NJ Dem Primary Gets Ugly – How is @ArefAssaf a power mover in the Democratic party? #BillPascrell #SteveRothman

February 21, 2012

(freebeacon.com) A prominent Arab supporter of New Jersey Democrat Bill Pascrell invoked the “Israel firster” specter over the weekend when he accused the state’s Jewish voters of being more loyal to Israel than America.
@ArefAssaf, president of the New Jersey-based American Arab Forum, opined Sunday evening in the New Jersey Star-Ledger about a Democratic primary that the state’s pro-Israel community is closely watching. The race pits Rep. Steve Rothman, a veteran pro-Israel stalwart, against Bill Pascrell, a well-liked Democrat who boasts a solid voting base.
Assaf accused New Jersey’s Orthodox Jewish voters of transforming the race from a domestic duel between local lawmakers into a proxy war between the state’s Jewish and Muslim communities.
“Unquestionably, this primary election is pitting two otherwise harmoniously coexisting communities: the Muslim and Jewish communities,” Assaf wrote in an article headlined “Rothman is Israel’s man in District 9.”
“As total and blind support for Israel becomes the only reason for choosing Rothman, voters who do not view the elections in this prism will need to take notice. Loyalty to a foreign flag is not loyalty to America’s,” Assaf added. (MORE)

It is frightening to think how stupid some people are if they think that guys like Mr. Assaf are merely part of an inclusive pattern in the Democratic party. This is the power base.


Israel Aid Pays U.S. Dividends That Exceed Cost: Steve Rothman

April 17, 2010
“For about 2 percent of what the U.S. spends in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan this year, Americans can take pride in the return on our investment in aid to Israel.” (Steve Rothman is a Democratic congressman from New Jersey who serves on the House committees responsible for U.S. military and foreign aid. The opinions expressed are his own.) PHOTO: Steve Rothman shaking hands with Secretary-General Ban Kimoon
The argument that American military aid to Israel is damaging to the U.S. is not only erroneous, it hurts the national security interests of this country and threatens the survival of Israel.
U.S. support for Israel is essential, not only for Israel’s national security, but for America’s. Every bit of that support — and more — withstands all reasonable scrutiny.
Under the 2010 U.S. budget, about $75 billion, $65 billion and $3.25 billion will be spent on military operations and aid in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan during this fiscal year, respectively. Israel will receive $3 billion, in military aid only. There is no economic aid to Israel, other than loan guarantees that continue to be repaid in full and on time.
There isn’t enough space here to discuss the relative merits of the expenditures in these other countries, but we already know the critically important return the U.S. gets for helping its oldest, most trusted ally in the strategically important Middle East — the most powerful military force in that region, the pro-U.S., pro-West and democratic Jewish state of Israel.
Here’s how.
First, it’s important to remember that about 70 percent of the $3 billion aid must be used by Israel to purchase American military equipment. This provides real support for U.S. high- tech defense jobs and contributes to maintaining our industrial base. This helps the U.S. stay at the very top in the manufacturing of our own cutting-edge military munitions, aircraft, vehicles, missiles and virtually every defensive and offensive weapon in the U.S. arsenal — with the added contribution of Israel’s renowned technical know-how.
Research Cooperation
Second, the U.S. and Israel are jointly developing state- of-the-art missile defense capabilities in the David’s Sling and Arrow 3 systems. These two technologies build on the already successful Arrow 2, jointly developed by our two countries, which is already providing missile defense security to Israel and U.S. civilians and ground troops throughout the region. The knowledge the U.S. gains from these efforts also has a positive multiplier effect on applications to other U.S. military and non-military uses and U.S. jobs.
Third, given Israel’s strategic location on the Mediterranean, with access to the Red Sea and other vital international shipping and military lanes of commerce and traffic, it is critically important to the U.S. that Israel continues to serve as a port of call for our troops, ships, aircraft and intelligence operations.
Forward Base
Israel also has permitted the U.S. to stockpile arms, fuel, munitions and other supplies on its soil to be accessed whenever America needs them in the region.
Fourth, America’s special relationship with Israel provides the U.S. with real-time, minute-to-minute access to one of the best intelligence services in the world: Israel’s. With Israeli agents gathering intelligence and taking action throughout the Middle East and, literally, around the world, regarding al- Qaeda, Hezbollah, Iran and Hamas, among others, the U.S. receives invaluable information about anti-U.S. and terrorist organizations and regimes.
Fifth, imagine the additional terrible cost in U.S. blood, and the hundreds of billions more of American taxpayer dollars, if Saddam Hussein had developed nuclear weapons, or if Syria possessed them.
Then remember that it was Israel that destroyed the almost- completed nuclear reactor at Osirak, Iraq, in 1981 and Syria’s nuclear facility under construction at Deir-ez-Zor in 2007.
Foiling Iran
And think about the many operations that Israel’s Defense Forces and intelligence agents have undertaken to foil, slow and disrupt Iran’s efforts to develop a nuclear weapons capability. A nuclear-armed Iran would threaten the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans in the region, all of Iran’s Arab neighbors, the world’s largest oil supplies and those who rely on that oil. It also would provide anti-U.S. terrorists with access to the most lethal Iranian technology and probably set off a nuclear arms race in the region.
For about 2 percent of what the U.S. spends in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan this year, Americans can take pride in the return on our investment in aid to Israel.
And with Israel’s truly invaluable assistance to America’s vital national security, we can take comfort that — in actions seen in Tehran and Damascus and noticed by al-Qaeda and other anti-U.S. terrorists everywhere — the U.S. is safer and made more secure because of the mutually dependent and beneficial relationship between the U.S. and Israel.
(Steve Rothman is a Democratic congressman from New Jersey who serves on the House committees responsible for U.S. military and foreign aid. The opinions expressed are his own.)