Originally posted at Kings County Politics on June 16, 2016
Incumbent Congressman Jerrold Nadler this week came under attack from both his Democratic Primary opponent Oliver Rosenberg for allegedly supporting anti-gay regimes in the Middle East, and his Republican general election opponent Phil Rosenthal for voting against a defense allocation that would have paid for a joint U.S.-Israel missile defense system.
The district extends from the liberal Jewish enclave of Manhattan’s Upper West Side going south to include the LBGT neighborhoods of Chelsea and the West Village, and into the Brooklyn and the heavily conservative Jewish enclave of Borough Park and Kensington along with parts of Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights, Red Hook, Sunset Park and Midwood.
This is the first time in over 20 years that Nadler has faced substantial opponents in both the primary and general elections..
“Congressman Jerry Nadler needs to explain how he can be pro-LGBT when he supported giving $150 billion to a regime that preaches anti-gay hatred and terror, as he did in voting for the Iran nuclear deal,” said Rosenberg in a press release. “How can Jerry Nadler claim to be pro-gay and fund anti-gay terror at the same time?”
Rosenberg, who is openly gay, made his comments in the wake of Sunday’s terror and hate attack from an American-Muslim that left 49 people shot to death in Orlando, Florida.
Just moments before beginning the attack at the Pulse nightclub, the shooter called 911 and pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.
Rosenberg noted that ISIS throws gays off buildings and stones them to death in Syria and Iraq. Homosexuality is punishable by death in Mauritania, Niger, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, Yemen, Brunei and Pakistan, he said.
“The Islamist theocratic dictators of Iran hang gay men. They force my gay brothers and sisters in Iran to have sex change operations against their will,” said Rosenberg in the release. “An imam from Iran who says gay people should be killed spoke at an Orlando mosque just weeks before the attack.”
Nadler spokesperson Daniel Schwarz blasted Rosenberg’s comments as false and dishonest.
“Oliver Rosenberg’s attacks are shamefully disingenuous. He has sunk to a new low in this campaign, trying to mislead voters by attacking Congressman Nadler’s impeccable record fighting on LGBT issues, a record Mr. Rosenberg has applauded and said he doesn’t disagree with at all,” said Schwarz.
Meanwhile, Rosenthal took umbrage at Nadler’s recent vote against the House passage of its $610 billion annual defense authorization bill for fiscal year 2017 (known as NDAA, the National Defense Authorization Act).
The allocation includes $608.8 million in U.S.-Israel missile defense funds that breaks down to $62 million allocated for the Iron Dome rocket defense system, $270 million for the production of David’s Sling and Arrow-3 missile defense programs, and $268.8 million for research and development of U.S.-Israel cooperative missile defense.
The House passed the measure along partisan lines.
“I was very disappointed to see Congressman Nadler vote against the NDAA — a vote to weaken America’s defense and to reject increased funding for Israel’s missile defense,” said Rosenthal, an accomplished physicist, attorney and entrepreneur, who is running on a new vision platform.
“A majority of the House — but not our representative — wants to increase support for Israel’s missile defense by 23% but the President seeks to slash missile defense funding by 70%. We need a Congressman with the courage to oppose the President so that we keep America and its critical ally Israel safe and secure,” he added.
Nadler and a host of other pro-Israel Democrats voted against the measure because Rep. Steve Russell (R-OK) put in an amendment with support of Republican members containing an anti-LGBT provision that would allegedly allow sweeping taxpayer-funded discrimination in federal contracting.
The Senate is expected to soon debate and pass their version of the NDAA and then the two chambers will negotiate a final version of the bill before it is sent to President Obama for a final signature.
Obama has already indicated he will likely veto the bill because of his opposition to the Russell Amendment.