Hillary Gets City Council Jewish Caucus Backing

The City Council’s Jewish Caucus including Brooklyn Members David Greenfield (Borough Park, Midwood), Mark Treyger (Coney Island, Gravesend, Bensonhurst) Stephen Levin (Downtown Brooklyn, Williamsburg) and Alan Maisel (Canarsie, Mill Basin) yesterday announced their endorsement of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the upcoming April 19 State Presidential Primary.

Curiously not included in the Caucus’ emailed endorsement statement were City Council Members Brad lander (Parks Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington) and Chaim Deutsch (Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach). Jewish Caucus sources say both members were asked to sign on to support of Clinton, but declined.

“Hillary Clinton has delivered time and time again for New York, for the Jewish Community, and for Israel. Whether winning funds to rebuild New York after 9/11 or exposing anti-Semitism in the Middle East and around the world, Hillary Clinton has been there for us. This is not a time for learning on the job–especially when it comes to the challenges facing Israel,” said Manhattan Council Member Mark Levine, Chair of the City Council Jewish Caucus.

The endorsement comes as Clinton’s opponent Bernie Sanders, who is Jewish, has drawn strong criticism from pro-Israel circles or his hiring of Simone Zimmerman as his national Jewish outreach coordinator.

Zimmerman opposes Israel’s occupation and wants the college organization, Hillel to allow participation by groups that support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. She also has been linked to Jewish Voice for Peace, a pro-BDS group, to get “international corporations to stop profiting off human rights abuses.” The Anti-Defamation League has called JVP one of America’s top 10 anti-Israel groups.

“Hillary Clinton is the strongest pro-Israel Democratic candidate for President, and has a proven record of working with New York’s Jewish community since her days as our U.S. Senator,” said Greenfield. “Unfortunately, her rival for the Democratic nomination has made it clear that he doesn’t value the pro-Israel community.  That’s why I’m calling on all of New York’s Jewish Democrats to rally behind Hillary Clinton and to take the time before Pesach to go out and vote for her in the April 19th Democratic Primary.”

Although Lander didn’t sign onto the letter, he told KCP this afternoon that he will also support Clinton.

“While I do support a great deal of Bernie’s policies and while his ideologies certainly align up with mine, for example I was one of the first to be on board with the fight for a $15 minimum wage in New York , I do support Hillary for the presidency,” said Lander.

“I think it’s time that we elect a president and not a good campaign organizer. so I do believe that Hillary is the right choice,” he added.

Deutsch did not return calls at post time.

  • Dylan Johnson contributed to this story.

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