Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Israeli Ambassador Rebukes Democratic National Chair Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz

I categorically deny that I ever characterized Republican policies as harmful to Israel. Bipartisan support is a paramount national interest for Israel, and we have great friends on both sides of the aisle.
Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren's response to Debbie Wasserman Schultz


Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Credit: Wiki Commons
The need for such a denial stems from the odd claim by Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, that Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren thinks Republicans are dangerous:
Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz claimed on Monday that Israel’s ambassador to the United States has accused Republicans of being “dangerous” to Israel by criticizing President Obama’s record. (Update: The Israeli embassy has responded.)

The Florida congresswoman made the charge at a training session for Jewish Democrats held by the Obama campaign here at the Democratic National Convention, aimed at teaching Jewish Democrats how to convince their fellow Jews to vote for Obama.
Now what she may be working off of is a statement she herself made back in March. In an interview with Hadassah Magazine, Wasserman Schultz herself claimed that Republicans are dangerous:
Q. Why did you call on both parties to refrain from challenging each other over support for Israel?
A. What the Republicans are doing is dangerous. They are using Israel as a political football.… Israel’s ambassador [to the United States], Michael Oren, has said this. If there is any perception of daylight between the parties on support for Israel, that strengthens Israel’s enemies. The president rejects what some Republican candidates have been saying, that America should review all its foreign aid commitments from zero, making each country justify the support it receives.
Perhaps she was just summarizing the answer she gave back there.

And if her intent in March was the same as her intent yesterday in claiming that Oren actually claimed that Republicans are a danger to Israel, then it is just as well that this misquoting by Schultz has come to light so that it could be publicly debunked.

Fortunately, with the Democratic National Convention now going on, reporters should have no difficulty speaking with Debbie Wasserman Schultz and having her explain exactly how this unfortunate misquote came about.

Hat tip: LLM

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