PHOTO/Steve Rhodes

CONGRESS 15 | Representative-elect Eric Swalwell is still weeks away from being sworn into the 113th Congress, but he wasted little time by espousing a very unpopular sentiment among progressives in the East Bay–calling out Palestinians for “terrorists attacks” against Israel.

Last Friday, Swalwell, the 15th Congressional District’s newest representative referred to Palestinian “terrorist attacks” on Israel and support for defending the Jewish state. After repeated rocket attacks on the Israeli countryside, Israel retaliated last week, while the conservative government threatens a ground assault on Gaza.

Swalwell’s statement, however, shows a pro-Israel bent, contrary to supporters of the Palestinian struggle, who claim the state of Israel, is the true aggressor in the conflict.


“I am very concerned about the continued terrorist attacks in Israel,” Swalwell said Nov. 16 on his Facebook page. “No nation should face constant attacks on its civilians. I stand with hundreds in Congress who support Israel’s security and right to defend itself. I hope we can see long-term peace in the region and immediate calm for those who are living in fear.”

The comments are a shocking change for residents in the district who were previously represented by Pete Stark, one of Congress’s most consistent peaceniks. The words of support by Swalwell for Israel comes as no surprise and represent a payback of sorts for one of the lobbying groups most influential in his upset of Stark this month.

Despite a sleepy Jewish presence in the district, various pro-Israel lobbying groups have gravitated to the congressional rookie in a progressive enclave more easily tempted to support the Palestinian cause for self-determination. Pro-Palestinian, however, derisively affiliate these types of supporters with “Christian Zionists.”