"If Charlie Dent doesn't take a clear, immediate and principled stance against Mr. Malek by calling for his group to stay out of this election, then his silence can only be interpreted as approval,” huffed Callahan.
Never mind that Charlie Dent has no connection, directly or indirectly, to either Malek or his group. Or that the founder of the American Action Network - the group Callahan wants ostracized from this election - is Minnesota Guv' Norm Coleman, himself a Jew. Or that Malek actually apologized for his actions. Or that ADL National Director Abe Foxman is proud to call Malek a friend. Or that Senator Diane Feinstein said that she has “great trust, respect and admiration for him.” In fact, Jewish Week's James Besser laments, "Am I the only person who's really, really tired of the Fred Malek story, which resurfaces every few years when Jewish Democrats think they need some new ammo to use against their Republican foes – as if they needed any, given the fact Jews continue to vote overwhelmingly Democratic?"
Six weeks later, John Callahan has done a complete 180.
Callahan has stressed his willingness to appear at debates with Jake Towne, a candidate for Congress who recently hand-picked the band Poker Face – a group labeled as anti-Semitic by the Anti-Defamation League – to perform at a campaign event. The ADL notes that the group’s leader has denied the Holocaust occurred, called the ADL “a terrorist organization,” and believes that a conspiracy of "Satanic Jews" runs the world.
Jake Towne, the Manchurian candidate, insists that Poker Face is not anti-Semitic. They just go "overboard."
“This is who John Callahan wants to share a stage with to debate public policy? Shame on him.” said Shawn Millan, Congressman Dent’s campaign manager, in a news release issued yesterday afternoon.
ADL Regional Director Barry Morrison told The Express Times that candidates should steer clear of hate groups because they risk inadvertently supporting them. "Anybody who is identified with a person or group that has a record of bigotry must put distance between themselves and that record. They must speak to the bigotry, call it for what it is and condemn it."
Instead of doing that, John Callahan will share a podium with Towne.
“Why won’t John Callahan agree to a one-on-one debate with Charlie Dent? Because Callahan is unable to defend the Washington agenda he supports and he wants to hide behind Jake Towne’s podium at a debate,” Millan said. “Mayor Callahan needs to stop listening to his Washington-oriented advisors who tell him to either condemn or condone anti-Semitism based on what’s politically convenient.”
“John Callahan can still do the right thing here,” Millan said. “He can admit that someone with Jake Towne’s extremist views is so far out of the mainstream he doesn’t have a place in what should be a serious discussion on the issues facing the American people.”