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Monday, July 16, 2012

Arizona congressional candidate was for a 'demilitarized Palestine' before she was against it

Shmuel Rosner tells us about Krysten Sinema, a (former?) far Left candidate for the Democratic nomination for Congress in Arizona's newly created 9th district. Rosner reports that Sinema is probably not 'instinctively pro-Israel,' stands a fair chance of winning the nomination, and would stand a good chance of being elected if she is the Democratic nominee.
Primary day is getting closer, and Sinema is not standing alone. Current Senator David Schapira and the former leader of the Arizona Democratic Party, Andrei Cherny, are also in the race (these two candidates are Jewish, and the race is included in our list of Jewish House Projection races). On the top of the agenda for this district: economy, economy, economy, and immigration. Israel? Why would Israel be on the agenda of Arizona voters?

Cherny is already on the record voicing his suspicions about his opponent:

“Cherny’s campaign argues that Sinema’s longtime associations with far-left-wing groups make her a dangerous woman to put in Congress, or to nominate for a seat the Democrats could win. ‘On Israel,’ Cherny said of Sinema, ‘she has a 10-year track record of taking positions that are at odds with American policy and administrations of both parties.’ Nor is this ancient history: ‘She was involved with groups and individuals that questioned Israel’s existence up to last year, 2011,’ he said.”

And Cherny, Sinema’s rival, is not the only concerned observer of Sinema. I spoke over the weekend with two pro-Israel Washington notables and both said they are familiar with this Arizona race, and are watching it with some sense of nervousness.

Sinema, no doubt, is a woman of the far left – or used to be one – when it comes to Israel-related activities and policies. Marc Tracy did a fine job of tracking some of Sinema’s past associations, but there’s more to be covered, among other things her ties with Marwan Ahmad, a man supportive of the Holy Land Foundation, and hardly an avid Israel supporter. But that was then, and not wasn’t election-time. Leftist activism were gone, as centrist positions become Sinema’s new game. She went to an AIPAC conference. She has a position paper that is undeniably as pro-Israel as one would expect.

Viewing a turn-around as sharp as Sinema’s one can choose from three possible options:

1. She’d matured, educated herself, and changed her mind.
2. She’d matured, decided to be a successful politician, and was willing to scrap past opinions and associations related to an issue she didn’t much care about to begin with.
3. She’s hiding her real views, but is going to go back to being very critical of Israel as soon as she’s elected.

One recent story related to Sinema makes the question of her true motivations and beliefs even more difficult to answer.
Read the whole thing. Sinema reminds me of a certain Presidential candidate four years ago who managed to get the media to ignore his associations with the likes of Rashid Khalidi, Ali Abunimah, Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, Louis Farrakhan and others, and to be elected to office as 'pro-Israel.'

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