Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) on Thursday was asked to immediately resign as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) by her opponent in her bid for reelection because of her staunch support of President Barack Obama’s “anti-Israel” policies, including the president’s call for a return to Israel’s pre-1967 boundaries.
Wasserman Schultz’s Republican challenger, Joe Kaufman, 44, says Jewish voters should feel “betrayed” by the congresswoman’s blanket support of Obama’s policies towards Israel; polices Kaufman says have “hurt Israel” and placed millions of Jewish lives in danger.
“Jewish voters should feel betrayed by Wasserman Schultz because as DNC chair she blindly agrees with and supports everything the president puts forth as policy,” said Kaufman. “Including sending Israel back to its indefensible, suicidal pre-1967 boundaries. She should be ashamed of herself.”
Kaufman said that Wasserman Schultz’s purported pro-Israel beliefs have been subsumed by her desire to be the president’s lapdog and head cheerleader.
“She says she supports Israel, but the congresswoman’s actions tell a different story,” said Kaufman, a co-founder of the Republican Jewish Coalition of Florida. “She goes along with whatever the president and DNC dictate, even if those dictates go against her alleged core beliefs.”
Kaufman is unrelenting in his call for Wasserman Schultz to step down from her chairmanship of the DNC.
“If I were chair of the Republican National Committee and was told to support what amounted to a blatant anti-Israel policy, I would resign immediately, no questions asked,” said Kaufman. “I only answer to my constituents and conscience. I stand by Israel 100 percent.”
Wasserman Schultz spokesman, Sean Bartlett, says the congresswoman’s track record on Israel is beyond reproach and steadfastly denies even a penumbra of anti-Israel bias.
“Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz’s constituents know and appreciate that she has not only been a vote for pro-Israel policies but a strong voice as well,” said Bartlett. “Any suggestion otherwise is utterly ridiculous and flies in the face of the facts.”
Bartlett recoiled at the suggestion that Wasserman Schultz has somehow betrayed her Jewish constituents, citing the congresswoman’s voting record in support of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) – a powerful lobby group that promotes pro-Israel policies. He also pointed out that Wasserman Schultz supported “increased funding for Iron Dome which recently saved countless Israeli lives,” and her commitment to “preventing Iran from attaining a nuclear weapon.”
Kaufman is unconvinced by Bartlett’s assertions and resolutely stands behind his demand that the congresswoman step down from the DNC chair.
“Wasserman Schultz has given herself up entirely to Obama’s policies and those of the DNC, save none,” says Kaufman. “Not only should Jewish voters feel betrayed, all of her constituents should feel betrayed. She represents the interests of the party and Obama, and that’s it.”
Wasserman Schultz is no stranger to being called out on the facts. During an appearance on CBS’s Face the Nation, she said, “The Republicans have a plan to end Medicare as we know it. [They’re] going to throw you to the wolves and allow insurance companies to deny you coverage and drop you for pre-existing conditions.” Four non-partisan fact-checkers were quick to call her claim false in no uncertain terms. “DNC Chair Throws Truth to ‘Wolves’,” trumpeted FactCheck.org. “We rate her statement false,” asserted PolitiFact.com. “Wasserman Schultz’s bogus claim,” proffered The Washington Post. “Democrats distort GOP Medicare plan,” averred The Associated Press.
According to many political observers from both sides of the aisle, the congresswoman’s penchant for media coverage and proclivity for putting her foot in her mouth have raised concerns with some of the party faithful.
“She’s making some party operatives a little nervous,” said one high-ranking Democrat on the condition of anonymity. “This is an election year and now is not the time for the head of the DNC to earn a reputation as a loose cannon.”
In 2012, when asked if average Americans are entitled to the same Cadillac coverage health insurance as members of Congress, Wasserman Schultz replied that she “earned” her coverage, implying that many average Americans had not. The congresswoman quickly found herself embroiled in a maelstrom of public controversy over her remark.
Some constituents also expressed concern that Wasserman Schultz’s Cadillac remark might be a manifestation of a sense of entitlement, as the congresswoman has never held a private sector job, instead living off the public doll and currently pulling in a Congressional salary in excess of $200,000 dollars plus lifetime federal health and retirement benefits.
“Politics is the only career this woman has ever had. She’s like the poster girl for term limits,” said Jay Arthur, a Miami-based freelance writer.