Tom Campbell must be sensing a growing storm of controversy over his anti-Israel record. Campbell tells the Daily Caller that he can’t figure out why his opponent Carly Fiorina is attacking his anti-Israel record. He sends a statement, declaring, “Carly Fiorina’s latest attack suggesting that I am anti-Israel and pro-jihadist is desperate and irresponsible.” He insists, “In Congress, I always voted in favor of providing military aid to Israel, and have always supported Israel’s right to defend itself — including taking military action against Iran to prevent its development of nuclear arms.” Well, except for the times he wrote “Campbell Amendments” to cut aid to Israel. He also gets caught fudging the record:
Campbell’s office provided a letter from former Rep. Tom Lantos, California Democrat and Holocaust survivor, to Campbell in 1999, which they said demonstrated his bona fides on the issue of support for Israel.
“Since we first met, I have known of your strong support for the State of Israel and its people. You and I have spoken many times of the need to assure the survival of Israel, as well as to fight against hatred and bias around the world, including here in our own country,” Lantos wrote.
However, Lantos’s words were a preface to concerns he expressed about Campbell’s vote in 1999 against $30 million in economic aid to Israel.
Oops. A top official with a pro-Israel organization in Washington tells me, “During his time in the House, Tom Campbell distinguished himself as no friend of Israel or the pro-Israel community. To suggest otherwise would be dishonest.”
Part of the reason his opponents are having a field day is that Campbell has taken money ($2,000 in his Senate race in 2000, for example) from some very extreme characters, like Nihad Awad, the co-founder of CAIR, who has said things like “I’m in support of the Hamas movement” and (while speaking to the 1999 Islamic Association of Palestine convention) “Fighting for freedom, fighting for Islam, that is not suicide. They kill themselves for Islam.” Most mainstream politicians professing support for Israel wouldn’t take money from such a person or go to the CAIR-headquarters opening.
Voters can decide for themselves whether Campbell’s record matches his rhetoric. But free advice: don’t quote the revered, deceased Tom Lantos for supporting a voting record that was anathema to that true and great friend of Israel.