After months of campaigning at popular Anglo spots throughout the country, iVoteIsrael, which encourages American citizens living in Israel to vote in the US, released a video saying Anglos must exercise their democratic right – or else.The iVoteIsrael clip highlights New Jersey Rep. Bill Pascrell’s victory over pro-Israel, 16-year Jewish incumbent Steve Rothman in the June 5 Democratic primary, using dramatic, foreboding music.“Think Congress will always be reliably pro-Israel? Think again,” the video said. “On June 5, radical anti-Israel elements in the New Jersey Arab community flexed their political muscle.”Rothman, who has a pro-Israel record, was ousted, while Pascrell was voted in, iVoteIsrael pointed out, showing a poster of the victor that reads in Arabic: “Elect the friend of the Arabs.”The video also includes a photo of Pascrell with Imam Muhammad Qatanani, who was convicted 20 years ago in an Israeli court as a Hamas member.“ We Americans in Israel have the power and the numbers to help elect a pro-Israel Congress and president,” iVoteIsrael explains. “If we do nothing, they will continue pushing their agenda of divestment from Israel, diplomatic pressure [delegitimization] and accusations of apartheid.”
“Don’t let them win,” the video concludes.According to iVoteIsrael, the video demonstrates that voting is crucial for those who are pro-Israel, and not doing so “is a dangerous option,” because anti- Israel groups actively register their supporters to vote.For example, the Arab A m e r i c a n Forum registered over 1,000 voters and raised $100,000 for Pascrell, while the organization’s president Aref Assaf accused Rothman of putting Israel before his New Jersey constituents.“This race serves as a very clear reminder to the Jewish community that forces hostile to Israel are active, effective and are engaged in the campaign season,” said Elie Pieprz, national director of iVoteIsrael. “It is incumbent among the pro-Israel community to also become engaged in this process.Apathy to the voting process will not merely result in the status quo.”“As the NJ-9 [New Jersey’s 9th Congressional District] race demonstrates, the result can be quite damaging to the pro-Israel community,” Pieprz said.According to Pieprz, Rothman is the “first pro-Israel casualty of the election cycle,” and Americans in Israel must request an absentee ballot and vote to prevent a repeat of the primary. The iVoteIsrael Campaign is described by its organizers as “an issue-based campaign, expressing their desire to see a Congress and administration who will support and stand by Israel in absolute commitment to its safety, security and right to self-defense, without endorsing any specific candidate or party.”A campaign spokesman said the project is funded by contributions raised in the US, mainly in small increments from individuals and foundations within the Jewish and Christian communities.