Anthony Weiner is at the center of another scandal, this time after it was revealed he accepted campaign cash from a lobbyist for Al Jazeera, the satellite news station made famous for airing video messages from Osama Bin Laden, the New York Post reported Saturday.
After it was revealed earlier this week that lobbyist John Merrigan was among those who have made the maximum donation by law of $4,950, the New York City mayoral candidate came under intense criticism from New York City Councilman Lew Fidler (D-Brooklyn), who has endorsed former city Comptroller Bill Thompson’s mayoral bid.
“Al Jazeera and its lobbyists are no friends to New York City or our Jewish community, and Anthony shouldn’t accept their support,” Fidler said. “They have spread hate and lies against Jews, not only here in New York but across the world. The right thing to do is to give this money back. Anthony should do exactly that,” he declared.
Thompson is heavily courting the Jewish community in New York and Weiner’s collusion with Al Jazeera—perceived to be hostile to Israel and Jews—has made him ripe for criticism from Thompson’s supporters.
Assemblyman Alan Maisel, a Brooklyn Democrat who has endorsed Thompson, also chastised Weiner for taking the contribution from Merrigan.
“Anthony Weiner should know better than to accept contributions from friends [at] Al Jazeera, which has been a voice for terrorists and spewed hatred against Jews and the state of Israel,” Maisel said. “They have echoed and attempted to legitimize hate speech about wiping Israel off the map. It’s disgraceful.
“While I respect Anthony, he has done wrong by accepting this terror-tainted money. Now he should do the right thing: return it.”
The criticism hasn’t been limited to those in the political field either. Shea Rubenstein, president of the Jewish Community Council of Marine Park, also publicly chastised Weiner.
“Our community has always promoted tolerance, and I have known Anthony Weiner as a congressman who has upheld that value.
“That’s why I am deeply saddened and concerned that he would accept money from a lobbyist for Al Jazeera,” said Rubenstein, who has not made an endorsement in the race.
“I hope that Anthony will do the right thing by returning this money and maintain sensitivity to Jewish people and families across the city.”
According to the Post, Weiner has declined to comment.