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October 19, 2004


Robert Crawford

Mr. Kerry recalled climbing the Masada fortress where ancient Jews committed mass suicide

Kerry was there, ya know. Right after he was in Cambodia. Yep -- he shuttled CIA agents into Israel during the Roman occupation.

It's all right there, in his biography.

jack risko


my two cents. thanks, jack

Paul Zrimsek

"Hey, can I get me a bowl of that oy gevalt? Mmm, the shiksa looks pretty tasty too."


At the risk of dislocating a shoulder while engaging in auto-backpatting, I am determined to point out that I noted the Global Test - Israel connection way back when.

Possible new motto: JustOneMinute - an inspiration to blind squirrels everywhere.


At least Kerry's Jewsih, Pau. Well, sorta. But Bush IS on record asserting that Jews are going to hell. That's no way to get Jewish votes.

Seriously, polling hasn't shown a Jewish shift to Bush, and I think it's because Bush's Israel policy hasn't really been that great. While US Jews do strongly support Israel, they tend to be Labor voters, not Likudniks. Unconditionally supporting Sharon doesn't lose Bush any points with the community (it does with me, because I'm a fire-breathing pinko, but whatver), but Bush's unwillingness to make more than a minimal effort towards stopping the ongoing violence that happened on his watch probably did lose him points. I was in Israel during the Passover massacre period, and the fact that all Bush did about the daily suicide bombings was issue strong reprimands and indignantly withdraw Ambassador Zinni (I swear he did this five times in 2002) never sat well with me. Particularly galling was the fact that it seemed like he wasn't doing this because he thought it would be an effective Israel policy, he did it because he wanted to look different from Clinton.


Oh, sym, in spring '02 Bush had to take an EU-lite line, to help cover Blair a bit. It wasn't enough, of course, to assuage Europe, let alone Arabia, and yet, it was too much for you. D'you really think differentiating himself and his policies from Clinton's entered his mind? Why would you?


Sym? Are you kidding me? What exactly was he supposed to do to stop the bombings? Send special forces? Are you actually complaining that he didn't behave like Bill Clinton? Are you really this ignorant? Are you not aware that violence steadily increased throughout Bill Clinton's efforts to "bring peace"? It's like complaining about the firefighter who has no water because he's not doing enough, and contrasting him with his quick-thinking predecessor who at least knew to dump gasoline on the fire.

By the way, this isn't about the jewish vote. It's too small and many American Jews aren't really that strong supporters of Israel. It's about the christian vote.


To say nothing about the fact that Kerry's friends are the world's biggest anti-semites. Oh, excuse me, they're people who disagree with Israel. Like the U.N. (your one-stop shopping source for global anti-semitism), the French, the EU generally. The Germans, too, who occasionally, to their credit, have a twinge of guilt about it.

I agree the Jewish vote is small, and I agree that there won't be a huge shift to Bush, and I suspect that it's difficult even to talk (meaningfully) about the Jewish vote when we can't even figure out who's still Jewish here -- certain Duke students notwithstanding -- but I do have some anecdotal evidence that Jews are quietly moving in Bush's direction, even if they don't want to admit it publicly.


I had thought that evangelicals were the real anti-semites until I realized that a nuclear Iran would probably bring Armageddon closer to reality. Now I think a soft-on-Iran, respond-after-the-fact Kerry might be the evangelicals' best friend. Kerry should just say anything: "People, I will give you Jesus."


Alene, I'm not mad about the "EU-lite line". I'm not quite sure what you're talking about, but it sounds like something I'd support. But what I am and was critizing was his policy of disengagement. The reason I think he wanted to differ from Clinton is because Ari Fleishcer said so. (I can dig this up for you).


Bill, what Bush was doing was waiting for the fire to put itself out. Good for the firefighter, bad for the house.
Are you not aware that violence steadily increased throughout Bill Clinton's efforts to "bring peace"?

Do you really want to compare the Israeli death rate under Clinton and under Bush? It's a ridiculous measurement in any case, but Israeli deaths dramatically accelerated after Bush abandoned Clinton's peace process.

And Attila, you may have anecdotal evidence, but I've got polling evidence. So there.


I don't know how anyone can vote for a man, or a campaign as unctuous as this year's Democratic choice.


look, there's no guarantee that there would have been less violence had Clinton been in office. But I think he would have tried to do something, and something (to my mind) is better than nothing. And the situation has markedly improved, even though I would attribute that success mainly to the wall (though - credit where credit is due- it is possible a Dem Pres would have interfered with some of Sharon's more successful policies). But still, under Bush's watch, there were thousands of deaths and the creation of wounds in israeli society that will never heal. This probably isn't Bush's fault. But if you can't blame the US Pres in power during the intifada, you certainly can't blame the one who is no longer in power. And then why vote for a Pres based on their Israel policy at all?

Here's a column on Fleischer on Clinton: http://www.time.com/time/columnist/karon/article/0,9565,214822,00.html

Polling Jewish voters results: http://www.tnr.com/blog/campaignjournal?pid=1932


Look, Sym, I'm not going to get into a micturition match with you about the Jewish vote. But let me say one thing about polls: They are conducted by asking people to declare publicly. What I am saying, anecdotally, is that some Jews are extremely reluctant to say publicly that they will vote for Bush. I'm not claiming that this is a huge number. But poll evidence does nothing to refute this. It is virtually unknowable except, marginally, through anecdotes.

Your question about why Jews (I assume you're talking about Jews specifically) should vote based on Israel policy has two answers: 1. Many Jews have a deep emotional and religious bond with Israel. 2. Israel is on the front lines of the war on terrorism. Its success or failure is strongly predictive of our own success or failure. We have a major interest in Israel's success.


"...the Masada fortress where ancient Jews committed mass suicide..."

Didn't Monty Python parody this in Life of Brian with the Judean People's Front crack suicide squad?


whee! even though i was under the impression my "bush is bad for israel" was mine and mine only, it seems that even the liberal hawk Richard Cohen shares it:
He makes a lot of the same points I did. Washington Post is always stealing my ideas.

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