Our congressman is John Dingell, one of eight congressmen to vote against a House resolution condemning the Hesbollah attacks on Israel. According to the Ann Arbor News, the resolution "held terrorists and their state sponsors accountable for the attacks.'' Votes in favor of the resolution totalled 410.
I think Dingell, once a reasonably centrist Democrat, cares a lot about the voters in the biggest Arab community in the US: Dearborn. Ann Arbor fell into Dingell's district a few years ago thanks to creative boundry-drawing by the Republicans in Lansing.
Dearborn recently has been the site of a number of openly antisemitic and anti-American street demonstrations in support of Hesbollah. In a firsthand account in the Forward Sharona Shapiro wrote: "I struggled to come to grips with how Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah could be so glorified. ... As an American and a Jew, it is difficult for me to understand why so many Arab Americans in my community venerate him and others of his ilk."
Of the general atmosphere at the rally she continued: "the antisemitic placards at the rally were a horrendous display of Israel as Nazi obsession. Signs compared President Bush to Adolf Hitler and equated Stars of David with Nazi swastikas; one sign read, 'Israel Nazi Are the Same Thing.' This ugly comparison demeans the victims, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, of Nazi genocide, demonizes Israelis, and dehumanizes those who support Israel. Had the July 18 rally been held in Europe instead of Dearborn, it would likely have been officially classified as an antisemitic event." ("Beware Youthful Dearborn's Angry IntoleranceSharona Shapiro, Michigan area director of the American Jewish Committee, published in Forward July 28, 2006)
Later, Dingell got himself in hot water with conservative talk-show folks for ambiguous remarks about whether he supports Hesbollah. He insists that he didn't say he supported them. The News says: "Dingell's declared opponent in the November election didn't let the opportunity slip away, either. 'I find it shocking that Mr. Dingell cannot bring himself to express the slightest disapproval of a terrorist organization that has taken hundreds of innocent lives,' said Vinnie Vernuccio of Ann Arbor. 'The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a complex issue, but it should not be difficult to disavow an organization that intentionally kills civilians and uses Arab women and children as human shields.'" ("Terrorist label fits Hezbollah, Dingell says" Ann Arbor News, August 3, 2006)
This is the first time I've ever heard of Vinnie Vernuccio, who didn't get the needed 1000 signatures to appear on the Primary ballot. I bet I wouldn't like his policies on anything else. A quick web search reveals that he attends ultra-right law school Ave Maria. I sure wish I had more electoral choices coming my way!