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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

December 02, 2004


"L-rd have mercy on the Jews. We may be the only ethnic group in democratic history that is compelled to vote against its own self-interest, and even self-preservation. Whether it's finances, national security or the survival of the only Jewish state, the Republicans are good for it. But an estimated 75% of American Jews will nonetheless vote for John Kerry, a fact that caused my friend Steve — exasperated with his mother's political obstinacy — to conclude, "Please, if Hitler were running as a Democrat, she'd vote for him!"

So I ask anti-Semites of all political persuasions: Don't hate us because we're Jewish. Hate us because we're liberal. After all, you sure as heck can't accuse us of dual loyalty: Kerry has the Jewish vote even in the face of George W.'s tried and true record on Israel, with his unequivocal, groundbreaking stance that dead Jews count as much as dead anybody else. No, most American Jews would rather hand the White House and the future of Israel back over to the party that showed us the way to Intifada 2, then declined to veto a UN resolution condemning Israel for provoking it.

Ah, but my people have mastered a mental trick to help get past inconvenient evidence and enable them to continue thinking inside the casket. Rather than associate the deteriorated situation in Israel with the Clinton years, they've taken to counting up the number of Jews killed since Bush's inauguration, and comparing the per-year numbers. Since Jewish deaths have indeed accelerated in recent years, it must be because of Bush policies (and not the Clinton-Albright jihad jump-start in the summer of 2000). Also to stay the course, my fellow tribesmen purposely don't see the forest for the bushes, trying to count up on one hand the instances of the administration's occasional half-hearted reprimands of targeted assassinations and incursions into terror camps. They sit on their haunches, ready to pounce on any Bush words that could justify their Democratic complacency and be construed to sell Israel down the river, forgetting that they sold it themselves in 1993.

Despite nearly four years of tangible, concrete and consistent action by George Bush affirming Jewish humanity — that quality that eight long years of Democratic leadership worked to strip us of — all that Jews needed to hear were the words "safe and secure Israel" at the Democratic Convention, and it was their green light to stay on track with a foregone conclusion. The fact that one day Kerry calls Israel's fence a security measure vital to the nation's self-defense, and the next day calls it a "barrier to peace" — depending on his audience — doesn't faze them. And if it does, they just block it out.

After one Kerry speech in Pittsburgh this year, a friend of a friend came up to the candidate and asked, "Senator, what will you do about Israel?" Saving himself a future flip-flop, he answered, "Time will tell." Good enough. Apparently, she just had to ask the question. But even college-level critical thinking skills would lead one to question how Kerry would manage to do right by Israel when he believes the U.S. should do what the UN tells us to. Evidently, hating oneself dictates taking a flip-flopping talker over a consistent doer."

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