Schaer says he’ll back Arab-American candidate, just not Merhi

Assemblyman Gary Schaer says that comments made by Arab-American businessman Sami Merhi in a Star-Ledger column written by Tom Moran is “evidence that he is unfit to have the endorsement of the Passaic County Democratic Party.” Moran wrote that Merhi “was hesitant to condemn Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the two groups responsible for most suicide bombings in Israel and the occupied territories, even though he was perfectly comfortable condemning al Qaeda.” Schaer, an Orthodox Jew from Passaic, says that he is open to supporting a candidate from the Arab-American community on the Democratic line, just not Merhi. “Hamas is an organization that since September 2000, is credited with over 500 terrorist attacks, killing 400 Israelis and wounding over 2,100. Among their more infamous attacks was the bombing of a hotel during a Passover Seder holiday celebration in March of 2002, killing 30 and wounding 140 mostly elderly participants.” The freshman Assemblyman was among the key players in a move to reject Merhi as a candidate for Freeholder. Congressman Bill Pascrell, who supported Merhi’s Freeholder bid, issued a statement today saying: “I unequivocally condemn any organization that commits acts of terrorism, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Any person who thinks differently is flat out wrong.”

Schaer says he’ll back Arab-American candidate, just not Merhi