A Democratic primary race in northern New Jersey has devolved into a highly competitive proxy war over Israel, pitting the state’s pro-Israel community against a growing constituency of Arab voters who have accused a sitting congressman of putting Israel’s interests before America’s.
As the race between Democratic Reps. Steve Rothman and Bill Pascrell nears its Tuesday finish, veteran political observers on the ground have expressed concern at the way the battle between the two veteran lawmakers has transformed into a troubling ethnic brawl.
“One side says, ‘We want this Jew out of office’ and, frankly, it’s pretty unsettling,” Ben Chouake, president of NORPAC, a pro-Israel political action committee based in Englewood Cliffs, told the Free Beacon. “They emphasized [Rothman] is a Jewish congressman.”
Others say they simply cannot recall a congressional race becoming a referendum on a candidate’s religion.