Sestak's being swiftboated

Comcast has been asked to reconsider airing a new advertisement that questions Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Joe Sestak’s support of Israel.

“Sestak’s Record” is the title of the ad produced by Weekly Standard editor William Kristol’s new pro-Israel group, the Emergency Committee for Israel. Sestak has denied the allegations made in the commercial, which airs in Philadelphia through early next week. He has tried to convince Comcast to take the ad down.

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The Jewish Exponent has published an article that shows Sestak has often supported Israel, and former AIPAc president Steve Grossman has even called Sestak a "defender of the State of Israel.”

Among the claims made by Kristol’s organization is that Sestak “raised money for an anti-Israel organization that the FBI called a front group for Hamas.” But as The Jewish Exponent reports, Sestak did not raise funds for the organization in question, the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Rather, he purposely made sure a speech he gave at a CAIR event occurred before the fund-raising segment began.

Moreover, this speech was given in 2007; that was before the FBI made allegations about CAIR, which, by the way, is not accused of participating in terrorism. Sestak admitted at the time that it would be risky to speak at the event, but the congressman said it was his duty to reach out to all groups.

Political-ad producers should be more diligent about presenting the facts. Sestak’s stance on Israel has indeed come under fire by some pro-Israel activists in the past, but the “Sestak’s Record” ad does not paint an accurate portrait of the congressman’s record. Cable and broadcast outlets, as well as newspapers, should be scrupulous about not presenting false advertisements that do a disservice to voters.

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