Florida State Senate Candidate Calls Out Incumbent Opponent for Meeting With Palestinian Terrorist (INTERVIEW)
A Florida Democratic state senator’s meeting earlier this year with a member of a Palestinian terrorist group was a display of poor judgement that should weigh on the minds of voters, the senator’s challenger in a primary election being held on Tuesday told The Algemeiner.
Andrew Korge, who is running against incumbent Dwight Bullard in Florida’s 40th Senate district (located in Miami-Dade County), told The Algemeiner on Monday, “I believe Israel is one of our closest allies and is a country we need to work with hand in hand and my opponent definitely does not.”
As reported by NBC6 News last week, Bullard has come under fire for meeting with a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) during a trip to Israel and the Palestinian Authority in May with the Dream Defenders human rights group.
“I met with an individual who was a tour guide in [the] Old [City] of Jerusalem,” Bullard told NBC 6 News. “In terms of his political affiliations, I had no idea.”
Korge does not buy that excuse. “He’s pleading ignorance, yet he refuses to apologize,” Korge said. “At a time when the United States and the Western world are dealing with the threat of terrorism, it’s irresponsible and frankly wrong for an American elected official to go meet a member of a terrorist group. The PFLP has not only murdered innocent civilians and proudly taken credit for it, it also has ties to the Castro regime (in Cuba) and the Maduro regime (in Venezuela) and other dictators, so I’m not sure what the heck Dwight Bullard was thinking. We have enough ignorance in government, we certainly don’t need more ignorant people.”
For Korge, the issue comes down to judgement. “Anyone who thinks it’s ok or wise to go meet with a member of a terrorist group that murders innocent civilians, well they clearly have poor judgement,” Korge said. “And why is a state senator spending so much time fighting for the rights of folks in another country? That’s just not part of your job. Your job is to focus on your constituents in your district. So it shows poor judgement and priorities that are completely backwards.”
During his trip in May, Bullard also met with Omar Barghouti, the founder of the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.
Korge was not the only one angered by Bullard’s activities. Earlier this month, the Miami United Against BDS group called on the Florida Democratic Party to condemn Bullard’s meetings with the PFLP member and Barghouti. It also said Bullard should resign.
“State Senator Bullard is so concerned about Palestinian civil rights, but he should start condemning some of the same people he is trying to ‘defend,’” founder of Miami United Against BDS Joe Zevuloni was quoted as saying in a press release. “Why doesn’t he condemn groups such as the PFLP, Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist organizations that carry out attacks and openly persecute Christians and members of the LGBT community? Within the Palestinian areas women cannot run for political office let alone participate fully in civic life. On the other hand, Israel is a vibrant democracy and the only true US ally in the Middle East. Israel is America’s best friend and friends stand up for each other.”
In the NBC6 News interview, Bullard said, “I’m pro-Israel, but I’m also pro-Palestine. My position is coexistence.”
Korge told The Algemeiner that Bullard was the only person to vote against the anti-BDS law passed by Florida this year. Also, Korge said, Bullard has publicly compared Israel to an apartheid state.
“The notion that Israel doesn’t want peace is outrageous,” Korge said. “Hamas doesn’t want peace and apparently Dwight Bullard doesn’t know the difference between a decent government and a terrorist government. And Dwight Bullard clearly doesn’t know the teachings of Martin Luther King, who said Israel is one of the great outposts for democracy in the world and that anti-Zionism equates to anti-Semitism.”