By COLlive reporter
Jewish community activists in Brooklyn reacted with shock, dismay, hurt and anger after Congresswomen Yvette Clarke voted Tuesday against a pro-Israel bill.
Clarke, representative of New York’s 11th congressional district including Crown Heights and Flatbush, voted against a resolution calling on the U.S. to oppose the Goldstone report on the Gaza war.
While Clarke told COLlive in May of 2009 she “strongly supports Israel’s right to self-defense,” Clarke was one of the 23 members of the House who opposed the bill.
The resolution (H. Res. 867), sponsored by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Howard Berman (D-CA), was supported by 344 members.
It called the Goldstone report “irredeemably biased” and notes that it “is being exploited by Israel’s enemies to excuse the actions of violent militant groups and their state sponsors.”
Chanina Sperlin, Vice Chairman of the Crown Heights Community Council who has close ties to Clarke, sad he was furious and disappointed.
“Coming from her, I am very shocked,” Sperlin, who traveled with Clarke to Israel in 2001, told COLlive. “She should know better after serving as our representative in the city council.”
Clake was said to have been notified of the Jewish community’s feelings towards Goldstone.
Michael Miller, Executive Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater New York, told COLlive he had requested a meeting about this matter weeks ago, but did not receive a reply.
“Frankly, this is a message to the Jewish community to connect to elected officials and let them know how we feel about issues. Otherwise there might be others who will do so,” Miller added.
NYS Assemblyman Dov Hikind of Brooklyn said he does not understand Clake’s motives.
“90 percent of members of the congress did the right thing,” he told COLlive. “The Obama Administration and Hillary Clinton are opposed to this report for its bias.
“She has no excuse for this and owes the Jewish community an explanation,” Hikind said.
Eli Slavin, a resident of Crown Heights and an advisor to Rep. Clarke, declined comment.