Ackerman Rebuffs Koch's Call to Make Weprin Race a Proxy for Obama's Israel Policy

Rep. Ackerman, speaking at the Bayside Jewish Center in October 2010. (via Ackerman's flickr stream)

Rep. Gary Ackerman endorsed fellow Democrat David Weprin for the NY-9 special election, and warned voters not to heed Ed Koch’s calls to make the race an outlet for voters frustrations over President Obama’s policies towards Israel.

“I can say as one of Israel’s strongest champions in Congress, that having David Weprin in Congress will be good for both the United States and the U.S-Israel relationship,” Ackerman, who represents parts of Queens and Nassau County, said in a statement released tonight. “David will be a terrific representative for New York, and a proud and aggressive backer of the special ties between the United States and the State of Israel. I am proud to endorse him.”

Yesterday, former New York City Mayor Koch, a Democrat who is Jewish, said electing Republican Bob Turner would stun the nation and send a “shot across the bow” to Obama to change his stance towards Israel.

Ackerman said the Democrat in the district shouldn’t be penalized because of the policies of the Democrat in the White House.

“Anyone who wants to take issue with the President’s policies ā€“ as I have certainly done whenever I’ve felt it necessary ā€“ should make the case without unfairly trying to implicate David,” Ackerman said. “At a minimum, David should be judged based on his own record, and his own views ā€“ not those of any other elected officials.”

Ackerman offered “extreme caution to anyone proposing to make Israel into a partisan truncheon in our domestic politics.” He also called the injection of Israel into “our contentious politics…deeply irresponsible and does Israel a considerable disservice.”

Ackerman Rebuffs Koch's Call to Make Weprin Race a Proxy for Obama's Israel Policy