Friday, August 5, 2011

Heated debate on Israel in NY Congressional race - Republican and Democrat vs. Obama

(via, Nypost, The Empire Blog). The campaign of businessman Bob Turner (R), who is running for the Brooklyn-Queens congressional seat recently vacated by disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY-9), today offered a $1,000 reward for any New Yorker who can clearly explain Democratic candidate and career politician David Weprin’s position on cutting off U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority until rocket fire on Israeli citizens stops, and until the Authority stops using U.S. taxpayer dollars to pay Palestinian terrorists in Israeli prisons, based on Mr. Weprin’s remarks on “The Brian Lehrer Show” yesterday.

The show can be heard here. Mr. Weprin’s remarks on this issue run from the 7:09 mark to the 9:38 mark.

Mr. Turner, who has been endorsed for the seat for Democratic former mayor Ed Koch and House Homeland Security Committee chairman Pete King (R) because of his unwavering support of Israel, has called on Congress to cut off funding to the Palestinian Authority until the payments to convicted terrorists stop and until the rocket fire ceases.

“This issue is cut and dry; not a single American dollar should be going to the Palestinian Authority while it is paying terrorists and condoning rocket attacks on Israeli families,” Mr. Turner said. “David Weprin was given several opportunities to take a position on this yesterday, and once again he hedged like a politician. There can be no hedging on clear moral issues like this.”

Meanwhile the Jewish Democratic candidate David Weprin, distanced himself from President Obama today — by refusing to say whether he backed the president’s re-election.

“I’m running myself right now. On Sept. 14, I’ll be happy to address the president’s election,” State Assemblyman David Weprin said following a press conference at Queens Borough Hall, where he was endorsed by a bevy of female elected leaders.

“Don’t read anything into it,” Weprin insisted of his refusal to give fellow Democrat Obama a thumbs up.

Thursday on “The Brian Lehrer Show.” Weprin was asked about former Mayor Ed Koch’s endorsement of his opponent over Israel and what the differences were between him and Turner on the issue, Weprin’s exhaustion about the topic was nearly audible.
“I don’t think we differ too much for our strength for the state of Israel, But I think we have to really talk about the other issues where there’s really a major difference.”
Later, when discussing the issue again, Weprin gave the distilled pitch he’s making on the issue.  he said:
“If you disagree with the president, as I have, with his Mideast policies, the best way to get that message to him and the administration is through his own party, as opposed to a freshman Republican that’ll be dismissed as partisan politics.”