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Emergency Committee for Israel Launches with New Ad Hitting Sestak

4:55 PM, Jul 12, 2010 • By DANIEL HALPER
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The newly-formed Emergency Committee for Israel -- as Ben Smith reports here -- has just released its first ad, attacking Joe Sestak for his record on Israel. Here's the group's first spot: 

Smith reports:

Leading conservatives will launch a new pro-Israel group this week with a scathing attack on Rep. Joe Sestak, the Democratic Senate candidate in Pennsylvania, the first shot in what they say will be a confrontational campaign against the Obama administration’s Mideast policy and the Democrats who support it.

The Emergency Committee for Israel’s leadership unites two major strands of support for the Jewish state: The hawkish, neoconservative wing of the Republican Party, many of whom are Jewish; and conservative Evangelical Christians who have become increasingly outspoken in their support for Israel. The new group’s board includes Weekly Standard Editor William Kristol and Gary Bauer, the former Republican presidential candidate who leads the group American Values, as well as Rachel Abrams, a conservative writer and activist. Former McCain aide Michael Goldfarb is an adviser to the group.

“We’re the pro-Israel wing of the pro-Israel community,” said Kristol.

While President Barack Obama and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attempted to put the best public face on their differences after a White House meeting last week, the two leaders have had a contentious relationship. Some American backers of Israel, as well as many Israelis, remain deeply suspicious of Obama’s efforts to press Israel toward specific policy shifts and to improve American relations with the Muslim world.

The new committee declined to disclose its funding – as a 501(c)4 advocacy organization, it isn’t required to – but said it had raised enough to air its first ad, starting this week, on Fox and CNN and during a Philadelphia Phillies game. The ad attacks Sestak for signing a letter criticizing Israel’s blockade of Gaza while not signing a defense of Israel circulated by the group AIPAC, and for appearing at a fundraiser for the Council on American Islamic Relations, which it describes as an “anti-Israel organization the FBI called a ‘front-group for Hamas’.”

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