U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside), a self-proclaimed supporter of Israel, failed to criticize President Barack Obama for urging that Israel begin the negotiating process with the 1967 borders. I wrote Ackerman about this and I received a two-page letter gushing with unconditional support and praise of Obama. Unbridled party loyalty should not silence a congressman from speaking out, even against members of his own party, as others have done.
Ackerman understands the importance of diplomatic nuance. It is in this context that we saw Obama’s support of Israel, lukewarm at best. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had to lecture the president about the realities on the ground and the 1967 borders during that unprecedented and uncomfortable White House exchange during the prime minister’s visit.
Only afterward did the administration begin to do some backpedaling. But Ackerman writes a two-page letter, unabashedly praising the president’s policy and position. My congressman was not elected to be the president’s apologist. I find this lack of independent thought on his part and blind support of party politics troubling.
I am a lifelong Democrat but willing to criticize party members when appropriate because moral clarity must always trump party loyalty.
Glen Oaks Village
©2011 Community News Group
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