Last night, Breitbart News contributor Rabbi Shmuley Boteach won the Republican primary in New Jersey’s 9th congressional district-and his campaign received an additional boost when his most likely opponent, incumbent Democrat Rep. Steve Rothman, lost to Rep. Bill Pascrell, a fellow Democrat incumbent whose supporters include some notoriously anti-Israel members of the local Arab and Muslim communities.
No doubt those same supporters will be even more eager to support Pascrell against Boteach-but Boteach can now draw on new sources of support, including Democrats eager to save their party from anti-Israel radicalism.
Joel Mowbray wrote about Pascrell’s troubling associations earlier today at the Powerline blog:
Rep. Pascrell, who was not available for an interview for this story, has a long history of support from local Muslim figures who have made fiery anti-Israel comments and has aligned himself very closely with the American Muslim Union, a New Jersey-based political organization that has called for an end to U.S. aid to Israel and whose leadership has included people who have justified Hamas terrorism, accepting thousands in contributions from the group’s president and routinely attending the organization’s annual gathering…
While Pascrell has voted in favor of foreign aid for Israel, he has also engaged in caustic Israel bashing, such as signing on to the so-called “Gaza 54” letter, the Keith Ellison-led effort which accused the Jewish state of collective punishment against Gaza…
Of course there is no problem with courting support in the Arab and Muslim community. But there seems to be a troubling pattern with the associations Pascrell has chosen to cultivate in garnering that support. Should a congressman be condoning – by accepting contributions and other support – the most radical elements as part of his outreach?
What was once a long-shot race for Boteach has suddenly become a must-win for the pro-Israel community, and a possibly pickup for Republicans deep in Democrat territory. Boteach still faces steep odds, but if Mitt Romney has any coattails in the Garden State, the author of Kosher Sex could soon be headed to Washington.