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(Photo from Flash90)
(Photo from Flash90)

Support for Bhavini Patel
As an elected member of the Allegheny County Democratic Committee, Ward 7 in Shadyside, I have, after much consideration, concluded that I can neither support nor vote for the reelection of our 12th district congresswoman, Rep. Summer Lee.

I will be supporting and voting for Bhavini Patel, one of Ms. Lee’s opponents in the upcoming Democratic primary election (“Meet Bhavini Patel, congressional candidate for Pennsylvania’s 12th district,” Oct. 27).

I have talked with both candidates — in Ms. Lee’s case both before and after the Oct. 7 Hamas massacre attacks on Israelis; and, after Oct. 7, with Ms. Patel, both in person and by phone. Here are my conclusions:

• Rep. Lee is clearly an anti-Israel “progressive.”

• Ms. Patel is clearly a pro-Israel, pro-Palestinian “progressive.” That not only makes sense, but is a good thing because it gives her a voice in an ultimate resolution/settlement of the conflict.

• When we elect Ms. Patel we will get not only a congresswoman voting the right way on the right issues — minimum wage, justice and workers protections, women’s health care and choices, LGBTG rights, gun control and related matters — but …

• … the Jewish community will not have a congresswoman who will judge Israel through a hard and fast ideological prism that abandons the fears, desires and concerns of Pittsburgh’s Jewish community.

• Ms. Patel will not be in the far extreme part of the Democratic progressive wing that wants to defund the police, end the state of Israel and refuse to support appropriate and desperately needed aid packages.

• In her Oct. 19 newsletter Rep. Lee wrote: “I will never abandon our Pittsburgh Jewish community — period.” Several days later, she voted against a support resolution for Israel. She has consistently voted against any recognition or support for Israel. If that is not “abandoning” the Pittsburgh Jewish community, I don’t know what is.

• Antisemitism has risen considerably in the U.S., and the world. The votes and statements of Ms. Lee and her “progressive” colleagues give cover to those engaging in antisemitic activity.

• If you look at Ms. Patel’s policy statements you will see there is little to no daylight between Ms. Patel’s positions and Rep. Lee’s positions on virtually all of the “progressive issues.”

• But there is considerable daylight between their positions on Israel and the Palestinians.

• Pittsburgh’s Jewish community should take heed of this and join me and the growing diverse support Bhavini Patel is getting across District 12 from local government officials, labor unions, individual donors and just regular voters.

The choice is clear.

Marshall Cohen
Pittsburgh

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