This is a diary about a profile in un-courage -- a Democratic candidate for Congress, in a potentially competitive district, who has decided that he does not want to present himself to the voters as an advocate of Middle East peace.  And it is about how Daily Kos readers can help make sure that time runs out on the sort of tired policies that this candidate represents.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict used to be like gun control -- an issue in which a strong lobby with an incredibly narrow point of view was able to stifle any rational discussion in Washington.

J Street (www.jstreet.org) is the new pro-Israel, pro-peace lobby which has changed all that, giving voice to the silent majority of Americans who favor active U.S. efforts to bring about a two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

This is not a small issue.  It has hampered U.S. foreign policies for years.  A successful reset is one of the most important keys to the success of the Obama Administration.  

Doug Pike is a Democratic candidate for Congress, running against Jim Gerlach, a Republican incumbent in a Democratic-leaning district (PA-6).  

Two months ago, Pike sought and received the endorsement of J Street.   Today, he flip-flopped and announced that he doesn't want J Street's endorsement after all.

I don't know whether Pike was confused the first time, or is simply doing now what he thinks is expedient.  Either way, this is a candidate who doesn't understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and doesn't understand its importance.

If you want to say no to Doug Pike, there are two ways to do this.  J Street has been sending a message
today by raising money for three candidates who do have the courage of their convictions.    In the first seven hours, they've raised over $32,000 (see https://donate.jstreetpac.org/... ) for three members of Congress -- Debbie Halvorson (D, IL-11), Ron Kind (D, WI-3), and Jim Cooper (D, TN-5) -- who have been strong voices for Middle East peace.  (They also all voted for health care reform this week, though they are all in tough races or in potentially competitive districts.)   It is a new day when political money flows to candidates because they support sane policies in the Middle East.  You can be sure this is noticed in Washington.

There is another way to say no to Doug Pike, because he is facing a competitive Democratic primary.  His opponent is Manan Trivedi, a physician and Iraq war veteran.  The Jewish Exponent reports (http://www.jewishexponent.com/article/20848/ ) that  Trivedi

has recently gained momentum, and been endorsed by the Democratic committees in both Chester and Montgomery counties.  The race has high stakes, as Gerlach's seat has long been a high priority target for Democrats, and party insiders are saying that Trivedi stands a better chance of getting the job done.... The race is considered close.

Pike is far better funded than Trivedi, so your dollars for Trivedi can make a difference.  Trivedi has been a netroots favorite.  So far on ActBlue (http://www.actblue.com/page/trivedi), he has raised $165,000, the most of any Pennsylvania candidate except Senate candidate Joe Sestak, and way more than Pike.

Originally posted to strings on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 09:03 PM PDT.


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