Over the last several weeks, Tenth District congressional candidate Ilya Sheyman and groups backing him such as MoveOn.Org have been attacking rival Brad Schneider rather than promoting any positive ideas of their own. They are denouncing four (4) out of the over seventy (70) political contributions Brad has made since 2000. As if 90% percent of his contributions to Democrats is not sufficient to call Brad a Democrat. By whose measure?
As Brad has repeated since he entered the race last summer, 90% of his contributions were to Democrats, and 100% of his contributions were in the context of a candidate's position supporting a strong U.S. - Israel relationship. Sheyman and his backers have cynically tried to distort Schneider's support of Israel to claim that such support also means he is anti-women, anti-seniors, anti-environment, anti-progressive. Their arguments seem to be that it is not possible to be a "true progressive" and a supporter of Israel
The Sheyman team's attacks on Schneider are so outrageous that Naral and JACPAC issued statements stating unequivocally that Brad is 100% pro-choice, and JAC noting that Sheyman is running to the left of Schneider on all issues, including Israel.
And while Brad Schneider has a lifetime record for support for both liberal causes, including support of Israel, Mr. Sheyman has been a frequent speaker to, and received the endorsement from the Progressive Democrats of America (PDA). This is the same group that last year endorsed the second Gaza Flotilla. PDA also has an Israel/Palestine Action Group who, in their own words “joins with the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation (www.endtheoccupation.org/) in an effort to "condition" and/or suspend U.S. military aid to Israel until there is an end to Israel's siege of Gaza and to Israel's occupation of the West Bank and until the Israeli and Palestinian people have achieved a mutually acceptable just peace. To these ends PDA and the Israel Palestine Action Group (I/PAG) engage in lobbying and legislative campaigns at the congressional district and senatorial levels of the U.S. Congress.” These are not the types of organization that strong supporters of Israel support and take guidance from. If anything, Schneider is the one who should be questioning Sheyman's associations.
It may be that these associations are a reflection of Mr. Sheyman’s youth and inexperience. But such questionable positions are not necessarily new. Mr. Sheyman has taken harsh stands with respect to Israel as far back as 2003 when he authored and signed a resolution calling on the U.S. to sanction Israel (http://www.shsdebate.com/uploads/bp/03-04/03-04%20icda%201%20bills.pdf page 15). Though this particular statement was eight years ago, and Mr. Sheyman was a high school senior at the time, it certainly fits in with the rhetoric of PDA and I/PAG.
Those in the community that don't want to take the risk and would like to see a proven and consistent leader on behalf of Israel in Congress are supporting Brad Schneider. Mr. Schneider has been affiliated with and served in leadership positions on numerous organizations in both the secular and the Jewish communities for over 30 years. He has a long record of supporting Israel and supporting those who support Israel.
David Kirshenbaum, Northbrook