In a sign of the fight for the Jewish vote, Sen. Bill Nelson’s campaign is embroiled in a whodunit over a political contribution made by an Islamic activist who has branded Israel a “terrorist state.”
Nelson’s campaign says it rejected a $500 donation made at an Oct. 22 fundraiser by activist Ahmed Bedier due to his strident criticisms of Israel.
But Bedier said he never gave the contribution in the first place. So nothing was rejected. The host of the event, Ocala pharmacist Manal Fakhoury, said Bedier is telling the truth.
“He did not give money,” said Fakhoury, who held the fundraiser for 60 people at her home. “I saw the list’’ of donors.
Regardless of who’s telling the truth, the controversy exposes the tightrope politicians walk when they even appear with Islamic activists in a state with a strong and influential Jewish population, which leans heavily Democratic.
The online report that sparked the controversy is here, from the Investigative Project on Terrorism.