New York Republican senatorial candidate Chele Farley at the Western Wall.
(photo credit: COURTESY CHELE FARLEY FOR SENATE)
New York Republican senatorial candidate Chele Farley told The Jerusalem Post on a visit to Jerusalem that her opponent, Democratic incumbent Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, cannot be counted on by New Yorkers who want their senator to back Israel.
Farley cited Gillibrand’s vote for the nuclear deal with Iran in July 2015 and, recently, against the Taylor Force Act that takes away American funding from the Palestinian Authority until the PA stops paying stipends to terrorists and to the families of deceased terrorists.
“I don’t think she’s pro-Israel,” Farley said on Monday. “As the state with the largest Jewish population, New York deserves a pro-Israel senator.”
Farley said Gillibrand also sponsored, put her name on, and took her name off legislation against boycotting, divesting from and sanctioning Israel, which “proves she is focusing her attention on the liberal activists in her party who she thinks she needs to run for president, and not on the people of New York.”
New York has not elected a Republican to a major statewide office since governor George Pataki was reelected in 2002. But Farley said she could win in November.
“Gillibrand can be defeated because she is not working for the people of New York,” Farley said. “She is running for president. I am running for senator.”
Farley has a degree from Stanford University and worked in the financial services industry in New York for 25 years. She served as the New York State Republican Party’s New York City finance chairwoman.
She came to Israel along with prominent Republican Dr. Joseph Frager. Together they toured the country, including visits to the Western Wall, Church of the Holy Sepulchre and Hebron. She met with US Ambassador David Friedman, Education Minister Naftali Bennett, Science and Technology Minister Ophir Akunis, Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Avi Dichter and Yesh Atid MK Elazar Stern.
Farley also met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son Yair.
The trip, Farley’s first to Israel, was planned before the US Embassy move date was announced, so she will be leaving before the ceremony. She praised President Donald Trump for deciding to move the embassy, but expressed reservations about Trump on other issues.
“When his policies are good for New York, and many of them are, I will support him, and when his policies are not good for New York like his recent tax bill, I would negotiate and make them better,” she said. “My husband is a Democrat. I am used to working across the aisle. As a senator, you have to work with whoever is in the White House to get things done.”
Farley was glad to be in Israel for Trump’s decision on the fate of the Iran deal
“It was important for me to see for myself the dangers that Iran poses to Israel,” she said. “The deal effectively gives Iran nuclear weapons in eight years, which will threaten Israel as well as New York. I believed before that voting for the deal was a mistake, and now after coming to Israel, I am convinced that it’s true.”