For weeks, I’ve been reading about the sleazy campaign waged by the Republican Jewish Coalition against Democratic candidates in the upcoming midterm election. I wasn’t going to comment about this initially because I saw it as a side issue. But I just saw two full page ads in the local Seattle Jewish paper, JTNews by the group and my sense of outrage was too great to restrain it.
The National Jewish Democratic Council circulated an e mail this wake about the RJC’s campaign noting that it cost them $1-million (update: the RJC has just announced it’s “expanding” the campaign, meaning it’s throwing bad money after worse). NJDC’s director, Ira Forman, was almost gleeful in recounting the failure of the campaign:
If this is what you get with $1 million in RJC ad buys, I hope that they spend $2 million in 2008.”
And I’ve got to agree with him.
When I first heard about the campaign I said to myself: “I can see Republicans pumping money into a campaign to wrest Jews from the Democratic Party if they had a centrist candidate who might appeal to centrist Jewish Democrats. But what do they think they’re bringing to the table in this election cycle that would make Jews jump into the arms of the Republican Party? Do they know something I don’t? I’d say this is pretty much the worst time in recent U.S. history to launch such a campaign. You’ve got the most radical right-wing president in several generations in power. Jews don’t like radicals of either the right of the left. So what’s to be gained here?”
In the Letters to the Editor section of JTNews, prominent Jewish philanthropist (and Democrat) Rob Spitzer threw up some interesting statistics thus sealing my case for me. The American Jewish Committee’s 2006 survey of American Jewish opinion:
Indicates that not withstanding the RJC’s campaign, the number of Jewish…Democrats has increased from 48% to 54% since the…2002 [election]…The number of Jewish…Republicans has decreased from 18%…to 15%…The number of Jewish voters who identify themselves as liberal has increased from 37%…to 42%…The number…who identify themselves as conservative has decreased from 29% to 25%…
To give you a notion of the questionable reasoning used in these ads let’s take examples from both ads in the JTNews. The first is a reference to an LA Times/Bloomberg (the ad mistakenly refers to it as the “Los Angeles/Bloomberg Poll”) poll question:
Which of the following questions comes closer to your view: “The U.S. should continue to align itself with Israel” or “The U.S. should adopt a more neutral posture”…
To which, 64% of Republicans said they wanted a U.S. alignment with Israel while only 39% of Democrats did. The ad tagline: “Republicans are more likely to support Israel.” Which of course is patently false. First, 85% (that’s my educated guess and not based on any poll) of the Democratic Party and its Congressional representatives are in Aipac’s hip pocket. But that’s beside the point. Even more importantly, the RJC conveniently ignores the difference between supporting Israel, which the vast majority of Democrats do; and wanting the U.S. to align its foreign policy interests with Israel, which the majority do not. Admittedly, it’s not a bright-line distinction. it requires some elementary thought process to understand the difference between the two concepts. But ultimately, only someone semi-comatose or a willful political charlatan would deliberately misunderstand them.
The other oddity was the full page ad on behalf of Mike McGavick, the Repubican U.S. Senate candidate: “Mike McGavick, when you stand up for Israeli you do not stand alone.” Among the other points it made was this questionable one:
When many members of Congress said we should not take sides [against Hezbollah]–YOU STOOD WITH US.”
Excuse me, but only 8 House members voted against supporting Israel during the Lebanon war. In the Senate, the vote was unanimous. So where are the “many members of Congress” who voted against the pro-Israel resolution?? Simply put, they don’t exist. More lies and damn lies.
And further regarding Lebanon, what the RJC neglects to tell you is that the AJC survey found that only 55% of American Jews “approved…of the way the Israeli government handled the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon?. So if fully 35% disapproved, then why would it be a shande for eight House members to vote against a simplistic propaganda resolution waving the flag on behalf of Israel during the most disastrous war it ever fought?
Click here to see more of the RJC’s travesties and calumnies.
Dan Sniderman says
Considering the actual Repuglican position (as documented on this blog) is essentially to pressure Israel to follow the Cheney neo-con foreign policy – I think the statement about the US aligning itself with Israel is particularly galling.
There are forces int he administration that believe in “The Rapture”. Many Jews understand this and don’t want to be cannon-fodder for those that believe the “End-TImes” ar enow.
And lastly – there can be no doubt – with the coverage of David Kuo (sp?) new book about the “Faith-based” Initiatives, anti-Darwinism, and so on – that the dominant view of the ruling party is one that will do much harm for our community.
(For example, Kuo related that staffers of the Faith-Based Initiative agency would give any non-Evangelical groups low ratings – regardless of their effectiveness – ensuring the ones that initially got funded wouldn’t continue wouldn’t have their funding renewed.
Joe Patel says
I am very convincingly led to believe that the neo-conservatives associated with the National Jewish Coalition, i.e. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Pearle, were secretly behind 9/11 attacks and demolition of the twin towers and the WTC complex, not al queda. There is mounting evidence behind this claim, which the world, more and more, is uncovering! In fact I was shocked to learn that some jewish workers in the twin towers had recieved text messages on that day not be in the towers at the time they were “attacked”. I was also learned that Larry Silverstein, lease owner of the WTC, and of jewish decent, had solidied a $3.5 million insurance policy only weeks before Sept 11, 2001!! There is overwhelming evidence that Silverstein, George Bush, Cheney, and Marvin Bush were involved directly/indirectly in the terrorism that day! Secrets cannot be hidden forever!
Richard Silverstein says
Joe Patel shows us the true face of conspiracy-crazed anti-Semitism today.
Joe Patel says
Richard, your conjecture is about as meaningful as an underwater sleeping bag! Why is every accusatory notion that someone makes about Bush and his cronies seen as part of a “conspiracy theory”?? Why doesn’t a judge throw out every case that comes against those tried saying that its just another conspiracy theory?!! Has any critical analysis of the 911 Commission been done? Yes it has! Any/everyone who has done such an analysis is a “conspiracy theorist”! What kind of country do we live in??! When will everyone see evidence for what it is?? I guess it’s just a theory that Norman Minita overheard Dick Cheney at the Pentagon giving someone an order to stand-down on the morning of 9/11, as they were tracking the ‘plane’ that hit the Pentagon.
And what is remotely anti-sematic about my last comment??
Dan Sniderman says
This Artcle shows how well that campaign worked…
Ted Geldberg says
As a registered Democrat for the last 35 years, I will officially end that affiliation, this week, as I re-register as a Republican. I can tell you that I am one of many thousands of Jews who see a Democratic party that has lost its way, devoid of principles, unable to formulate any meaningful policy, willing to cast away its own if there is any disagreement with the party line (as in Joe Lieberman), and controlled by an increasingly hostile to Jews and Israel left that doesn’t even attempt to disguise its contempt (Michael Moore, Cindy Sheehan, Jimmy Carter to name a few). The Republican Jewish Coalition was not responsible for my transformation, the Democratic party and its foolishness was, focusing on idiotic issues such as global warming, gays in the military, and abortion on demand and pretending that there are negotiable means of eliminating worldwide Islamic fascism. Think about the behavior of devotees to your beloved party at the Jim Gilchrist appearance at Columbia University, attempting to curb free speech, or at the funerals of Coretta King or Paul Wellstone, turning solemn occassions into partisan name calling fracases. One doesn’t need to use “profane, abusive, or insulting comments” to discredit “the author,” you’re doing a fine job all by yourself. My guess is that you don’t like to debate facts, you dwell in the “feelings” world; some day, when you mature into adulthood, read some history, and use some logic, why not use your forum to explore the issues from both sides and try and learn something. And by the way, if you honestly think that more Jews have become Democrats over the past few years, why don’t you talk to Democratic activist, Susan Estrich, (who I actually respect, quite a bit) about her theory about how and why Florida voted for President Bush in 2004, you’ll find it quite interesting. Finally, this is the first time that I happened upon this site, however, I can assure you, I am interested in learning, unlike most of your sycophantic readers, so I’ll stop by again. And each time, I’ll not let you get away with half and/or full untruths.
Valley Glen, CA
Richard Silverstein says
Given what you write following this little morsel I find it difficult, if not impossible to believe you ever were a Democrat. You’ve simply swallowed hook, line & sinker every key talking pt. of not just the Republican Party, but the far right wing of it. If you weren’t a Republican before this, you’re certainly making the right choice in signing on with them now.
BTW, when you register I don’t think you’ll find the lines very long since multitudes of Republicans made their egress on Nov. 7th. You might find it a little lonely in there. Only 13% of Jews voted Republican this time around. Lowest Republican vote in 13 yrs.
You’re not only a propagandist, but an intellectually dishonest one as well. Michael Moore, Cindy Sheehan & Jimmy Carter “control” the Demo. Party?? What are you smokin’? If anyone controls the Democratic Party it is Harry Reid & Nancy Pelosi. Go ahead, call Harry Reid a leftist. I dare you. If you do you’d be a real idiot. The guys’ against abortion rights for God’s sake.
I too have belonged to the Democratic Party for 35 yrs. You have no monopoly on penetrating insight when it comes to analyzing the Party. The Party is not, nor has it ever been “hostile to Jews and Israel.” Pls. point me to one serious & substantive proof of this outrageous claim. And don’t point at the 3 you mentioned above or Al Sharpton either. Remember I said serious & substantive evidence. Show me a proposal advanced by the party or the Congressional leadership that was hostile to Jews or Israel. You can’t. You’re just interested in spewing propaganda devoid of real substance.
Global warming and a woman’s right to choose, idiotic? I think you’ve said all you need to say for us to place you in the proper perspective. A raving wingnut. Pls. do switch to the Republicans. Most Democrats I know would be embarrassed to be in the same room with you let alone the same party.
I’ve written 1,500 posts here all of which are buttressed by Israeli media sources and independent research. Don’t talk to me about facts shmendrick. If you bothered to read anything I wrote in any depth (God forbid!) you’d find more facts than you’d know what to do with. But people like you don’t need facts. Your opinions & prejudicial judgments are quite sufficient & facts/reality would only stand in the way.
You’re a presumptuous twit. I know more about Jewish and Israeli history than you’ll ever know. Would you care to put forward your bona fides against mine? 5 undergraduate years majoring in Talmud with multiple course in Jewish history, Hebrew literature & Hebrew language. 7 yrs. of graduate study in the same fields adding Yiddish, Zionism, & Jewish mysticism. An undergrad & grad yr. studying at the Hebrew U. in Heb. lang. classes. A BA, BHL, MA all in Jewish studies. Whadya got?
Liar. You’re not interested in learning. You’re interested in scoring debate pts.
Stop by all you wish. As for publishing yr insults and hatred here that depends on what you write. All of yr comments will be moderated & will not display on this blog until I approve them. If you keep repeating the same drivel you’ve spouted here yours may or may not see the light of day.
Ted Geldberg says
I guess the “play nice or don’t play” philosophy only applies to those that don’t agree with you, but not yourself. And my oh my, aren’t we sensitive about our educational “accomplishments?” And, by the way, I’m honored to be called a “schmendrik,” a “presumptious twit” and a “liar” by such an “accomplished” writer who has 1500 postings but doesn’t use abusive or insulting comments. And, finally, about the “threat” of moderating any future comments, I don’t use vulgar or profane language, nor do I employ “gratuitous violence” in attacking anyone’s character, so what you really mean to say is that you reserve the right to censor or edit anything with which you don’t agree… so what else is new? I’d have been disappointed if you didn’t resort to “it’s my ball and we’ll play by my rules” tactics; it would have shown a level of maturity I didn’t think you possessed. Are you sure you didn’t go to Columbia? (And one more thing…a woman’s “right to choose,” as you put it, is one with which I have no problem. The obsession with making it the issue that can have no discussion, ever, especially in light of continued medical advancements that push fetal viability back further and further, and the vilification of anyone that dares to examine those boundaries is what I find remarkable). As for accumulating “debate points,” earning them against you is no accomplishment!
Richard Silverstein says
Telling a person who has taken 20 or more undergrad & grad courses on Jewish history that they should “read some history” is quite “presumptuous.” You question my knowledge of sources for this conflict. I thought I’d answer by attesting to the fact that I have no need of such advice from you. As for the “twit” part, well I just didn’t like your tone. It was insulting though you didn’t use any of the usual abusive language posted by others here who share yr rightist views.
As for calling you a “liar,” can you tell me truly & sincerely that you came hear to “learn” anything? ‘Learning’ implies openness to ideas & thoughts of others. I find a dubious proposition that you came here to learn. And if you DID come here to to do that, I’d challenge you to tell me a single positive, constructive piece of insight you gained here. And don’t be snarky in yr answer.
How much do you know about blogging? Moderation is a feature that hundreds of thousands, if not millions of blogs use in filtering comments. Do you really think you or anyone else has the right to publish anything they want in my blog? Of course not. If I wanted this to be the town square I wouldn’t have a personal blog. A blog belongs to the owner, not to you or the general public. I’ve had commenters say they look forward to seeing me roasting in fire when the next Holocaust comes around or words to that effect. Would you have me publish comments like this?
You published the only two comments you’ve ever written here. So what are you “on” about? I’ve neither censored nor edited you. But I reserve the right to do that w. any commenter who steps over the red line. Almost all bloggers observe such a comments policy. It is an occupational hazard of being a progressive Zionist blogger. There are always snarky individuals like you who feel you have the right to try to bring us down a peg or two sometimes using quite abuse, hateful rhetoric in the process (not that you have done this).
I certainly did attend Columbia and am damn proud of it–30 yrs. ago. But I never stopped anyone from speaking on campus. I wouldn’t stop you if you tried to as well. Your views aren’t even worthy of drawing attention to by trying to stop you from disseminating them on campus. I’d venture to say you’d draw a big crowd from the David Project crowd. But they’re already confirmed rightist bigots when it comes to the Israeli-Arab conflict.
I didn’t say I don’t use strong language against propagandists in my comments threads. I warn commenters not to use such language or style. And if they decide to ignore my request, then I feel perfectly free to give them a dose of their own medicine in return. But I never use strong language unless a commenter has landed the first blow.
You excoriate the Dem. Party for supporting what you call “abortion on demand” and yet say you have “no problem” with a “woman’s right to choose.” Excuse me, but that’s a contradiction in terms however you slice it. So you seem to say you’re in favor of a limited “right to choose.” Then that’s not really giving woman a “right to choose” now, is it? It’s only giving her a right to choose during whatever limited period of time your moral considerations would permit her to do so.