Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer blasted Democrat Antonio Delgado on Thursday for his comments about Israel in a debate earlier in the week, when he said that “Israel is not a Jewish democracy.”
Delgado was debating incumbent Republican John Faso (R-NY), whom he is challenging in New York’s 19th congressional district.
As Breitbart News reported earlier this week, Delgado said:
You know, Israel is not a Jewish democracy. Israel’s settlements make it so that it can’t be. So we’ve got to have a two-state solution, and in order to accomplish that, we need to bring real incredible, thoughtful, responsible leadership to bear. And I don’t know right now that we have that. In fact, I’m pretty confident that that’s lacking right now.
Rep. Faso responded:
Israel is not a democracy? Israel is a strong democracy. It is a vibrant democracy. It has got a vibrant free enterprise system. It’s got a vibrant agricultural system and culture. Israel is a democracy. They are our main democratic ally in that region. And in fact, moving the [U.S.] embassy to Jerusalem was the right decision. You now, I’ve had my differences on policy with Donald Trump. I’ve had my differences sometimes on how he says things and does things. But the fact of the matter is, moving the embassy was the right decision. Congresses, for over 20 years, have said we passed laws to say we should move our embassy to Jerusalem. That is the capital of Israel. They are our main ally in the Middle East. We should respect their point of view. And this is a dangerous position that my friend on my [stage] right adopts. He supports the Iran deal, [in] which billion of dollars went to the Iranian regime, and they are the main fomenter of dispute and discord and war in that region. They are a threat, not only to Lebanon, but also to the State of Israel. And so his views on this issue — but I’m astonished he does not believe Israel is a democracy. Israel is a democracy.
Video of the exchange appeared on Twitter:
— Joel Fischer (@JFNYC1) October 23, 2018
Fletcher’s statement was circulated by the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC), of which he is a member of the board of directors.
The RJC noted that Fleischer owns a home in the 19th district, which includes the Hudson River Valley and the Catskills.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.