To the editor,
I was surprised and disappointed to see that the Forward published an article incorrectly characterizing me as a supporter of the BDS movement.
I do not support the BDS movement and never have. I disavow it.
The grants in question were made from an account in the foundation that was assigned to another board member, who had sole discretion in deciding whether to make grants from the account, selecting grantee organizations, and setting grant amounts. I exercised no control over the account or those decisions and could not stop those grants from being made. I oppose the efforts of those organizations to undermine Israel.
I am unequivocally pro-Israel, pro-peace and pro-democracy. I consider myself a J Street Democrat – and in fact provided personal financial support a decade ago to celebrate its founding.
As a candidate to be a member of Congress from Pennsylvania’s First Congressional District, I am committed to working to preserve our nation’s commitment to Israel, to a nuclear-free Iran, and to a peaceful two-state solution. I will oppose any measures to boycott, sanction or divest from Israel. As the only democracy in the Middle East, Israel is a beacon of hope and freedom in a region that sorely needs it. It is important that we support the homeland of a people who all too often throughout history have sought a place of refuge from the scourge of anti-Semitism – which sadly today is on the rise in Europe and even here in the United States.
I am proud of the core work of the foundation I led, which has become a global leader in fighting climate change, strengthening democracies and voting rights, and empowering women, including not just reproductive rights, but also fighting female genital mutilation and childhood marriage around the world.
Bottom line: I’ve fought intolerance and fear all my life, both in the foundation an in my previous career as a public interest lawyer. I learned it from my grandfather, Vice President under FDR, who did the same in his life, fighting McCarthyism and Jim Crow, and crusading for the U.N. and the creation of Israel, and peaceful two-state coexistence for Israel and Palestine.
I see that same ignorant intolerance today, in the assault on minorities, women, immigrants, the rule of law, impartial courts, the media, and literally, facts themselves. I promise I will fight it.
Democratic nominee for Congress in Pennsylvania’s First District