Despite the braying ads of the Republican Jewish Coalition and their conviction that 2008 was finally going to be the Republican’s “time” to capture the Jewish vote, it just didn’t happen. Haaretz reports Obama received 77% of Jewish votes, which compares favorably to the 74% John Kerry earned and 79% that Al Gore earned. The story quotes my friend, Jeremy Ben Ami giving the RJC “what for:”
“American Jews resoundingly rejected the two-year, multimillion dollar campaign of baseless smears and fear waged against him by the right wing of our community,” he said.
“Surrogates and right-wing political operatives in our community stopped at nothing in their efforts to sway Jewish voters against Obama.”
“We can only hope that these results put to rest for good the myth that fear and smear campaigns – particularly around Israel – can be an effective political weapon in the Jewish community,” he added.
Alas, Jeremy and I both know that his last paragraph is for naught. These smearmeisters are one-note tacticians. Attack mode and lies are all they know. They will be back meaner and dirtier than ever. And we have to be prepared for them.
Which is why I’ve been deeply concerned with the Jewish media’s eagerness to take the RJC’s dirty ad dollars up to the last minute. Readers reported to me that Haaretz actually allowed its entire e-mail subscriber list to be solicited with this dirty ad whose text read in part:
Obama has surrounded himself with anti-Israel advisors like General Tony McPeak, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Robert Malley and Reverend Jeremiah Wright.
I want to make clear once again that I don’t begrudge a publication the right to earn its livelihood from Republican ad money. But I DO have a very serious problem with a publication which absconds from responsibility for smears and lies purveyed by the Jewish right to their readers. Publishers like Haaretz’s Amos Schocken and The Forward’s Samuel Norwich must not be allowed to escape their moral responsibility in this matter. If they wouldn’t allow their reporters to write these smears in their copy, then why do they allow their ad pages to be filled with them?
I repeat, this will happen again in 2010 and 2012. We should put the Jewish media on notice that we will not take it lightly. In fact, I’d suggest that subscribers of Haaretz’s e mail list write the paper that they are cancelling their subscriptions. After all, there are other ways like RSS feeds to subscribe to Haaretz. If enough people complain and take action, Haaretz just may sit up and take notice. I should note that they never even deigned to reply to my own complaint.
In 2006, I wrote that the RJC had wasted the million bucks they’d spent to diss the Democrats. In 2008, they spent much more (though we don’t know how much more) and it had the same impact: zilch. As for 2010, their motto undoubtedly will be: if at first and second you fall flat on your face, try, try again.