this week nor of Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista (San Diego County), who visited Syria after Pelosi, Lantos and their colleagues had left." [San Francisco Chronicle, 4/6/07]

Republican Congressman Dave Hobson, who accompanied Speaker Pelosi to Syria, has publicly defended the trip, telling the Associated Press that the Speaker "did not engage in any bashing of Bush in any meeting I was in and she did not in any meeting I was in bash the policies as it relates to Syria." [AP, 4/5/07, ]]

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos, a fervent supporter of Israel, has strongly and eloquently defended the Speaker's Middle East visit, calling it "thoughtful, productive and intensely patriotic." Lantos referred to the White House's criticism as "hypocritical beyond belief" and said that "the notion that members visiting Syria and having discussions (is) a unique Democratic strategy to undermine the Republican administration is absurd on it face." [San Francisco Chronicle, 4/6/07]

In February, Gallup released an analysis of its polling since 2005 which found that majorities of both Democratic and non-Democratic Jews are opposed to the Iraq war. Jewish Republicans and Independents, according to Gallup, oppose the war by a margin of 65%-35%. A full 89% of Jewish Democrats oppose the war. [Gallup, 2/23/07]