WASHINGTON – A Republican US Senate candidate running in the state of California was accused by his opponents of anti-Semitism and an anti-Israel stance Saturday.
Tom Campbell, a former congressman, took the podium Saturday at a debate with his two competitors to demand that they quit the smear campaign against him, which accuses him of hatred towards Israel.
Carly Fiorina and Chuck DeVore have claimed Campbell opposes Israel because of the way he has voted while in office and because of the donations he has accepted from Sami al-Arian, a prominent leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Campbell asked for a debate on the issue and answered questions thrown at him by his opponents. When asked whether he has ever supported Israel during his ten years in the House of Representatives he answered, "There's no place for calling me an anti-Semite and then denying it. That whispering campaign, that silent slander stops today."
Campbell was a Stanford law professor and spearheaded a House of Representatives claim against former President Bill Clinton for the way in which he directed the war in Kosovo.
Fiorina mentioned that Campbell voted in favor of a cut in financial aid to Israel and was one of 34 members of the House who voted against a move defining Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel, which 435 others supported.
DeVore called Campbell "a friend to our enemies" for accepting $1,300 from al-Arian in 2000, after he was arrested on suspicion of running an Islamic Jihad campaign in the University of South Florida. Campbell admitted that accepting the funds was a mistake.
Israel has become a central issue for the Republican primary elections, in which evangelical Christians vying for total support for Israel have been extremely influential.
The Associated Press contributed to this report