In Senate Bid, Rep. Donna Edwards Faces Scrutiny Over Her Views on Israel

In this Nov. 17, 2014 file photo, Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. Edwards intends to join the race to replace retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski, hoping to become the first African-American elected to the Senate from her state, according to officials familiar with her plans. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
In this Nov. 17, 2014 file photo, Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. Edwards intends to join the race to replace retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski, hoping to become the first African-American elected to the Senate from her state, according to officials familiar with her plans.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
In this Nov. 17, 2014 file photo, Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

 

(The Washington Post) – Forget what’s in her heart. Some members of Maryland’s Jewish community are concerned about Rep. Donna F. Edwards’s intestines.

“If somebody could look in her kishkes, I doubt a love for Israel would be found there,” said Rabbi Mitchell Wohlberg, using the Yiddish word for guts. His Baltimore congregation counts among its members Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D), whom Edwards is hoping to join in the Senate in 2017 as a replacement for retiring lawmaker Barbara A. Mikulski (D).

As she campaigns for the Democratic nomination, Edwards is facing pushback over stances she has taken on issues involving Israel that have some questioning her support for the Jewish state. Whether that record will stymie her Senate bid reflects a larger concern among Israel’s liberal critics: the extent to which candidates can question Israel’s policies without jeopardizing their political futures.

Wohlberg says that Cardin, Mikulski and Edwards’s primary rival, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D), all have positions on Israel that are more closely aligned with that of most Jews, who make up about 4.3 percent of Maryland residents. Jewish Marylanders tend to be reliable Democratic voters, concentrated in populous Montgomery and Baltimore counties.

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