Born in New York and raised in Israel, Itamar Gelbman seeks to bring a Jewish and Israeli voice to the United States Congress by running in the May 29 Republican primary race in Texas’s Sixth Congressional District.
Gelbman, grew up in Herzliya, studied business management at Tel Aviv University and served in the Israeli army. He then joined the Tel Aviv Police Department and the Israeli Highway Patrol, and said that during his service he was nominated for numerous awards, including best soldier.
“I’m the only candidate for the seat who is pro-Israel,” Gelbman said.
“Israel should be allowed to do whatever it needs to do,” he said. “The Palestinians need to change their education system and accept Israel as a Jewish state with Jerusalem as its capital.”
As the primaries quickly approach, Gelman’s mailers went to about 40,000 homes, providing cards with the candidate’s picture and a slogan that states: "Army lieutenant for Congress."
Gelman said that one of his primary goals it to stop, what he calls, the "Islamization" of America.
Needless to say, his many Muslim neighbors are not too keen on his candidacy.
"Where is the 'Islamization of America?,” asked Jamal Qaddura, a precinct chair in the Tarrant County GOP and a frequent spokesman for the Islamic community. According to WFAA-TV, Qaddura said that he is deeply offended by the Gelbman campaign.
Currently, Gelman does not live in District 6 but said he plans to move to the district in the near future. If so, he will have thousands of Muslim neighbors- many of them conservative Republican voters, noted the news agency.
"Bad news for him, I guess," Qaddura said. "He just offended 50,000 people."
However, Gelbman is hopefull and claims that he continues to receive an outstanding show of support from his constituents.