Summer Savings! Get unlimited digital access for 13 weeks for $13.

Readers Respond

News Opinion Readers Respond

Chris Van Hollen is no friend of Israel

As Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen Jr. eyes a run for the U.S. Senate in 2014, readers deserve to know the truth about his record on Israel and Iran.

Some readers seem to believe that democracy ends on Election Day, and that afterward citizens give up the right to criticize their elected officials. I disagree.

As an investigative reporter — and as Congressman Van Hollen's Republican opponent in the last election — I closely examined his record.

It is true Mr. Van Hollen was a co-sponsor of legislation to authorize U.S. support for Iron Dome, the missile defense system that helped shield Israeli citizens from terrorist rockets fired from Gaza.

But as anyone who follows Congress will tell you, the real test comes not in feel-good authorization bills that win overwhelming bipartisan support, but when lawmakers are actually appropriating taxpayer dollars.

The Department of Defense Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2013 contained $650 million in U.S. taxpayer money to fund additional Iron Dome systems for Israel. Yet Mr. Van Hollen twice voted against the bill — even though he now claims, hypocritically, that he is a "friend of Israel."

If Mr. Van Hollen had cared so strongly about Iron Dome as he would have his constituents believe, don't you think he would have mentioned his "regrets" that he twice felt compelled to vote against funding it? But if you read his July 20, 2012, statement explaining his vote, you won't find a single mention of Iron Dome.

And this is barely a footnote in Mr. Van Hollen's anti-Israel record, which includes his refusal to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, his persistent support for the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the pro-Tehran lobby, and his support for the J Street agenda demanding that Israel make unilateral negotiating concessions to the Palestinians.

Given his positions, describing Rep. Van Hollen as a "fair weather friend" of Israel is a charitable way of putting it indeed.

Ken Timmerman, Kensington

The writer was the 2012 Republican nominee to represent Maryland's 8th Congressional District.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Van Hollen not a true friend to Israel

    During his campaign for re-election, Rep. Chris Van Hollen from Maryland's 8th District claimed that he was a "friend of Israel." He even took out a full-page ad in the Washington Jewish Weekly just a few days before the Nov. 6 election claiming that he always stood in strong support of Israel.

  • Van Hollen is a staunch friend of Israel

    I was disturbed by a recent letter to the editor questioning Rep. Chris Van Hollen's support for Israel ("Van Hollen is not a true friend to Israel," Nov. 28). I am a Jewish constituent of the congressman who has followed his career for many years. Mr. Van Hollen's diligence and support of causes...

  • Maryland identified with Lee

    Maryland identified with Lee

    I wonder if any of the Marylanders who are clamoring for the name of Robert E. Lee Park to be changed to Lake Roland Park because General Lee was a Confederate realize that Maryland was a slave state.

  • Police are not the problem

    Police are not the problem

    In a recent letter to the editor, Richard Friedman touched upon a very sensitive nerve in his penultimate, and antepenultimate paragraphs as he references the effects of increased police presence on the streets ("How Baltimore can attack crime," July 21). Increasing the number of police on the...

  • Hogan believes in the divine right of highways

    Hogan believes in the divine right of highways

    It took me several days to recover from reading about the answers Transportation Secretary Peter Rahn had for legislators questioning where the money went that was saved by canceling all funding for the Red Line ("Rahn says no new money for Baltimore transit," July 21). Several observations are...

  • Donald Trump needs to look in the mirror

    Donald Trump needs to look in the mirror

    Donald Trump is really starting to get on my nerves. All I can see and hear when there are clips of him on the news programs is ego, ego, ego. I don't hear any solutions. However, one thing has really bothered me during this "media storm of Trump." No one has asked him about the immigrants employed...

  • Iran deal a 'Pandora's Box'

    Iran deal a 'Pandora's Box'

    If we believe that Iran will cease its nuclear program and its support for international terrorism after the agreement is signed, we are living in a fool's paradise ("Sen. Ben Cardin says U.S. negotiators got 'awful lot' in Iran deal," July 23). The argument that Iran will no longer develop nuclear...

  • What responsibility does Sandra Bland have?

    What responsibility does Sandra Bland have?

    In regard to your July 24 editorial "The limits of video," you write, "the officer tells [Sandra Bland] to put out her cigarette, which she protests. Next he orders her out of her car, which she also resists." Had Ms Bland honored the officer's requests, she would be alive today.

Comments
Loading

77°