Lately, I seem to be taking on the role of critic of conservative ads — specifically the Keep America Safe ad about Obama administration Justice Department lawyers and the ad by the National Republican Trust PAC opposing the construction of a mosque at ground zero. A third hard-hitting ad also merits consideration — the Emergency Committee for Israel’s attack on Rep. Joe Sestak. Unlike the other two, I find this ad unobjectionable.
The ad was the subject of a discussion on Joe Scarborough’s show, which I wrote about here. You can view the ad on that post.
Sestak’s campaign has written a letter to Comcast, which is set to air the ad. The letter complains that the ad is “at best misleading, and at worst false and deceptive.”
Noah Pollak of the Emergency Committee for Israel responds to the Sestak camp’s letter here. In my view, Pollak successfully answers Sestak’s complaints, but read the documents and make your own call.
Sestak’s biggest grievance concerns the ad’s claim that he raised money for CAIR. But Sestak served as the keynote speaker at a banquet and fundraiser for that outfit. While CAIR presumably didn’t pass the hat during the banquet, I think it’s fair to say that by being the lead speaker at the fundraiser, Sestak raised money for CAIR. Indeed, according to Pollak, those who attended the banquet at which Sestak spoke were required to donate $50.
The Sestak camp concludes its letter by stating that Sestak “is the only candidate in the U.S. Senate race who (as an officer of the Navy) was willing to put his life on the line to defend Israel.” But the idea that one cannot simultaneously serve in the U.S. military and be anti-Israel is ridiculous.
It is also worth pointing out that Israel does not rely for its defense on U.S. forces “putting their life on the line.” Israelis do their own fighting.
Israel does rely, however, on U.S. aid and moral support, including our past willingness to support (or at least not snipe at) Israel’s use of force to defend itself. As the ECI ad shows, Sestak’s statements and conduct strongly suggest that Israel cannot rely on him for such support.
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