As ardent fans of Representative Gary Ackerman (NY-05), we at the National Jewish Democratic Council are truly saddened to learn the news tonight that he will be retiring at the end of his current term in office. Over the course of 15 terms as a member of Congress, Rep. Ackerman has been a genuine leader on complex foreign affairs issues - a true champion for Jewish interests in Congress, and a key member of the congressional Jewish delegation.
When it comes to Israel and Middle East issues, Rep. Ackerman has been nothing short of sage and indefatigable. Just recently, Ackerman played a central role in obtaining the release of Ilan Grapel, a former intern of his who was accused by Egyptian authorities of being a spy for Israel; he took a firm and active stance against the Gaza flotilla; and he wisely pushed back against the unfortunate, partisan “appeasement” rhetoric that some had been using regarding Administration policy on Syria. He did this and so much more from his critical position on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
He is also known for his work on health care, Medicare and so many other issues as well, but foreign affairs - and foreign policy of special interest to American Jews - has been his hallmark.
NJDC’s leadership, staff and membership extend our warmest congratulations to Rep. Ackerman for his distinguished career, and we wish him the very best as he retires from Congress.
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