Pollak For Congress
## FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ##
March 17, 2010
Rep. Jan Schakowsky: Take a stand against the administration's attacks on Israel
This morning on the Don Wade & Roma show on WLS AM, Rep. Jan Schakowsky claimed that the Obama administration's attacks would not hurt the U.S.-Israel relationship. She the attacks were "not going to harm the long-term or even the short-term relationship between the United States and Israel," and she compared the argument to a marital dispute.
It is a completely inappropriate analogy, and one belied by the statement by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren that "Israel's ties with the United States are in their worst crisis since 1975" and that this was "a crisis of historic proportions." Rep. Schakowsky is failing in her duty to speak truth to power on behalf of the residents of her district, who overwhelmingly support a strong U.S.-Israel alliance.
It is time for Israel's friends in the United States to stand up and be counted. I call on Rep. Jan Schakowsky to join me in condemning the Obama administration's ongoing attack on Israel, America's most steadfast ally. I urge her to denounce the dangerous posture of J Street, the far-left organization that she helped found in Chicago last month and which is backing the administration's hostile approach against the Jewish State.
Last week, the Obama administration attacked Israel for announcing that it would be building new apartments in a Jewish neighborhood in East Jerusalem-an area that the White House had agreed would not be part of the "settlement freeze," and which will be part of Israel in any peace agreement with the Palestinians. Despite apologies from the Israeli government, the administration has continued to attack Israel in the U.S. media.
Members of both parties have criticized the Obama administration for its overreaction, which amounts to incitement against Israel and has created the worst crisis in U.S.-Israel relations in 35 years, according to Israeli ambassador Michael Oren. There was no similar criticism from the administration when Palestinian leaders dedicated a public square in honor of a terrorist the day after Vice-President Joe Biden's visit.
In the wake of criticism from Biden, David Axelrod, Hillary Clinton and others, Hamas has sent violent protestors into the street to denounce Israeli construction in Jerusalem, including the reconstruction of a centuries-old synagogue that was destroyed by Jordan after 1948. The Obama administration has given Palestinian leaders a new precondition for negotiations, without demanding that they live up to their commitments to stop terror.
Rep. Jan Schakowsky has been totally silent. But J Street, the far-left organization she helped found and build, has gleefully celebrated the crisis, calling on supporters to sign a petition supporting the administration's stance against Israel. As Rep. Schakowsky told J Street at its Chicago opening last month: "I've been a supporter of J Street since its inception." She is also the #3 money recipient from J Street PAC this cycle.
The administration and J Street are wrong in their attacks on the Israeli government. Banning Jews from Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem smacks of bigotry and gives Palestinian leaders an excuse to avoid peace talks. The attacks also embolden Israel's enemies at a time when the U.S. and Israel must stand together against Iran. It is time for Rep. Schakowsky to decide: where does she stand-with J Street or with Israel?
I call on Rep. Schakowsky to join me in taking a stand. Speak up for America's 62-year relationship with the only democracy in the Middle East. Stop the rhetoric that is more vitriolic than anything the Obama administration uses against America's enemies. Stop public demands for unilateral Israeli concessions. Start focusing on Iran's nuclear program, instead of joining Iran in attacking the Jewish presence in Jerusalem.
Rep. Schakowsky is the voice for J Street in Chicago and across the nation. She hosted their first gala dinner and was a featured speaker at their first national conference. It is up to her to speak out against J Street's petition drive and against the anti-Israel attacks of the Obama administration. Her silence, as long as it continues, will stand as evidence of her true beliefs about Israel. She must take a stand, before more damage is done.