NEW YORK — The political action committee for a middle-left, professional-Israel group on Wednesday announced its endorsement of Raphael Warnock, a Democrat who has come under hearth for his criticism of the Jewish point out in the course of his marketing campaign to unseat Republican Kelly Loeffler in future month’s Senate runoff election in Georgia.
“Dr. Warnock is strongly fully commited to strengthening the U.S.-Israel partnership as nicely as to attaining social justice, offering economical health and fitness treatment for all People, and developing possibility for all to be successful,” Democratic Greater part for Israel PAC president Mark Mellman reported in a assertion.
Mellman pointed to Warnock’s pledges to uphold the Obama-brokered defense offer for Israel and oppose the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement if elected.
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The DMFI president also recalled the own invitation Reverend Warnock experienced extended to Israel’s Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer in 2015 to address his church, the very same congregation once led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“In his introduction, Rev. Warnock explained Israel as ‘one of America’s closest allies and a longtime pal.’ Ambassador Dermer called Warnock’s invitation to speak at Ebenezer Baptist Church ‘the greatest honor that has been bestowed on me due to the fact I grew to become Israel’s Ambassador to the United States,’” Mellman reported.
Warnock responded to the endorsement in a tweet thanking DMFI. “I’m happy to acquire your endorsement & I’m grateful for the work you do to support our party’s values. Echoing Dr. King, as senator I’ll stand for Israel’s protection & will operate to improve the alliance among our nations,” the Democratic prospect stated.
Loeffler throughout the marketing campaign has highlighted a 2018 sermon Warnock shipped times after Israeli troops fired on Palestinians in the course of violent protests at the Gaza border from the US selection to move its embassy to Jerusalem.
“We observed the governing administration of Israel shoot down unarmed Palestinian sisters and brothers like birds of prey,” Warnock mentioned in the speech.
A Hamas official later explained that 50 of 62 Gazans killed in the days of riots and clashes had been its users a different 3 ended up users of Islamic Jihad.
Speaking at a candidates’ discussion board organized by the Jewish Democratic Council of The united states on Tuesday, Warnock tackled the criticism sparked by his remarks. “I was speaking to the problem of activists and human legal rights, and the potential of folks to be listened to,” he mentioned.
“At the similar time, I have an growing recognition of Hamas and the risk that they pose to the Israeli people today,” he added, asserting that he also supported “non-violent resistance.”
“My opponents are making an attempt to use Israel as but a further wedge difficulty in this campaign,” Warnock explained.
On January 5, Warnock will square off against Loeffler though Republican Senator David Perdue will deal with Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff in a pair of runoff races.
Victories in each races would let the Democrats to gain a greater part in the Senate, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris able to forged a tie-breaking vote in the occasion of a deadlock. Polls clearly show both equally races to be neck-and-neck.
JTA contributed to this report