After reading a letter cosigned by eight individuals rattling off the sins of Josh Gottheimer, and another more troubling one from a group of Gottheimer’s supporters too afraid to identify themselves for fear of being attacked in shul, I did some research. Here’s what I learned.
Congressman Gottheimer lambasted Bernie Sanders and other like-minded Democratic presidential candidates during the primaries, “who seemingly believe that assistance to Israel should be held hostage.” Just awful. He doubled the claw backs of federal funds to the 5th District of New Jersey to the tune of $1.2 million, two-thirds of which were allocated for the safety of local Jewish institutions. Absolutely shameful. He co-chaired the House Problem Solvers Caucus, working both sides of the aisle in an effort to move government forward. How dare he try to break the logjam in Washington? As a centrist who built alliances to strengthen the moderate wing of his party, he was targeted by progressives, especially when he proposed bipartisan support for Israel and publicly spoke out against Ilhan Omar. Clearly this man must be defeated!
Any candidate who ardently supports Israel, works tirelessly to bring federal funds to his Bergen County constituents, fights for effective government and isn’t afraid to push back against party progressives does not share the values and interests of the Bergen County frum community. At least that’s what some shul attendees apparently believe.
Everyone is entitled to support whomever he/she sees fit. However, to bully those whose beliefs differ, who simply want to offer hakarat hatov to someone they feel has been an effective public servant, truly is shameful.Robert Isler