Nadler Faces Accomplished Republican Challenger With Iran As Major Issue

Phil Rosenthal

Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish political leaders and its community will be put to the test at the ballot box on their vow to actively support a candidate to run against 24-year incumbent Congressman Jerrold Nadler because of his support for the Iran nuclear arms deal last year.

That after Upper West Side physicist, attorney and successful entrepreneur Phillip J. Rosenthal has nabbed both the Republican and Conservative Party lines and will challenge Nadler on exactly that platform as well as others this November.

Congressman Jerrold Nadler
Congressman Jerrold Nadler

Nadler’s 10th Congressional District includes Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Morningside Heights, Hell’s Kitchen, Chelsea, Greenwich Village, Soho, Wall Street, and Battery Park City, as well as the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Borough Park, Kensington and parts of Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights, Red Hook, Sunset Park and Midwood.

“The Iran deal is front and center why I decided to run,” said Rosenthal, who graduated salutatorian from Bronx High School of Science, went to Yale where he graduated summa cum laude, phi beta kappa in physics and then Caltech where he earned a Ph.D. in physics researching string theory and cosmology before earning a J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School.

“I’m apalled that he (Nadler) said he would support the Iran deal and his constituents opposed it. It puts our nation and Israel at great risk and when he said he would support the deal, I realized the danger of the deal and it motivated me to run. It’s my understanding there are well over 200,000 Jews in the district and it is incomprehensible that he would support the deal,” he added.

Rosenthal was one of the guest speakers at the Brooklyn South Conservative Club’s annual President’s Day Dinner last night, and while his speech on Israel and why he’s running remains an important issue, his resume deserves further noting.

Upon graduating from Harvard, Rosenthal practiced law at Covington & Burling in Washington, DC, specializing in patent, nuclear, and telecommunications law.  

In 1999, he co-founded Fastcase, a company that brings big data analytics to legal research and is dedicated to democratizing the law.  Fastcase partners with scores of state and local bar associations, as well as many of the largest law firms and most prominent law schools in the world.  

While at Caltech, Phil was a consultant at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory where he worked on the Pluto Fast Flyby program, which evolved into the mission that visited Pluto just last year. While living in Washington DC, he served on the board of the MIT Enterprise Forum of Washington DC and Baltimore, which has the mission is to inform, connect, and coach technology entrepreneurs — enabling them to rapidly transform ideas into world-changing companies.  

He also served on the board of The Dwelling Place, a non-profit that supports homeless families in their pursuit of self-sufficiency by providing housing, education, financial and life skills, and career enhancement.  

Currently, Rosenthal sits on the board of the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET), a 501(c)(3) think tank and policy center with an unabashedly pro-America and pro-Israel stance.  He also is a member of the Leadership Council of the Republican Jewish Coalition.

Rosenthal’s challenge to Nadler comes as the national mood has taken a turn against incumbents and lifetime politicians as evidenced by the rise of both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders in the presidential primaries.

City Councilman David Greenfield
City Councilman David Greenfield

The challenge also comes as both Boro Park Assemblyman Dov Hikind and Boro Park/Midwood City Councilman David Greenfield participated in several protests against Nadler’s support of the Iran deal and vow to remember this come election time.

Both Hikind and Greenfield did not respond to Rosenthal’s candidacy at post time. But already some in Brooklyn’s large Orthodox Jewish community said they plan to take a serious look at Rosenthal.

“Jerry Nadler, once viewed by one and all, as a strong pro Israel Congressman, continues to underestimate the feelings of anger and betrayal ‎felt by members of the Orthodox Jewish community. Despite his weak efforts to explain away his Iran vote, Nadler is now viewed negatively as a sell-out to the Obama administration at the expense of his own constituents,” said an influential and knowledgeable source inside the orthodox community.
NY State Assemblyman Dov Hikind
NY State Assemblyman Dov Hikind

“A conservative challanger will, at the very least, force him to work that much harder to fix the irreparable political damage he has caused himself in the community and the broader district,” the source added.

 A second influential and knowledgable source inside the Orthodox Jewish community said they look forward to meeting with Rosenthal and did not rule out the possibility that the Orthodox community would actively campaign for him.

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