Grace Meng has discovered her inner Israel hawk.
Meng is the New York City Councilwoman who won a Democratic congressional primary in Gary Ackerman’s district in Queens this summer.
In an op-ed in the Jewish Week yesterday, Meng suggested that President Obama “could have been — and still can be — a greater friend to Israel.”
The column channels Bob Turner, the Republican Congressman who last fall won a huge upset in a special election in a district that overlaps with Meng’s after Ed Koch declared that the race was a referendum on Obama’s Israel policy.
Especially since Turner’s victory, the hawkish pro-Israel line has been a constant theme in that corner of Queens. But it’s not a role that Meng played during the primaries.
Assemblyman Rory Lancman, who was trounced by Meng in late June, made a lot of his hard-right positions on Israel during his primary race. Lancman talked about Israel so much, in fact, that Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, another primary opponent, told him to cut it out .
Meng criticized Lancman at the time for a rather stunning mailer that featured an Israeli flag, what might be an exploding car, and the phrase, “It’s A Dangerous World.” Meng said it had scared her kids.
Now, however, with Lancman gone, Meng is moving in on the hawkish pro-Israel territory. So is her Republican opponent Dan Halloran, who announced a trip to Israel earlier this week.
Josh Nathan-Kazis is a staff writer for the Forward. He covers charities and politics, and writes investigations and longform.