While Rep. William J. Pascrell, Jr., writes in his op-ed (June 22) that he “promoted – and always will promote – the security of the State of Israel,” his actions prove otherwise.
First, the bills he says he co-sponsored on Israel’s behalf, such as visa waivers for tourists, were never controversial, involved no political pushback from Paterson’s strong Arab constituency, and constituted a politician’s lip service to Jewish voters.
Where he faced strong pressure from his Arab base, however, Pascrell repeatedly caved completely, as in his signing the infamous anti-Israel Gaza 54 letter, which was an attempt to delegitimize Israel by accusing it of denying essential food and medicine to Palestinians living in Gaza.
Pascrell repeats this slander even in his Jewish Standard article. Israel never denied humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza – ever. For Pascrell to restate this grotesque slander is deeply offensive.
Finally, Pascrell made no mention of his support for Paterson’s Imam Mohammad Qatanani, whom the INS repeatedly has tried to deport for lying about being arrested by Israel for being a member of the terrorist group Hamas. Qatanani has never been heard to denounce Hamas, at least not publicly. Pascrell’s support for him demands an explanation.