The conflict in Gaza and the positions of the candidates regarding Israel has become one of the subtexts in the Peach State’s Senate and Governor’s races. A story in Wednesday’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution outlined the claims and counterclaims of the different campaigns, from Jason Carter disavowing his grandfather Jimmy’s op-ed supporting the legitimacy of Hamas, to Nathan Deal’s pro-Israel op-ed in the Washington Post.
The David Perdue campaign has made much of Michelle Nunn’s “TBD” stance on Israel as outlined in her leaked December campaign memo, while the Nunn campaign offered statements of support from prominent members of Georgia’s Jewish community.
While statements from the candidates and their campaigns provide some insight, it’s also useful to get the thoughts of someone on the outside. And for that, there’s Matthew Foldi, a young Jewish Republican activist who lives outside Washington, DC. Foldi blogs regularly, and in a recent post, he reacted to the support, or lack thereof, for Israel by Georgia’s Gubernatorial and Senate candidates.
First, this on the Senate race:
I’m just going to focus on [Nunn’s] message regarding Israel (it’s also worth pointing out that her opponent, David Perdue has one of the strongest positions on Israel I’ve seen this election cycle). Actually, it would be more accurate to point out the complete lack of message regarding Israel, (or “TBD,” as the memo puts it). Why, especially given the Hamas-initiated conflict, would she not have a position on Israel? It’s quite simple actually. Jews are a “tremendous financial opportunity,” and their “level of support will be contingent on her position [on Israel].”
Hold on a second. As a Jew, I find this statement to be completely and utterly false. Do I care about Israel? Absolutely and unequivocally. Does my support for a candidate revolve solely around the issue of Israel? Absolutely not.
For the Governor’s race, Foldi is equally opinionated:
Turning to Jason, his grandfather’s Middle Eastern delusions are in the news once again, and for a state party that should already be reeling after the Nunn Memo was leaked, this can hardly come across as good news.
Ironically, if one were to use Nunn’s logic, Carter’s campaign can count on no support from the Jewish community given these statements by his grandfather (although Jason is trying to steer clear of Jimmy’s wreckage, but interestingly he doesn’t go so far condemn his grandfather’s comments on how the US should recognize Hamas). To be clear, I’m not saying that Jason and Jimmy are the same person, but for someone relying pretty heavily on his status as a legacy candidate, this news is worse than it would be for other candidates out there.
Read the whole thing. Foldi is pretty blunt in his opinions about the Georgia races and what he thinks the outcome should be. In my mind, he deserves the right to be heard. Two weeks ago, he was a counter-demonstrator at a pro-Hamas rally in front of the White House. He describes that experience, where an Israeli flag he wore as a cape was torn off his back and burned by protesters, in this op-ed in the Jerusalem Post.