The Kendrick Meek Senate campaign is condemning a provocative new mailer from primary rival Jeff Greene, which hits Meek for supposed insufficient support for Israel. Meek is known to be a hawkish Israel supporter in Congress, who sharply criticized President Obama earlier this year for differing with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on settlements, and who along with Greene and other Democrats, fully backed Israel’s deadly attack on a Turkish aid flotilla. The mailer is below. In it, Greene promotes himself to Jewish voters as “a Jewish American” who “speaks Hebrew fluently” and who “will champion, without hesitation or apology, the security of the Jewish homeland.” It’s an in-your-face strategy in an off-year election in which the votes of older voters, and Jewish voters in places like Palm Beach, matter more than they would in a presidential year. Here’s the flyer (or view it full size here):
Meek campaign response after the jump.
Miami Gardens, FL — If Jeff Greene was capable of sinking any lower in his distortion-filled campaign, the billionaire ‘Meltdown Mogul’ has achieved the unthinkable – hitting a new low, even for him and his campaign.
Dropping in mailboxes of Florida households is the ugliest Greene mailer yet (and for Jeff Greene, that is really saying something.)
To even describe the mailer is unseemly, almost disgusting. The images speak for themselves and we encourage you to take a look at the fear-mongering mailer below.
“As Jeff Greene continues to flush down the toilet his ill-gotten money made by betting against middle-class Florida homeowners, Florida’s paper recycling industry continues to boom thanks to Greene’s hateful mailers that Floridians are discarding as quickly as they arrive in their mailboxes,” said Adam Sharon, communications director for Kendrick Meek. “Jeff Greene’s most recent mailer doesn’t even scrape the bottom of the barrel – that would be an overstatement.”
This mail piece drops as the New York Times reported that the Obama Administration is attempting to restart direct peace talks between Israelis and the Palestinians.
Leave it to Jeff Greene to attack his opponent with Republican-style hate mail. While Greene’s record on Israel issues is scant, even nonexistent, it is Kendrick Meek who is one of the staunchest, fiercest defenders of Israel in the U.S. Congress and is championed by Israel-advocacy organizations throughout Florida.
In a Letter to the Editor published this week in the Palm Beach Post assailing Greene’s despicable explanation for why he traveled to Cuba (to visit the Jewish community on the island – another Greene lie), a South Florida leader in the Jewish community writes, Kendrick “has actively supported Israel’s security and prosperity, including tough and enforceable sanctions against Iran, and greater Arab responsibility for achieving peace between Israel and its neighbors.”
Once again, Jeff Greene has hit a new low. As the final days of this campaign are upon us, Jeff Greene is ending this race as he started it – full of ugly smears that shames only himself.
UPDATE: Greene is standing by the mailer, AIPAC stands by Kendrick meek, and another primary challenger, Maurice Ferre, is weighing in. Per the St. Pete Times:
Said Greene, while campaigning today in Kissimmee: “As far I’m concerned he is not as strong on Israel…We had a Palm Beach Post debate and I came out very strongly and said we have to stand by Israel with undying loyalty…(All) Kendrick Meek said is, “I’d like peace in the Middle East.” To me, that’s not a response that friends of Israel want to hear.”
“Is he running for the Knesset or is he running for the Senate?” asked Ferre. “Is his pledge of allegiance to the U.S. Constitution or the Israeli Constitution?”
Josh Block, a spokesman, for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, said: “Kendrick Meek has a very strong record on issues of importance to the pro-Israel community and is considered a stauch supporter of the U.S.-Israel relationship.”Maurice Ferre pointed to part of the mailer where Greene recounts President Obama snubbing Netanyahu, and declaring he will stand up for the prime minister “No matter who the adversary.”
UPDATE 2: A second Jewish Group, the National Jewish Democratic Council, has also weighed in condemning the Greene ad. The group are supporters of Kendrick Meek, but the backlash raises the very real question of whether Greene has harmed himself more than he’s helped, with this gambit.