Tuesday, June 06, 2023

In response to the letter from David Hes, “The Gottheimer Myth” (September 15, 2022): If you’re choosing your congressperson based on any number of domestic or local issues, then I guess you’ll vote for your preferred party’s agenda, whether it’s the Republican or Democratic candidate. However, if the security of Israel runs deep in your veins, as it does mine, then you need to be more thoughtful and strategic. If you are, you will better understand just how important Josh Gottheimer has been and continues to be, and why he must be reelected.

Frank Pallotta may be good for Israel and on our issues, but will he be an amazing mentor to the freshman Democrats who come into office who may know very little about Israel or the Middle East? Of course not, but Josh has and will continue to be. Will Pallotta be able to lead Democratic congressmen on a trip to Israel, pointing out why supporting Israel, our most dependable ally, is essential? Of course not, but Josh has and will.

Being a Democrat allows Josh to have a strong voice in that party, which a Republican obviously cannot. We need more champions of a strong U.S.-Israel relationship on the Democratic side than we currently do on the Republican side. We must never allow Israel to become a partisan issue where only one party will be supportive of Israel; that may work short term but never long term.

Finally, we owe Josh hakarat hatov for all the work he has already done for our community. For example, for taking the lead on so many of our issues—BDS, Iron Dome, fighting antisemitism on college campuses and elsewhere; fighting the International Criminal Court’s bias against Israel; always supporting security assistance to Israel; supporting our local shuls; and confronting the Squad members. Contrary to what Mr. Hes implied, Josh has been a strong leader on the democratic side standing against Iranian aggression, strongly against the JCPOA and any possible reentry, while pushing to keep sanctions pressure on Iran constantly.

Let’s be smart with our vote, look at the bigger picture and support Josh. There are not enough people in our country who prioritize Israel as does our community; let the rest of the country’s congressional districts worry about the domestic agenda. Let’s be a bit selfish and think about what’s best for a bipartisan strong U.S.-Israel relationship.

Let the voices of our pro-Israel community be heard loud and clear in the hallways of Congress and on BOTH sides of the aisle!

Shana Tova.

Phil Goldschmiedt
Teaneck NORPAC President
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