Fiorina seeks to make Israel an issue in campaign for U.S. Senate

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Frank Stoltze/KPCC

Carly Fiorina poses with Martha House of the California Federation of Republican Women at Fiorina's official announcement that she seeks to unseat U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer.

The political campaign of former Hewlett Packard chief Carly Fiorina Thursday accused former Congressman Tom Campbell of being hostile to the state of Israel. Both seek the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, along with State Senator Chuck DeVore of Irvine.

Fiorina’s campaign manager Marty Wilson told reporters in a conference call that Campbell twice sought to reduce economic aid to Israel while he was a congressman in the 1990’s.

“I’m saying that Tom Campbell has a record that is decidedly anti-Israel," Wilson said.

A spokesman for Campbell said the former congressman merely supported cuts equal to other countries as the United State sought to reduce foreign aid.

Spokesman James Fisfis said Campbell also once opposed increasing aid to Israel, but because he wanted the money to go elsewhere.

“He believed that the money to go toward Africa was just as important as economic aid that might go to Israel," Fisfis said.

He maintained that Campbell is a strong supporter of Israel, and has never voted to reduce military aid.

The debate’s important, because both candidates seek the support of Jewish and evangelical Christian voters who regard support for Israel as a biblical mandate. Evangelical Christians in particular play a key role in Republican primaries in California.

The Fiorina campaign also accused Campbell of writing a letter of support for a professor who pleaded guilty of conspiring to help a Palestinian terrorist organization.

Campbell’s campaign said he did not know of the man’s illegal activities when he wrote the letter.

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