Former New York City mayor Ed Koch, along with Dan Senor, has written a letter slamming Congressman Maurice Hinchey of New York’s 22nd Congressional District for his anti-Israel views. In the letter, Koch and Senor endorse Republican George Phillips. Here's the full text of the bipartisan gesture:
With less than two weeks to go before the mid-term election, we know this letter -- asking for support for George Phillips for Congress – is coming very late in the day. But we are making this unusual request because this is both a moment of urgency and opportunity.
The urgency is that this is a crucial moment in the U.S.-Israel alliance. Iran is edging ever closer to becoming a nuclear power. If that should come to pass, a grave threat will become an existential threat for the state of Israel. All against the backdrop of an aggressive international campaign of deligitimization and isolation against Israel. So now more than ever, Israel needs strong allies in America – and strong allies in the United States Congress.
Unfortunately, when it comes to Maurice Hinchey, who represents New York’s 22nd District, we have one of the least sympathetic, most hostile lawmakers in Congress on all issues impacting the U.S.-Israel relationship. Hinchey is a member of a small group of Representatives that routinely votes against the bipartisan resolutions and legislation by which Congress supports the U.S.-Israel alliance.
Consider just a few items from his record:
-In 2002, at the height of the Intifada, as Israeli civilians were being murdered by the hundreds in suicide bombings, a simple House resolution expressing solidarity with Israel passed by a 352-21 margin. Hinchey voted “present.”
-In 2006, Hinchey voted against a bill to promote democratic institution-building in the Palestinian territories titled the “Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act.” It passed 361-37.
-In 2009, he voted against a resolution condemning the Goldstone Report, an infamous product of the UN that accused Israel of intentionally committing war crimes in Gaza. The anti-Goldstone resolution passed 344-36.
-This year, he signed a letter to President Obama that accused Israel of the “de facto collective punishment” of Palestinians in Gaza and demanded that President Obama pressure Israel to open its borders with Gaza, a move that would leave Israel dangerously vulnerable to terrorism.
-Most stunningly of all, Hinchey voted against one of the Obama administration’s most important foreign policy initiatives, the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions Act, passed by overwhelming margins in both houses of Congress and signed into law this summer. This key piece of legislation, vital to both American and Israeli security, sailed through the House 412-12.
Hinchey voted against it.
If there is a Member of Congress who has voted more consistently against consensus American foreign policy interests and against U.S.-Israel friendship, we would be hard-pressed to name him.
Fortunately, the opportunity comes in the person of George Phillips, a young and talented candidate who was born and raised in Endwell near Binghamton. Mr. Phillips -- a dedicated teacher who also brings foreign policy experience from his days as a Congressional aide -- has closed to within just a few points of Representative Hinchey. A race that was once thought of as untouchable is now winnable. New York’s 22nd District is now on the national political radar screen. A stunning upset is within reach. Which is where you come in.
The two of us signing this letter differ on many issues and indeed belong to different political parties. But we are united in our criticisms of and opposition to Maurice Hinchey; and in our support and enthusiasm for George Phillips, who would prove to be a strong and faithful friend of the US-Israel relationship.
Your help during this sprint to the finish will make a meaningful, and quite possibly a decisive, difference in the outcome of this race. That is why we are asking that you join this effort by going to www.electgeorgephillips.com, and make an online donation today.
George Phillips will prove to be what Maurice Hinchey has never been: A serious voice on American national security and a stalwart defender of Israel. In protecting the interests of Israel we are protecting the interests of America. The United States and Israel are animated by the same principles. We care about the same causes. We are hated by the same enemies. And our destinies are therefore inseparable. As one who cherishes the special relationship between both nations, we hope that you can find it within yourself to make a contribution.
It can make all the difference.