Letter: Handel’s Israel Support
OpinionLetter to the Editor

Letter: Handel’s Israel Support

Chuck Berk responds to the criticism of his column arguing for Karen Handel in the 6th District.

A few comments regarding the reaction to my column in support of Karen Handel (“Why Karen Handel Deserves Jewish Vote,” May 12; letter and more letters to the editor, May 19).

First of all, I was disappointed at the animus and rancor of the respondents, as if I shouldn’t have been allowed to express my “misguided” views, in their eyes. Many didn’t seem to understand that it was an opinion piece, not remembering or knowing that there was an article the previous week by my friend Steve Oppenheimer, who made the case for Jon Ossoff (“Why Ossoff Has Earned Our Support,” May 5).

I give the AJT much credit for being fair and balanced, not showing bias, and for trying to give readers opinions from both sides to help them make an informed decision.

Second, some people were offended, saying that they “completely disagree with the characteristics and assumptions about liberal Jewish Democrats” and that I was trying “to divide the parties, not unite,” in my article. That was certainly not my intent.

I’m sure those writers personally feel strongly about Israel, as they claim, but facts are stubborn things. In poll after poll, unfortunately, liberal Jewish Democrats in recent years have been less supportive than Republicans of Israel’s best interests (for example, backing the Iran nuclear deal, abstaining on U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334, supporting J Street over AIPAC).

We should all like to see representatives and senators from both parties support Israel. But, aside from financial and military aid, it has been Christian legislators, mostly Republicans, in both Georgia and Washington who have been most supportive of Israel.

So when I say that Karen Handel, who is not Jewish, will advocate and vote for Israel, I know that she will and that she will be aligned with other Israel-supporting Republican Georgia legislators.

You can’t assume, just because Ossoff is Jewish and says the right things about Israel on the campaign trail, that if he is elected, he will vote the right way — especially because, as a young freshman, he would be compelled to follow the leadership of Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats in Congress.

— Chuck Berk, Sandy Springs

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