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June 4, 2012 11:06 am

New Jersey Race Turns Ugly Over Jews and Israel

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Congressman Steve Rothman. Photo: wiki commons.

The Democratic race between Reps. Steve Rothman and Bill Pascrell in New Jersey has morphed into a battle over religion and political views on Israel as some local Arabs attacked Rothman for being Jewish and pro-Israel.

“One side says, ‘We want this Jew out of office’ and, frankly, it’s pretty unsettling…They emphasized [Rothman] is a Jewish congressman,” Ben Chouake, president of NORPAC, a pro-Israel political action committee based in Englewood Cliffs, told the Washington Free Beacon. Last week an Arabic campaign poster surfaced in the area, expressing support for Pascrell and urging the Arab community to elect “the friend of the Arabs.”

According to Josh Block, a Democratic strategist and former spokesman for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, “the pro-Pascrell posters…are not calling to elect the candidate who supports a strong relationship between America and the only democracy in the Middle East, one which is rooted in progressive Western values—women’s rights, gay rights, tolerance, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, etc.”

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