A nonprofit group supporting Israel released an attack ad this week that chided Democratic New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker for initially refusing to back a bill that would have reduced funding to the Palestinian Authority.
The conservative Committee for Israel, formerly known as the Emergency Committee for Israel, released the 30-second television spot Sept. 6. The ad aired in New York and Philadelphia markets, Politico reported.
The committee’s mission is defending the U.S.-Israel relationship by educating the public on political candidates’ stance on the matter, according to its website.
“Stabbings, shootings, suicide bombings. Israelis and Americans killed by Palestinian terrorists, and we’re paying for it. American tax dollars have been going to pay salaries to these jailed killers for decades. Finally, Democrats and Republicans are coming together to stop it,” the narrator intones over rising music.
“But not Cory Booker. He ran here as a friend to Israel. Just four years later he’s eyeing a run for president and throwing Israel under the bus. Call Booker. Tell him we noticed.”
Booker is widely considered a front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, though Booker has demurred about his plans to seek the highest office in the land. The 48-year-old junior senator to New Jersey isn’t up for reelection until 2020.
The ad alludes to the Taylor Force Act, a bill that would scale back aid to the Palestinian Authority until it stops paying families of violent attackers, Politico reported.
The bill bears the namesake of a former U.S. Army officer who was stabbed to death in Tel Aviv in 2016.
The Jewish Insider reported Sept. 8 that Booker now backs an updated version of the bill that includes an amendment the Appropriations Committee agreed to.
The bill was advanced out of that committee on Sept. 7 and would allow U.S. funding for humanitarian projects that help Palestinians, which was something Booker insisted on, out of concern about terminating U.S. aid to Palestinians who had no part in committing acts of terror, the Insider reported.
U.S. funding to the West Bank and Gaza would only be eliminated for assistance that directly benefits the Palestinian Authority, the Insider reported.
The Committee for Israel created the attack ad in response to Booker’s original August vote against moving the bill out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“There have long been mixed signals and conflicting recommendations from both U.S. and Israeli national security officials about whether the bill would achieve its desired ends without worsening the security situation,” Booker said in a statement he released after his August vote.
Booker added that he hoped his issues with the bill are handled “quickly and well before the full Senate considers this legislation so that this bill can receive my support.”
The Committee for the Israel board includes Bill Kristol, The Weekly Standard’s editor at large, and former Reagan administration official Gary Bauer. The Weekly Standard is a conservative news magazine and blog.
The group notably opposed former president Barack Obama over the Iran nuclear deal.
Meanwhile, the committee has sponsored a related print ad that is critical of Booker to run in New Jersey’s Jewish newspapers. The ad included quotes from Democratic senators Chuck Schumer of New York and Ben Cardin of Maryland, who both supported the bill, Politico reported.
It is not known whether the committee will yank the television spot or rescind its print ad in light of news that Booker now supports the bill.
The committee did not respond to an email from the AFRO and a phone number listed for the group on its website was incorrect.