The Republican U.S. Senate race focused Sunday on relations with Israel, with both Irvine Assemblyman Chuck DeVore and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina defending the actions of Israeli troops who killed nine people after boarding a Turkish ship carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza.
DeVore fired up several hundred pro-Israel demonstrators Sunday afternoon who gathered on Wilshire Boulevard in front of the Israeli consulate in Los Angeles. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger also spoke.
"Let us say this unequivocally and unashamedly and emphatically: What Israel did to the Gaza flotilla was right, it was legal and it was moral," DeVore roared. "It is never wrong to starve a movement that thinks the Holocaust was simply a good start. The fight between Israel and Hamas is a fight between civilization and barbarisim. It is as simple as that."
DeVore told the crowd that "America stands against Israel's enemies for the same reason it stood against Nazism and fascism and communism."
"I say clearly that the enemies of Israel are just as genocidal and just as tyrannical and just as savage as those defeated movements. The defenders of the Gaza flotilla say it was just a humanitarian mission. They say they were peace activists. They lie."
By comparison, Schwarzenegger sounded like an Ivy League professor when he called Noam Shalit, the father of an Israeli soldier captured by Hamas, and assured him: "Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time with your families and with the state of Israel. And remember, I'll be back."
Both DeVore and Fiorina later attended a dinner held by the Republican Jewish Coalition that featured U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., and Karl Rove, adviser to former President George W. Bush.
Fiorina told The Bee before the dinner that the international community should have rallied against the sinking of a South Korean naval ship by North Korea rather than Israel's actions against the flotilla.
"I am appalled by the condemnation of that action, Israel trying to protect itself, having given the flotilla many, many warnings," Fiorina said.
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