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Janice Hahn Invites Debra Bowen To Take Pro-Israel Pledge

On the one hand, she has made it clear that she would like to influence the debate. But on the other, she has just moved to a new home in Santa Monica -- which is outside the district -- and might not want to move back for another campaign. Friends who have spoken with her in recent days have said she is leaning against it. (Update: See below.)

Dave Jacobson, a Hahn spokesman, said that her campaign has always assumed that Winograd will join the race.

"We brought this forward because this is an important issue that Congresswoman Jane Harman championed," Jacobson said. "We wanted to come out and put this letter out and let the residents of the 36th District know where she stands on this issue."

Hahn's campaign has set up a page on her website that explains her views on Israel.

"The key issue [in the campaign] is Harman's vote on national security and in support of Israel," Hoffenblum said. "It's very important to the Jewish community nationwide."

After reading the pledge, Winograd gave the following statement:

"I am surprised that Janice Hahn would want to pressure another candidate into signing a contrived pledge that subverts the peace process in the Middle East. The U.S. needs a far more balanced and humane approach, which would involve clear condemnation of Palestinian border rocket attacks, but also denunciation of illegal Israeli settlements and home demolitions. If we close our eyes to the ever-expanding Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, we sabotage the two-state solution to end up with Palestinians living in bantustans. Imagine if we said San Pedro and San Francisco constituted a state, then outlawed roads to connect them. Who would take such a proposal seriously? No one. Ultimately, we need a Congressperson who is not beholden to special interests but whose eyes are wide open."

Saturday update: Winograd told supporters on a progressive listserv today that she will run for Congress. When asked about that via e-mail, however, she wasn't ready to make a public announcement. "I am exploring the possibility but no decision has been made," she said. Winograd said she would decide within the next several days "as I recognize a lot of people are waiting to hear what will unfold."

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