A Peculiar Identification–Letter to the Editor
Special to Roll Call, April 15, 2015
Emma Dumain’s April 10, 2015 blog post, “House Democrats Forced to Choose Sides in Iran Debate,” features both a false assumption and a peculiar identification.
Dumain states that “a large number of House Democrats will, sooner rather than later, have to decide to whom they owe the most loyalty: their president, who opposes congressional action he says will undermine administration-level negotiations and diplomacy; or Israel, an important ally that could be inherently threatened by an Iran with nuclear capabilities.” This is a false dichotomy.
Democrats in either chamber, like Republicans, have to choose whether the administration’s reported arrangement with the Iranian regime strengthens or weakens America’s foreign policy and national interests. Whether this choice pleases or displeases the administration, Israel, or for that matter the mullahs in Tehran, is a secondary concern at best.
The peculiar identification in the blog is Rep. Steve Israel’s (D-N.Y.) religious affiliation. The writer calls him a “Jewish lawmaker.” For some reason, this elected official’s religion is noteworthy when the religions of Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) are not even mentioned.
What warranted the inclusion of the New York lawmaker’s religion but not those of the other representatives named? Is the congressman’s religion noteworthy because Iran is in full violation of the U.N. Charter with its repeated threat to destroy Israel or is this odd inclusion meant to suggest that he, unlike his colleagues whose religious affiliations are left unsaid, is primarily influenced by his faith?
The false choice pitting the administration against Israel over Iran when the fundamental question is one of congressional promotion of U.S. national interests and the singular identification of one congressman’s religion do not well serve Roll Call readers.
–By Sean Durns. Durns is a media assistant for CAMERA, Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America. (The link to this letter, as it appeared in Roll Call, with embedded link to Dumain’s April 10 blog post, is here.)