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Steve J. Israel (born May 30, 1958) is an Americanmarker politician from the state of New Yorkmarker, currently representing the state's 2nd congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives.


Israel was born in Brooklyn, New Yorkmarker and graduated from Nassau Community Collegemarker, and George Washington Universitymarker. He was elected to the town board in Huntington, New Yorkmarker in 1993.

He lives in Dix Hillsmarker with his wife, Marlene Budd, who had served on the Huntington Town board before being elected as a county family court judge in 2005. Israel has two daughters.



After Rick Lazio left his House seat to run for the United States Senate in 2000, Israel was elected to the House of Representatives as a Democrat. Israel received 48% of the vote, defeating Republican Joan Jonhson, who received 34%, and three independent candidates who received 6% of the vote each.

The second district

Israel represents the , located on Long Islandmarker, which includes the towns of Huntington, Babylon, Islip, and Smithtown in Suffolk Countymarker and part of the town of Oyster Bay in Nassau Countymarker. It comprises such communities as Huntingtonmarker, Dix Hillsmarker, Melvillemarker, Northportmarker, Commackmarker, Brentwoodmarker, Central Islipmarker, Bay Shoremarker, Deer Parkmarker, North Amityvillemarker, and Wyandanchmarker. Israel's district was once one of the most conservative districts in the East. In 2002, however, the district was gerrymandered to Israel's advantage, removing much of the heavily middle-class, Republican South Shore neighborhoods and incorporating some of the more liberal and heavily Jewish areas on Long Island'smarker affluent North Shore into the district. Until recently, the 2nd district was the only district on Long Islandmarker (excluding Brooklyn and Queens) where Democrats outnumber Republicans, though the 5th district, which is part in Nassaumarker and part in Queensmarker, also has a Democratic registration advantage both in the Queens and Nassau sections. With the Democrats making up quite a bit of ground on Long Island in voter registration, the 4th district also has a Democratic advantage in voter enrollment.

Congressional career

In his first term, Israel voted to authorize George W. Bush to use military force against Iraq, even though over 60% of his Democratic colleagues in the House voted against the bill. He said he was most proud of a bill that would accelerate research and treatment of ovarian cancer. He has said his primary interests are national security, healthcare,and the environment. Newsday called Israel "rookie of the year" in his first term and later identified him as one of eight "rising stars" nationally.

In his second term, Israel was tapped for a leadership position as Assistant Whip. He is one of only two New York Members of Congress to serve on the House Armed Services Committee. He also serves on the House Financial Services Committee. He is the founder and chair of the Democratic Study Group on National Security, the Congressional center aisle caucus, and co-chairs the bipartisan House Cancer Caucus and the bipartisan Long Island Sound Task Force.

In his third term, Israel was appointed to chair the House Democratic Caucus Task Force on Defense and Military, a group of 15 Members of Congress who will outreach to the defense community and advise the House Democratic Leadership on military policy.In 2006, Israel harshly criticized Jimmy Carter for his book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid and at the same time criticized the Palestinian government.

In his fourth term in Congress, Israel was appointed to the Appropriations committee.

Israel supported a study on the feasibility of switching from Tuesday to weekend voting.

According to Newsday,in early October 2009, Mr. Israel held a town hall meeting at Suffolk Community Collage in Brentwood, NY. At the meeting, shouts and insults flew at Mr. Israel by his constituents for not taking on the fight against socialized medicine and out of control spending by the US Congress. Despite the unpopularity of the healthcare bill before congress in his town hall meeting, Steve Israel voted for the bill on Saturday, November 7, 2009 at 11:15PM.

Committee assignments

Leadership positions and Caucus membership

  • House Democratic Caucus
    • Assistant Democratic Whip
    • Chair, House Democratic Caucus Task Force On Defense and the Military
    • Co-chair, House Democratic Study Group on National Security Policy
  • Co-chair and founder of the House Center Aisle Caucus
  • Co-chair, House Cancer Caucus
  • Co-chair, Long Island Sound Caucus

Electoral history

New York election law allows for fusion voting, where a candidate can run as a member of multiple parties. In 2000, Israel ran only as a Democrat in his winning bid for Congress, but since 2002 he has run under the Democratic Party, the Independence Party, and the Working Families Party. The pooled vote totals for candidates are listed first, and the split of the votes among the parties they ran as is listed beneath.


Steve Israel was an honorary member of the gala host committee for the J Street Gala Dinner on October 27, 2009. J Street is a non-profit political organization founded by progressive Jews to lobby the US government to adopt a more even-handed approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to counter the more right-wing influence of organizations like AIPAC. In the weeks leading up to the Gala dinner American neoconservatives and those aligned with the Likud, the right-wing political party of current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, attempted to marginalize Rep. Israel and those supporting the alternate voice of J Street. Weekly Standard blogger Michael Goldfarb called the J Street dinner an "anti-Israel bash." But Lindsay Hamilton, Rep. Israel's spokeswoman, told the Jersualem Post: "It's absurd that this has become a controversy... The congressman agreed to be on the gala host committee. That doesn't mean he agrees with every viewpoint of every speaker at the event."

: Results 2000–2008
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
2000 Steve Israel 90,438 48% 65,880 35% Robert Walsh Right to Life 11,224 6%
Democratic 90,438 Republican 65,880 Richard N. Thompson Conservative 10,824 6%
David A. Bishop 10,266 5%
Independence 7,595
Green 1,404
Working Families 1,267
2002 85,451 58% 59,117 40% John Keenan Green 1,558 1%
Democratic 75,845 Republican 48,239
Independence 7,632 Conservative 5,772
Working Families 1,974 Right to Life 5,106
2004 Steve Israel 161,593 67% 80,950 33%
Democratic 147,197 Republican 72,953
Independence 9,508 Conservative 7,997
Working Families 4,888
2006 Steve Israel 105,276 70% 44,212 30%
Democratic 94,100 Republican 37,671
Independence 7,443 Conservative 6,541
Working Families 3,733
2008 Steve Israel 161,279 67% 79,641 33%
Democratic 143,759 Republican 70,145
Independence 11,900 Conservative 9,496
Working Families 5,620
* Blank, void, and write-in candidate ("scattering") notes: In 2000, there were 37,596 BVS votes; in 2002, 14,087; in 2004, 40,937; and in 2006, 14,101.
The 2008 results were separated out, and there were 54,163 blank votes; 10 void ballots; and 12 votes cast for write-in candidates.


  1. See
  6. [1]
  8. New York State Board of Elections 2008 Election Results page

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