Home > Barbara Boxer, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, United States of America > Campbell describes himself as a supporter of Israel

Campbell describes himself as a supporter of Israel

February 10, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

By Bruce Kesler

ENCINITAS, California – In the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, former U.S. Rep. Tom Campbell is being accused of being anti-Israel by his Republican opponents, who cite his votes in the House of Representatives to reduce aid to Israel and his early advocacy of a Palestinian state. 

In a direct email exchange with this writer, Campbell answered a series of questions intended to probe his overall views on the Middle East.

1. Would Campbell have voted for, against, or abstained in the Senate vote on the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act (S. 2799)?

Yes, I would have voted in favor. Note that I’m already on record to support Israeli military action, if it comes to that, directed at destroying Iran’s nuclear capability. This Act is an attempt to increase the pressure so that Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon. It’s worth trying, but my patience has already run out with all forms of sanctions.

2. Would Campbell vote in favor, against, or abstain in the vote on the full $3-billion security assistance aid to Israel in President Obama’s proposed budget?

I have always voted for the military aid portion of assistance to Israel. Like the Netanyahu government, in the past and now, I favor lowering the amount of American economic assistance to countries more able to take care of themselves, so that US foreign economic assistance can go to the neediest countries.

3. Would Campbell vote in favor, against, or abstain in the repeated votes in favor of the US recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the US Embassy there?

I always favored the United States paying Israel the respect we pay other nations, of recognizing the capital city of their own choosing, and placing our embassy there.

4.A. Would Campbell require an act of Congress under the War Powers Act in order to send emergency arms and supplies to Israel if attacked?

The War Powers Act is triggered only by the presence of US troops in “hostilities.” Nothing in sending arms and supplies to Israel would trigger the Act. So, no, I would not require an act of congress to send emergency arms and supplies to Israel if attacked.

4.B. Would Campbell vote in favor, against, or abstain in his vote for such an act of Congress?

I would vote in favor. My vote in favor of going to war when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait was as much a vote to defend Israel as to defend Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. All three nations were attacked.

5. Does Campbell support, criticize, or have no public position about the Goldstone Report?

I have not read the Goldstone Report, and would need to do so before offering an informed opinion.

6. Does Campbell believe, not believe, or stand undecided on whether the “Israel lobby” has excess influence on US foreign policy?

 All Americans have the right to petition Congress and the President, and those Americans who wish to do so on behalf of a stronger American-Israeli relationship should  not be criticized for doing so. The influence of those Americans is not “excess influence.”


Okay, politicians are politicians, and often say what they think the electorate wants to hear.  Campbell’s record of speaking his mind, however, has not followed that tacky pattern.  One may agree with him, or not.  It is most important  to remove Senator Barbara Boxer. 

Carly Fiorina, Campbell’s well-self-funded primary opponent, can directly speak to current issues and differences without selectively tossing mud-covered rocks.  That is jackelish. That only aids Boxer, and does not further Republicans or Fiorina, or Israel.

Kesler is a freelance writer based in Encinitas, California

  1. Michael Ross
    February 19, 2010 at 12:20 am

    Hmm, “A Palestinian state ASAP”

    62 years ago, then Palastine (the real Palastine) was partitioned, about half to Jews and half to Arabs, they had a state then.

    62 years later Israel is a thriving democracy, with more Nobel prize winners per capita than any nation on earth, more NASDAQ listings than any nation besides the US in absolute numbers, the cellphone was invented in Israel and on and on.

    On the other hand the Arabs that started at exactly the same position and place as Israel, with access to billions of more dollars than Israel, have moved nowhere, and created absolutely nothing, the opposite they have destroyed and killed and created a culture of hate antisemitism, anti-Israel and installed this culture throughout their children’

    So please tell me Ms. Goldstein how exactly will they succeed now, when they have failed to create anything but death in the last 62 years?

  2. February 15, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    Ms. Goldstein seems seriously misinformed: the Palestinians have been offered their State no less than 5 times (if not more) in the last 60 years, but each time they preferred to reject everything because they couldn’t bring themselves to make the most minute concessions. They want it all, and as a result they’re getting less and less, and soon there will be nothing left at all. For that they have only themselves to blame. Besides, wanting “a Palestinian State asap” sounds nice, but shows a serious disconnect with reality and the Palestinians’ capacity to run a country. They are nowhere near where they need to be in terms of having the viable, functional and reliable institutions that are needed to operate a country. The Jews spent many years before independence in 1948 patiently and diligently putting together the building blocks needed to have a nation-state. During the same time and since, the Palestinians have done nothing of the sort, preferring to focus on death and destruction aimed at the Jews. They have a hell of a lot of maturing to do before they can be entrusted with the same responsibilities. Houston to Goldstein: come back down to earth.

  3. carol ann goldstein
    February 13, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    ” It is most important to remove Senator Barbara Boxer.” This would be a tragic mistake for Senator Boxer is a great asset to California, the US and the world.
    “In the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, former U.S. Rep. Tom Campbell is being accused of being anti-Israel by his Republican opponents, who cite his votes in the House of Representatives to reduce aid to Israel and his early advocacy of a Palestinian state.” Since when is it a crime to want a Palestinian state. There should be a Palestinian state asap. Israel is dragging its feet on this issue. If aid to Israel goes for settlements and taking the land of the Palestinians, then I am in favor of reducing aid to Israel.

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