Ex-Congressman Robert Dold continues to cross a time-honored line by refusing to respect the hard-earned, bipartisan support for the U.S.-Israel relationship in Congress. I've been active in pro-Israel politics for a long time, and I thought I'd seen everything. But I never thought I'd see someone who claims to be a friend of the pro-Israel community, as Dold does, so blatantly use Israel for personal partisan gain.
On July 31, as many of us were glued to our TV or computer for news about our loved ones in Israel, and as Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10) was on the floor of the House passionately speaking out against Hamas and uniting Congress in support of Israel, his opponent, Robert Dold, sent out a campaign fundraising email blast claiming that Rep. Schneider "has been silent and watched this happen."
We cannot let Dold get away with trying to weaken broad, bipartisan U.S. support for Israel. It's an insult to our intelligence and to the values we cherish. Schneider has written op-eds, taken the lead in pushing through letters and resolutions, and has sponsored and co-sponsored key legislation to strengthen Israel, including introducing the Israel Qualitative Edge Enhancement Act, which was unanimously passed by the House. He is a leader in Congress on stopping Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and a strong advocate for increased sanctions against Iran. Schneider introduced the most recent Hezbollah sanctions bill, which also was unanimously passed by the House. And on all these efforts, Congressman Schneider has worked closely with both his Democratic and Republican colleagues, just as he did before joining Congress.
Trying to turn Israel into a partisan issue, particularly in Israel's critical hour of need, is disgraceful. Deliberately spreading falsehoods about Congressman Schneider sends a signal that we are divided on Israel, when the signal we need to send the world is that the United States stands united behind Israel.
There's a word for what Mr. Dold is trying to do: Swiftboating. That's when unethical politicians attack their opponent's strength by telling lies designed to turn that strength into a weakness to raise money or get votes. It can work, but only if we let it.
Mr. Dold does not deserve our vote. He is not qualified to represent us in Congress. Anyone who would use our ally Israel so shamefully, especially at a time like this, and especially against a staunch pro-Israel leader like Representative Brad Schneider, deserves only our scorn.
Mark Twain said a lie can get half-way around the world before the truth puts its pants on. Please help give the truth a fighting chance. Don't let Robert Dold weaken U.S support for Israel by misrepresenting Brad Schneider's outstanding record of leadership on Israel. Don't let Dold diminish the bipartisan support Israel rightly deserves, and at this moment, absolutely needs.