If Charles Boustany’s Congressional voting record had a weakness, it would be his stance on Israel. Boustany, who is the grandson of Lebanese Christian immigrants, has cast some anti-Israel votes in Congress.
Here’s a summary of some of those votes:
- Boustany was one of only 3 Republicans to join 33 members of the Congressional Black Caucus and Progressive Caucus to vote against a congressional resolution condemning the “Goldstone Report,” which accused Israel of war crimes. (11/2/2009 Roll Call # 838 on H.Res. 867).
- Boustany offered an amendment that would have removed Egypt’s accountability for Hamas’ arms smuggling into Gaza (roll call #535, 6/21/2007, H.AMDT 371 to H.R. 2764).
- Co-led a letter to President Obama urging him to intervene in the Israeli-Palestinian Peace negotiations. The letter urged Obama to become intimately involved in forcing talks between Israel and the PA, and said the creation of a Palestinian state must precede transparency of the PA government, control over security, or a stable economy. Among the most radical leftists, the only other Republican signatures were Bob Inglis and Geoff Davis (Cohen-Boustany-Carnahan Letter, May 2009).
- Charles Boustany: Led a letter to Secretary of State Rice requesting more foreign aid be delivered to the Palestinian Authority. It was signed by some of the most radical members of the House (Ackerman-Boustany letter, November 2007).
Fast forward to the Rapides Parish Republican Executive Committee forum last month. Boustany was asked who was America’s most reliable ally in the Middle East. Boustany replied “Israel.” Boustany talked about all the good things the U.S. and Israel do together such as intelligence sharing. He also talked about his “pro-Israel” voting record.
Then it was John Fleming’s turn to tackle the issue and then he decided to tackle Boustany’s voting record as well. “Congressman Boustany was named the most pro-Palestinian Congressman in the Republican Party by Red State. He’s been endorsed by J Street which is a pro-Palestinian organization in Washington D.C.” said Fleming. He also called Boustany’s record “dismal” and reiterated his support for Israel as a “Jewish state.”
Boustany replied to Fleming that he has “strong Jewish support throughout the American public.” He also claimed support from AIPAC, which is the Israel lobby, and the Republican Jewish Coalition.
That is not true, neither organization has endorsed Boustany or anyone else in this race as Fleming pointed out in his rebuttal. In fact, neither organization is all that thrilled with Boustany’s record.
At the same time, Fleming is incorrect to suggest that J Street has endorsed Boustany in this race. They haven’t backed Boustany since 2010.
Boustany has tried to put some distance between his current race and his previous anti-Israel votes. He authored an anti-Iran op-ed published in The Hill that cited Iran’s threat to Israel last year.
Jeff Landry tried using Israel against Boustany in 2012, but it didn’t work for him. Will John Fleming have better luck this year?