Along with the decisions all Americans eligible to vote wil be making this November, American Jews will be facing the choice between pro-Jewish and pro-Zionist (and Jewish/Zionist organization) candidates who in addition to a strong desire to serve their constituents dedicatedly on local issues, are in tune with Trump administration policiies - this as opposed to those whose progressive,liberal views do not consider that option.
Antonio Sabato Jr., running in California's 26th congressional district, made where he stands clear in an exclusive interview I conducted with him in which he talked about Israel, immigration, education, Holocaust Denial and working in DC with Trump.
Actually, the country heard his opinions when he was a recent guest on The View and voiced his concerns on illegal versus legal immigration, a subject on which he is well versed, as can be seen from his official political Facebook page:
"Antonio was taught the importance of a strong work ethic as he watched his parent’s work two to three jobs to make ends meet. At 13 years old Antonio quickly learned English and became trilingual after studying Spanish in school. In 1996 after completing the necessary steps, Antonio became a United States citizen–what he calls 'the proudest moment of my life.' Antonio went on to become a model and actor gracing the cover of magazines around the world. He expanded his business resume to include successful ventures as a small business owner, restaurateur, author, and producer."
"Most recently, Antonio decided that, like many of us, he has had enough of professional politicians who care nothing about their local community. Antonio was inspired to run for Congress in California’s 26th District because he wanted to give back to the country that gave him his freedom and opportunities."
The first thing Antonio wanted to me to learn about him was his ability to listen. Second, he stressed that if he wins the elecion, the victory is not his alone, but that of the people he represents. Many are Latino, farmers, low income and struggling. "I am running on the ideas of my people," he said.
"I am Jewish by blood," Sabato proudly declared, his last name actually the same as that of a well-known Israeli rabbi and prize-winning author. He repeated several times how happy he is that President Trump is rebuilding the relationship with the Jewish state that President Obama damaged so severely during his tenure in office.
He was opposed to the Iran Nuclear Deal in 2015, and when elected, hopes to help President Trump create a better deal now that we withdrew from JCPOA. He is firm on the issues of Palestinian Arab, Hamas and Hezbollah violence. He stands with President Trump on sanctions against any terror group that incites and does not renounce violence and feels strongly that governments must fully recognize Israel as the Jewish state.
Sabato feels he has a unique opportunity to build a new bridge between his district, his state, California, and Israel. He has studied the advances Israel has made in irrigation and purifying water. "Israel is so much more advanced in their methods of water purifying and irrigation. My opponent, the incumbent, has done nothing on this matter, and won't. I plan on visiting Israel right after getting elected and starting a new relationship between my district and Israel."
Sabato is open about his own family's experiences as Holocaust victims and survivors. His maternal grandparents were Czechoslovakian Ashkenazi Jews, in hiding when the Russian communists took over and banned religion. They escaped to Italy where they finally had freedom, but by then, Antonio's mother was a teen and practicing another religion. However, once she found out her own history, she shared her story with Antonio and his sister. They have visited Yad Vashem where his family members' names are found along with records of their deaths.
Sabato said that as congressman, he will do whatever is needed to work on Holocaust education, fight its denial and make sure that an international following knows the truth about what happened during World War II.
California ranks 42 out of 50 in education. Sabato stands with President Trump in supporting school choice. It makes no sense to him why, when so much money is spent per child on education, the results are often failure. He believes parents should and could be more involved.
Anti-Semitism on campus
One of the first issues Sabato will address as congressman is the anti-Israel, anti-Semitic actions ongoing on California campuses. "Today, our campuses seem like puppets of a socialist party. Students today need to think for themselves. They are starting to wake up to reality when they graduate. Many are disappointed, and in debt, surrounded by sanctuary cities, ridiculous gas and water taxes and nothing like the American Dream they were promised. Luckily, many are turning to the words of our president, our constitution, and a desire for succeeding at reading, writing and arithmetic," adding that California will surprise many with a surge of red in November.
Antonio Sabato Jr. has been endorsed in Hollywood by Dean Cain, Scott Baio and Kirstie Alley. Many of those he has worked with have supported him but are afraid to have their names out there connected to him and President Trump. "It's amazing to me that I have worked successfully in this business for thirty years, yet, since supporting Donald Trump, the job market changed for me. It only makes me a stronger advocate for him, his administration and his policies," he said.
Antonio Sabàto Jr. has also received the endorsement of many California Republican and Conservative party groups. One important endorsement came from House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Ed Royce (R), a pro-Israel supporter on the hill, who said: “Antonio Sabàto Jr. is energetic and hard-working. He has what it takes to be a leader on the Hill and is willing to do what it takes to make progress in the 26th district.”
In 1992 Mr. Royce was first elected to the United States House of Representatives and has been a strong leader ever since. As the current Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and a senior member of the House Financial Services Subcommittee, he is an expert and leader on a wide variety of important issues.
“I am honored to receive this important endorsement from someone who I agree with on many topics. Mr. Royce is a key party leader and I admire the work that he has done for the people of his district, for California, and for our nation,” said Antonio Sabàto Jr. “We are both extremely dedicated to the importance of STEM in our schools. It is important to make sure our children get the most thorough education and are prepared for the future.”
Cindy Grosz can be reached at [email protected].