Missile Meltdown

President Obama failed to request enough money to fully fund critical U.S.-Israel missile defense programs, according to a top Democratic lawmaker on the House Appropriations Committee. Asked today if President Obama had sought adequate funding for joint U.S.-Israel missile defense programs in his 2013 budget proposal, Rep. Steve Rothman (D-N.J.) replied, “No.” The Free Beacon was first to report that Obama has requested to reduce the amount of money Israel receives for its critical missile defense systems by $6.3 million relative to the 2012 budget proposal.

A Not-So-Ringing Endorsement

David Steiner, a New Jersey real estate mogul and a former president of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee who was forced out of the organization, recently embraced Rep. Bill Pascrell (D., N.J.), who is locked in a primary battle with fellow Democrat Steve Rothman.
Pascrell has taken heat in recent weeks for his association with Aref Assaf, a prominent Arab-American who accused the state’s Jewish voters—and by proxy, Rothman—of being more loyal to Israel than America.

District Nine Denial

New Jersey Democrat Bill Pascrell has no intention of distancing himself from a prominent Arab-American supporter who accused the state’s Jewish community—as well as his Democratic primary challenger, Rep. Steve Rothman—of being more loyal to Israel than America. Earlier today, Pascrell surrogate Herb Klein, a former member of Congress, called the controversy a non-issue.

Rumble in District 9

Rep. Bill Pascrell

New Jersey Rep. Steve Rothman has called on his Democratic primary challenger, Rep. Bill Pascrell (D., N.J.), to distance himself from a prominent Arab American supporter who accused Rothman of being more loyal to Israel than America. “Congressman Pascrell should disavow these attacks and ask his supporters to stop this harmful, dishonest, and bigoted rhetoric,” Rothman spokesperson Aaron Keyak said in a statement to the Washington Free Beacon. “Even during tough elections we should be able to debate policy without having our political opponents question our patriotism.”

NJ Dem Primary Gets Ugly

A prominent Arab supporter of New Jersey Democrat Bill Pascrell invoked the “Israel firster” specter over the weekend when he accused the state’s Jewish voters of being more loyal to Israel than America. Aref Assaf, president of the New Jersey-based American Arab Forum, opined Sunday evening in the New Jersey Star-Ledger about a Democratic primary that the state’s pro-Israel community is closely watching.