A bitter campaign in a northern New Jersey Democrat race has caused a growing Muslim community to vote for a "friend of the Muslims", instead of the Jewish candidate.
A redrawing of a district in the state of New Jersey has left two candidates, Jewish Representative Steve Rothman, running against Bill Pascrell, grandson of an Italian immigrant former mayor of Paterson, which houses a large Muslim population.
The campaigns included President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton in the race.
Rothman was the only Democratic state legislator to support Obama's candidacy for the presidential nomination. Although not stated outright his support for Rothman, President Obama met with the
congressman on Friday, the same day that Clinton appeared at a rally of Pascrell, who supported Hillary Clinton for president.
Religious and ethnic elements festering behind the headlines of the campaign posters in Arabic came when it called for "Muslim Diaspora community" to "choose the friend of the Muslims and not the Jew."
Pascrell has been seen as being pro-Israel, but the record on his website of his votes on foreign policy shows only one matter on Israel “the Israeli blockade of Gaza," for what he voted to demand Israel to end the blockade.