New York Has Three Jewish Republican Candidates Running for Congress

Voting for Jewish politicians is no longer a privilege reserved for the Democrats. Throughout New York, Jewish Republican candidates are popping up throughout the state in local and state primaries and as candidates on the ballots for the big November elections.

Congressman Lee Zeldin of the 1st District of Long Island is currently the only Jewish Republican in the House of Representatives. He is running for his second term. Since joining the House in 2015, Zeldin has been outspoken about his opposition to the Iran Nuclear Deal and the growth of international terrorist groups that target Jews worldwide. Even The New York Times, in a July 2015 article, recognized and somewhat praised Zeldin’s outspoken and visual presence, rare for a freshman official.

As a member of the Jewish War Veterans and a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, he has been looked to for leadership on both national and international security issues. Many recall his questioning of Secretary of State John Kerry during the Iran Nuclear Deal hearings.

As a father of two young daughters, Zeldin told a group gathered at his Aug 9 Long Island fundraiser that he is concerned about the lessons taught in classrooms that distort the facts and engage students in building opinions against Jews and Israel that result in anti-Semitism. He is also one of the most outspoken elected officials against the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement and college campus violence related to it.

Dr. Philip J . Rosenthal, also in attendance, is running in New York’s 10th District. He is getting national attention for taking on veteran Jerald Nadler, who has been criticized for his support of the Iran Nuclear Deal and has not voiced concerns over the current positions on the DNC platform. Currently, Phil sits on the board of the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET), a 501(c)(3) think tank and policy center with an unabashedly pro-America and pro-Israel stance. He also is a very proud member of the Leadership Council of the Republican Jewish Coalition.

“The Iran deal is just the tip of the iceberg,” Rosenthal told the assembled. “For example, our treatment of Israel has been shameful. Secretary Kerry called Israel an apartheid state, the President has threatened to withdraw American support for Israel at the UN, and the Administration just indicated virtual support for European labeling of Israeli products. I am running because New York needs a representative who can distinguish between an ally and an enemy with clarity, and who will speak up for allies like Israel and our national security when it counts the most,” he added.

David Gurfein is a veteran running on Long Island in the 4th District. He told those assembled that his background as a veteran is pivotal for security on all matters, and that his family includes the following: a Jewish Uncle who was a U.S. Army Colonel (WWII, Korea, Vietnam), a Jewish Nephew who served in the IDF and was a US Marine Corps Major who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, his Jewish half-brother who lives in Jerusalem, along with Jewish nephews and grand-nephews/nieces who live in Israel. Hundreds of Gurfeins were murdered during WWII simply for being Jewish, he added. He is related to both Yaccov Gurfein, who survived extermination by jumping from a train headed to Sobibor Death Camp and testified at the Nuremberg Trials, and Murray Gurfein, a federal judge and U.S. Army Lt. Colonel who served as a prosecuting attorney at the Nuremberg Trials.

This story "New York Has Three Jewish Republican Candidates Running for Congress" was written by Cindy Grosz.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.

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