TEL AVIV – Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was stumped when asked during her debate against primary challenger Tim Canova if she could guarantee that Iranian money procured through the Obama-led nuclear deal would not go to financing terror attacks against Israel.
Iran, which is the largest state sponsor of terror in the world – funding groups bent on Israel’s destruction such as Hezbollah and Hamas – received $1.7 billion in January as part of a failed arms deal settlement, including $400 million in cash sent on an unmarked cargo plane that some have connected to the nuclear agreement as ransom for four hostages released by Iran the same day. The Obama administration has denied that the payment amounted to ransom.
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Debate moderator Jim DeFede raised the issue of the release of cash as a result of the lifting of sanctions on Iran and asked if Wasserman Schultz could guarantee that the money would not be used in attacks against Israel.
“Can you guarantee that that money, that $1.8 billion that’s part of the Iran deal, won’t be used to finance terror against Israel?” DeFede asked. “Can you guarantee it?”
Wasserman Schultz replied, “You can never guarantee anything, Jim.”
At which point Canova asked if he could comment and Wasserman Schultz snapped, “No, you may not.”
“What we need to do is make sure that we continue to strongly watch over and make sure that agreement remains fully implemented, which it has,” she said.
Iran has been fully compliant, and now they are nearly 25 years from breakout, and what we also have to make sure now is that we can turn our attention – and what the Iran deal has allowed us to do – is turn our attention to going after Iran for their terrorist activity, making sure we can crack down on sanctions when they engage in their ballistic missile violations.
Wasserman Schultz, who publicly wrestled with her decision to support the nuclear deal, calling it “gut-wrenching,” made an emotional petition to CNN in which she said that ultimately she had a “Jewish heart” and believed that the deal was the best way to protect Israel.
“There’s nothing that’s more important to me, as a Jew, than to ensure Israel’s existence is there throughout our generations,” she told CNN last September. “I am confident that the process I’ve gone through to reach this decision is one that will ensure that Israel will be there forever.”
On Sunday, Wasserman Schultz, whose 23rd Congressional District, west of Fort Lauderdale, has a large Jewish population, reiterated her support for the Jewish state, saying: “Nobody is more committed to the safety of Israel.”
Wasserman Schultz was expected to breeze through to a seventh term until an email scandal broke earlier this year.
Wasserman Schultz was recently forced to resign as chair of the Democratic National Committee after Sen. Bernie Sanders called for her to quit when it was revealed through emails that she favored Hillary Clinton over Sanders in the Democratic primary.