Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman endorsed Turkish-American TV personality Dr. Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race during an event in Philadelphia on Wednesday that was hosted by the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC).

If elected in November, Oz would become the first Muslim in the Senate, something that Friedman noted when speaking of the Republican candidate’s pro-Israel positions. 

“We have to grow our pro-Israel position in the United States Senate and I was intrigued by a pro-Israel Muslim,” Friedman said in a statement. “We need him to help scale these relationships and I hope we will see him very soon on the Senate Foreign Relations committee. I proudly, proudly endorse his candidacy.” 

Oz is running against Pennsylvania’s Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, who has been endorsed by J Street and the pro-BDS group Peace Action. Fetterman himself has stated that he does not support BDS and supports Israel’s right to defend itself. He also supports the Biden administration’s efforts to re-enter the Iran nuclear deal. 

“I’m honored to receive Ambassador Friedman’s endorsement in this critical race, and I’m glad to have the Republican Jewish Coalition on my side,” Oz said in a statement. “Unlike my opponent who is no friend of Israel, I will stand against a nuclear Iran, build on the trailblazing Abraham Accords, and remain a stalwart champion for pro-Israel voters.” 

RJC executive director Matt Brooks said in a news release that the organization is proud to support Oz because he would “stand up for Israel in the U.S. Senate.” RJC officially endorsed Oz’s campaign on June 10. 

Supporter signs for Dr. Mehmet Oz at a campaign event in Pennsylvania on Aug. 17, 2022. Courtesy of Republican Jewish Coalition.

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