The Republican Jewish Coalition criticized Pennsylvania Democrat Conor Lamb for failing to address comments he made in 2002 in which he said Israel was guilty of "terrorism."
In the comments revealed by the Washington Free Beacon on Monday, Lamb says that the Israeli Defense Forces were guilty of intentionally targeting innocent civilians and characterized it as "terrorism." Lamb was at the time a student at University of Pennsylvania, and was angered by a campus paper's decision to publish a pro-Israel advertisement.
"Just the other day, the Israeli Government launched an attack on innocent civilians in Gaza, citing them as ‘armed terrorists,'" Lamb wrote. "Among the dead were a 14 year-old boy and woman in her late 40s. The army intentionally fired on a medical facility treating the over 100 wounded."
"There is no doubt that both sides of this conflict have committed wrongs, but if this latest attack is not terrorism, I don't know what is," he concluded.
Lamb, currently running for Congress, is still yet to address the anti-Israel comments, a fact former senator Norm Coleman called "very troubling."
"Conor Lamb's refusal to address his own ignorant and extreme attack against Israel is very troubling," said Coleman, now the RJC's national chairman.
Coleman further pointed to Lamb's ties to J Street, a far left group highly critical of Israel, as a reason why national Democrats supporting Lamb should be concerned about where he stands on the Jewish State.
"Given that refusal and the fact that he's running as a supporter of the anti-Israel organization J Street, it appears his views have not changed at all," Coleman said.
"Joe Biden and the other national Democrats who are raising and spending millions of dollars to support Conor Lamb's campaign ought to be joining with us to demand that he address these concerns," Coleman said. "Their unwillingness to do so is yet another example of the Democratic moving away from their previous pro-Israel stance."
The RJC's regional director in Pennsylvania called Lamb's critique of Israel during the Second Intifada where Palestinian terrorist attacks were regular occurrences was "disgraceful."
"Lamb’s attack against Israel in the middle of the Second Intifada was and is disgraceful," Scott Feigelstein said. "Nearly 1000 Israeli civilians were murdered in the Second Intifada by members of Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups."
"Lamb’s accusations are untrue and unacceptable," he said. "The people of the 18th district deserve better."
Lamb's comments have been covered locally by Penn Live, though the outlet did not reach out to Lamb for comment.
His Republican opponent Rick Saccone called the comments "shocking," and labeled Israel "our closest ally."